FanDuel is finally offering DFS games in Fantasy NASCAR. The idea of DFS NASCAR games were once considered too close to resembling sports betting due to the lower amount of statistics to construct a DFS game when compared to other sports. That stance was mentioned by former CEO Nigel Eccles to RotoGrinders in 2015. Plus, there was always the question of the races being single events. The legal landscape of DFS always seems to be changing, though, and now Fanduel is in the mix for Monster Energy Cup series offerings two years after DraftKings entered the NASCAR space.
FANDUEL’S SCORING SYSTEM AND MAXIMIZE POINTS FOR EACH CATEGORY
The scoring system for FanDuel consists of four categories. First, there are points awarded for finishing position which starts at 43 points for a driver who finishes first, 40 points for second, 38 points for third, and decreases by one point for each position until 40th place. To maximize scoring points for finishing position, I usually try to aim for drivers that have shown better speeds than most throughout practices and start towards the front of the pack, especially in the case of tracks like Martinsville and Bristol, where it is hard for drivers to gain positions. For other tracks like Talladega or Daytona, where the chance of drivers wrecking is high, I pick drivers that will make it to the end and survive the race. This particular category is shared with DraftKings, with the difference being that each position other than second place is worth three points less, which ultimately makes the strategy for maximizing points quite similar between the two sites. The second place difference is 42 on DK and 40 on FD, rewarding you more overall for the runner-up spot.
Next, a 10th of a point is awarded for every lap a driver in your lineup is able to lead in a race. To score the most points from leading laps, I would refer to practice speeds to see who the fastest drivers are, since practice provides a strong indication of who is fastest compared to the rest of the field, especially in the final session. Apart from looking at the drivers with the fastest laps, I also glance at the list of drivers who have the best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages. The 10 Consecutive Lap Averages provide a glimpse of who would be best during a a longer green flag run in a race, which are normal occurrences for 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks such as Kentucky, Charlotte, and Texas. Drivers who are fast during long green flag runs will always advance to the front where they can lead laps, with the exceptions of Superspeedway tracks. Superspeedways are known for pack racing and drafting, which makes the speeds between drivers nearly equalized.
Another apparent thing I keep in mind when picking drivers to lead laps is starting position, as drivers who start towards the front are usually both among the fastest throughout practices and can lead laps from the beginning. DraftKings has this scoring category as well, but is different in how a quarter of a point is scored for each lap led instead of a 10th of a point on FD. Leading laps should not be the top focus when creating FanDuel lineups, especially in races where there are lower lap counts, but it is something to plan for, as it can mean the difference between placing first and placing outside of the Top 50 in a tournament.
There is half a point added and half a point subtracted for each driver’s Place Differential on FD. DraftKings uses a full point for place differential results, but it can still be a big difference-maker on FD, as it is weighted the highest of the non-finishing categories. I would choose drivers who have looked faster throughout practices compared to those who start ahead of them as my initial strategy. This is because most of the time, when drivers have qualified well only to look mediocre throughout practices, they lose positions in the race, as they can’t maintain the speeds they set in qualifying. There are certain cases in which focusing on PD will pay off even more than finishing position or leading laps. An example of this would be if a driver with good equipment like Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick fails to make a qualifying lap and starts from the rear. In that case, I would start them without question because the potential upside that is offered is worth as much, if not more than a driver maintaining a finishing position in the Top 5. I always want to look for the best opportunities to gain upside with my lineups, so I always look for situations where drivers fail to qualify, or if a driver does not set a good lap during qualifying but has shown through pre-race events that they are going to move up through the field.
Finally, drivers pick up a 10th of a point for completing each lap in a race. This is a scoring category that is unique to FanDuel. Maximizing the amount of points in this category is all about avoiding the drivers of the absolute lowest salary except at Superspeedways. Most of the drivers with the lowest salaries are the slowest drivers in the field that are lapped many times in a race or have a tendency to start and park their cars. The exception at Superspeedways is because of how pack racing and drafting makes the speeds of all drivers identical and with wrecks being common, any driver can lose points from failing to complete all laps at that track type.
This scoring category makes no difference in strategy at Daytona or Talladega. FanDuel forces you, though, to think of drivers that will finish on the lead lap in order to take advantage of scoring points from this category at all non-Superspeedway tracks. Overall, the scoring system for FanDuel is similar to DraftKings but with lowered point values, except for this one new category.
DIFFERENCES IN LINEUP CONSTRUCTION AND HOW IT AFFECTS STRATEGIES
Although the scoring system is similar, where there are further differences between FanDuel and DraftKings are in crafting the lineups themselves. Each FanDuel NASCAR lineup is based on a salary cap like DraftKings, but the number of drivers allowed for a FanDuel lineup is five instead of six like DraftKings. This makes the game a little easier for newer players, since there are less drivers to focus on when constructing a lineup. The creation of lineups for FanDuel is the same as DraftKings before it changed to a six-driver lineup format. When DraftKings had a five-driver lineup format, I always focused on finding the dominator, a PD focused driver or two, and two drivers that would finish around their starting positions.
FANDUEL’S GAME TYPES
FanDuel offers a variety of game types, but they are all pretty similar to DraftKings. Tournaments have the biggest amount of competitors and just like DraftKings, it pays to create contrarian lineups with tournament plays. By going contrarian you can easily increase your chances of placing well, especially in cases where drivers have issues with their car or wrecks occur.
Multipliers, 50/50s, Beat the Score, Head to Head, and 3-100 Player contests are cash games. There are less players participating in these contests and there are more chances of earning money from these contests as they are focused on building bankroll. A good amount of these contests offer the same amount of winnings to all of the players who place high enough to earn money so it is not worth going with contrarian lineups.