NASCAR DFS Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Picks for FireKeepers Casino 400
Each week, we’ll have an early-week cheat sheet for the DFS NASCAR contests at DraftKings. This week, we look at the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan.
NASCAR DFS CONTESTS
TOP 5 FAVORITES TO WIN
1. Kyle Larson
The spring of 2016 was the last time a driver not named Kyle Larson won at Michigan. He’s won not only the last three Michigan races but also at Fontana in 2017. Michigan and Fontana are the only two-mile intermediate tracks on the circuit. The surfaces of these tracks are completely different, so some drivers believe these tracks are not similar. Larson is obviously not one of those drivers. He’s the current king of the two-mile tracks, and he nearly won last week.
2. Kevin Harvick
From 2013 to 2015, Harvick earned five second-place finishes in six Michigan races. In 2015, he racked up two fifth-place finishes. The team struggled last year at Michigan, but SHR was still trying to figure out their Ford cars after years of running Chevys. They’ve figured it out this year. Harvick is the best driver in NASCAR and has the best car in NASCAR. Therefore, Harvick is the best fantasy NASCAR driver.
3. Kyle Busch
Michigan has been a house of horrors for Kyle Busch, but it’s just pure bad luck. He’s suffered mechanical failures and wrecks. Michigan is just another intermediate oval track. Busch does not struggle at these tracks, and last year he began to turn around his fortunes at Michigan. Busch led 40 laps in the spring race, and his average running position was third. He was good in the fall race, but no one had anything for Martin Truex Jr. on that day.
4. Martin Truex Jr.
Larson has the wins at the two-mile tracks; Truex has the fantasy NASCAR points. Last fall, Truex scored the most fantasy NASCAR points at Michigan (100). Then, he scored the second-most points in the spring race (75). This year, at Fontana, Truex won and scored 112 fantasy points.
5. The Field
There just isn’t a fifth driver. The last time Larson, Harvick, Busch, or Truex did not win at an intermediate track was April 2017. That race was decided by strategy not speed. Honestly, the field is a distant fifth. Joey Logano runs upfront every week, but he’s not going to beat the top four drivers. This is Brad Keselowski’s home track, but he doesn’t have the speed to run with the elite drivers.
LONG SHOTS TO SCORE BIG
1. Jamie McMurray – In five of the last six Michigan races, McMurray has earned a top 10 finish. He has finished 16th or better each of the last eight Michigan races. This has been a tough year for McMurray, but the bad luck is behind him.
2. Erik Jones – Michigan is Jones’ home track. Last spring, a loose wheel ruined his day. He rebounded in the fall race with a third-place finish. The #20 is a great intermediate track car.
3. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. – His car is not fast enough to run with the top cars, so Stenhouse has to rely on hard driving and tricks. It worked for a top 15 finish last week, and it worked in the first Michigan race last year (eighth place).
Martin Truex, Jr. – Is it 2017 again? After two straight runner-up finishes, Truex won at Pocono.
Kyle Busch – Third-place finishes are disappointing for Kyle Busch. It must be nice. Pocono was his ninth top 3 finish this season.
Kevin Harvick – Forget about the wreck at Charlotte. Harvick has finished inside the top 3 in fantasy NASCAR points in eight of the 12 non-plate races this year.
Kyle Larson (Fall 2017)
Larson (Spring 2017)
Larson (Fall 2016)
Joey Logano (Spring 2016)
Matt Kenseth (Fall 2015)
PICK TO WIN
Kyle Larson – The last six Michigan races have ended with a shootout finish. Larson has won the last three shootouts at Michigan.
Post Qualifying Update
Kurt Busch won the pole and was the 5th fastest on the long run in Saturday’s only practice. Starting first is a huge advantage. Last year, Brad Keselowski started on the pole and led over half of the laps in the Michigan race. Kurt may not be the #1 hog, but at an $8,000 salary, Kurt should be one of the best point per dollar plays of the day.
Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are there normal fast selves this weekend, and they’ll start on the second row. They’re the favorites to score the most hog points.
Martin Truex, Jr. and Kyle Larson’s teams were unable to dial in the right qualifying setup in a practice #1. Truex qualified 17th, but was 6th fastest on a single lap run in Saturday’s practice. Larson qualified 26th, but was one of the fastest cars in Saturday’s practice. He was 2nd on the short run and 3rd on the long run.
David Ragan will be a popular DFS NASCAR value pick starting 27th. He has a top 25 finish in 10 of the 12 non-plate races this season.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.