I’m playing DraftKings this season and will be posting my picks here each week. Disclosure: If you want to play and sign up using this link, DraftKings will give my website a commission.
Last race’s results: Played $4 Brake Pad contest and finished 1,400th out of 2,900. Won $0.
Season results: $51 wagered, $64 won in 14 contests.
This week’s contest: $4 Brake Pad game (single entry).
New Hampshire picks:
— Martin Truex Jr. ($10,300): It’s always dangerous to take the polesitter because of a potential big drop in position differential, but Truex had the fastest 10-lap average in final practice — so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him lead a ton of laps early in the race. And with 301 laps available to lead, that will be a major factor in fantasy this week.
— Kyle Larson ($9,700): I mean, duh. Larson has been one of the fastest cars all weekend and starts 39th after having his pole-winning time disallowed. Even though Larson will be on everyone’s team, that doesn’t mean you should pass on him.
— Matt Kenseth ($9,300): I needed another driver who could lead a bunch of laps, and the decision at this price range was between Kenseth and Denny Hamlin. Kenseth qualified third and was seventh-fastest in 10-lap final practice average; Hamlin qualified eighth and was fifth-fastest in 10-lap average. So it’s a hard decision, but Kenseth has the best overall driver rating in the last two years here (and costs $500 less), so I decided to let that break the tie.
— Daniel Suarez ($7,500): He’s relatively underpriced considering the potential here. You just have to take a risk that he won’t make a rookie mistake. Suarez qualified 14th but was sixth-fastest in 10-lap average for final practice, ahead of drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick. If he puts together a solid race, it could be a nice top 10 for the price. My alternate pick here was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,600).
— Ryan Newman ($7,300): Newman loves New Hampshire (he ran two Modified races here this weekend) and should be able to rally despite starting 24th. In the last three July races at this track, Newman has started 24th, 26th and 25th — and finished fifth, 11th and seventh, respectively. The downside is all of Richard Childress Racing has struggled this weekend.
— Cole Whitt ($5,700): This is an extremely tough call and I really agonized over how to handle this slot. It was tempting to take Matt DiBenedetto, who is only $5,000, because he qualified 16th. But that’s the very reason you shouldn’t take him, because if he finishes 30th, you’re going to lose 14 points right there. Plus, DiBenedetto was slowest of the 32 drivers in 10-lap average for final practice. So I settled for Whitt, who starts 33rd. I mainly just need him to not lose points; a top-25 would be great.