If you are looking for an action-packed way to get your sports fix, NASCAR may be a great avenue to explore. Far from just driving in circles, some of the world’s best compete nearly every weekend from February to November on tracks across America. NASCAR drivers are scored ultimately based on how they finish in the race, how many spots they advance from their starting position, and how many laps they finish and lead. Avoiding drivers who crash out of the race is a must, of course!
numberFire is always your home for fantasy NASCAR advice. In addition to this helper, Jim Sannes has you covered with his current form and odds breakdown as well as his track preview to spotlight this week’s venue. For driver picks and a full preview of the event, Jim also discussed this weekend’s race on the latest NASCAR episode of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
It is Kyle Larson’s world, and we are all just living it. The Elk Grove, California native continued his breakout season with a fourth consecutive week in victory lane, although only three were points events. Larson led 264 of 300 laps in his win at Nashville, which is not new given his dominant production in 2021, and Larson is the favorite Saturday at Pocono Raceway. This unique 2.5-mile track has three different corners surrounded by the longest straightaways in NASCAR, which makes it a unique challenge and one where great equipment is crucial.
This weekend has two Cup Series events at Pocono, with the first being the 325-mile challenge on Saturday. Saturday’s starting lineup was set using NASCAR’s qualifying formula that incorporates last week’s finish, fastest lap, and overall owner points. To no one’s surprise, that has placed Kyle Larson on the pole for the Saturday race, and his teammate William Byron will start outside of Row 1.
With that in mind, let’s preview the Pocono Organics CBD 325 on FanDuel.
Kyle Larson ($14,500): Given that Larson has now dominated in both aerodynamic packages at four different track types, he has to be the default option to win any week in NASCAR’s top series at the moment. Pocono should be no different, as the track historically has favored the strongest drivers and teams of that season. Each winner since August 2017 has gone on to make NASCAR’s Championship 4, and Larson headlines the 2021 group at the moment. He has three races this season in which he held a first-place average running position, and he has led 684 more laps in this 550-horsepower package than anyone else has. From the pole position, Larson certainly has a chance to sweep all three stages again and earn his first Pocono victory.
Kyle Busch ($13,000): From the remaining others not named Larson, Kyle Busch’s recent 550-horsepower form is the best in the field at what is one of his strongest tracks historically. Busch has finished inside the top five in four straight points events in the package, including a win at Kansas in May. The configurations at Kansas are very different than Pocono’s, but if the speed is at least transferable, Busch has proven he knows how to get it done at “The Tricky Triangle.” A wreck in the second race last year snapped an eight-race streak of top-10 finishes here, including three wins in that span. Busch — who starts fifth — has also led 202 laps at Pocono since the start of 2018, second only to Kevin Harvick (209).
Others to Consider: Kevin Harvick ($12,000), William Byron ($11,500)
Chase Elliott ($11,000): Elliott complained on the radio of a loose wheel the entire final run at Nashville, and it is easy to see why. He had five total lugnuts missing in post-race inspection, which disqualified his finishing position last weekend and forces him to start 29th on the grid for Saturday. For daily fantasy, that is tremendous news for Saturday, as Elliott is an obvious pairing to teammate Larson in two of the fastest Chevrolets in the field over the past month. Elliott has seven top-10 finishes in the last nine Pocono starts he has made, and from his starting position, he offers big-time place-differential upside.
Ryan Blaney ($10,300): Another driver who had a less-than-stellar day in Nashville was Blaney, as damage before the green flag sent him to the back, where he had to use his brakes heavily before a failure eventually ended his day. He starts 27th as a result, but if Blaney’s prior history at Pocono is any indication, a better weekend should be in store. Blaney’s first career win came at Pocono in June 2017, and he posted a finish of 12th or better in five straight Pocono races before hitting the wall last August in a race in which he led 21 laps. Penske has not had blazing speed in the 550-package this year, but Blaney has a win in this package already this year (Atlanta). He’s a great place-differential play.
Others to Consider: Brad Keselowski ($10,500), Alex Bowman ($9,500)
Chris Buescher ($7,000): Buescher starts 25th after he hit debris last week from a different car’s failure, but that provides him with a great combination of floor and place-differential upside at a track where he has performed well. Like Blaney, Pocono was also the sight of Buescher’s first career win (2016), and he has four top-20 finishes in the past six Pocono races, with the two exceptions being incidents. There are so many quality options like Elliott and Blaney — as well as a dominant high-salary Larson — that Buescher’s salary is awfully appealing. It should make him a chalky pick on Saturday.
Chase Briscoe ($5,000): Historically, a rookie at Pocono has been a total fade, but now that the Truck Series and Xfinity Series run Pocono each year, more drivers enter this weekend with decent Pocono experience. Briscoe got plenty of that in 2020, as he led 24 laps and won the Xfinity Series event last season following a 2019 run at the venue that saw him post a third-place finish. Briscoe and teammate Cole Custer both held a top-15 average running position last weekend in Nashville before brake failures, which is a positive sign for Stewart-Haas Racing’s long-term progress. SHR’s 550-horsepower results have been dismal in 2021, but Briscoe is so affordable that he’s well worth having on your radar.
Others to Consider: Cole Custer ($5,500), Bubba Wallace ($5,000), Ryan Preece ($4,500)
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
Read More: NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Pocono Organics CBD 325