NASCAR DFS: Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Fanduel Preview

Brian Polking

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season wraps up this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Four drivers head into Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 with a shot at the championship, and the driver with the best finish in the race will be crowned. Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are all seeking their second titles, and Denny Hamlin will be trying to erase the dubious honor of being the best driver to never win a championship.

Interestingly enough, Fanduel has decided to price all four championship drivers at $14,000 for this weekend's race. Given the history of success of the Championship 4 in the finale, I understand the thought process, but I don't feel that all four title contenders carry equal value this weekend. I also think the pricing decision essentially forces your hand when it comes to building NASCAR DFS lineups.

I expect to roster one or two title contenders in all of my lineups, but I don't think top loading rosters with three of the four is going to be effective at those salaries. Homestead has already been a track where drivers can swap the lead for various stretches, and this year's reduced-horsepower package has spread out the lap leaders at these 1.5-mile ovals more than usual.

You are still going to want to have a solid overall lineup. I like to make sure all of my drivers at least have a shot at a Top 15, if not a Top 10. You can push those expectations down a bit if a driver has a decent chance of gaining 10-15 spots, but I wouldn't rely too much on punt plays this weekend. There just aren't enough dominator points available in Fanduel's scoring to offset a pedestrian point total from a low-priced, throwaway pick.

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Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($14,000)

Harvick has had a strong year at the mile-and-a-half tracks, leading all drivers in both points scored and laps led in the 10 races. He has also reeled off 11 straight Top 10s at Homestead, and since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, he has finished fourth or better in all five starts at the track, leading at least 46 laps four times. Harvick should be a lock for an excellent finish and a decent amount of laps led bonus points Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr. ($14,000)

He has shown a blend of reliability and upside at the 1.5-mile tracks this year, winning two of the 10 races while compiling a series-leading 8.3 average finish. Truex has also been locked in at Homestead, leading 78 laps in a win here in 2017 and leading 20 laps in a runner-up effort last year. With more time to prepare for the finale than the other three championship hopefuls, I am expecting Truex and company to bring the car to beat this weekend.

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Difference Makers and Value Plays

Kyle Busch ($14,000)

Busch hasn't been dominant at the 1.5-mile this year, but he is still tied for the series lead with seven Top 10s in the 10 races. He has also been locked in at Homestead in recent years, finishing sixth or better in four straight starts. During that stretch, he has led 20-plus laps three times, leading more than 40 laps twice. Don't count out the 2015 champ as a title threat, and don't rule him out as a potential dominator candidate.

Denny Hamlin ($14,000)

He doesn't quite boast the overall Homestead numbers of the other championship contenders, but Hamlin is a two-time winner here, and he has finished 12th or better in six straight starts. During that stretch, he has led 40-plus laps three times. As strong as he has been in the second half of 2019, don't be surprised if he ends up leading laps and contending for the win.

Kyle Larson ($13,000)

Although he hasn't picked up a win at Homestead yet, Larson has already delivered a few impressive performances here. He has an 8.5 average finish in six starts at the track, cracking the Top 5 in three of his last four starts. Larson has led laps in five of those six races, and he has led at least 45 laps in three straight, topping 130 laps led twice. He can't win the championship, but he could finish as the top scorer at Fanduel.

Joey Logano ($12,000)

Logano won't be defending his title this weekend, but that doesn't mean he can't help you win some money at Fanduel. In addition to his win in last year's race, he has finished sixth or better in four straight starts at Homestead, leading laps in two of those races. If you are fading the Championship 4, Logano should be on the short list of potential pivots.

Alex Bowman ($8,400)

He has been one of the streakier drivers all season, but Bowman has been at his best at the 1.5-mile ovals. He has finished 11th or better in seven of the 10 races this, posting a 9.3 average finish. Bowman has finished seventh or better in five of the last seven races at mile-and-a-half tracks, picking up a win at Chicagoland and a second-place finish at Kansas. Among the mid-priced drivers, he has one of the higher ceilings and a legitimate chance to lead some laps.

Austin Dillon ($7,000)

I try not to make a habit of using Dillon, but he's actually been decent at Homestead. He has reeled off four straight Top 15s here, notching back-to-back 11th-place finishes. At this price, I will be willing to roll the dice on Dillon in a few lineups if he qualifies outside the Top 20 this weekend.

Sleeper Specials

Chris Buescher ($6,000)

Buescher continues to be criminally underpriced at the mile-and-a-half tracks at Fanduel. He has cracked the Top 20 in all 10 races this year, posting a 14.1 average finish and gaining an average of 10.1 spots per race. Buescher should be one of the best values of the weekend, and I expect to have a ton of exposure to him Sunday.

Matt DiBenedetto ($5,500)

I know that the mile-and-a-half tracks haven't been his specialty this year, but DiBenedetto has been too good in the second half of the year to be this cheap. In addition to emerging as a weekly Top 15 threat, he has finished 21st or better in the last four races at 1.5-mile ovals, finishing 16th or better in three of those starts. Take advantage of this price tag.

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