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Cap Considerations

DFS: Daytona (Summer)

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

He has not earned maximum points since Auto Club Speedway, but Harvick remains the best value in Draft Kings’ daily fantasy contest. He simply doesn’t stumble; in the last 11 weeks he has earned top-four points eight times, the sixth-most once, and has not been worse than the 12th-best value in their contest. He started the season just as strong and in the first 16 races this season, his average ranking is 4.4. Anything can happen on a restrictor-plate, superspeedway and players should spread the wealth around, but there is no reason to expect Harvick to finish with mid-range points.

Tony Stewart may be the best midline driver in Draft Kings. The average salary for six drivers in this game is $8,333; 13 drivers are above that mark. The first driver below the midline is Stewart, who has a very solid record on this track with multiple wins in the Coke Zero 400. His record has not been stellar in recent seasons, but that can be attributed to him trying too hard to snap long winless streaks every time the series rolls into the plate tracks. Now that the monkey is off his back, he should perform much better.

Austin Dillon is another driver below the midline with a value of $7,900 that will free up more than $400 for a marquee pick. It has been a while since he has been a great value in the Draft Kings game, but Daytona International Speedway is a solid track and he is due a good finish. He banked the seventh-most points this spring in the 500 and went on to be a top-10 value three more times in the next five races. His last 10 attempts have banked top-10 points only twice, but he was a decent value of 14th-best at Talladega SuperSpeedway.

Ninth from the bottom, Michael McDowell might be the dark horse of choice this week. At Sonoma Raceway, he snapped a long streak of running at the end of the race when a rear end failed. He is motivated to restart that string, and while Daytona is not a track that rewards determination, he has a good opportunity to outperform his cap. McDowell finished seventh in the 2014 edition of the Coke Zero 400 and was 15th this spring. If he qualifies at the back of the pack, add place-differential points to the equation and start him with as much confidence as anyone else in the field.

More often than not, Carl Edwards is crash prone on plate tracks. He is more likely to trigger a "Big One" crash than any of the other 10-most expensive drivers in the Draft Kings game, where he is the eighth-higest. If you believe he is capable of staying out of trouble, start him in Race Day Score instead where he is the 13th-most expensive.

Race Day Score

Harvick has been just as productive in the Race Day Score game, but he is also their most expensive racer with a price tag of $11,900, which is $400 more than the racer most casual fans expect to win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Those $400 could come in handy when trying to extend one’s salary cap in the mid-range—and frankly, despite two accident this season on plate tracks, Junior is far superior in the draft.

There is a reason no one wants to draft with rookies. Watch a replay of the Daytona 500 and that particular question will be answered by Chase Elliott’s unforced spin early in the race. He held a steadier wheel at Talladega this May, but still made enough mistakes in the draft to drop to rubber band him through the field most of the day. He timed his surge well and finished with a top-five, but the uncertainty surrounding him makes him a difficult choice with the eighth-highest value of $10,900—$900 above this contest’s midline.

The distribution of wealth is a little top-heavy in Race Day Score compared to Draft Kings; 18 drivers command a price tag greater than the midline value of $10,000 and that is going to put a premium on selecting the right dark horses. One problem is that no one really stands out just below or above that mark because racers like Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, and Greg Biffle have been prone to bad luck. Ryan Blaney also fits in this range, but his rookie status keeps him from being overly attractive.

Kyle Larson might just be the best midline driver with a price of $9,400. He was crash prone in the first two years on this track, but a seventh-place finish in the Daytona 500 showed his potential when is able to stay out of trouble.

Cole Whitt was not the value we expected last week, but it is possible we missed by six days. He had a similar record on Daytona as Sonoma, with mid-20s results in both of last year’s events. He failed to race his way into the 500 this spring, but he went to Talladega and recorded an 18th. He also has a pair of top-15s on that track, which shows he can hold a steady wheel in the draft. 

 

Draft Kings Averages

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Avg.
Points

 Avg.
Salary Cap

Attempts

% of
Max Points

Cost per
point

Avg. Max
Points

Kevin Harvick

4.33

64.54

 $          10,450

6

60.1%

 $          161.91

107.33

Matt Kenseth

6.83

50.08

 $            9,533

6

46.7%

 $          190.35

107.33

Kurt Busch

8.50

46.08

 $            9,467

6

42.9%

 $          205.42

107.33

Brad Keselowski

8.83

47.33

 $            9,050

6

44.1%

 $          191.20

107.33

Kasey Kahne

9.33

42.58

 $            8,250

6

39.7%

 $          193.74

107.33

Chase Elliott

9.50

50.17

 $            8,500

6

46.7%

 $          169.44

107.33

Martin Truex Jr./p>

9.67

77.50

 $            9,767

6

72.2%

 $          126.02

107.33

Kyle Larson

12.00

44.25

 $            8,283

6

41.2%

 $          187.19

107.33

Carl Edwards

13.00

37.79

 $            9,767

6

35.2%

 $          258.43

107.33

Ryan Newman

13.83

35.96

 $            7,250

6

33.5%

 $          201.62

107.33

Joey Logano

14.00

41.38

 $            9,733

6

38.5%

 $          235.25

107.33

Ryan Blaney

17.00

31.92

 $            7,283

6

29.7%

 $          228.20

107.33

Jamie McMurray

17.33

29.33

 $            7,633

6

27.3%

 $          260.23

107.33

AJ Allmendinger

18.33

27.42

 $            7,400

6

25.5%

 $          269.91

107.33

Jimmie Johnson

18.50

31.00

 $          10,283

6

28.9%

 $          331.72

107.33

Clint Bowyer

18.67

26.75

 $            6,917

6

24.9%

 $          258.57

107.33

Dale Earnhardt Jr./p>

19.17

24.42

 $            9,433

6

22.7%

 $          386.35

107.33

Austin Dillon

19.83

23.25

 $            7,983

6

21.7%

 $          343.37

107.33

Danica Patrick

20.67

26.21

 $            6,267

6

24.4%

 $          239.11

107.33

Tony Stewart

20.67

24.42

 $            7,683

6

22.7%

 $          314.68

107.33

Denny Hamlin

21.17

21.83

 $            8,617

6

20.3%

 $          394.66

107.33

Trevor Bayne

21.50

25.33

 $            6,400

6

23.6%

 $          252.63

107.33

David Ragan

21.83

25.71

 $            5,667

6

24.0%

 $          220.42

107.33

Paul Menard

23.50

16.50

 $            6,617

6

15.4%

 $          401.01

107.33

Landon Cassill

24.00

21.50

 $            5,967

6

20.0%

 $          277.52

107.33

Greg Biffle

24.17

20.33

 $            6,717

6

18.9%

 $          330.33

107.33

Ricky Stenhouse Jr./p>

24.33

20.50

 $            7,000

6

19.1%

 $          341.46

107.33

Ty Dillon

24.50

23.88

 $            6,300

2

27.0%

 $          263.87

88.50

Regan Smith

25.17

18.71

 $            5,683

6

17.4%

 $          303.79

107.33

Chris Buescher

26.00

18.67

 $            5,350

6

17.4%

 $          286.61

107.33

Kyle Busch

27.50

13.08

 $          10,200

6

12.2%

 $          779.62

107.33

Aric Almirola

27.67

16.50

 $            6,550

6

15.4%

 $          396.97

107.33

Cole Whitt

28.33

16.17

 $            5,050

6

15.1%

 $          312.37

107.33

Reed Sorenson

28.40

15.80

 $            4,800

5

13.6%

 $          303.80

115.80

Michael Annett

28.67

13.17

 $            5,067

6

12.3%

 $          384.81

107.33

Casey Mears

29.00

15.42

 $            6,033

6

14.4%

 $          391.35

107.33

Michael McDowell

29.25

11.13

 $            5,475

4

9.5%

 $          492.13

116.75

Josh Wise

30.67

13.50

 $            4,867

6

12.6%

 $          360.49

107.33

Brian Scott

30.83

8.58

 $            5,500

6

8.0%

 $          640.78

107.33

Jeffrey Earnhardt

31.33

9.00

 $            4,767

3

6.7%

 $          529.63

135.00

Matt DiBenedetto

33.00

4.96

 $            5,617

6

4.6%

 $       1,132.77

107.33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeb Burton

24.00

25.50

 $            5,100

1

35.9%

 $          200.00

71.00

Joey Gase

30.00

14.00

 $            5,400

1

13.6%

 $          385.71

103.00

Dylan Lupton

31.00

12.00

 $            5,700

1

18.5%

 $          475.00

65.00

Patrick Carpentier

37.00

4.00

 $            6,000

1

6.2%

 $       1,500.00

65.00

The chart shows the driver’s average rank within the Draft Kings games, the average number of points earned during the past six weeks, average salary cap, number of attempts, and the percentage of the maximum number of points earned during the events they ran.

Send a note to Dan Beaver @FantasyRace on Twitter and tell him which other Daily Fantasy NASCAR games you would like to see profiled.

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.