NASCAR DFS: Coca-Cola 600 Fanduel Lineups Plays
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the longest race of the 2018 season, the Coca-Cola 600. The 400-lap race at the mile-and-a-half oval is one of the crown jewel events of the sport, and it is a true test of endurance and adaptability for both drivers and race teams.
I've already revealed my top NASCAR DFS plays for the race at DraftKings, but now it is time to tackle Fanduel. Not only are the salaries different between the two sites, but Fanduel has a drastically different scoring system that shifts a lot of value to the place differential category and away from the dominator points. In fact, gaining one spot is equivalent to leading 5 laps, and fastest laps aren't even included in the scoring.
Needless to say, any quality driver starting deeper in the field deserves your attention, and you don't really need to gamble on potential dominators, unless they also have a little differential upside.
Check out all of my top plays at Fanduel, and make sure to lock in your lineups for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.
Kevin Harvick ($13,500)
He is the most expensive driver on the board this weekend, but you have to find a way to fit Harvick in almost all of your lineups. He starts 39th after issues with qualifying inspection, but he has been unstoppable at the 1.5-mile ovals this year, piling up three wins and a second-place finish in four races. Harvick is looking at 15-plus bonus points in the place differential category alone, and he still has a great chance to lead some laps. A monster point total seems inevitable.
Clint Bowyer ($10,600)
The emphasis on the place differential category in Fanduel's scoring makes Bowyer tough to pass up this weekend. He starts back in 28th, but he has a 10.7 average finish for the year. All of Stewart-Haas Racing has been fast at the 1.5-mile tracks in 2018, so Bowyer should be one of the biggest movers and highest scorers Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. ($12,500)
While he doesn't even approach Kevin Harvick's upside, Truex is still positioned to be one of the best scorers this weekend. He starts 15th, but he has finished in the Top 5 in five of the last six races at Charlotte, winning twice and leading a bunch of laps. Look for Truex to earn some points in every scoring category on his way to a hefty point total.
Kurt Busch ($11,000)
He is a little pricier than I'd like, but Busch looks like he can be penciled in for an excellent point total Sunday night. He is starting 16th, but he has three Top 10s in the four races at mile-and-a-half tracks this year and has six finishes of 11th or better in his last seven starts at Charlotte. A top 10 finish and 40-plus fantasy points seem like a lock.
Kyle Larson ($10,800)
Larson is in a similar spot to Martin Truex Jr., and he can be rostered for a lot less money. He' starting 11th, so he has a little room for points in the differential category. He's also shown enough speed this weekend to lead some laps. A solid all-around performance and strong point total could be on tap.
Chase Elliott ($10,200)
Elliott is still looking for a breakout performance in 2018, but he has finished 12th or better in three of the four races at 1.5-mile ovals, and he was the runner-up at Charlotte last fall. Starting back in 22nd, Elliott is on the short list of drivers starting in the back half of the field with legitimate Top 10 potential.
Kasey Kahne ($8,600)
He is a four-time winner at Charlotte, but while he isn't going to be able to approach those numbers with Leavine Family Racing, he has been decent at the mile-and-a-half tracks. He has finished 21st or better in all four races, finishing as high as 17th. After qualifying 26th, he should be able to pad his point total a bit with some differential points while saving you some cap space.
Alex Bowman ($7,400)
Bowman's cheap price tag will give you some much-needed roster flexibility, and he is in good position to exploit the differential category. He starts 27th tonight, but he has cracked the Top 20 in 10 of the 12 races this season and in three of the four races at 1.5-mile ovals.
Others to Consider
Kyle Busch ($11,700)
Yes, the place differential category is five times more valuable than the laps led category, but with 400 laps on tap, the latter category isn't irrelevant. Busch starts on the pole Sunday night and has been the second-best driver at the mile-and-a-half tracks in 2018. If there is a driver who is going to drive off a lead 100-plus laps, it's probably him. Don't be surprised if Busch ends up as one of the top scorers.
Erik Jones ($10,000)
Much like his teammate, Kyle Busch, Jones has almost zero upside in the differential category, but he does appear to have one of the fastest cars this weekend. Jones starts fourth and topped the charts in final practice in both single-lap speed and 10-lap average speed. If you are trying to grab exposure to the laps led category, Jones could be a great pivot to Kyle Busch.
A.J. Allmendinger ($8,000)
Consistency has never been his strong suit, so there is always a chance Allmendinger burns you in the laps completed category. On the flip side, he has a bunch of differential upside this weekend after qualifying 30th, and he has four Top 20s in his last five races at Charlotte. He also said he liked the adjustments his team made during final practice. Allmendinger has some potential this weekend, and I love him in GPPs.
William Byron ($7,800)
Byron doesn't have as much differential upside as some other cheaper plays, but starting 21st, he still has potential in that category. More importantly, he has been consistently vying for Top 15s in recent weeks. The rookie could be an under-owned gem for the larger contests.
Michael McDowell ($5,500)
Picking a driver from a smaller team is risky in this format because of the points awarded for each lap completed. However, McDowell will free up a ton of cap space, and he's shown that he can hold his own at the 1.5-mile tracks, picking up Top 20s at Texas and Kansas in recent weeks. Starting 29th, he also has the place differential category working in his favor.