With Daytona coming up I wanted to do a DraftKings NASCAR review for those who are new to daily fantasy NASCAR. I you’re used to playing sports like Football, Basketball and Baseball, then DFS racing will be a little different, but it’s a whole lot of fun and a great way to spend a weekend.
Let’s take a few minutes to walk through the rules of DraftKings NASCAR and then we’ll talk about how to choose drivers so you’ll be on your way to daily fantasy NASCAR success.
How To Play
To play NASCAR on DraftKings, you start with a $50,000 salary cap to choose six drivers. You can choose whatever drivers you want, provided that they fit within your cap space.
Unlike other sports like football or baseball you don’t need to worry about positions, you simply pick the top six drivers that you can fit within your salary cap.
DraftKings NASCAR Scoring
NASCAR scoring is a little different than other sports. Drivers receive points for the number of laps led (0.25 points per lap), fastest laps (0.5 points per fastest lap), place differential (+ or – 1 point), and of course, where they finish.
Finishing Position Scoring
Drivers are awarded points based on their finish with the winner receiving 46 points for first place, all the way down to 40th place, which receives just 4 points.
- 1st Place: 46 pts
- 2nd Place: 42 pts
- 3rd Place: 41 pts
- 4th Place: 40 pts
- You get the idea…
Obviously you’re looking for your drivers to finish as high as possible here, with as many drivers in the top 10 as possible, but their place of finish only accounts for about half of your final scoring so you’ll want to focus on the other scoring aspects as well.
Obviously the number of laps led fastest laps is pretty self explanatory, but let’s take a look at “place differential” for those new to daily fantasy NASCAR.
When the race starts each driver is assigned a position based on how they qualified for the race. Place differential is simply the difference in where the driver finishes compared to where they start.
For example, a driver who starts in the 20th position but finishes 2nd will receive 18 points. Unfortunately the opposite is true and a driver who starts 2nd and finishes 20th would lose 18 points instead.
For this reason it’s important to scan the back of the field at the start of the race to see if there are any drivers who could make a big move toward the front. This is a great way to rack up points throughout the race.
Choosing Drivers – DraftKings NASCAR
In an ideal world it would be great to just put together a DraftKings team of Keselowski, Elliott, Harvick, Truex, Busch and Johnson but that pesky salary cap won’t allow it so we need to have a little strategy when choosing our NASCAR drivers.
While there’s no one strategy that will work for every driver or every track, here are a few guidelines that I like to use.
- Historical results. Certain drivers do well at some tracks and do poorly at others. Finding a driver with a great history at a specific track is a great place to start – especially drivers who aren’t ‘brand names’ and may come at a reduced salary.
- Practice Time. Pay attention to how the drivers do during the practice times leading up to the race. Drivers that have a great week of practice can be an indication that a driver has figured something out, either with their car or the track.
- Place Differential. As we discussed in the DraftKings NASCAR scoring section, place differential is a great way to rack up some points on the cheap. In particular I like to look for drivers with a good history, but are starting late for whatever reason. While you likely won’t get as many laps led from this driver, their track record indicates they should be able to move up in the field and gain you a lot of points.
- Low Ownership. If you know a driver has a great history at this week’s track then the odds are everyone else does too, so it’s important to consider which drivers will be more popular than others. This is important because if a driver is owned by the majority of the field, you’re not going to make up much ground no matter how well they do. Consider a driver who might be slightly less owned if there is an obvious favorite.