Fantasy NASCAR Preview - Atlanta Motor Speedway
Note: Below is a Fantasy NASCAR Atlanta Motor Speedway preview article from Wheels (@DK_Wheels) and PJ (@PJFrapDFS) of the Power Hour DFS (@PowerHourDFS) crew.
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Race number two of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series brings us to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500.
One thing that you are going to hear all weekend is going to be tires, tires and more tires. One lap around here and guys are crying for tires, because the surface is just so old and abrasive.
Atlanta almost received a face lift after last season's race, but the drivers love the track so much the way it is they actually pleaded with the track officials to not repave it and surprisingly, they obliged.
Let's look at how you need to go about attacking Atlanta for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) purposes.
First off you are going to have to get your dominators correct. Dominators are the drivers who earn bonus points by dominating the race through laps lead and running the fastest laps during the race.
When you start your search for dominators, the first name you come to is Kevin Harvick. The Stewart-Haas driver has led a total of 423 laps in the past two seasons. To give you an idea on how dominant that has been, his teammate Kurt Busch has the second most laps led with 62!
Last year Harvick lost the race to Brad Keselowski, because of a mistake on pit road after leading 292 of the 325 laps.
Most of the time for fantasy purposes, fastest laps is a stat that correlates really well on 1.5 mile tracks with laps led, but that is not the case at Atlanta.
Because the need for fresh tires is so great, and teams may get on a different pit sequence, you are going to see fastest laps be much more spread out. DERRIKE COPE recorded a fastest lap in last years race. If that isn't enough to prove that point, I do not know what is.
On to this year...obviously Harvick is squarely on our radar, because of the recent success that he has had at the track, but I want to try to take a look at a couple other drivers who may be able to get up there and give Harvick a battle.
Martin Truex Jr. - Although Truex hasn't been dominant at Atlanta, he has been solid with back-to-back top 10's, and if you remember back to last season, it took the Toyota's a little while to adjust to the new body, and obviously we saw what Truex was able to do all summer on the 1.5 mile race tracks. No reason to believe Truex can't be a factor this weekend.
Chase Elliott - This being Chase's home racetrack may add that little bit of motivation and he has been very good here. My one concern is the new Camaro and how it is going to react in dirty air. We saw at the Texas test that they had good single car speed, but we all know how hard it was to pass last year, because of the downforce and that will go a long way in determining if Chase will be able to get it done this week.
Kurt Busch - This driver might be slightly under the radar which could help with ownership %. With Harvick's domination at Atlanta the past couple years you better believe Stewart-Haas as a whole has benefited. Kurt is no stranger to Victory Lane here and could possibly see himself back there this weekend. I understand that may be a little bold, but Kurt is a veteran who knows how to take care of his tires and like I mentioned above, that is just so huge for this weekend.
**As a disclaimer for this next section, a lot of DraftKings (DK) plays are dependent on Qualifying and Practice speeds, but we want to give you our initial thoughts on 2 Dominators, 2 Value Plays and 1 Punt Play*
This will change from race to race, mostly depending on the track type. Last week in Daytona, the roster construction was night and day compared to Atlanta.
This week you'll look to roster 2-3 Dominators in each lineup and fill out the rest of your lineups with Value Plays and maybe even reaching down for a Punt Play if it helps you fit your favorite plays into your lineups!
Dominators are drivers who earn bonus points by dominating the race through laps lead and running the fastest laps during the race.
- Kevin Harvick ($10,100) - Averaging 82.5 DK points over his last 10 Atlanta races.
- Martin Truex Jr. ($10,400) - Averaging 48.5 over his last 6 Atlanta races.
- Kevin Harvick ($10,100) - Scored 60+ DK points in 7-straight and 90+ in five of his last six.
- Martin Truex Jr. ($10,400) - Averaged 95.5 DK points at intermediate tracks last year, which was 31.6 points higher than the next closest.
Value plays are the drivers who usually start in the middle to rear of the field that can stay clean, move up, and gain place differential points. Most importantly get you a good finishing position at the end of the race.
PJ's Value plays:
- Kurt Busch ($8,200) - Averaging 58.3 DK pts over his last 10 and back in 2009 & 2010 pulled off some dominant performances. During this stretch, he has scored over 39.5 points in all but 1 race and at $8,200 is a great value play heading into this week.
- Ryan Newman ($6,900) - Newman is just way too underpriced and a lot of it is attributed to his bad luck at his last 2 Atlanta races. His recent performance could cause him to go over looked!
Wheels Value Plays:
- Aric Almirola ($7,800) - Averaging 35.1 DK pts over his last 5 races in the RPM #43 car. This year he gets an upgrade in equipment and will tap into Kevin Harvick's notebook now that they are teammates.
- Paul Menard ($6,800) - Averaging 32.1 DK pts over his last 10 races in the RCR #27. His change of scenery could benefit him as he pilots the Wood Brothers #21 that Ryan Blaney was very competitive in last season.
Punt plays are your $6k & under drivers who usually start in the 30's and can move up a couple spots, maybe break into the top 25-30 if all goes well. Most of all your punts allow you to jam in multiple Dominators into your lineup to cover your bases since there are many occasions that a race will have multiple Dominators.
- David Ragan ($5,600) - Ragan has an 24.6 average finish over the last 5 races at Atlanta and has the highest Driver Rating amongst drivers in this range.
- Chris Buescher ($5,900) - Buescher doesn't have a lot of Cup races under his belt at Atlanta, but he's managed to finish both of them in the 20's. He's shown he knows how to drive this track by his 10.0 average finishing position in his three XFINITY Series races.