NASCAR DFS: Coke Zero Sugar 400


For the second year in a row, the Cup Series will finish off the regular season at Daytona International Speedway. As the regular season concludes, RCR teammates Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon are vying for the final playoff spot. There are, however, still another 13 drivers hoping to get in through the back door. Over the past couple of seasons, Matt Dibenedetto and Chris Buescher each narrowly missed winning at Daytona. If either driver wins this Sunday’s race, they will qualify for the final spot.

One of the unique things about Daytona is that any driver has a legitimate chance at coming out the winner. Michael McDowell took advantage of a Daytona 500 opportunity to win his first-ever cup series race in February. Daytona is one of the few tracks outside of a road course where it makes sense to build around drivers who start deep in the field. Of course, you can include a single dominator to fill out the roster. You will get the majority of your points from placing differential and high finishing position, however.

This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Daytona, FL. 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

Joey Logano (14,000 FD | 10,600 DK)

Logano is regarded as one of the top plate racers in the Cup Series, usually getting his car up into a position where he can challenge late in the event. Logano was on the verge of possibly stealing the Daytona 500 win from teammate Brad Keselowski until a hard shove in the back from McDowell ruined everything. He gave Reddick some leeway last weekend, and it cost him a top-five finish. At Daytona, don’t expect him to play the same passive game. In light of Logano’s crash last weekend, he will start 22nd, making him a great place differential value. Logano could also challenge for multiple dominator points at some point in the event. Over the last four Daytona races, he has led at least 26 laps on three of those occasions.

Denny Hamlin (13,500 FD | 9,400 DK)

In choosing a Daytona driver from those top half dozen qualifiers, you’re always taking a risk. Even so, Hamlin is one of a small number of dominators you can usually rely on at this track. He’s accumulated a total of 10 top-six or better finishes during his last 15 visits. Starting on that second row, he should challenge pole sitter Larson early. When it comes to green-white checkered restarts, however, draft support from the Toyota’s will be crucial. With only one race remaining before the playoffs begin, Hamlin still has a lot at stake. In the chase for the regular-season championship, he trails Kyle Larson by 28 points.


Ross Chastain (9,800 FD | 8,200 DK)

Following three seasons of bouncing around with average teams, he was finally able to secure a suitable ride in the offseason with Chip Ganassi. In his season debut at the Daytona 500, Chastain rewarded his new team with a career-best finish of seventh. Despite his top 10 finish at the Daytona 500 with Premium Motorsports in 2018, the equipment was clearly never on the same level. Depending on how well he works with his draft partners, Chastain could score 50 points or more with a top-12 result. On an unforgiving track like Daytona, that’s not bad. The chance to crack the final playoff spot is still there for him, but he’ll need a victory to do it.

Value Play

Justin Haley (2,500 FD | 5,500 DK)

Since joining the Xfinity series, Haley has had notable success at Daytona. Before suffering a stinker in the February race that saw him finish 29th, he had just completed a string of three top-six runs there. Additionally, this was where he earned his first ever cup victory. Kaulig Racing continues to supply his stock cars, the same team that A.J. Allmendinger recently won his first cup race with at the Brickyard. Hence, Haley should have adequate equipment to at least compete among the top 20. He starts in 28th place, so even if he happens to falter, there’s some cushion. With a cap hit of just 2,500 on FanDuel, you don’t have a whole lot to lose. You will have ample cap space for further adjustments if you choose him as your bookend starter, along with a dirt-cheap option like McDowell.

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