NASCAR DFS: FireKeepers Casino 400

NASCAR DFS: FireKeepers Casino 400

by August 20, 2021 0 comments

AJ Allmendinger would have the chance to live out his dream of kissing the Bricks at Indy. However, since Allmendinger is a full-time driver in the Xfinity Series, there is still an open playoff spot. Tyler Reddick would hold the 16th and final playoff spot if the regular season were to end today.

The trade-off would be a winless Denny Hamlin losing a chance at a nearly assured victory. The last of two overtime attempts saw Chase Briscoe get bumped into the grass by Hamlin, causing Briscoe to receive a penalty. Briscoe spun out Hamlin as a retaliatory act, which enabled Allmendinger to grab the lead with still two laps remaining. Even though Hamlin lost out on the win, he would lock up a playoff spot.

Hamlin’s spinout was just the tip of the iceberg as there would be countless wrecks in the remaining six laps. Most notably, a broken curb on lap 78 caused several race cars to slam into the tire pack barrier. Among the drivers included Joey LoganoWilliam Byron, and Daniel Suarez.

After a Month Away, NASCAR Returns to the Oval

The last time NASCAR ran on an oval was over a month ago, which seems odd when you think about it. Now, the spotlight is on the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI. When taking a look at track specs for Michigan, it is a two-mile D-shaped oval track. In addition to being one of the widest ovals on the Cup circuit, Michigan is a high-speed track, so expect plenty of quick passing.

Roster construction shifts to drivers with the potential to dominate after two consecutive weekends of road courses. It is one of the longest ovals on the circuit, but it still offers plenty of opportunities for drivers to earn points through fast laps and laps led. The race, which is 400 miles long and takes 200 laps to complete, equates to 140 dominator points on DraftKings. Considering last week’s Brickyard event, that’s an increase of 83 points. Ideally, you should pick two or three drivers as potential lap leaders in Michigan. The previous five Michigan races have been a mixed bag of either a dominant driver or a pair of drivers splitting the laps.

This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Brooklyn, MI. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel (FD) and DraftKings (DK). Best of luck to everyone with their lineups this weekend!

High Salary

Kyle Larson (14,500 FD | 11,500 DK)

A solid fortnight on the road course, in which Larson edged out Chase Elliott at Watkins Glen and then led 28 laps the next week to finish third at the Brickyard, seems to have Larson back in the groove. Three times a Michigan Cup Series winner, he led 139 laps in those races. Two years have passed since he was last here, but his most recent visit resulted in a podium finish. He should lead the majority of laps in the first stage, providing fantasy points in the early going. This season, he is one of the few drivers who have proven difficult to beat when starting from the pole. Larson’s price may seem exorbitant, however, you know what you’re getting.

Joey Logano (10,500 FD | 9,600 DK)

Surely, Logano is looking forward to getting back onto an oval. With Michigan in the crosshairs, he can finally put those recent road course struggles behind him. In his last 15 visits to the track, Logano finished outside of the top-10 twice. Despite his problems on the high downforce intermediate tracks this season, the lengthy consistency he has displayed at Michigan cannot be overstated. Given that he is 19th in the running order on Sunday, the value should be there, assuming he can take advantage of those late restarts. At 2-1 odds, he’s one of the favorites to finish among the top five finishers. As a final note, Coleman Pressley will be Logano’s spotter the rest of the season, starting with Michigan.

Mid-Range

Christopher Bell (9,200 FD | 8,100 DK)

Last weekend, Bell became another unfortunate victim of the late-race calamity. In light of last Sunday’s crash-out, Bell will start 28th. Further, the price tag on DraftKings is a smidge over 8,000, which makes it very appealing. A two-day span of races last season resulted in him finishing 13th and 17th at Michigan. Bell, who was using Leavine Racing equipment at the time, will be better positioned to improve on those performances. In addition, when dealing with late restarts, he could prove valuable. He ranks eighth among the field in green flag passes. Beating out 13 or more drivers to finish in the top 15 is well within his capabilities.

Value Play

Austin Dillon (7,500 FD | 8,000 DK)

Dillon faces an uphill battle, but the Allmendinger victory gives him some hope of making the playoffs. Now sitting 28 points behind Reddick with just two races left in the regular season, it’s all or nothing for him. Due to the wreck last week in which Michael Mcdowell was also involved, Dillon has been given a relatively deep starting position of 26th. Race results for Dillon at Michigan have been mixed, with an average finish of 16.41. However, remember that Dillon wound up eighth last time out after working past 23 cars.


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