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!
Well that was crazy. Wild crashes, lose wheels, blown tires. This race had all the chaos I predicted on Saturday night. I said right off the bat in my final pre-race update that I didn't have a lot of confidence in my picks because there was so much uncertainty going into the race. And that's exactly how it played out.
The cash lineup I posted suffered from that uncertainty. It was a loser early with Menard being collected in the Bowman spin and Truex blowing the tire. Luckily, as I recommended in my update, I also did a GPP, landed in the Top 20 with a pretty crazy lineup, and ended up with a small net gain for the weekend. I played very light with only those two entries this week.
Rather than go through the race details tonight, I wanted to post a little more about the concept of becoming a winning DFS and DraftKings player by knowing when to play a light load -- like I suggested for this week. The basic idea is this -- I think I can gain an advantage on the field if I can gather good data and properly apply that data to the DraftKings scoring system. Obviously, luck will always play a big role. But, in a normal week, it is more about our ability to gather the right data and analyze it properly than it is about sheer luck.
So, every week, the first question I ask is whether it is a good slate or a bad slate. I consider it a good slate if we have solid, reliable data to analyze. Having that data available makes winning and losing more about my ability to collect and analyze the data than it is about sheer luck. It's a bad slate if that data is missing and sheer luck is the main driver of winning or losing.
For NASCAR, two of the most important data points are (1) relevant practice performance that week; and (2) historical performance at the track. For this weekend, we didn't have reliable data in either category.
For practice data, the conditions were so cold and windy on Saturday that anything the teams could learn wouldn't really be useful for the race. Beyond that, not a lot of teams did long runs in practice -- which made for a lack of the critical 10, 15 and 20 lap average times that we rely on every week.
And looking at the practice times shows they were, in fact, deceiving this week. Race winner Kyle Busch was not in the Top 10 in either Saturday practice. Practice "winners" were Daniel Suarez and Jimmie Johnson -- both of whom were long gone by the end of the race today. So the practice data this week really was garbage.
We also had very limited data on historical track performance. Before last year, there was a complete repave and a major reconfiguration of Turns 1 and 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. As a result, the only relevant data we had was from the two races last year. That's much too small of a sample to draw any meaningful conclusions. There just wasn't enough information to go on.
Again, take race winner Kyle Busch. Last year he finished 15th in the Spring Texas race and 19th in the Fall race. During those two races combined, he led a grand total of 7 laps. If we were going off last year's races (or this year's practice times), there is no way Kyle Busch even comes close to being in our lineup at his premium salary.
So, all this left us with bad or insufficient data on two of our most critical considerations. Without that data, winning this week was going to be mostly about luck and not our ability to gather and analyze the key information. That made this a very bad slate.
A good DFS player needs to have the discipline to recognize a bad slate and pullback for that day. Save your money and your aggressive plays for the days when you have good information and the ability to gain a leg up on the field.
I hope that helps explain where I was coming from this week. Feel free to leave any questions or comments here or Tweet them @illinisjc
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