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NASCAR DFS Picks, Ownership and Race Projections for Daytona

This week NASCAR goes back to Daytona for the second time. DraftKings has another big $350k prize pool GPP with $50k to first place for their NASCAR DFS Daytona slate. Hopefully one of you all will win the NASCAR DFS Daytona GPP and FRWC qualifiers! As usual I’ll give my NASCAR DFS picks, points projections, and ownership projections for Saturday night’s race.

For all of your NASCAR DFS Daytona strategy needs, make sure to check out this week’s NASCAR episode of On the Daily DFS, where Matt Freedman and I go through NASCAR DFS Daytona strategy. Also, tune in for RotoViz Live ( later today. I haven’t set a time, so follow me on Twitter @RotoDoc and I’ll tweet out what time the show will be when I get to Montreal. I will give my NASCAR DFS picks and answer all your NASCAR DFS Daytona questions using the Twitter hashtag #RVLive.

Also, the NASCAR DFS Multi-Lineup Optimizer will updated shortly with the machine learning model projections for this week. The NASCAR Splits App will help you find a range of outcomes for each driver, and the NASCAR Sim Scores App has all your favorite driver comps to get a range of outcomes for each driver.

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 first place. If you’re more of a cash game player, check out how to target high floor drivers.

Let’s get to the NASCAR DFS picks and projections for Daytona.

NASCAR DFS Daytona Model Projections

The model projections assume that the driver finishes the race – hence why you don’t see any average finishing positions lower than 20th (yes, on average 35 percent of drivers do NOT finish the Daytona night race since 2013). The ownership percentage model is still running and will be posted shortly

Dale Earnhardt Jr110.6211.153.7528.421030016.5%
Chase Elliott210.6213.43.1329.6786007.2%
Brad Keselowski39.1315.761.7933.57104008.9%
Kasey Kahne411.546.952.1527.7478008.9%
Kevin Harvick58.7513.722.1736.02950010.7%
Ricky Stenhouse Jr612.394.553.328.0183009.9%
Joey Logano710.8311.993.2533.971000011.3%
Jamie McMurray811.614.572.631.22810010.8%
Ryan Blaney911.0210.572.2634.73850011.3%
Danica Patrick1015.780.882.8124.0658007.2%
Clint Bowyer1114.951.053.2126.97880011.3%
Jimmie Johnson1213.27.43.633.25900012.7%
Matt Kenseth1312.652.292.8733.7870012.6%
Trevor Bayne1413.331.543.5133.48770012.5%
Kurt Busch1513.123.93.9135.69910014.0%
Kyle Busch169.7910.622.2844.22960022.8%
Erik Jones1716.210.523.1630.29740011.5%
Denny Hamlin1812.748.863.7540.62990023.2%
Austin Dillon1914.021.482.0836.37790014.1%
Daniel Suarez2017.40.324.2531.41700010.3%
Kyle Larson219.849.033.0249.09920032.0%
Ryan Newman2217.530.412.7632.42670010.8%
Michael McDowell2317.510.252.7233.462005.8%
Paul Menard2413.551.752.1142.38730024.2%
Martin Truex Jr2510.988.182.1350.15970035.4%
Landon Cassill2618.080.323.335.5654004.4%
AJ Allmendinger2717.440.462.6937.58650025.9%
Matt DiBenedetto2819.470.414.2535.2853004.5%
Chris Buescher2917.80.452.7638.89590015.9%
David Ragan3018.020.412.6739.4520010.2%
Darrell Wallace Jr3118.140.462.5640.11690017.0%
Brendan Gaughan3218.430.474.3341.43490012.6%
Elliott Sadler3315.921.642.5146.83630026.4%
Ty Dillon3417.240.563.245.27640032.8%
Cole Whitt3518.910.534.2643.44510023.7%
Corey Lajoie3619.830.584.2542.6480019.3%
Reed Sorenson3720.30.583.5642.33450014.8%
Ryan Sieg3819.980.652.5643.49500015.3%
Jeffrey Earnhardt3919.690.674.2545.9247005.5%
D.J. Kennington4019.530.674.2547.23460015.8%

NASCAR DFS Picks — Cash Games

As a reminder, here is why you play drivers starting in the back in cash games. You increase your floor as drivers start further back, but you also increase your ceiling! For cash games, you must pick all six drivers starting 25th (Martin Truex Jr.) or worse!

DegaHere are the NASCAR DFS picks for cash games.

Ty Dillon ($6400) — Daytona is all about place differential, and Ty Dillon is the best driver starting 34th or worse. He’s hasn’t been a super restrictor plate racer over his career, so a GPP fade might be in order, but certainly in cash games he bring the safety to the table, and should pull off a top-25 finish if he avoids the wrecks.

Corey Lajoie ($4800) — Remember, in cash games we want to increase our floor. So rostering Lajoie probably sounds icky to most people, but it’s actually a good play. Lajoie has finished 24th and 27th in the two restrictor plate races this year. A 25th place finish would net him 30 fantasy points.

Elliott Sadler ($6300) — In two restrictor plate races this year, Sadler has finishes of 20th and 17th. Combine that with a 33rd place starting position and now we’re starting to talk points! A 19th place finish would be 39 points for Sadler, and leave you feeling quite good about your cash game roster.

Cole Whitt ($5100)  Do you notice a theme here? Cole Whitt starts 35th and has some great restrictor plate finishes in his career, including an 11th place finish in this race last year. A repeat of that would be a whopping 57 fantasy points. Whitt might be my favorite play on the board this weekend.


Chris Buescher ($5900) — Buescher’s been bitten by the bad luck bug at restrictor plates, which I think will keep people off of him and on his teammate A.J. Allmendinger. Buescher is a pure ownership play, and could win you a GPP if other people gravitate toward Allmendinger, Sadler, and Ty Dillon.

A.J. Allmendinger ($6500) — Allmendinger himself is a good play, but I think he’ll be highly owned. He should be though. He finished 3rd here for the Daytona 500, and 13th in this race last year. He’s become a much better restritcor plate racer of late, and is strong play.

Paul Menard ($8100) Menard is not so popular in NASCAR DFS circles these days, only once garnering an ownership above 15 percent in the past nine races (and that was 15.9 percent at Michigan). Menard has two top-10 finishes this year at plate tracks, might be my favorite of all my NASCAR DFS picks this weekend, and is a great pivot off Allmendinger or the next driver….

Martin Truex Jr. ($9700) — Truex has never won a plate race, but has come close, finishing runner up in last year’s Daytona 500. With a 25th place starting position, he’s far enough back to be in the winning lineup should he pull off a top-five finish.


Drivers starting 5th or better — I believe Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s ownership will be inflated this weekend because he’s on the pole and in his last race at Daytona. I don’t mind up to 10-15 percent ownership, because the pole-sitter has ended up in the top six in DraftKings points four times out of the last 12 Daytona July races, but I do want to be underweight on Earnhardt compared to the field. Outside of the polesitter, only twice has a driver started inside the top five and finished in the top six in DraftKings points at the Daytona night race — Tony Stewart from the 2nd starting position in 2006 and Brad Keselowski from the 5th starting position last year.

Extra Info

Here’s a table of all the drivers to score in the top six in DraftKings points in their respective Daytona night race, with starting position included. Notice how few drivers start toward the front, and how many start 20th or worse. Good luck this weekend everyone!

Driver Start Finish DKPts
Tony Stewart 1 1 82.25
Tony Stewart 1 1 67
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1 1 68
Matt Kenseth 1 3 61.75
Tony Stewart 2 1 67.5
Brad Keselowski 5 1 75.75
Denny Hamlin 6 3 63.25
Jimmie Johnson 8 1 74.5
Kyle Busch 9 1 60.75
Kyle Busch 11 2 56
Jimmie Johnson 12 2 61.75
Clint Bowyer 12 7 56.75
Tony Stewart 13 2 55.5
Trevor Bayne 13 3 52
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 13 4 51
Jamie McMurray 15 1 58.75
Aric Almirola 15 1 61.5
Matt Kenseth 16 2 61.5
Kurt Busch 16 3 58
Kurt Busch 16 3 66.25
Brian Vickers 17 7 49.5
Marcos Ambrose 18 6 52
Matt Kenseth 19 3 57.5
Joey Logano 19 4 58
Kasey Kahne 20 2 63.5
Jeff Burton 20 2 63.5
Kurt Busch 22 6 54
Jeff Gordon 23 6 55.5
Carl Edwards 24 2 65.75
Reed Sorenson 24 8 54
Kevin Harvick 26 3 65.5
Jamie McMurray 26 8 57.5
Jamie McMurray 27 7 59.5
Kasey Kahne 27 9 54.5
Kurt Busch 28 5 63
Brian Vickers 30 2 72
Juan Pablo Montoya 30 9 61
Kevin Harvick 31 7 67
Clint Bowyer 31 9 61.25
David Ragan 31 13 51
Kevin Harvick 32 9 62.75
David Gilliland 32 11 55
Robby Gordon 32 12 55.25
JJ Yeley 32 13 53
Jamie McMurray 33 2 74.5
Kevin Harvick 34 4 71.5
Denny Hamlin 35 3 76
Mike Bliss 35 9 62.5
Cole Whitt 35 11 57.5
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 35 13 58
Kurt Busch 36 4 73
Denny Hamlin 36 13 56.5
Joey Logano 37 3 77.5
Robby Gordon 37 6 73.25
Denny Hamlin 37 6 70
Michael McDowell 37 10 63
Kyle Busch 38 5 77.75
Matt Kenseth 38 9 65.5
Terry Labonte 38 11 61.5
David Ragan 38 16 51.25
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 39 3 79
David Reutimann 39 11 62.5
Steve Park 39 13 57.75
Kurt Busch 40 3 87.5
Casey Mears 40 7 72
Kasey Kahne 41 7 73.5
Bobby Labonte 41 10 65.5
Tony Stewart 42 1 90
Jeff Burton 42 11 67.5
Mike Wallace 43 8 71.5
Regan Smith 43 12 65
Alex Bowman 43 13 62

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