DraftKings & FanDuel NASCAR DFS – Darlington 400 – May 17, 2020 (5/17/20)

DraftKings and FanDuel NASCAR DFS – Darlington 400 – May 17, 2020 (5/17/20)

Finally, real racing returns and the nightmare that was iRacing takes a much needed back seat. However, this won’t be the exact NASCAR of old and before we hop into some plays to target, let’s take a look at some important notes and changes for this current state of NASCAR.

There will be no practice sessions or speed qualifying. Instead, qualifying will be determined by random draw. This has a few major impacts as you can imagine, as the first time we are going to be able to collect any data from these cars will be post lock during the actual race. Setting lineups this week is going to heavily rely more on past performance and “recent” form. Because of this, I can foresee a few drivers ending up extremely chalky in this race as a few stick out to me with high Darlington track success. More on that in a bit.

Sunday’s race will also run 293 laps, which is shorter than the usual 367 laps. This doesn’t change a ton really, it will just provide a smaller opportunity for laps lead fantasy points.

And finally, a small tip that I believe will be beneficial heading into Sunday. With so much uncertainty around vehicle data with no practicing, we are looking at a more random outcome for contests. This can all be accompanied for in FantasyCruncher by adding randomness or PRO randomness to your lineups. This can be found under Advanced Options > General. Let FantasyCruncher apply the randomness for you towards your projections, which in what feels like a very random race could help account for it by spreading out your lineups a bit more.

Core Plays

Martin Truex Jr. – DK: $10,800 | FD: $11,500

I think the field will gravitate towards Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin as the dominators in this race and though I believe both of those guys definitely warrant some ownership, I am looking at a slightly cheaper option that carries some risk but a ton of upside. Because Truex is outside of the top 12 for owner points (15th) we will see Truex in the 13-24 range to start this race, which gives us a strong shot at place differential. In Truex’s last five races here we have seen him finish no worse than 15th, with one win and three top-ten finishes. In Truex’s last eight races here, we have seen him start inside the ten six times, so we are going to have a stronger look at differential here. The odds also mark Truex as the fourth-best bet this weekend, though FanDuel has him priced as the seventh-best option. I believe Truex is in play on each site, though I think he is a priority on FanDuel.

Update: After the random draw, Truex will start 15th.

Erik Jones – DK: $9,200 | FD: $9,800

As previously mentioned this may become a very chalky option, but with so much randomness added into this race, I think Jones is more of a safety blanket than anything. As highlighted above, the starting positions for this race are selected by random draw. Since Jones is outside the top 12 in owner points, he will start somewhere in the 13-24 range. Jones only has three career races at Darlington, but in those three races, he has never finished worse than 10th with two of those being a top-five finish and one of them being a win. This is, of course, a small sample size, but with no advanced data off of practice this week we are going to need to use some historical stats to our benefit and Jones’ career numbers paint about as promising of a picture as we can hope for as we enter this race pretty blind.

Update: After the random draw, Jones will start 20th.


Cheat Sheet:

$ TierD
Kyle Busch
(11.8k / 65.58)
(14k / 65.58)
Kevin Harvick
(11.5k / 63.78)
(14.5k / 63.78)
Denny Hamlin
(11.1k / 61.99)
(12.5k / 61.99)
Martin Truex
(10.8k / 60.19)
(11.5k / 60.19)
Erik Jones
(9.2k / 51.22)
(9.8k / 51.22)
Kurt Busch
(8.5k / 45.83)
(9.4k / 45.83)
Matt Kenseth
(7.9k / 40.45)
(7.2k / 40.45)
Chris Buescher
(7k / 31.47)
(7.3k / 31.47)
Christopher Bell
(6.6k / 27.88)
(6k / 27.88)
Daniel Suarez
(6.2k / 22.50)
(4.5k / 22.50)


About James Smizek

James is a daily fantasy sports veteran dating all the way back to his days of writing content on DraftStreet.com for contest tickets. James specializes in NCAAF and NFL with a side helping of Tennis/NBA/MLB/XFL. James is from Wisconsin and a die-hard Milwaukee Brewers fan. You can reach out to James on Twitter @iKezims

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