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NASCAR DFS: Analyzing My GPP Winning Lineup from The Clash

I feel like this is a bit of deja vu. Last year I took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in $100k NASCAR DFS slate for The Clash (then called the Sprint Unlimited). This year? 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th in the same slate (which had a $125k prize pool this year). Well, I actually tied for 1st and 5th, so that means I had the top five lineups from this past weekend’s slate. Not too shabby.

I’m going to break down my winning lineup and review my driver exposures and my thoughts behind why I had certain key exposures that helped me to a very profitable NASCAR DFS day.

The Winning NASCAR DFS Lineup for The Clash

Here’s the winning lineup.

2017-02-19 (8)

This lineup had several selections from my picks article prior to the race. Daniel Suarez started 15th and went far lower owned than I expected. He drives for the best team in NASCAR and was in 60 percent of my lineups, so I had massive leverage on him relative to the field. Remember, at restrictor plate races, starting position matters most.


Next I had Chase Elliott. I wrote him up as one of my cash game plays, and I figured he’d be lower owned than the owners sandwiched around him in starting position, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. I was right. Elliott came in at 47 percent ownership, while Busch was at 69 percent and Kenseth at 60 percent. Thus, I went overweight on Elliott, and he was my highest-owned driver at 67 percent. Exploiting ownership percentages is key to winning a GPP in a slate that is largely random.

Kyle Busch was a chalky play, so I was going to have exposure to him as a matter of course. However, the next driver is one who did and didn’t surprise me at the same time. I knew Danica Patrick would be under-owned, and I stated as much on the RotoViz Live show 1.5 hours prior to lineup lock. I also stated she had a ceiling of about a third or fourth place finish, so her fourth place finish was right at her ceiling. An ownership percentage of 11.6 was the surprising part. I knew it would be low, but I thought it would be closer to 20-25 percent. I had her at just under 40 percent exposure.

My next driver was Joey Logano, and while I was underweight on him compared to the field, I still had nearly 40 percent exposure. Logano was a solid play, but I thought he’d be above 60 percent owned. He was close, and I don’t hate being a bit underweight on him here. Finally, Alex Bowman was my GPP special of the race. I loved Bowman in GPPs and knew he’d be extremely low owned. He wasn’t quite the lowest owned, but at 14.5 percent, he was a fine play to be overweight on while racing in Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s car.

Proper Roster Construction

I definitely got lucky that all of these drivers pulled in strong finishes; there’s no doubt about that. But you have to employ proper roster construction to put yourself in position to benefit from luck. Far too many people entered lineups with no chance to win due to poor roster construction. To show what one of those lineups looked like, I threw in a single entry into a free contest that I’d never normally use. This helps to illustrate what poor roster construction looks like.

2017-02-19 (9)

In this example, we see too many drivers starting too far forward. Four of my six slots had drivers starting in the top half of the field, and Logano was a fifth driver starting smack dab in the middle of the field. This lineup had no chance, because it doesn’t take advantage of place differential.

Don’t make this mistake for the DraftKings Daytona 500 contests. You’ll need at least five drivers, and probably all six, to make significant positive place differential to have a shot at taking down a GPP for the DraftKings Daytona 500 slate. Yes, there are 200 laps, but at most one dominator will be in the winning lineup, and quite often there are zero dominators in the winning lineup at plate tracks.

Continuing Daytona 500 Coverage

Don’t miss out on our continuing Daytona 500 coverage here at RotoViz. To have access to it, make sure to sign up for a 2017 RotoViz NASCAR subscription. We’ll have the following content out throughout the week:

  • DraftKings Daytona 500 Strategy Article
  • DraftKings Daytona 500 Picks (Cash and GPP) and Machine Learning model projections
  • Updated NASCAR Splits App
  • NASCAR DFS Multi-lineup optimizer, complete with driver exposure ranges and custom or pre-loaded projections
  • On the Daily DFS Podcast with strategy and picks for the Daytona 500 and multiple guest NASCAR DFS experts
  • RotoViz Live the morning of the Daytona 500 (time TBD) to discuss strategy and picks and to answer your questions before lock

Additionally, I will be appearing as a guest on the following shows this week:


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