The field is set for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire with Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott on the front row. Let’s delve into this week’s top Fantasy NASCAR picks and value plays for DraftKings and FanDuel NASCAR DFS lineups for the Ambetter 301.
Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Ambetter 301 Values
Martin Truex Jr., 1st ($10,400 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel)
During this inaugural season of the Generation Seven car, one of its more noticeable foibles has been the dirty air it creates at shorter, flatter venues. With this dirty air, it has been smooth sailing at tracks like Phoenix, Richmond, and Martinsville where the pole sitters have led lap totals of 143, 128, and 185 respectively. The dirty air makes it tough for anyone to make inroads on passing the pole sitter early on and those drivers have had clear paths to racking up dominator points in the process. It should be noted that none of these drivers went on to win their races but they all finished with top 10 results and accumulated so many laps led and fastest laps points, that where they finished became moot points. Thus, with Martin Truex Jr. on the pole, in what should be another replay of Phoenix and Richmond, he has the clear path to those precious dominator points. While not the fastest car in practice, he did rank fifth in the fastest single-lap time and was 11th or better in the longer runs.
The set of tires Goodyear is using this weekend are the same tires used at Phoenix, Richmond and Gateway. Truex ended his day early at Phoenix finishing 35th but he led 80 laps at Richmond finishing fourth and led 42 laps at Gateway ending his day in sixth.
Chase Elliott, 2nd ($10,300 DraftKings, $ 13,000 FanDuel)
For those playing cash games, what to do after Truex becomes a conundrum. For those that feel like Truex could sit on the lead all day, then pivoting towards a driver with place differential and top-five upside makes sense, i.e. Kyle Busch (17), Ross Chastain (18). However, what if Truex leads just a portion of this race while another driver who starts up front leads another hefty allotment of laps? In that scenario, lineups will require a second dominator as opposed to someone who scores points via place differential and finishing position points. With the direction, this race is projecting, stacking the front row of Truex and Elliott feels like a safe bet to make.
Much like Truex, Elliott doesn’t have one of the fastest cars, via practice, but with his track position and a top-10 car in all of the practice metrics he ran in, he should be more than capable of grabbing the lead (perhaps on pit road) and holding position. The Modus Operandi of Elliott, in regards to DFS, is to stay on the train while the iron is hot and Elliott is indeed the Series “hottest” driver with the most laps led in back-to-back races, 286 total laps led over the past five events, and three straight races with results of second or first.
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Alex Bowman, 27th ($7,800 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel)
After a slew of top 10 finishes to open the season, Bowman has regressed slightly into a perennial top 15 driver doing so at Gateway (13), Sonoma (16), and Road America (12) while having issues at Nashville (36), and Atlanta (32). This may throw a wet blanket on enthusiasm in utilizing him in tournaments, however, for cash games, Bowman still fits the bill as another top 15 will go a long way in making him viable for double-ups and head-to-head games. Over Bowman’s past three races at New Hampshire, he’s crossed the finish line in 15th or better in all three events. Meanwhile, in the three corollary tracks listed above, he’s failed to finish worse than 14th in any of those events with an average running position of 8.3 in the final 10% of those three races. Bowman has the potential to cross the line in 10th or better on Sunday but even if all he does is finish 15th, he will still be a great play in cash.
Austin Dillon, 30th ($6,300 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel)
Austin Dillon was already headed towards being one of Sunday’s highest-owned drivers due to his underpriced salary on both sites. However, this starting position is only going to increase the chances of his high ownership as DFS players are getting a fringe top-15 driver at a cheaper salary than Michael McDowell. In back-to-back New Hampshire events, Dillon has crossed the finish line in 17th or better. In the three corollary races leading up to New Hampshire, Dillon’s finishes have gone 21st, 10th, and 15th.
Ty Dillon, 35th ($5,400 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel)
An absolutely dreadful qualifying lap sank Dillon and now he starts buried in the field. The good news; this is a 301-lap race so Dillon has plenty of time to move his way through the field. Powering that car, a vehicle that ran the 18th-fastest single-lap speed, the 16th-fastest consecutive five-lap average, and the 21st fastest consecutive 10-lap average. Thus, Dillon’s practice speeds do not reflect the qualifying lap he ran. Additionally, after missing last season’s race, Dillon is driving the Big Machine 48 in Saturday’s Xfinity race as a refresher. With this additional track time, Dillon should be more than capable of making his way into the mid-20s.
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