DFS NASCAR Daytona 500 Kickoff

Written By PlayPicks Staff on February 21, 2016 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018

Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Tyler, and will be your DFS NASCAR expert here on DFS Report. Last week I was able to notch the “checkered flag” pick and hope to do so once again and help all of you cash in your contests this Sunday. The Daytona 500 is one of the most exciting races of the year, and also one of the toughest to predict. Let’s dive in and get started!


Official Rules for DFS NASCAR on DraftKings can be found here.


What’s important to know:


Final Position: This is the easy one. The higher your driver finishes, the more points you receive. A 1st  place finish receives 46 PTS, while 40th will receive 4 PTS.


Fastest Laps: Each time your driver runs the fastest lap, you will receive +0.5 PTS. Your driver, while unlikely, will have the potential to earn a maximum of (0.5) X (# of laps in the race) PTS.


Laps Led: For each lap your driver leads, you will receive +0.25 PTS. It’s as simple as that.


Place Differential: This could very well be the most important category. Place differential will be determined by the difference from where your driver starts, to where he/she finishes.  So, if your select driver starts 1st, he/she cannot have a positive place differential. (Example: if your driver qualifies 20th and finishes 10th, he/she will have receive +10 PTS for a positive 10 in the place differential category). Note: If your selected driver has to go to the back at the start of the race for any reason (backup car, engine change) he/she will still maintain the position he/she qualified, for fantasy purposes.


ODDS FOR 2016 Daytona 500 (provided by VegasInsider.com)


Dale Earnhardt Jr. 7/2
Denny Hamlin 8/1
Jimmie Johnson 8/1
Joey Logano 10/1
Kevin Harvick 10/1
Kyle Busch 10/1
Matt Kenseth 10/1
Brad Keselowski 14/1
Carl Edwards 16/1
Chase Elliott 16/1
Kurt Busch 16/1
Martin Truex Jr. 18/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 20/1
Kasey Kahne 22/1
Kyle Larson 22/1
Jamie McMurray 25/1
Austin Dillon 35/1
Greg Biffle 40/1
Clint Bowyer 45/1
Paul Menard 45/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 45/1
Ryan Blaney 45/1
Ryan Newman 45/1
Casey Mears 55/1
AJ Allmendinger 60/1
Aric Almirola 60/1
Danica Patrick 60/1
Trevor Bayne 60/1
Michael Waltrip 80/1


Starting Lineup: (via NASCAR.com)

1. 24 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports
2. 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing
3. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports
4. 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing
5. 22 Joey Logano Team Penske
6. 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing
7. 21 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing
8. 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing
9. 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing
10. 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing
11. 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing
12. 95 Ty Dillon Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing
13. 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports
14. 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing
15. 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing
16. 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing
17. 34 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports
18. 14 Brian Vickers Stewart-Haas Racing
19. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing
20. 93 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing
21. 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing
22. 46 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports
23. 6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing
24. 38 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports
25. 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske
26. 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
27. 7 Regan Smith Tommy Baldwin Racing
28. 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing
29. 23 David Ragan BK Racing
30. 47 AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing
31. 15 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports
32. 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing
33. 32 Bobby Labonte Go Green Racing
34. 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports
35. 44 Brian Scott Richard Petty Motorsports
36. 83 Michael Waltrip BK Racing
37. 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing
38. 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing
39. 59 Michael McDowell Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing
40. 26 Robert Richardson Jr. BK Racing


NOTE: These drivers will go to the back of the field prior to the start of the race due to the switch to a backup car. HOWEVER, they will keep their original qualifying position for fantasy purposes: #20-Kenseth(backup), #48-Johnson(backup), #78-Truex Jr.(backup), #47-Allmendinger(backup), #44-Scott (backup) — per Jayski.


From here, we will dive into the analysis for this week’s Daytona 500. Drivers will be broken down by (1) GREEN FLAG: must play in all formats (1)  YELLOW FLAG: GPP play, comes with some risk) / (1) RED FLAG: avoid this driver, (1) BLACK FLAG: beware of this driver. He or she may be popular, but it may benefit you more to fade this pick / (1) WHITE FLAG: My extreme value play for the week / (1) CHECKERED FLAG: My pick to win the race.


Green Flag

Denny Hamlin ($8,600): Okay, I probably shouldn’t even put him here, because I anticipate Denny being the highest owned driver on the board. He was fastest in final practice — his second “quick time” this weekend. If you read my first article for the Sprint Unlimited, you saw this: He’s coming into this season in “good form” at Daytona over the past two seasons, averaging an incredible 3.75 finishing position (This does not include exhibition races such as the Sprint Unlimited, and Dual Qualifying Races). Hamlin also had success at the other restrictor plate track in Nascar, Talladega, over the past two seasons. He won the race in May 2014, and followed that up with an 18th place finish in October 2014, 9th in May of 2015, before being involved in an accident in October 2015. That’s a 6.14 average finish at restriction plate speedways since 2014, excluding the accident at the end of last season. His only downside is the 11th starting position, living little room for a positive place differential, but I don’t expect him to leave the top 10 much of the race — if at all. Denny has a fast car and a chance to win this Daytona 500. If you’re entering multiple lineups, I don’t have a problem with fading him in a couple to try to be contrarian, but otherwise, don’t overthink it. He’s a top option.


Yellow Flag:

Jimmie Johnson ($9,900): This one is a bit tricky. On first glace, we see one of the most successful NASCAR drivers ever starting 26th with a chance for a +20 place differential. We see a driver who has won here three times and has placed in the top 5, 3 out of the last 4 at Daytona. On the flip side, he’ll head to the back due to the switch to a backup car as a result of the crash in the Can-Am Duel. I am hoping that this will drive his ownership down, because he’s in a great spot, and coming up from the rear will be no challenge for the #48. Play him with confidence, and expect lower ownership numbers in tournaments, especially with Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($10,300) sitting at just $400 more.


Red Flag

Brian Vickers ($5,600): Vickers is dirt-cheap this week and will likely see a good bit of ownership. He’s an experienced driver in a well-known car and is the same price as guys who are hardly known to most. Here’s the problem: the #14 looked terrible last season with Tony Stewart as the driver, and has yet to show much speed here at Daytona. Vickers starts 18th and has a better chance at a negative place differential than a positive. It’s hard not to buy-low on a driver like Vickers at just over 11% of the salary cap, but I’d rather pay $900 more for Casey Mears ($6,500) still at just 13% of the salary cap with much more upside.


Black Flag

Chase Elliot ($8,500): *Buyer Beware* Elliot came home with a new trophy yesterday, winning the Xfinity Series race at Daytona, holding off Joey Logano. Combine that with the fact that he’s starting on the pole position and I expect more individuals to be drawn to the 20-year-old on Sunday. Anytime I consider a driver starting near the front (or at the front in this case) my first thought is: how many laps can he lead? And here’s where I run into problems with Elliot. With Matt Kenseth having to go to the back with a backup car, that leaves Dale Jr. on the outside of row 1 and I firmly believe he’ll overtake Elliot early and lead several laps. Elliot has had success here, finishing 3rd back in 2014 in the Xfinity Series, but I’m still comfortable fading him. The risk will not likely come with any rewards.


White Flag 

The pricing is so soft this week, and there’s an endless amount of value on the board. My favorite play is at the very bottom of the driver list, in Regan Smith ($5,600). He has the experience most of the other drivers in this price range do not, and in his last 6 XFINITY Races here, he averaged a 12.83 finishing position. Take out an accident last February and the average finish climbs to 8.4, including 3 top 10’s, 2 top 5’s and a win. He’s shown above average speed this week, but overall, I expect his experience to lead him to a top 15 finish on Sunday.


Checkered Flag 

I’m going to stick with the Vegas favorite in this one and pick Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($10,300) to pick up his 3rd win in his last 5 races here at Daytona.



Note: All “average finishes” were based upon points races, and did not include any exhibition races or qualifying races.


THANK YOU to everyone for taking the time to read this. DraftKings is offering you a chance to get a piece of $100K for only $3 OR a piece of $400K for $20, with a top prize of $100K!  If you are not yet part of DraftKings, you can be in the $3 contest for free by signing up here.


Good luck everyone! Look for a NEW FORMAT change for next week’s article! Enjoy your Sunday and I’ll see y’all next week!



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