NASCAR DFS: Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International Fanduel Preview

Brian Polking

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen International for the second road course race of the 2019 season. The 11-turn track will host Sunday's Go Bowling at The Glen, a 90-lap event that will test a driver's ability to handle the twist and turns of the winding course and test a crew chief's ability to find the perfect strategy to put their driver out front for the final sprint to the finish.

If you are playing NASCAR DFS at Fanduel, the challenge will be finding the right balance between heavy hitters and reliable performers. Fanduel's scoring already limits the number of points awarded for leading laps, and with just 90 laps on tap, there are even fewer points up for grabs in that category.

I still think that rostering a couple of high-priced drivers could be the way to go. If Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch go back and forth for the lead like they did at Sonoma in June, both could post big scores. However, you will need to pay close attention to qualifying. If three or four quality mid-priced drivers have a little place differential upside, a balanced lineup could be the way to go.

Even when a couple of drivers dominate a race at The Glen, you really can't expect to see them lead more than 70 laps. In Fanduel's scoring, that only accounts for an addition seven points. You only need to find a total of 14 positions to gain to offset those seven points. Depending on how the starting lineup shakes out, that could be the easier, safer path to a big point total.

Make sure to check back after the starting lineup is set for my final DFS picks at Fanduel and updated strategies. Until then, I have highlighted the drivers I expect to lean on for Sunday's Go Bowling at The Glen.


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Must-Own Drivers

Kyle Busch ($15,000)

Busch appeared to have the car to beat at Sonoma last year, leading 31 laps and finishing third despite having to make an extra pit stop for a fueling issue. He leads all drivers with nine Top 10s, six Top 5s and a 7.0 average finish in the last 10 road course races, and he has led laps in eight of those starts. Pencil in Busch for a Top 5 finish and some dominator points.

Martin Truex Jr. ($14,500)

Although there aren't a ton of laps on tap in Sunday's race, Truex has been able to lead for long stretches at the road courses while piling up great finishes. His win at Sonoma in June was his third in the last five road races, and he has finished second and first in two starts at The Glen in that stretch. Truex has also led more than 20 laps in four of the last six road course events, leading multiple laps in all six starts. Not only is Truex a favorite to win, but he could do so in dominating fashion.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Difference Makers and Value Plays

Denny Hamlin ($13,000)

Following his win at Pocono last weekend, Hamlin heads to The Glen riding a streak off three straight Top 5s. He's also been great at the road courses, and he has scored the most driver points in the series over the last 10 races, logging a race-high 51 points at Sonoma in June. Hamlin has led laps in six of the last eight road course events, logging five Top 5s in that stretch and winning at Watkins Glen in 2016. I love him as an alternative to the his higher-priced Joe Gibbs Racing teammates.

Chase Elliott ($11,500)

It has been a rough stretch for Elliott, but the silver lining for DFS players is that his price tag has dropped significantly heading into Sunday's race at The Glen. By the way, Elliott just happens to be the defending winner here after he led a race-high 52 laps in an impressive performance. He actually scored the most points of any driver at the road courses last year, finishing sixth or better in all three races. I recommend buying low on Elliott this weekend.

Kurt Busch ($11,000)

In terms of reliability at the road courses, Busch isn't far off the top options, and he is available for substantially less. He has logged eight Top 10s in the last 10 road course events, and his 7.4 average finish in that stretch is the second-best mark in the series. His Top 10 floor makes him an ideal option for cash games.

Erik Jones ($10,000)

Jones has been on fire in recent weeks, finishing eighth or better in five of the last six races and reeling off three straight Top 3 finishes. Needless to say, I was surprised to see him available for a midrange price, especially at a road course. He has cracked the Top 10 in four of his six road course starts at the Cup level, finishing 10th and fifth in two starts at Watkins Glen.

Clint Bowyer ($9,000)

I know he has been struggling in recent weeks, but this is an absurdly cheap price tag for one of the best road racers in the series. Bowyer has an 11.7 average finish at the road courses for his career, and in six starts with Stewart-Haas Racing, he has a 5.8 average finish and four Top 5s. I expect to have a bunch of exposure to him Sunday.

Sleeper Specials

Matt DiBenedetto ($6,000)

DiBenedetto has found his stride with the No. 95 team the last couple of months, emerging as a weekly Top 20 driver. He's also flashed Top 10 upside on a few occasions, and he had an excellent run in the first road course race of the year, gaining 15 spots and finishing fourth at Sonoma while posting the fourth-best driver rating. If he can even approach that result this weekend, DiBenedetto will be an absolute bargain.

Michael McDowell ($5,500)

An experienced road racer, McDowell has a win at Road America in the XFINITY Series, and given his equipment, he has overachieved on the Cup side at the road courses. He has finished 21st or better in the last six of the last seven road course events, and he has finished 18th or better in all three starts at Watkins Glen in that span. This isn't a bad price for a driver with Top 15 upside and a Top 20 floor.

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