Bojangles’ Southern 500 Fantasy NASCAR Analysis and Early Picks


Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington  Fantasy NASCAR Analysis and Early Picks

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DON’T WANT THE RESEARCH JUST THE PICKs? Go to: Bojangles’ Southern 500 Post-Qualifying FINAL Fantasy Picks for DK

Now, let’s look at the Field.

Next: Bojangles' Southern 500 Race Entrants w/ DK Salaries

Race Entrants w/ Recalibrated DK Salaries

SEE: Fantasy NASCAR Scoring Changes on DraftKings effective 8/2!

NOTE: Due to DraftKings changing the number to entrants from 5 to 6 but keeping the salary cap at $50,000, the salaries will be lower than in previous contests.

1. #1 Jamie McMurray, McDonald’s/Cessna Chevrolet for $7,900

2. #2 Brad Keselowski, Miller Lite Ford for $10,000

3. #3 Austin Dillon, American Ethanol Chevrolet for $7,500

4. #4 Kevin Harvick, Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for $10,500

5. #5 Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet for $8,000

6. #6 Trevor Bayne, AdvoCare Ford Fusion for $7,000

7. #7 Alex Bowman, Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet for $5,300

8. #9 Sam Hornish Jr., Winn Dixie Ford for $6,500

9. #10 Danica Patrick, GoDaddy Chevrolet  for $7,100

10. #11 Denny Hamlin, Sports Clips Toyota for $9,500

11. #13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet SS for $7,300

12. #14 Tony Stewart, Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for $8,000

13. #15 Clint Bowyer, Buddy Baker Tribute Toyota Camry for $8,200

14. #16 Greg Biffle, Ortho Ford Fusion for $7,400

15. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Cargill Ford Fusion for $6,900

16. #18 Kyle Busch, M&M’s Crispy Toyota for $10,600

17. #19 Carl Edwards, Arris Toyota for $9,700

18. #20 Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota for $10,200

19. #21 Ryan Blaney, Snap-On Tools Ford for $7,200

20. #22 Joey Logano, Shell Pennzoil Ford for $10,300

21. #23 Jeb Burton, Estes Toyota for $5,200

22. #24 Jeff Gordon, 3M Chevrolet for $8,400

23. #26 J.J. Yeley, Beds For Kids Toyota for $5,200

24. #27 Paul Menard, Moen/Menards Chevrolet for $7,700

25. #30 Travis Kvapil, Curtis Key Plumbing for $5,300

26. #31 Ryan Newman, Caterpillar Chevrolet for $7,800

27. #32 Josh Wise, CORVETTEPARTS.NET Ford for $5,300

28. #33 Mike Bliss, Little Joe’s Auto Chevrolet for $6,000

29. #34 Brett Moffitt, Dockside Ford for $5,400

30. #35 Cole Whitt, Speed Stick Ford for $5,800

31. #38 David Gilliland, Love’s Travel Stops Ford for $5,600

32. #40 Landon Cassill, #Snap Honor Chevrolet for $5,300

33. #41 Kurt Busch, Haas Automation Chevrolet for $10,100

34. #42 Kyle Larson, Mello Yello Chevrolet for $8,500

35. #43 Aric Almirola, STP Ford for $7,400

36. #46 Michael Annett, Pilot Flying J Chevrolet for $5,500

37. #47 A.J. Allendinger, Kroger/House-Autry Chevrolet for $7,300

38. #48 Jimmie Johnson, Lowe’s Chevrolet for $9,300

39. #51 Justin Allgaier, Brandt Chevrolet for $6,400

40. #55 David Ragan, Ol’ Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota for $7,200

41. #62 Reed Sorenson, TBA Chevrolet for $5,200

42. #78 Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Chevrolet for $9,000

43. #83 Matt DiBenedetto, Cosmo Motors Toyota for $5,200

44. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr., Valvoline Chevrolet for $8,300

45. #98 Timmy Hill, Premium Motorsports Ford for $5,200

Next: Bojangles' Southern 500 Fantasy Strategy

Darlington Fantasy Strategy: Although my race picks will not be released until after the final practice sessions on Saturday, here is a sneak peek at some of the trends that will factor into my selections. This also gives fantasy players some foundations to base their own fantasy research on.

This race is on an extremely unique egg-shaped oval will both sets of turns being different dimensions making getting a great setup at both ends of the track almost impossible. Consider drivers with smart and savvy Crew Chiefs.

Strongly consider drivers that have a good history in this race. However, also lean toward drivers that have had success at intermediate (1.5 mile) tracks.

This race has dominated by one driver in the last two times, with the 2013 winner Kyle Busch leading 265 of the 367 laps & Kevin Harvin winning from the poll last year while leading 238 laps.

This could be the week where Toyota dominance ends as they have not been fast in Friday’s practice sessions and had no one in the Top 4 in either, a vast departure from recent weeks.

One-third (37 of the 111) of NASCAR Cup races at Darlington have been won from the front row: 20 from first-place and 17 from second-place.

Leaders in average finish at Bristol among the drivers with 8+ starts: 1) Denny Hamlin (6.9), Jimmie Johnson (8.4), Jeff Gordon (11.4), Tony Stewart (11.8), and Ryan Newman (12.1).

Track position was not very important last year as 8 of the Top 9 finishers started 8th or worse. The only exception was pole sitter and race winner Kevin Harvick.

Leaders in Driver Rating among entrants are: Denny Hamlin (107.1), Jimmie Johnson (106.8), Dale Earnhart Jr. (94.3), Matt Kenseth (93.2) and Kevin Harvick (93.1).

Next: Preliminary Fantasy Picks prior to Qualifying

My Pre-Qualifying Favorites: As we know, qualifying order is extremely important in DraftKings scoring, but here are my favorites to win based solely on historical data, including factors mentioned in the last slide. These picks can be used for conventional fantasy NASCAR games where finishing position is all that matters.

#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr., Nationwide Chevrolet

#4 Kevin Harvick, Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet

#20 Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota

#11 Denny Hamlin, Sports Clips Toyota

#14 Tony Stewart, Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet

#2 Brad Keselowski, Miller Lite Ford

I will release my final DraftKings-centric Picks on Saturday evening including the final starting order.

Next: General NASCAR Strategy for DraftKings Contests

General DraftKings Strategy: The next thing to consider while filling out your teams is the DraftKings scoring system. DraftKings owners will draft a team of 6 drivers with a $50,000 Salary Cap. Scoring will be based on several factors including a driver’s Finishing Position, Place Differential, Fastest Laps, and Laps Led.


More from DraftKings

The salaries used are set weekly for each contest before qualifying and practice and are based on the overall strength of each driver/team/car for that particular race. The calculations that DraftKings use to determine drivers’ salaries are based on a driver’s ability to score fantasy points and as such consider all the four aforementioned factors. Since NASCAR is a new Daily Fantasy game, DraftKings has made it easier for players to understand the scoring system by listing a driver’s Fantasy Points Per Race (FPPR) next to a driver’s salary that shows a driver’s performance to date (including 2015 races that did not have DK contests). The following are some of the factors that determine a driver’s salary and something that a fantasy player should look at:

  1. A Driver and/or Team’s current level of speed and performance this season.
  2. A Driver and/or Team’s history at that specific track and race.
  3. A Driver and/or Team’s history at similar tracks and races.

Next: Why Wait Until After Practice/Qualifying to Make Picks?

Because the DraftKings salaries are set prior to qualifying and practice, there are many things that can change a driver’s relative fantasy value before the race starts. Some things to consider:

  1. Qualifying and practice speed are a good (but not the only) indicator of a driver’s projected performance and factor largely in a driver’s potential to maximize points in the Finish Position, Fastest Laps, and Laps Led categories.
  2. The DraftKings points system is unique and emphasizes both in-race performance as well as finishing position. So it is paramount to target at least some drivers that start further back in the field yet can compete as a top-performing car. This will get you points in the Place Differential category.

We will be back on Saturday morning with our FINAL Darlington DraftKings Fantasy Picks!

Need help with your daily or season-long fantasy NASCAR contests? Contact me on Twitter @Rich_Pelesky and I will give you the guidance you need to make the best fantasy decisions.

Next: Bojangles' Southern 500 Post-Qualifying FINAL Fantasy NASCAR Picks