DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Kansas Speedway

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. Disclosure No. 2: I might be America’s worst daily fantasy player.

Last race’s results: Was unable to play for Talladega due to Alabama state laws. Would have won $50,000 if my lineup had been entered (I’m kidding).

Season results: $19 wagered, $7 won in eight contests.

This week’s contest: $4 Brake Pad game with a single entry allowed.

Kansas picks:

Kevin Harvick ($10,400). It seems like Harvick has a typically great intermediate track car (he was second in 10-lap averages for final practice). Even though he starts eighth, Harvick could be the hammer for much of the race if he gets track position. I’m counting on it.

Jimmie Johnson ($10,100). He’s coming from the back (well, 29th) after failing to make a qualifying lap and has won at Kansas three times. Oh, and he was fastest among the 20 drivers who did 10-lap runs in final practice.

— Clint Bowyer ($8,600). Again, I’m going with one of the drivers who didn’t make a qualifying lap and thus has to start 30th. Pretty sure he’s going to be moving up quickly through the field, and I love the positions differential opportunity.

Kasey Kahne ($7,800). Are you sensing a theme here? Good bargain for a guy who has huge upside with his points differential after failing to post a qualifying lap (he starts 31st).

Erik Jones ($7,700). I’ve picked Jones a lot this year, with mixed results. But he usually ends up running well — luck aside — and he’s too temping to pass up again after starting 32nd.

Landon Cassill ($5,200). I only had $5,400 left after picking all those other guys, so it was either Cassill or his teammate David Ragan. And both of them — you guessed it — start in the back after not posting a qualifying lap. I picked Ragan last week, so I guess I’ll go with Cassill this week.

DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR picks: Talladega Superspeedway

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. Disclosure No. 2: I might be America’s worst daily fantasy player.

Last race’s results: Played the $4 single-entry Brake Pad contest. Finished 930th out of 2,400 and won $0.

Season results: $19 wagered, $7 won in eight contests.

This week’s contest: Not allowed to participate based on Alabama state law. Lame.

Talladega picks:

Joey Logano ($10,700). It’s putting me in a tough position to take the two most expensive drivers, but that’s what I plan to do. Both are extremely good at the draft, and think they’re both able to dominate the race if they get the chance. It doesn’t hurt that Logano starts 12th, either.

Brad Keselowski ($10,500). I’m thinking he could be my hammer, if there is such a thing at a plate race. I envision Keselowski getting the lead early and controlling a large part of the race — if he has his way — and those laps led could come in handy in DraftKings.

Kurt Busch ($8,000). The Daytona 500 winner always seems to be in the mix at Talladega. Busch hasn’t finished lower than 12th in his last five ‘Dega starts, scoring the most points of any driver in those races. He’ll have plenty of friends to draft with on Sunday.

— Ryan Newman ($7,400). For a guy known for hating plate racing, Newman is very solid here. He has the fourth-most points of any driver in the last six Talladega races. Plus, he starts 20th.

Elliott Sadler ($6,700). I wrestled with picking Paul Menard here ($7,300), but Menard’s good starting spot pushed me away. Meanwhile, Sadler starts 35th, and I’m hoping he can do something similar to the Daytona 500 — when he went from 40th to 20th for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

David Ragan ($6,000). I had to decide between Ragan and Front Row Motorsports teammate Landon Cassill, and I left it up to whoever was starting further back in the field. The answer: Ragan, who starts 29th. He knows what he’s doing here.

DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR picks for Bristol

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. Disclosure No. 2: I might be America’s worst daily fantasy player.

Last race’s results: Played the $4 Chrome Horn game. Finished out of the money.

Season results: $12 wagered, $0 won in seven contests.

This week’s contest: $3 entry Hot Rod game with $20,000 total payout.

Bristol picks:

Kyle Larson ($10,100). I need drivers who are capable of leading a lot of laps, and I envision Larson leading the first 50 — at least — after starting on the pole.

Matt Kenseth ($9,100). He’s so consistent and will be able to adapt to changing conditions with success. He won’t lead many laps after starting 22nd, but I could see him having some success later in the race.

Clint Bowyer ($8,400). He was competitive in the past here even when his cars weren’t, and he was second-fastest in 10-lap averages for final practice.

Erik Jones ($7,800). Even though he made his best laps this weekend on the bottom lane, he clearly has a fast car in general (as do all the Toyotas). He was also fifth-fastest in final practice for 10-lap averages.

Kasey Kahne ($7,600). Pretty great value for a guy who was fastest in 10-lap averages for final practice. Plus, he had the third-fastest single lap speed.

Daniel Suarez ($7,000). It seems like this place suits him, and I like the extra laps he got from the Xfinity race. He might not lead laps, but if he can get a top-10 and get points differential from starting 23rd, that could be a good value.

DraftKings strategy and picks for the Daytona 500

DraftKings is running a free-entry $10,000 total payout contest for the Daytona 500, so it’s a good time to jump into the daily fantasy world if you’ve been considering it.

The field of NASCAR players in DraftKings has been growing dramatically over the last year, with the company citing data that shows contest entries up 126% since last year’s 500.

I’ve played DraftKings a few times over the last couple years, and I’m absolutely terrible. I always see tweets from my Twitter followers about them winning money, but I never do.

So I asked Pearce Dietrich, DraftKings’ NASCAR expert, to give me a few pointers on Daytona strategy. As it turns out, I’ve been looking at Daytona all wrong.

“Going into this race, don’t pick it like a normal race,” he said. “You’re trying to get guys who are in the back and move them up.”

Why? Because in addition to points for the finishing position, DraftKings scoring is +/- one point for every position gained or lost from the starting grid. Martin Truex Jr. starts 35th after failing inspection, which gives him an opportunity to gain way more points than a driver who starts in the top 10.

“Clint Bowyer is starting sixth, so even if he wins the race, he could max out at 48 points,” Dietrich said. “In last year’s Daytona 500, 48 points would only be the ninth-best driver. And that’s the best he can do. So guys like Bowyer can have a good race day in real life, but in fantasy, you’re looking for those home run guys.”

Last year, five of the six top point-scorers in the 500 started outside the top 25, led by Truex (70 points) and Ryan Newman (62) and Regan Smith (58).

So even though it’s tempting to pick the Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin types, it might not be worth it because they have a low ceiling for success.

Though there are also awards for fastest driver on a given lap (0.5 points) and a lap led (0.25), that’s hard to predict at Daytona.

“You might have a guy that leads a lot of laps, but that’s mostly one guy,” Dietrich said. “And you can’t really count on fastest lap because of the draft. So the guys who stand to score the most are guys who started toward the back and ended up in the top 15.”

Based on that, here’s the lineup I’m going with for Sunday. (Note: I wouldn’t trust these picks because I’m generally terrible at this, but I’m writing them anyway.)

— I’m going to pick Elliott Sadler ($6,600) for my first slot. He’s starting last, but he’s worth a shot considering what a good plate racer he’s been over the years (even though he hasn’t made many appearances in Cup races lately). And doesn’t it seem like Tommy Baldwin Racing’s Top 10 Kids Eat Free at Golden Corral car is often in contention here?

— Since he failed inspection after the Duel and now starts 35th, Truex ($9,000) seems like an expensive but worthy pick. He could have a repeat of last year’s DraftKings points bonanza. I’ll take the risk.

— On a similar note, AJ Allmendinger ($6,700) starts 38th after failing Duels inspection. He only has four DNFs due to crashes in 29 career restrictor-plate starts, so that’s not bad.

Landon Cassill ($5,500) has a good combination here: He’s a solid plate racer, comes at a cheap price and starts 27th — seven spots further back than his equally tempting Front Row Motorsports teammate, David Ragan.

— At this point, I have a LOT of money to spend on just two more drivers — a whopping $22,200! So although he’s had a shaky Speedweeks, why not go with Jimmie Johnson ($10,000)? He’s starting 24th, so those are some decent points for a guy who could finish in the top five (or win).

— Now I’ve run out of drivers I really trust to make big comebacks from the mid-20s and lower, so I’m going to do something I probably should avoid and pick Brad Keselowski ($10,300). I am totally sold on Keselowski’s ability to lead a ton of laps, which could make up for his low points potential (he starts seventh).

So that’s my lineup and I have $1,900 left. Did I make the right calls? We’ll see.

Side note: If you decide to play, please use this link because I just signed up for DraftKings’ affiliate program, which means you can actually help support this website through your future entry fees if you’re a new player.

Fantasy NASCAR game: Post-Daytona 500, pre-Phoenix update

Well, that was easy.

A whopping 45 people are already in our Fantasy Chase after just one week, thanks to their selection of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the Daytona 500.

Those 45 geniuses can still get bonus points to use in the Chase if they win again, but they don’t have to truly fret over their picks until September.

18frannie Earnhardt
1OutlawBandit Earnhardt
Adam_Huth Earnhardt
Allyrok05 Earnhardt
asskicknchcken Earnhardt
Bakemoney2000 Earnhardt
bradleykarnes Earnhardt
bradsauers Earnhardt
BrentBynum Earnhardt
CFDiG Earnhardt
cfrosland Earnhardt
cgros127 Earnhardt
clebren45 Earnhardt
Coates_Burghfan Earnhardt
CopaCavanna Earnhardt
davidlerner75 Earnhardt
dickiep1018 Earnhardt
dlschamp Earnhardt
DRLDeBoer Earnhardt
dwilwer Earnhardt
grammatea4u Earnhardt
hokiefitz Earnhardt
HotStoverReport Earnhardt
jay_wilkins17 Earnhardt
jsf354 Earnhardt
jsugi48 Earnhardt
katiecole125 Earnhardt
KeviRHatfield Earnhardt
Kfisher88 Earnhardt
lauren_downey2 Earnhardt
M_Huff99 Earnhardt
MattNicholson51 Earnhardt
MattWeaverSBN Earnhardt
mcfdtony Earnhardt
MNeffShortTrack Earnhardt
motorhead66 Earnhardt
pamneilsen Earnhardt
raceGrl4Harvick Earnhardt
rebel388 Earnhardt
Sam-Beishuizen Earnhardt
ScottWilfong Earnhardt
SportsBySteger Earnhardt
submarinemike88 Earnhardt
summerbrooke23 Earnhardt
thasmoke Earnhardt

Anyway, on to Phoenix. Here are all your picks for the upcoming race. The favorites are Kevin Harvick (86 picks) and Carl Edwards (84 picks).

Good luck to all!

Note: A star by someone’s name is the equivalent of a win sticker. That represents how many wins the person has this season.

ashleyann12 Allmendinger
TalladegaVT Allmendinger
wbrice4 Allmendinger
evan_graf Allmendinger
gonzalezterence Allmendinger
NASCARDirector Almirola
RealJDogg_82 Almirola
sheila0866 Biffle
Allyrok05 * Biffle
Coates_Burghfan * Biffle
pamneilsen * Biffle
SportsBySteger * Biffle
submarinemike88 * Biffle
MrsDMVH Biffle
d_sheedy Biffle
StatsDavid Biffle
spitz121 Bowyer
acheckeredflag Bowyer
AndrewWaldrop Bowyer
Andrea__Marie Bowyer
ldgringo Bowyer
vandy1 Bowyer
dhamlinfan Bowyer
MericuhFYeah Bowyer
jay_christley Bowyer
dscanbs Bowyer
kid67y Bowyer
recjus85 Bowyer
icemankeller Bowyer
theWillClark Bowyer
KABenn1616 Dillon
kingtut2110 Dillon
jdubharris Dillon
basspro24chevy Earnhardt
ashinyobject Earnhardt
jrkenbok Earnhardt
shannonjones154 Earnhardt
HD388 Edwards
dgoodin24 Edwards
brian_wiggins Edwards
crowder_debbie Edwards
DaarenDurga Edwards
JoeGwilt Edwards
maggio15 Edwards
PhotoMatt_KCCO Edwards
StephenDCrowder Edwards
Bakemoney2000 * Edwards
bradsauers * Edwards
cfrosland * Edwards
cgros127 * Edwards
davidlerner75 * Edwards
dickiep1018 * Edwards
dlschamp * Edwards
hokiefitz * Edwards
jsf354 * Edwards
jsugi48 * Edwards
lauren_downey2 * Edwards
rebel388 * Edwards
thasmoke * Edwards
Daniels_Caudill Edwards
bruce_compton15 Edwards
DRM3CIX Edwards
dweezymilan Edwards
gluckcharm Edwards
jayua Edwards
LilDebbie Edwards
Nick_Winstead78 Edwards
racefan_11 Edwards
ChasDan88 Edwards
CraigHaasis Edwards
flahavin Edwards
JBenik Edwards
jmic1122 Edwards
JMNakai Edwards
JRIG1980 Edwards
Kharvfanfla15 Edwards
markvphotos Edwards
msudawg7880 Edwards
Readymixchick Edwards
scottaltimaman Edwards
Shady__Hill Edwards
3dingo Edwards
MaximeB92 Edwards
vegasdennis66 Edwards
VinnieV77 Edwards
J_Fellenbaum Edwards
1kfox Edwards
Freak4Harvick Edwards
jojolv48 Edwards
vasteve (father) Edwards
LAW9960 Edwards
88bfar Edwards
amishkid17 Edwards
AppBuckeye31 Edwards
jenniferayers Edwards
realaortiz08 Edwards
ZTsmiley Edwards
adamniemeyer Edwards
cswiecki84 Edwards
heylookaturtle Edwards
hollywoodtlb Edwards
Jrioux_ Edwards
terryweems Edwards
Carlajarvi Edwards
Chuck_Atl Edwards
CodfishCodfish Edwards
ellemccrone Edwards
kjb0585 Edwards
mattdobson_7 Edwards
scovel0 Edwards
Clevelandsrocks Edwards
chris_siebold22 Edwards
DillonSims Edwards
fatbuzz66 Edwards
kjflye Edwards
dustydisher97 Edwards
BriannaLeistikow Edwards
jeff_gluck Edwards
TruckerDeen Edwards
tvphotog17 Edwards
veston75 Edwards
Mike_Dobreski Gordon
Medic_217 Gordon
motorhead66 * Gordon
chrisonethree Gordon
folimu Gordon
cessfranklin Gordon
tgb_RPh Gordon
stephenflorentz Gordon
fnmetal Gordon
richman43 Hamlin
AlphaWolf09 Hamlin
1OutlawBandit * Hamlin
BrentBynum * Hamlin
CFDiG * Hamlin
grammatea4u * Hamlin
HotStoverReport * Hamlin
goofyfordfan Hamlin
KevinMiz Hamlin
AbbeyKahne5 Hamlin
dtruhl Hamlin
lorettamagers Hamlin
mark_ash Hamlin
YenndeeZ Hamlin
AshBollinger Hamlin
wdoyle66 Hamlin
Boop2366 Hamlin
ncraiderfan17 Hamlin
DJstatman482454 Hamlin
ItsAlexKaplan Hamlin
Jess43x8 Hamlin
MoWhi Hamlin
Joshua_Smith08 Hamlin
foolrain Hamlin
mattlovisa Harvick
josh_ackels66 Harvick
JAGillespie90 Harvick
dfblanchard Harvick
gregatkins Harvick
Reinhart63 Harvick
Davidwolf88 Harvick
bflo360 Harvick
bseliga Harvick
chrisallen_nc Harvick
Cody_Masse Harvick
glenburdett Harvick
jddorman2 Harvick
mikeschlee Harvick
Revvin4Seven48 Harvick
samhissett7 Harvick
Adam_Huth * Harvick
asskicknchcken * Harvick
bradleykarnes * Harvick
clebren45 * Harvick
CopaCavanna * Harvick
DRLDeBoer * Harvick
dwilwer * Harvick
jay_wilkins17 * Harvick
katiecole125 * Harvick
KeviRHatfield * Harvick
MattNicholson51 * Harvick
MattWeaverSBN * Harvick
MNeffShortTrack * Harvick
thejosh20 Harvick
Echo837 Harvick
GroverSimone Harvick
cjcub4life Harvick
jjwolfeman Harvick
JMorris_NP Harvick
TheTigerBones Harvick
zeven13 Harvick
A_Bit_Sideways Harvick
kennethriggs Harvick
BPierce158 Harvick
bundy315 Harvick
Joey_Fonseca Harvick
Nascar_Nut Harvick
Pat_DeCola Harvick
RowdyBun Harvick
_Carlton Harvick
Justin24Payne Harvick
mokanmikey Harvick
jflann2 Harvick
NSCRtruckFAN Harvick
prettymonkey Harvick
stevelo48 Harvick
alovewithoutend Harvick
DeuceStaley_48 Harvick
LoganReardon20 Harvick
n08fear Harvick
P_Prissypants Harvick
bshell00 Harvick
_Chouinard Harvick
cvelin Harvick
kevinkletti Harvick
arails4 Harvick
HitYourMarks Harvick
Huth88 Harvick
lance_sells Harvick
soller00 Harvick
Sports2HipHop Harvick
SportsNut1981 Harvick
stevemichalik Harvick
whenske Harvick
devyanks90 Harvick
brendan14394 Harvick
ClintLJones Harvick
Springwolf Harvick
dallasjunebug Harvick
digertwo Harvick
arlenekrue Harvick
Bradley_016 Harvick
DR_FNP Harvick
Gael78II Harvick
J_Carleton Harvick
jsoupzzz Harvick
oldguyjk Harvick
thndrnghrd24 Harvick
trv2405x Harvick
MarkMiller Johnson
ScottWilfong * Johnson
NickKocuba10 Johnson
jvirgs Johnson
terrymadill Johnson
wilwielgosz Johnson
Race5599 Johnson
HonestlySherry Johnson
DTrainMurphyTX Johnson
4toddboyer Kahne
harvicknut_4 Kahne
kkr491fan Kahne
ilovehamlin11 Kahne
MrsJPancake Kahne
ZackaryDWilson Kahne
IRunRountree Kahne
MarkRH Kahne
quickdraw222 Kahne
hzirbel Kenseth
kristidbm Kenseth
nuggie99 Kenseth
mcfdtony * Kenseth
summerbrooke23 * Kenseth
Bob_14 Kenseth
dave_phillips1 Kenseth
NancyatStudioN Kenseth
caseylandrum15 Kenseth
howmama99 Kenseth
mwrjgrfan Kenseth
robwright11 Kenseth
ZachKalb Keselowski
LVI56 Keselowski
shelbyparrack99 Keselowski
jeremybert9 KuBusch
dfairhurst2448 KuBusch
Kfisher88 * KuBusch
Smokecx3 KuBusch
coreyr12 KuBusch
mauhernz KuBusch
TannerFoutz KuBusch
JoshuaCloninger KuBusch
l70uke KyBusch
bobfredchuck KyBusch
racingwench KyBusch
mikemike82 KyBusch
AngieF530 KyBusch
vasteve (son) KyBusch
terrywilfong KyBusch
s_a_markle KyBusch
GigCityPlanner KyBusch
BenjaminAllaire Larson
xjasonx88 Larson
18frannie * Larson
rsc654 Larson
TheManRouse Larson
SportyGardener Logano
kartracer3886 Logano
M_Huff99 * McMurray
matttidcombe McMurray
ToeNailUrFace Menard
iamjlf Newman
raceGrl4Harvick * Newman
tcholbrook Newman
Eli928 Newman
monfud20 Newman
tjnaylor09 Newman
Bedgood15 Newman
BigLiciousT Newman
poloshot Newman
Truex56fan Newman
turbojunker Newman
wyocat50 Newman
Wisco_girl15 Newman
Zhorrall224 Newman
Sam-Beishuizen * Ragan
chubdubblub Ragan
ashaver13 Stenhouse
mrdevore Stenhouse
cpeuterb Stenhouse
kycasoup Truex
jeffamos65 Truex
abadacejr182288 Truex
ed_326 Vickers
mattgross Vickers
The_real_Tc_ Vickers
07vanquish Vickers


Fantasy NASCAR game: Let’s play!

I have an idea for a Fantasy NASCAR game and I want to create a new kind of league. It’s free (obviously) and we can all play together for the ultimate bragging rights (or a prize that I’ll come up with later).

Here’s how it works. Please read these rules carefully:

1. You pick ONE driver for each of the first 26 races — but you can only pick each driver ONE time. Your picks have to be submitted before the season starts (see the form and e-mail address below). So if you want to pick Jimmie Johnson for the Daytona 500, that’s fine…but you can’t use him again. If you use a driver twice, your entry is disqualified.

2. If your driver WINS the race on the week you have picked him (or her), you advance to the Fantasy Chase. That’s the only way to make the Fantasy Chase. There are no points during the regular season. If you go 26 weeks and your pick never wins on a given week, you are eliminated. Sorry. If your picks win multiple times during the season, you get three points toward the Fantasy Chase for each win.

3. Once the Chase starts, we’ll see how many people made it and the remaining people get to start over with their picks. Before Chicagoland, you submit ONE driver for each of the 10 weeks — and you can only use each driver once. The driver can be a Chase or non-Chase driver. You get your driver’s points for that race, and if you win any week, you automatically advance to the next round. The catch is there will be eliminations after every three races, just like in the real Chase. The number of people eliminated depends on how many people make the Fantasy Chase (if 100 people make it, 25 will go home after each round).

4. For the finale, there’s a chance multiple people could have the same driver. If that’s the case, the remaining contenders will be asked to submit a second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place driver for Homestead as the tiebreaker.

UPDATE: The entry deadline has now passed. I received more than 300 entries and am now compiling them. Thanks to those who entered!