NASCAR DFS: Pocono Organics CBD 325by Dale Money June 25, 2021 0 comments
The hits keep coming for Kyle Larson, as he picked up his third straight Cup Series victory last Sunday at Nashville. Larson didn’t waste much time inhaling the first four drivers after qualifying as deep as fifth. After 300 laps, he led 264 of them. Possibly even more impressive than Larson’s third straight series win was the performance of Ross Chastain. With a late-race pit strategy decision (which proved worthwhile in the end), Chastain’s crew chief Phil Surgen propelled his driver to the top of the field. This latest showing broke a previous record for best career race finish, set earlier this season.
The Stewart-Haas duo Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick supplied the muscle for Ford. Although Almirola started on pole, I doubt many observers expected him to hold his own among the first few drivers. Almirola, to his credit, managed to keep a stiff upper lip and finished fourth. And Harvick, one of the best oval-track drivers in the cup series, finished fifth in the sharp-looking Grave Digger scheme.
We now leave behind Nashville and head 12 hours east to Pocono Township, PA. Most of the year, the Pocono Mountains are known more as a getaway destination, but that changes once NASCAR rolls into town. Looking at the track specs for Pocono Raceway, it is a 2.5-mile asphalt track. The track layout, which consists of three turns with different measurements, has been called “the Tricky Triangle” for that reason.
In a repeat of last year, the NASCAR Cup Series will again host back-to-back races at Pocono. Pocono Organics CBD 325 will kick off the weekend on Saturday, and the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 will wrap it on Sunday. Due to this doubleheader, DFS players have the chance to walk away with significantly fatter wallets.
Pocono Raceway is not an ideal track for dominators because of its length. On Saturday, for example, there will be 130 laps, which equates to 32.5 laps led and 58.5 fastest lap points. This weekend, we go from securing numerous dominators and focusing more on drivers that will need to move up in the field. Of course, you can include a single dominator to fill out the roster. However, most of your points will need to come mainly from place differential and high finishing position.
This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Saturday’s Cup Series event in Long Pond, PA. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel and DraftKings. Best of luck to everyone with their lineups this weekend.
Kyle Larson (14,500 FD | 12,500 DK)
Larson has been dangerous on most of the tracks we’ve visited this year, and I don’t expect much to change at Pocono (his most recent trip here resulted in a fifth-place finish). Although this is not a track for loading up on dominators, there are still 90 plus points to be won through laps led and fastest laps. It will be Larson’s turn to again start from the catbird seat after missing out on the Busch pole last Sunday. In the last handful of weeks, we have seen that once Larson gains a foothold on a lead, he becomes nearly impenetrable. Currently, he holds a monopoly on the cup series. The best thing to do is to continue riding the hot hand for now.
Denny Hamlin (13,500 FD | 9,700 DK)
It was a hot start for Hamlin, as he recorded eight top-five finishes in nine attempts. Things have cooled off since then, however. Pocono used to offer Hamlin mixed results, but everything changed abruptly two seasons ago. In addition to winning two of the last three Pocono races, he has also finished no worse than second. As you can see, he’s been totally in tune. If Hamlin can deliver more of the Pocono magic, qualifying 10th won’t be too bad. Hamlin will have a tough time challenging Larson for laps led, but if he can chip away at that front cluster of drivers and makeup ground into a top-three position, then he will be a tremendous asset to your team.
William Byron (11,500 FD | 9,000 DK)
While Larson continues to lead the way for Hendricks, Byron quietly carries on with his business, achieving competitive results week in and week out. In the eleven races since Bristol, he has finished outside of the top nine only twice. His third-place finish last weekend was all the more impressive, given that he would start from the back. Having qualified on that front row for Sunday, Byron must finish the race among the top four to maintain a lot of his value. The fastest laps that Byron should secure will gain him plenty of secondary points.
Erik Jones (6,500 FD | 6,400 DK)
Pocono could provide Jones with the boost he needs to push through these next six regular-season races. Even when Jones has struggled during a season, he has been able to finish strong at this track. Think of the fact that he has reached the podium four times in eight attempts. Regardless of which organization he has raced with, it hasn’t stopped him from succeeding here in the past. So I don’t expect the switch over to Petty to hinder him that much. Jones sits deep enough in the qualifying order that it provides good value if he can capitalize.
Chris Buescher (7,000 FD | 8,000 DK)
After only two years as a cup regular with Roush Fenway, Buescher has surpassed expectations. Despite only competing in 17 races, Buescher has already broken his record for most laps led in a season. In addition to a 16.5 average finish (the best of his career so far), he earned a qualifying position of 25th for Saturday, so he could rack up numerous positions. Buescher has a special relationship with Pocono. It was here where he won his only cup race as a rookie. While I don’t see him equaling that feat on Saturday, a finish among those top 14 drivers is a reasonable assumption. Buescher’s price has increased on DraftKings and FanDuel, but he remains affordable.
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