DraftKings DFS NASCAR Picks: Sylvania 300
The Chase for the Sprint Cup Series championship rolls into Loudon for the second time this season, and Kyle Busch ($10,800) looks to sweep the two races after taking checkers at the 5-Hour Energy 301 back on July 19.
The story over the past five stops at New Hampshire has been Brad Keselowski ($10,600), who carries a 122.9 Driver Rating over the span according to NASCAR’s Loop Data. That’s just slightly better than Rowdy, who has managed a 119.3 in the past five stops at Loudon. Keselowski and Busch have dominated during the span, and are must-have DFS option if you can squeeze them both in under the cap. Keselowski has run 94.2 percent of his laps inside the Top 15 while posting an Average-Finish Position of 5.0, and he leads all drivers with 332 laps led. Busch has led 211 laps while running inside the Top 15 in 92.1 percent of his laps. His AFP of 3.0 is Fantasy Gold, too. In addition, he will be starting 17th, or mid pack, so look for plenty of DFS points thanks to an increase in Place Differential.
Keselowski was runner-up to the youngest Busch in July. Both appear ready to make more noise at NHMS this weekend, as Busch was second at 134.150 mph in the final practice Saturday, with Keselowski right on his tail at 134.032 mph. It was Kevin Harvick ($11,000) leading the parade in the final practice Saturday, and he is no slouch with a 100.3 Driver Rating over the past five stops at NHMS. Harvick has led 163 laps during the span, more than anyone except for the No. 2 and 18. Harvick will go off second in Sunday’s race, and is always a stud DFS play.
The pole sitter this weekend is the red hot Carl Edwards ($9,300), who looks to bring another checkered flag to the Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota stable. Edwards was seventh in the first race at NHMS, and he is looking for his first win at the New England stop. Edwards has made 22 starts in Loudon, finishing outside of the Top 20 just once. He has never finished lower than 25th at the track, so DFS owners needn’t worry about Cousin Carl turning in a disappointing finish.
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kurt Busch ($10,700) and Tony Stewart ($6,900) are two of five active drivers with three wins at New Hampshire, tied for the most in the Sprint Cup Series. The elder Busch will start third as he searches for win No. 4 at the track. He has a respectable 15.9 AFP over 29 career starts, posting seven Top 5s, 12 Top 10s and 18 Top 20 finishes with 541 career laps led on the flat surface. Stewart has obviously struggled mightily over the past couple of years, but if the No. 14 is to return to Victory Lane it might be at Loudon. He is fifth among all active drivers with at least four starts at the track with a 12.6 AFP, second among all drivers with 1,302 laps led and 24 Top 20s in 32 starts.
Matt Kenseth ($10,000) has been solid lately, and he seems to be the guy no one is talking about this weekend despite his lofty status. In the past five New Hampshire races he has an 8.0 AFP, and he has turned 88.6 percent of his laps inside the Top 15 while leading 151 laps. Kenseth has won once before at NHMS, and he has 25 Top 20 finishes in his 31 career starts while posting only one DNP. Kenseth was sixth in July, and he starts lucky 13th. He could scoot up nicely to pick up valuable Place Differential DFS points.
If you do not like to take a lot of chances, the Busch Bros., Kes, Happy Harvick and Cousin Carl are essential parts of your DFS lineup. So is Jimmie Johnson ($9,600). Surprise. Over the past five races he hasn’t been great at New Hampshire, but over his career he has three wins, a 10.7 AFP and 10 Top 5 finishes in 27 starts. He has led 322 laps, and has been Top 20 in 23 of those starts.
Denny Hamlin ($9,500) won outside of Chicago last week despite the torn ACL, and he is second among all drivers with a 10.7 AFP at New Hampshire in 19 starts, just percentage points behind his old teammate Keselowski. He has 16 Top 20s at the track, and he has never crashed out. He was just 14th in July, but goes off seventh after a solid qualifying effort. The knee looks like it isn’t going to be a problem, so DFS owners can trust him.
Lastly, New England’s Joey Logano ($10,200) is always a threat to win at Loudon. He is among the favorites to win at the stop, and he was the youngest Sprint Cup Series winner when he took checkers in the summer race back in 2009. It was the first of two wins at the track with four Top 5s and six Top 10s in 14 career starts at what could be considered his ‘home track’.
ON THE DOWN LOW
If you’re going to have success this week, you’re going to need your low-priced DFS options to come through. Austin Dillon ($7,200) has been a stud at New Hampshire in his early career, finishing inside the Top 20 in each of his three appearances. While he has never finished higher than eighth, he has also never been lower than 14th. He was eighth in July at NHMS, and he will start 16th on Sunday. Look for Dillon to move up through the field nicely, picking off other drivers for valuable DFS points in the Place Differential category. You can expect Dillon to have plenty of exposure, but you won’t want to be cute and not play him as a result. He is just too good here.
Kyle Larson ($8,200) is another young gun who seems to have solved Loudon early in his career. He has started three times, already recording a runner-up finish with a 12.0 AFP. He had some issues in July with a 31st place finish, but don’t expect that to happen again. He practiced and qualified well, and will go off sixth on Sunday.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne ($7,300) is an intriguing DFS option at this price level. He is working with top-notch machinery, he has shone well in spots at New Hampshire and he goes off 12th on Sunday. He hasn’t been particularly sharp at the track over the past five stops, but overall he has a respectable 17.0 AFP with one career win, three Top 5s and eight Top 10s in 23 career starts. Kahne has 305 laps led under his belt, and could be valuable No. 5 or 6 driver. If you compare him to his fellow drivers at this price level Kahne looks like a steal.
Chase driver Paul Menard ($6,500) continues to get little respectable in DFS, as he has an ultra-low salary which is similar to start-and-park drivers. Take advantage. He has five Top 10s in 28 starts this season, and 21.1 Fantasy Points Per Race. Sure, he has gone off the rails a little lately, but a respectable 17th-place finish at Chicagoland might re-fire things for Menard. He has 17 career starts at NHMS, and he has never led a lap or finished inside the Top 10 there. However, with six career Top 20s and a respectable 20th place starting spot, he could be a DFS surprise.