DK Live Analyst Alex Jankowski breaks down the scoring system in DraftKing’s DFS Nascar and how to make the most of your lineup.
NASCAR Head-to-Head Strategy
In large tournaments with over 40,000 contestants, the winning roster has to be unique. In cash games (Head-to-Head, 50/50s, etc.), daily fantasy NASCAR players do not need to build a contrarian lineup. Risks are not necessary when you only need to finish in the top half of the field.
A winning Daily Fantasy NASCAR cash game lineup does not require picking the winner. You do not need to identify the driver that leads the most laps. You do not need to pick a driver that miraculously navigates from the back of the field and finishes inside the top-five. The winning lineups that finish in the top half of cash games will have six drivers that do not wreck and finish around the top-20 (value drivers around 20th and more expensive driver inside the top-10).
Wrecks, it’s all about the wrecks
The most important principle of building a head-to-head lineup is selecting drivers that do not wreck. Everyone wrecks and it’s hard to predict a blown tire, but some drivers wreck less than others. Safe, conservative and consistent drivers are a staple of successful cash game lineups. The best illustration of this strategy is the comparison between the two Roush drivers: Ricky Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne. Stenhouse has the potential to finish inside the top-10 and can score more fantasy points. While Bayne typically finishes between 10th and 20th but wrecks less often than Stenhouse. Bayne is the play in head-to-head games. It’s not about scoring the most points. It’s about safely scoring enough points.
Do you need a lap leader in your cash lineup?
The short answer is yes. There are typically two to four drivers that score a significant amount of points by leading laps. If you do not roster one of these drivers, then you’re going to be playing catchup. It’s highly likely that the majority of the field will have at least one, if not two of these drivers in their lineups. Also, if you correctly select the driver that leads the most laps, this driver can make up the points lost by one of your drivers wrecking.
How do you identify the drivers that will lead laps?
The two most effective ways to predict lap leaders are studying practice times and picking drivers that start up front. This season at every intermediate track race (race tracks similar to Charlotte), at least one of the lap leaders started on the front row (first or second). That narrows your selections down quite a bit. If you’re looking outside of the front row, then look for cars that are fast in practice.
Pick drivers that you believe will finish in the top half of the field. The finishing position points earned by your drivers will likely be enough to lead to a payday. Finishing position points and a dash of place differential points are more than enough. Even a little bit of negative place differential points will not kill your lineup, but double-digit place differential points are poison. Drivers with salaries less than $7,000 that are starting inside the top-20 are not worth the risk. Remember, you’re just trying to finish in the top half of the field. Don’t be cute, lay up. Do you know who the broadcasters spotlight? Checkers and wreckers. You don’t need the winner, and you don’t want the driver climbing out of the hunk of scrap metal. There is nothing wrong with playing not to lose in fantasy NASCAR head to head games.
Now that you’re up to speed, here is how to challenge your friends:
1. Got to the contest page on DraftKings
2. Create a contest
3. Find your friend!
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.