The point of this article is to help everyone get better at Daily Fantasy NASCAR. The sport is watched by millions across the country and quickly has become a popular fantasy game. If youâve never watched a race, Iâm here to hopefully change that this season. We will be doing a lot of awesome NASCAR stuff here, and this article is just the beginning.
We saw a major change in fantasy NASCAR in 2019. With the new package, we saw a lot of different strategies and results from week-to-week. I used driver rating a lot more with this package and was able to spot some really strong trends. Understanding the different track types can be very important as well.
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The first thing youâll want to look at is past results. Itâs a great starting point for your weekly research and itâs something that can be done over a few days. When I start looking at track history, I focus on driver rating, quality passes, and percentage of laps in the top 15. Driver rating is the best all-around stat you can use for fantasy NASCAR.
Thanks to NASCAR for this detailed explanation of Driver Rating.
Quality passes is a great way to learn whoâs good at driving through the field. If a driver has a high-quality pass percentage, heâs likely going to present some solid value if heâs starting towards the back of the field. This doesnât equal any type of fantasy points, but itâs another way to figure out some of the cheaper options.
Running in the top 15 is good for a couple of reasons. You canât predict any type of wrecks in NASCAR, but itâs good to see where drivers are running before potentially being involved in a wreck. Second, if a driver has a high percentage in the top 15, heâs likely very good at the track and could be a solid option. Using these few stats, you can put together everything else as the week goes along.
With the 2019 package, green flag speed has become very important. Itâs showing us who has speed, but also the cars getting through the corners better than others. I really like looking at quality passes with this 2019 package because itâs become a lot harder to make moves.
Qualifying is the most important part of building your fantasy lineups. When looking through the qualifying data, youâll find most weekends thereâs a lot of value with guys starting towards the back. This is a great way to find a couple of mid-range options for your cash lineups.
Example: Jimmie Johnson blows a tire during qualifying and will start the race 40th at Texas. Going through past data, Johnson is solid at Texas, and the team will have the car ready for Sunday. Johnson becomes almost a must-play in this scenario and offers place differential value that no other driver can offer.
Practice times are where I spend the most time digging through the data, and this is something a lot of players will overlook. There are usually two to three practices every weekend. The first practice, teams will focus on qualifying trim, but in 2019, we saw a lot of good correlation from this practice. This was the first time this practice really mattered for DFS. The second practice, teams start focusing on race trim, and this is usually the practice you gather a lot of data from. Look at the 5, 10, and 15 lap speeds and see who is running fast over a longer period of time. Teams are still making adjustments during these practices and testing a lot of things out. Happy Hour practice is the last hour these cars are on the track before the race. The final adjustments are made, and you can really see who is going to be fast on race day. Putting all of this together is another great way to find value.
Example: Denny Hamlin qualifies 25th for the race. Looking through the practice data, you realize Hamlin is in the top five in both practices, and heâs the fastest driver over a 10-lap run. Thereâs a good chance that Hamlinâs team has figured out why they were slow in qualifying. When this happens, the driver has a really good chance to move up in the field and could be the difference in your lineup.
This is also a great way to look for a few guys to fade in GPPs. If a driver qualifies in a high position but is having a tough time getting the car in race trim, you can gain a nice advantage over the field if he drops back fast.
Example: Clint Bowyer qualified third for the race but is 29th in second practice and then heâs 33rd in final practice. This team is having issues with something on race trim, and Bowyer could become a good fade at this point. Teams can make adjustments during the race, but I would still avoid situations like this. The last thing you want is a driver struggling all race.
Driver talk is something I know a lot of daily fantasy players overlook, and itâs one of the most important things in NASCAR. In other sports, coachâs talk is the most annoying thing ever, but in NASCAR it could be the key to finishing your roster. If a driver that has qualified high is complaining about his car, this might be another good time to use caution when thinking about playing him.
Twitter is a great tool for this, but I like to record or watch practices to hear what the drivers are saying. If you use TweetDeck, Iâve turned my NASCAR list into a public list. This list has drivers, crew chiefs, team members, and NASCAR media members.
If you guys have any questions, please feel free to reach out in the comment section, or @Stevietpfl on twitter.