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NASCAR DFS Value Picks: M&M’s 400 Pocono | DraftKings & FanDuel

Phillip Bennetzen

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The field is set for Sunday’s race at Pocono with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch 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 M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400.

Fantasy NASCAR Picks: M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 Values

Denny Hamlin, 1st ($10,400 DraftKings, $12,500 FanDuel)

Despite a pedestrian 11th ranked fastest single-lap practice speed, Hamlin found his way to the top of the grid in qualifying. Now, Hamlin will look to make it the fifth-straight race where the polesitter has led the most laps – a feat he accomplished back at Nashville when he led 114 laps before finishing sixth that afternoon. While his teammate Kyle Busch had faster practice speeds, having the preferred line on restarts may be all Hamlin needs initially to establish a lead and then use dirty air to his advantage and keep Busch, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson at bay.

History-wise, Hamlin is no stranger to the victory circle at Pocono with six career Cup victories including two recent wins in 2019 and 2020. Hamlin versus Kyle Busch is going to be a key pivot point for most this weekend. However, for the sake of cash games, side with the polesitter here in Hamlin as he has the shortest path to knocking down laps led and fastest laps points.

Ross Chastain, 21st ($10,000 DraftKings, $ 11,500 FanDuel)

Oddly, like last weekend at New Hampshire, DFS players have a decision point to make after they settle on their primary dominator option. Either play Hamlin plus Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, or Kyle Larson and get conceivable access to all of the dominator points. Or, project the primary dominator to lead a bulk of laps and then pivot down the starting grid to a driver with top-five upside, if not the win outright, plus place differential potential.

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Considering how there will only be 160 laps at most on Sunday, the upside of picking a second dominator for cash games loses its allure. Thus, Ross Chastain enters the fray as the premium choice of pay-up options for drivers who start in the middle of the pack and could win this event. His numbers, last year, at Pocono, while driving for Chip Ganassi are not impressive (33, 26) but Chastain had a very weird split of performing worse in races utilizing the 550 horsepower package compared to the 750 horsepower package. This season for Trackhouse Racing, Chastain has shown that he can be competitive at road courses, superspeedways, short tracks, and intermediate venues, and with the fastest car in practice – he should be a threat at the 2.5-mile triangle in Pocono.


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Brad Keselowski, 26th ($7,300 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel)

A key may have been unlocked with Brad Keselowski last week at New Hampshire – when he has stellar track history at a certain track, Keselowski probably still has enough talent to take these middle-tier vehicles and still navigate them to a sound finish. He did this last week at New Hampshire, despite his effort to sacrifice his car to the racing gods to get back at Austin Dillon’s oddly timed bump and run under the yellow flag, and may be in line to repeat another good effort at Pocono.

In Keselowski’s last six visits to Pocono, he’s failed to finish worse than 11th with a high of second back in 2019. This isn’t to say that Keselowski can be looked at as a cheap driver with top-10 potential. However, don’t be shocked if he works his way into the top 15 by the end of the 160 laps with a car that ranked in the middle of the pack during practice.

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Erik Jones, 34th ($7,600 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel)

The big question going into Sunday is how much of Jones’s top-six practice speed was because of his highly illegal car…

The illegal parts didn’t seem to make any bit of difference for Ty Dillon, but if the illegal rocker box assemblies weren’t behind the speed in the 43, then Jones will have a rocket to propel him forward on Sunday. With limited time in practice, Jones ran the sixth fastest single-lap time and backed that up with the fourth-fastest consecutive five-lap average. However, even if this car runs per its normal speed, relative to the field, this is still an advantageous spot for DFS players thanks to Jones’s spin during practice. If Jones has a normal Sunday for Petty-GMS, he should finish between 18th through 25th. If this car reflects his practice speeds, he could be knocking on the door for a top 10 result.

Cody Ware, 36th ($5,100 DraftKings)

There’s no need to dip this low on FanDuel, but for DFS players who are stacking multiple dominators with multiple high-priced place differential options, Ware can make these DraftKings lineups come together. Starting dead last, Ware isn’t in danger of losing place differential, and in last year’s back-to-back races, he managed to finish 25th and 28th. Furthermore, Ware ran the 24th-fastest single-lap practice speed, a feat that 75% of SHR couldn’t claim to have done.

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Phill Bennetzen is a father, husband, and Catholic as well as a self-professed annoying fitness guy. Phill heads up NASCAR content at Awesemo.com. You can contact Phill by emailing [email protected].

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