This weekend’s DraftKings NASCAR Talladega picks and projections article will be a bit different than most weeks, and that’s because Talladega should be so wild and random, it doesn’t make sense to give projections.
The best statistical models can only give a prediction accuracy in the 0.15 R-squared range for finishing position, and that’s on a less wild race than the one we’re expecting here. Fastest laps will be randomly distributed as well. So for this weekend’s DraftKings NASCAR Talladega slate, I’ll just give my GPP picks based off my projected ownership for each driver. I’ll largely be playing the ownership percentage game in GPPs, trying to leverage drivers I expect to be underowned relative to their chances of giving you a top-six day.
For all the strategy talk about Talladega, make sure to check out this week’s NASCAR episode of On the Daily DFS, where Matt and I discuss DraftKings NASCAR Talladega strategy.
If you’re new to daily fantasy NASCAR, or simply need a refresher, check out the restrictor plate section of my track types article. Brush up on your general GPP strategy and game theory if you want to have a shot at taking down a big GPP. If you’re more of a cash game player, check out how to target high floor drivers and how to identify the race dominator. Good luck on this weekend’s DraftKings NASCAR Talladega slate!
Now let’s get to my picks for this weekend’s DraftKings NASCAR Talladega contests.
DraftKings NASCAR Talladega MODEL PROJECTIONS
It doesn’t make sense to give a model this week. I suggest playing your strategy based off projected ownership. It’s perfectly fine to leave a lot of money on the table — even up to $9000 left over is fine. The last time we ran at Talladega, the winning lineup had drivers all start 30th or worse except one.
DraftKings NASCAR Talladega CASH GAME PICKS
David Ragan – Ragan starts shotgun on the field. Remember, 40th place gets the most points, on average, in restrictor plate races.
Clint Bowyer – Bowyer has won plate races before, and has been in contention for plate track wins several other times. He’s the most talented driver of all the cars starting outside the top 30, and also the most talented restrictor plate track driver of the group.
A.J. Allmendinger – Allmendinger’s situation is similar to Bowyer in that he’ll be the one with the best equipment of the drivers starting outside the top 30.
Danica Patrick – Danica is also a good plate driver. She finished 8th in her first ever restrictor plate race at the Daytona 500, and was en route to a strong finish earlier this year at Talladega before being caught up in a late crash not of her own doing. She does have a knack for avoiding crashes at plate tracks.
DraftKings NASCAR Talladega GPP PICKS
Jeffrey Earnhardt – Earnhardt has enough speed to hang with the back of the pack for a portion of the race. But even if he goes a lap or two down, he’s unlikely to be a part of the “Big One” (or multiple Big Ones) since he’ll be trailing the pack several times more often than not. Late in the race, look for him to back off as the restarts get wild, avoiding the big wrecks when the inevitably happen. He’ll be 20-25 percent owned, when I think there’s about a 35 percent chance he ends up in the winning lineup.
Michael Annett – Annett is someone I’d look to stack with his teammate — Clint Bowyer. Underdog teammates have won here in the past, evidenced by the David Ragan win with a late push from David Gilliland in 2013.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson has nothing to lose with a win and advancement already under his belt, and will be under-owned given his 17th place starting spot.
Ryan Reed – Don’t go crazy on Reed, but he will be 5-10 percent tops. And given the nature of the race, there’s more than a 10 percent chance he pulls off a top 5 finish. I will have about 15 percent exposure to Reed.
DraftKings NASCAR Talladega FADES
Reed Sorenson – Don’t get cute. It’s not cute starting Soreson.
Carl Edwards – Edwards has a pit stall selection penalty, meaning he will choose the least desirable pit stall. That could hurt him just enough to put him in the middle of the pack on several of these restarts, putting him in prime position to be in the midst of the Big One.
RotoDoc holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and is a two-time qualifier for the DraftKings Main Event, The King of the Speedway. Additionally, RotoDoc has won multiple high paying NASCAR GPPs, including both the $100k and $75k tournaments for the 2016 Sprint Cup season opening slate, The Sprint Unlimited.