Daily Fantasy NASCAR 101: Building a Routine
The point of this article is to help everyone get better at Daily Fantasy NASCAR. The sport is watched by millions across the country and was a very popular daily fantasy game last season. If you’ve never watched a race, I’m here to hopefully change that this season. We will be doing a lot of awesome NASCAR stuff here, and this article is just the beginning.
When playing Daily Fantasy NASCAR, there are four really important stats to pay attention too. By following the process below, and using these four things the right way, you can become a successful DFS NASCAR player. It’s a sport in which you can do your research over multiple days, which makes it a lot easier for someone working a nine-to-five type of job.
The first thing you’ll want to look at is past results. It’s a great starting point for your weekly research and it’s something that can be done over a few days. When I start looking at track history, I focus on driver rating, quality passes, and percentage of laps in the top 15. Driver rating is the best all-around stat you can use when looking at past results.
Quality passes is a great way to learn whose good at driving through the field. If a driver has a high-quality pass percentage, he’s likely going to present some solid value if he’s starting towards the back of the field. This doesn’t equal any type of fantasy points, but it’s another way to figure out some of the cheaper options.
Running in the top 15 is good for a couple of reasons. You can’t predict any type of wrecks in NASCAR, but it’s good to see where drivers are running before potentially being involved in a wreck. Second, if a driver has a high percentage in the top 15, he’s likely very good at the track and could be a solid option. Using these few stats, you can put together everything else as the week goes along.
With the 2019 package, green flag speed has become very important. It’s showing us who has speed, but also the cars getting through the corners better than others. I really like looking at quality passes with this 2019 package because it’s become a lot harder to make moves.
Qualifying is the most important part of building your fantasy lineups. When looking through the qualifying data, you’ll find most weekends there’s a lot of value with guys starting towards the back. This is a great way to find a couple of mid-range options for your cash lineups.
Example: Jimmie Johnson blows a tire during qualifying and will start the race 40th at Texas. Going through past data, Johnson is solid at Texas, and the team will have the car ready for Sunday. Johnson becomes almost a must-play in this scenario and offers place differential value that no other driver can offer.
Practice times are where I spend the most time digging through the data, and this is something a lot of players will overlook. There are usually three practices every weekend. The first practice, teams will focus on qualifying trim, and this is something you can really overlook. The second practice, teams start focusing on race trim, and this is usually the practice you gather a lot of data from. Look at the 10 laps to 15 lap speeds, and see who is running fast over a longer period of time. Teams are still making adjustments during these practices, and testing a lot of things out. Happy Hour practice is the last hour these cars are on the track before the race. The final adjustments are made, and you can really see who is going to be fast on race day. Putting all of this together is another great way to find value.
Example: Denny Hamlin qualifies 25th for the race. Looking through the practice data, you realize Hamlin is in the top five in both practices, and he’s the fastest driver over a 10-lap run. There’s a good chance that Hamlin’s team has figured out why they were slow in qualifying. When this happens, the driver has a really good chance to move up in the field and could be the difference in your lineup.
This is also a great way to look for a few guys to fade in GPPs. If a driver qualifies in a high position but is having a tough time getting the car in race trim, you can gain a nice advantage over the field if he drops back fast.
Example: Clint Bowyer qualified third for the race, but is 29th in second practice and then he’s 33rd in final practice. This team is having issues with something on race trim, and Bowyer could become a good fade at this point. Teams can make adjustments during the race, but I would still avoid situations like this. The last thing you want is a driver struggling all race.
Driver talk is something I know a lot of daily fantasy players overlook, and it’s one of the most important things in NASCAR. In other sports, coach’s talk is the most annoying thing ever, but in NASCAR it could be the key to finishing your roster. If a driver that has qualified high is complaining about his car, this might be another good time to use caution when thinking about playing him.
Twitter is a great tool for this, but I like to record or watch practices to hear what the drivers are saying. If you use TweetDeck, I’ve turned my NASCAR list into a public list. This list has drivers, crew chiefs, team members, and NASCAR media members.
If you guys have any questions, please feel free to reach out in the comment section, or @Stevietpfl on twitter.