Qualifying is over. All of the practice laps have been run. This is it. Let’s make some picks.
Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day.
High Price Salary
Kyle Busch ($11,700) – 90 laps means that lead laps and fast laps will be less important tomorrow. Why not use the guy that has the most lead laps since 2005 at the Glen (188), has the 2nd most fast laps (74), and a qualifying spot of 8th. Busch has the ability to score you positive place differential points while putting himself in contention for the win. He was a gallon away from a win last week and will be looking for victory lane this week.
AJ Allmendinger ($10,200) – The 2014 winner at Watkin’s Glen has sat on the pole for both road course races this year. He has the possibility to lead every lap tomorrow if his pit strategy is sound. With a driver rating of 100.5 he comes in just below Smoke and Rowdy. AJ has been waiting for this race since he put the car on the hauler at Sonoma.
Kevin Harvick ($10,000) – Happy isn’t known for his ability to conquer road courses, but he has the equipment to keep himself up front. He wasn’t happy with his Pocono outing last week and will be looking for a good performance. He qualified in the 4th spot and should find himself in the hunt. An average finish of 14th doesn’t look great on paper, but it wasn’t 2014/2015 yet. Don’t ever count Happy out.
Mid Price Salary
Jimmie Johnson ($8,900) – Jimmie hasn’t won at Watkins Glen (huh the #48 hasn’t won on every track). At his price and qualifying in the 9th position Johnson makes for a great lineup filler. It is hard to not play an elite driver under $9,000. He has led laps at the Glen and has an average finish of 12th. Look for him to find himself in the top 5.
Martin Truex Jr. ($8,800) – Truex has won at a road course before (Sonoma). He has also had a great season. He qualified in 2nd and has a fast car this weekend. Just like Jimmie his price makes him extremely appealing. Barring any weird accident Truex could run up front all day.
Matt Kenseth ($8,100) – Kenseth is my favorite play in this tier. At $8,100 he is borderline low price. Matt has an average start of 20th and an average finish of 14th. Guess what he qualified in 26th, that sounds like +12 place differential points right off of the bat. He will have great equipment and has performed well here in the past.
Low Price Salary
Ryan Newman ($7,500) – Due to an accident last year Newman finished in the 41st position. However, the 4 years before that he was a top 15 play. He qualified in 20th and should be a top 15 tomorrow. I look for Ryan to easily return his value.
Greg Biffle ($7,400) – The Bif is a solid driver and driving skills are what road courses are all about. The Bif qualified in 25th and has an average finish of 19th at the Glen. Last year he started in 28th and finished in the 8th spot, can we say DFS return on value. Look for the Bif to quietly work his way up to a top 15 finish.
Casey Mears ($6,700) – Mr. Consis….I won’t say it again. Week after week Mears does his job. He scores positive place differential points at a low price for Draftkings players. Mears qualified in the 29th spot and has an average finish of 18th. He is good for at least +5 place differential points. I will have a lot of exposure to Mears tomorrow.
Long Shot Value Driver
Chris Buescher ($5,600 ) – Buescher qualified higher than I would like at the 32nd spot, but he crushes road courses. The Xfinity points leader has a road course win at Mid-Ohio and has performed well at Watkins Glen on the minor league circuit. At the bottom price point he allows you to punt the top and grap 3 to 4 top drivers. He may be the salary relief you need to take down a GPP.