DraftKings & FanDuel NASCAR DFS – Goodyear 400 – May 9, 2021
Kevin Harvick – DK: $9,600 | FD: 10,500 – Starting 2nd
As we head to Darlington this week, we find ourselves at a track that plays incredibly narrow and doesn’t offer constant passing lanes. This is not to say you can’t pass here – you can pass at any track, it is just more saying that we don’t need to be afraid to roster someone starting closer to the front of the field this week as it is a little easier to hold the front compared to other tracks. When it comes to grading out drivers at certain tracks, Harvick grades out as second here at Darlington, only behind Kyle Larson. Quickly, I do like Larson a lot this week, but at $11,400 and the likelihood of him being pretty chalky, I am not going to call him my core this week – though he absolutely needs to have some form of exposure to. Back to Harvick, in his last five races here he has finished 1st, 3rd, 1st, 4th, and 4th. In his last ten races total Harvick has yet to fall outside of the top ten and has led 159 or more laps three times, while leading at least 10 laps in seven of the ten races. After a slower start to the season, Harvick has shown great form over the last two weeks, with finishes of 2nd and 4th at Kansas and Talladega. Harvick is priced as the seventh most expensive driver but has the fourth-best odds to win this race. Add in the small bit of savings on his salary and I think Harvick makes for a great play this weekend as long as he can hold the front.
Erik Jones – DK: $8,200 | FD: $7,300 – Starting 26th
Back-to-back weeks writing up Erik Jones might be too much to handle for some, but if I pose you with the question of “who is the best-graded driver at Darlington since 2017?” the answer of Erik Jones will likely surprise you. In six career races at Darlington, Erik Jones has never finished worse than 8th. Back in September of 2019, Jones finished 1st here and has an average finish of 5.17 with an average starting position of 15.8. In the Xfinity Series it was much of the same for Jones, who never finished worse than 6th at the South Carolina track. Not that it matters a whole ton, but Jones also won the iRacing event at Darlington on Wednesday. The only reason I add that nugget, as with all the information presented, it seems Erik Jones is quite comfortable at this track with success at every single level he has raced at. This will be Jones’ second furthest starting position (26th), in September of 2020, Jones started 30th and finished fourth. So while this isn’t a track known for passing, Jones has never had issues grabbing differential points. While I usually keep this article to a high priced and lower-priced option, with Harvick being a little lower than top-tier this week, I am focusing more on the higher and mid-tier this week. You can see the guys I am targeting in my player pool for value below in the cheat sheet.
$ Tier D High Kyle Larson (11.4k / 65.61) (13k / 65.61) Denny Hamlin (10.6k / 57.09) (14k / 57.09) Kevin Harvick (9.6k / 52.58) (10.5k / 52.58) Chase Elliott (9.2k / 46.91) (12k / 46.91) Medium Christopher Bell (8.6k / 47.18) (9k / 47.18) Erik Jones (8.2k / 48.08) (7.3k / 48.08) Cole Custer (7.1k / 25.23) (6.5k / 25.23) Low Chase Briscoe (6.8k / 27.29) (5k / 27.29) Daniel Suarez (6.7k / 24.23) (6.7k / 24.23) Chris Buescher (6.5k / 22.68) (7k / 22.68) Ryan Preece (5.9k / 17.50) (4.5k / 17.50)