Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. These are the drivers in the lowest tier of salaries that have the opportunity to score 30 to 40 DFS points. The information is not developed or provided by NASCAR, Inc., or its affiliates.
1. Casey Mears (8,700)
Mears should have been the top value play last week at Sonoma and he was until his tire flew off. Mears’ axle broke on lap 100 and sent his tire flying into the safer barrier. No worries, this is NASCAR and things like that happen. Hopefully lightening doesn’t strike twice (although this is Daytona). Since 2013 Mears has raced five times at Daytona. During those five races he has posted four top 10s. Hmmm…four out of five, I’ll take that fantasy output anyday. With an average start of 25th and an average finish of 11th, look for Mears to score you place differential, pass differential, and finishing points this week at the 400.
2. David Gilliland (8,300)
DG also had his day cut short at Sonoma. He brought out the first caution of the race on lap 21 when he ended up crashing into the safer barrier. This week is a different style of race and DG has had some success at Daytona in the past. At the Daytona 500 this year, DG started in 26th and finished 11th. In 14 career races at Daytona, David has a top 5, two poles, and an average finish of 23rd. If DG qualifies 25th or above look for him to score your team place differential points and definitely be worth his price tag.
3. Michael McDowell (7,000)
This pick is solely based on whether or not Mcdowell qualifies and competes in the race. Make sure that you check after qualifying to make sure Mcdowell and the KLove team has qualified (If qualifying is canceled for any reason Mcdowell will be the first out of the race). Mcdowell definitely impressed last week during qualifying at Sonoma. He has also had some success at Daytona in the past. Mcdowell has competed 9 times at Daytona with 2 top 10s. His best finish was a 7th at this race last year. For $7,000 you can’t pass up on his potential if he qualifies.
4. Aric Almirola (9,200)
Aric comes in at $9,200 this week, which isn’t typically value price. However, a shift in DK pricing this week has put value at right under $9,500. Aric won this race last year, when the race was shortened by rain delay. Aric’s streak of luck at Daytona isn’t just because of the rain. Almirola has a top 5 and a top 10 at Daytona. Based on his fantasy output in 2015 Aric has a great shot to be a nice scorer for your DK NASCAR team this week.
5. Danica Patrick (9,200)
Danica was the first woman to win the pole at the Daytona 500 in 2013. She also finished in 8th at that race. In 6 starts at Daytona, she has 2 top 10s and 3 top 15s. I don’t expect a pole performance this week so if she qualifies 20th or above she has a great chance for place differential points. Her Stewart-Haas team has been clicking the last couple of weeks and the potential for a good week looks promising.