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Cap Considerations

DFS: Pocono (Spring)

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

If a player did not have Martin Truex Jr. on their roster last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, they were not going to win their Daily Fantasy contest. In fact, they were not even going to get close. There is no adequate hyperbole for how dominant Truex was as he earned nearly 2.4 times the number of points as the second-most productive driver. And the net effect for most players was zero. Truex tipped his hand in practice, so practically every player had him on a majority of rosters—only leaving him off of a few lineups to hedge their bets.

The focus therefore shifted to who would run second-best. Based on his historic results, Jimmie Johnson was the driver to beat. Based on recent momentum, either Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch would be at the top of the charts.

Johnson has been a huge disappointment on several tracks when he should have dominated earlier this season, but he came through in the clutch at Charlotte and earned the second-most points of 81.5, which was 15 markers ahead of Harvick and 21.5 more than third-best Matt Kenseth. That bodes well for his odds this week because Pocono Raceway is another track that has been traditionally kind to not only Johnson, but all of Hendrick Motorsports. Last year, Johnson was one of the top earners in the Draft Kings contest in both Pocono races, with the fourth-best total in June and the eighth-best in August.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is liable to carry on the Hendrick theme this week. He was another driver who swept the top 10 in Draft Kings points last year, earning the eighth-best in the spring and fourth-most in the summer. He qualified well enough this week with the eighth-fastest time to still earn positive place-differential points this Sunday. He might also be flying under the radar screen this week because during the past six races he has been only a mid-pack earner on average with 26.42 points-per-race. His worst outing at Pocono last year netted 43.5 markers.

Kenseth should be watched closely in Saturday’s practice. Last year he was exceptional at Pocono, earning the third-most points of 53.5 in the spring and the second-best 54.5 in the summer. Since winning Dover International Speedway a few weeks ago, this team has been rejuvenated and on a roll. He qualified third, so fantasy owners have to count on him leading some laps and earning some fastest circuits in order to maximize his potential, but with the occasionally faltering Penske pair lined up ahead of him, that is a distinct possibility.

One of this week’s best mid-range drivers should be Kyle Larson. This is a tricky track and he has shown a lot of versatility on courses that are traditionally difficult to master. In four starts at Pocono, his worst effort was 12th, but even last summer when he scored that result, he earned the seventh-most points. He was eighth in the spring and scored the ninth-most points.  

Probably the best value this week will be Ty Dillon, however. A late entrant to the field replacing Michael McDowell in the No. 95, he has the full support of Richard Childress Racing—much like Circle Sport had in 2015 with various drivers. Dillon was one of the best part time values last year at Pocono in June with the 10th-most points to his credit. He will be so popular this week with a bargain-basement price of $6,000 that his net effect will be like Truex last week and he will neither help nor hurt one’s points’ total. He will allow players to get imaginative at the top of the order, however.

Greg Biffle makes a great dark horse this week. Roush-Fenway Racing has not been traditionally strong on flat tracks and they have struggled for much of the season, but the No. 16 was solid on this course. He earned the most Draft Kings points in August and was sixth-best in June.

Truex earned the most points in last year’s edition of this race, but he struggled on Friday at Pocono. His poor performance in qualification when he failed to advance to the final round could be a hidden benefit though, because he should earn positive place-differential points after starting mid-pack in 17th. Drivers did not get much time to practice with weather in the area and they should be much better after Saturday’s session, so make Truex a game day decision.

 

Draft Kings Averages

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Avg.
Points

 Avg.
Salary
Cap

Attempts

% of
Max
Points

Cost
per
point

Avg.
Max
Points

Kevin Harvick

5.00

69.79

$10,300.00

6

64.1%

 $          147.58

108.80

Martin Truex Jr.

7.83

63.42

$8,983.33

6

58.8%

 $          141.66

107.83

Kurt Busch

7.83

53.33

$8,950.00

6

49.5%

 $          167.81

107.83

Chase Elliott

8.83

48.67

$8,466.67

6

45.1%

 $          173.97

107.83

Matt Kenseth

12.33

42.67

$9,816.67

6

39.6%

 $          230.08

107.83

Carl Edwards

13.50

68.25

$9,966.67

6

63.3%

 $          146.03

107.83

Brad Keselowski

13.67

41.25

$9,416.67

6

38.3%

 $          228.28

107.83

Clint Bowyer

14.83

40.42

$6,966.67

6

37.5%

 $          172.37

107.83

Kyle Busch

15.00

49.54

$10,283.33

6

45.9%

 $          207.57

107.83

Jamie McMurray

15.00

35.75

$7,666.67

6

33.2%

 $          214.45

107.83

Kasey Kahne

15.17

32.75

$8,100.00

6

30.4%

 $          247.33

107.83

Trevor Bayne

17.00

33.58

$6,250.00

6

31.1%

 $          186.10

107.83

Ryan Blaney

17.00

32.75

$7,016.67

6

30.4%

 $          214.25

107.83

Ty Dillon

17.00

31.25

$6,300.00

2

24.9%

 $          201.60

125.50

Landon Cassill

17.33

33.00

$5,783.33

6

30.6%

 $          175.25

107.83

Tony Stewart

17.75

30.25

$7,600.00

4

30.6%

 $          251.24

99.00

Danica Patrick

18.83

30.13

$6,450.00

6

27.9%

 $          214.11

107.83

Ryan Newman

18.83

27.54

$7,316.67

6

25.5%

 $          265.66

107.83

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

19.00

26.42

$9,550.00

6

24.5%

 $          361.51

107.83

Jimmie Johnson

19.17

30.83

$10,283.33

6

28.6%

 $          333.51

107.83

Joey Logano

20.00

22.88

$9,916.67

6

21.2%

 $          433.52

107.83

AJ Allmendinger

20.83

28.63

$6,783.33

6

26.5%

 $          236.97

107.83

Kyle Larson

21.17

30.33

$7,750.00

6

28.1%

 $          255.49

107.83

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

22.17

24.67

$6,750.00

6

22.9%

 $          273.65

107.83

Cole Whitt

22.40

24.55

$5,240.00

5

23.4%

 $          213.44

105.00

Austin Dillon

24.00

21.33

$8,066.67

6

19.8%

 $          378.13

107.83

Michael McDowell

24.20

23.20

$5,760.00

5

20.9%

 $          248.28

110.80

Paul Menard

24.67

16.17

$6,733.33

6

15.0%

 $          416.49

107.83

Denny Hamlin

24.83

16.38

$9,350.00

6

15.2%

 $          570.99

107.83

Greg Biffle

25.00

17.00

$6,533.33

6

15.8%

 $          384.31

107.83

David Ragan

25.33

17.96

$5,850.00

6

16.7%

 $          325.75

107.83

Chris Buescher

25.50

18.92

$5,683.33

6

17.5%

 $          300.44

107.83

Casey Mears

26.67

17.08

$6,166.67

6

15.8%

 $          360.98

107.83

Matt DiBenedetto

27.17

16.46

$5,766.67

6

15.3%

 $          350.38

107.83

Aric Almirola

27.17

14.54

$6,533.33

6

13.5%

 $          449.28

107.83

Michael Annett

29.17

13.75

$5,416.67

6

12.8%

 $          393.94

107.83

Brian Scott

30.00

11.83

$5,633.33

6

11.0%

 $          476.06

107.83

Regan Smith

30.67

10.46

$5,933.33

6

9.7%

 $          567.33

107.83

Jeffrey Earnhardt

30.75

12.25

$5,175.00

4

10.3%

 $          422.45

119.00

Reed Sorenson

32.80

7.60

$5,240.00

5

6.6%

 $          689.47

115.80

Josh Wise

34.00

6.70

$5,380.00

5

5.8%

 $          802.99

115.80

 

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.