I started this blog to provide a casual, recreational level of fantasy NASCAR advice and discussion. I've been playing these contests for a number of years and am annoyed by lineup sellers and groups of players using the same lineup. I'm hoping to give the casual player some help in building solid lineups that can beat that annoying crowd most of the time. I'm not a "tout" and don't do this for a living, so proceed accordingly. I hope you enjoy the discussion here and Good Luck!
Frequent readers know I focus most of my comments on cash games -- the 50/50s and double-up type games. This is one of those bad weekends for cash games because we have numerous "chalk" options starting further back in the field that will be highly owned in all cash games. Specifically, we've got three Joe Gibbs cars starting 38th (Truex), 29th (Jones) and 28th (Hamlin). Truex should be near 100% ownership in cash games and I'd expect the others to be 75% or more. That's bad enough.
But it gets even worse because we have three other guys on quality teams starting outside the Top 20 that also make good/obvious cash game plays -- Byron (21st), A. Dillon (25th) and Chastain (27th). If you add all six salaries together, it fits the Draft Kings salary cap perfectly with $0 left over. I would expect to see this lineup (or something very close to it) all over cash games. So we're likely to see huge trains of this lineup in every contest and may have large ties at the cash line splitting the money all different ways. You either follow the crowd and split things 87 ways or differentiate and hope to outscore the masses.
When we have chalk days like today, it takes away our NASCAR knowledge advantage. We want a situation where the competition is forced to make a choice on 4 or 5 or even 6 of the drivers for their squad. When that many choices need to be made, we'll make better choices more often and give ourselves a better chance to win. When the lineup virtually makes itself -- even for a NASCAR novice -- our edge is gone.
So I'm pretty much out on my cash games today. I'll do a few just to see what happens and whether ownership falls as heavily on the chalk as I expect. But save the rest for the long season ahead.
A few observations from the last few Xfinity races here:
Drivers I'm most likely to play:
S&P/High Risk Cars
Some bets I'm playing:
I'll update if able after qualifying.
With qualifying rained out, we don't have any real good cars starting too far back in the field. So it's a challenging weekend to figure out where to go. I'll try to narrow it down as best I can:
And a few wagers I'm going to play:
UPDATE: No qualifying. Chastain, Sieg and Martins should be chalk plays so will want to have them all in cash games. Real hard to pick a dominator, lean Allgaier.
This is a tough race to predict. Unlike last year when Bell, Custer and Reddick would dominate everything, we've got a group of 6-8 guys who could be out front this year. My Top 4 heading into tomorrow are Chastain, Briscoe, Allgaier and Gragson in that order. But it wouldn't shock me if Brandon Jones, Cindric, Hemric or even Harrison Burton leads during the race. So the front end is wide open and I expect to see a couple of different leaders throughout the race.
We've also got weather uncertainty with rain a possibility. If qualifying gets rained out, I think we'd go by owner points from last year, which would put Chastain in the #10 at the back. They would be mega chalk plays at that point.
I like Ray Black Jr, Brandon Brown and Alex Labbe as solid mid-tier guys. I'd hope each of them could finish just inside the Top 20.
In the under $6,500 range, I'm most interested in Jess Little, Timmy Hill and B.J. McLeod.
I'll try to post a quick update when we have more information and/or a starting order on Saturday.
Final Update -- KB and Bilicki all good. No Hill. Ruch, Rohrbaugh and Poole cheap options. Rhodes and Gilliland in the Hill-Ankrum tier. Friesen an option too with poor qualifying. There is so much value down low, can even go Busch and Chastain if you want two studs. I'm leaning that way.
KB down to -160 to win. Would hit that.
Thursday: I'll have some DFS focused material up by Friday morning. For now, I'm hitting Kyle Busch -175 to win the race. He's very likely to win this unless he has a mechanical failure. He's won the last two Spring Vegas races in the Truck Series. And he won all five Truck Series races he entered in 2019. More later . . .
Friday Morning Update: Very happy to be done with Daytona and the havoc at super speedways. Here are my pre-practice and qualifying notes/targets (I'll try to give a brief update after practice and qualifying Friday afternoon):
Thank God it appears we've escaped the worst possible outcome from the end of race crash at Daytona. Since I started this blog, I've said every super speedway race that the style of racing is just stupid. When you purposely bunch all the cars up, it's no surprise that half the field doesn't even finish the race and that half the cars end up on the back of a wrecker truck. It's only a matter of time until one of these vicious crashes has the worst outcome that we feared tonight. Austin Dillon got lucky a few years back when he barrel rolled across the finish line. Ryan Newman got lucky tonight. Will the next guy get lucky again?
I don't care how much the fans love it. NASCAR needs to change the way they race at super speedways.
And now the main event. I've covered the plate track strategy for cash games throughout the week, so let's get into a few specifics I'm focused on:
A couple of betting ideas:
Pretty good on the Trucks side yesterday. Had Jordan Anderson as the first guy in the cash game pool and nailed the Enfinger +1600 to win. Not much new to say on Xfinity. Same plate track strategy to use guys starting from about 25th on back for all cash games. I'll try to update tomorrow after qualifying with a few names or positions to focus on.
Haven't seen much worth while on the betting side yet. I did throw a combined $25 at three long shots to WIN - Ryan Sieg +5500, Jeremy Clements +6600 and Brett Moffitt +8000. View this as lighting the money on fire, but if you happen to hit, it's $500+.
Note for new readers and a reminder for returning fans -- my Daytona analysis is much different and shorter than other tracks. By and large, I stick to the plate track strategy I discuss more below. Please use the comments section for any questions or feedback you have. Thanks for reading and check back for updates before the race on Friday.
Friday Update 2: Start cash game pool from Jordan Anderson in 23rd on back. Plenty of good options in the last ten starting spots. Friesen probably needs to be used in cash games, but full fade for me in tournaments. That team used to buy trucks from a bigger team (GMS) and now they brought the operation in house for this season. I am concerned especially early in the season. Like Creed, Rhodes and Enfinger in tournaments.
Friday Update 1: A few bets that I like a bit. As always with Daytona, keep the amount low because so much is random.
Main Thursday Post
Truck races at Daytona are almost always crazy. They can sometimes be tame until the last 10-15 laps, but chaos seems to reign by race end. Here's a sample from the last three Daytona truck races:
It's hard to identify any particular drivers since we won't know qualifying results until shortly before the race. Here are a few guys that have done well recently at "plate tracks" -- but, remember, luck is a huge part of these races so you can't read too much into recent results. And, at least in the case of Enfinger and Hill, they'll probably start too far forward to be considered for cash games.
And now a few folks I'd like to avoid if at all possible:
Short post for this one because I don't mess much with this "race". It's a really long season with over 90 races when all three series are considered. A key part of bankroll management is knowing when to take it easy. With a field of only 18 cars this week, it's really not a smart idea to play much (if any) DFS because lineups will be so similar. Especially with the 11 and 22 sure to be in almost every lineup, most H2H and cash games will come down to whether you have one different driver then your opponent(s) and how that driver does. Not the risk I want to take out of the box in a new season.
If you want to burn some money this week, I think the best idea is to lay $10 or so on a copule of the long shots to win the race. With only 18 cars in the field and a wreck almost certain to take out a chunk of the field, we could very well see an odd ball winner. I'm seeing Eric Jones +2000, Austin Dillon +2500 and Ryan Newman +2800. Others of note Jimmie Johnson/Alex Bowman +1600, Kyle Larson +2000 and Kurt Busch +1400. That's where I'd focus any money you want to fire this week.
ADDED: I'm also seeing a few head to head driver match ups approach +150 odds. For example, Kyle Larson +145 to finish in front of Ryan Blaney. That's another potential area to hit given how random the outcome is likely to be.
My name is Steve and I've won thousands playing NASCAR fantasy racing games. This blog will share my advice for enjoying and winning your fantasy racing games. I'm also a NASCAR writer at the motor sports website slicksandsticks.com