We already know that Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin are on the front row for Sunday’s Daytona 500, but the rest of the field has to be fleshed out at Thursday night’s Can-Am Duels. DraftKings is offering separate DFS NASCAR contests for each of the two races. The first race begins at 7 pm ET and will set the inside row for the Daytona 500. The second race will set the outside row. Bowman has the pole for the first race and Hamlin the second, but their starting spots are already locked in. Starting lineups for each race were determined by single car qualifying on Sunday. These are obviously 20-car races with the fields split in half. Here are some of the key choices for each Duel.
You have to find a way to get Brad Keselowski ($10,100) into your lineup. He is the highest priced driver in the field and will be the most widely owned, but he is a top restrictor plate driver and is coming off his first ever Speedweeks win at the Clash and you have to love his starting position of 10th. Keselowski is gunning for his first victory in the Daytona 500 and he has an Average Finish of 9.2 at the site, fourth-best among active drivers. Consider that stat in a halved field and you cannot avoid him.
Joey Logano (9,700) finished second in the Clash and should snare a few PD points from his starting position of sixth. He has never won the Duel, which is an incentive for him to push for the victory. Ryan Blaney (9,400) offers some nice PD potential with his starting position of eighth. He finished fourth in the Clash.
Vegas has Jimmie Johnson (8.900) at 8/1 Vegas odds to win the first Duel and there is a bit of Place Differential risk as he starts second, but the price is friendly at 8,900. He is second since 2005 in Average Green Flag Speed at Daytona, so he should finish well in the 20-car field. Aric Almirola (8,000) is coming off three good runs at Daytona as he moves to Stewart-Haas Racing.
Jamie McMurray (7,600) is a must-start at the price. He is always a viable restrictor plate play and he starts 12th. He leads all drivers in the all-important Driver Rating category at Daytona (91.8).
Ryan Newman starts 11th and is just 6,500, and he has the third-most Fastest Laps Run at the site. David Ragan (6,900) finished sixth in the second Daytona race last year and starts 20th, so there is obvious PD promise there. David Gilliland (5,600) has an Average Finish of 24.1 at Daytona and offers some PD potential out of the 19th spot.
Kyle Busch (9.900) starts on the front row and has the best Vegas odds (4/1) to win this race, and he is fourth in DR at Daytona, but this Duel seems to have more star quality and you can consider not spending top price for him. Chase Elliott (9,800) already has a Daytona 500 pole and a Duel win on his dashboard and starts fifth. Kevin Harvick (9,300) starts one spot ahead and is second in DR at the site at 86.7. I’d consider rolling with either of those two over Busch for a few PD points.
Defending Cup champ Martin Truex Jr. (9,100) is looking like a must-play when you consider he starts 13th. He is third-best in Average Green Flag Speed at Daytona. Kyle Larson (8,800) starts 11th and is another prime pick. He is best at Daytona in percentage of Laps in the Top 15 (92.1). You can consider building around Truex and Larson to begin building your lineup and going from there.
Clint Bowyer (7,800) is a good mid-range value. He finished second in the second race at the site last year. Trevor Bayne (6,700) has two Top 10s in his past three Daytona starts and is a former 500 winner. He’s always a viable restrictor plate play. Michael McDowell (6,900) is coming off a fourth place showing in his most recent run at Daytona and I like him a lot starting at the 12th spot. A.J. Allmendinger (6,400) is an ultra-strong pick as well coming off two consecutive Top 10s at Daytona and starting out of the 15th slot.