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Camping World 500 at Phoenix: DraftKings DFS NASCAR Picks, Strategies, Cheat Sheet

NASCAR heads into the desert for round number four of the 2017 season. Phoenix is one of the most unique tracks on the schedule, giving us a welcomed break from intermediate racing. Phoenix races like a speedway and a short track at the same time — providing teams with a challenge to setup for. Let’s get you ready for your NASCAR weekend on DraftKings.

Lately, this has been Kevin Harvick’s house. He’s won the Phoenix Spring race three years in a row, but struggled here in the fall. Can he get back on track for the race on Sunday? We’ll see, but we’ve got some new players here who could crash Harvick’s party.

The Cheat Sheet

Rank#DriverStartQ-DiffAv. Prac. SpeedProj CeilingDFS Pos ScoringSalaryTotal PointsPP1K
122Joey Logano10614610500111.62510.630952380952
218Kyle Busch9653411010090.758.9851485148515
34Kevin Harvick23181253911100575.1351351351351
420Matt Kenseth12710539880056.93756.4701704545455
578Martin Truex Jr161155399400505.3191489361702
648Jimmie Johnson14995399000485.3333333333333
711Denny Hamlin1991210349200434.6739130434783
814Clint Bowyer136127378000435.375
931Ryan Newman22101612328200425.1219512195122
102Brad Keselowski61753910300403.8834951456311
1142Kyle Larson4-175399100384.1758241758242
125Kasey Kahne10298368100384.6913580246914
1324Chase Elliott7057379700373.8144329896907
1488Dale Earnhardt Jr.3-47737850036.754.3235294117647
1519Daniel Suarez2791918267200354.8611111111111
1641Kurt Busch11-11912328700313.5632183908046
1817Ricky Stenhouse Jr2131918266700294.3283582089552
171Jamie McMurray5-5910347400293.9189189189189
1921Ryan Blaney2-7109358000283.5
2077Erik Jones8-41112327500283.7333333333333
2143Aric Almirola2852623217000263.7142857142857
2210Danica Patrick2642222226400264.0625
2437Chris Buescher3372826185900254.2372881355932
2534Landon Cassill2952524205600254.4642857142857
2395Michael McDowell2532522226300253.968253968254
276Trevor Bayne2422222226100243.9344262295082
2647AJ Allmendinger2002220246900243.4782608695652
2813Ty Dillon15-32218266500233.5384615384615
2927Paul Menard18-22220246800223.2352941176471
3038David Ragan3462828165800223.7931034482759
313Austin Dillon17-32520248200212.5609756097561
3215Reed Sorenson3553230144800193.9583333333333
3332Matt Dibenedetto3022828165400183.3333333333333
3523Gray Gaulding3643232124500163.5555555555556
3472Cole Whitt3223430145100163.1372549019608
3683Corey Lajoie3113530145000153
3733Jeffrey Earnhardt3843534104900142.8571428571429
3855Derrick Cope372383594700112.3404255319149
3951Timmy Hill39039395520050.96153846153846

The Play of the Week

Joey Logano is the most obvious answer here, starting from the pole. Logano picked up his first career win at Phoenix last year, despite not having the best car. He ran in the top five last fall all day and was able to capitalize when Alex Bowman and Matt Kenseth has issues. Logano should be able to lead the first segment and more. DraftKings rewards you for laps led and fast laps and Joey should dominate both categories early on. I’m expecting him to hang around the top five for most of the day, racking up more dominator points in the process.

Potential Leaders

I’ve already mentioned Joey Logano as the primary leader, here are the best of the rest.

Kyle Busch led the 5, 10, 15 and 20 lap averages in final practice. You get a nice little bonus with Kyle coming from 9th, too. I would expect the No. 18 to be up front pretty quickly, dueling potentially with Joey Logano…. which could get interesting. Treat Busch like a leader when building. I think you can play him with Logano and potentially rack up a huge portion of the laps led on Sunday. Busch also offers a nice fade off of Truex, who should be highly owned.

Matt Kenseth was great here in the fall and showed nice long run speed once again in final practice. Similar to Busch, he’s coming from 12th meaning you should get some place differential upside here. I don’t know if he can challenge Joey or Kyle, but he may be the third best car in the field.

Back to Fronts

Kevin Harvick – Harvick is an obvious play this week coming from 23rd at his best track on the circuit. He’s won this particular event three times in a row, to give you an idea of how dominant he’s been. Now we get the added cushion and upside of a 23rd place starting position.

However, Harvick wasn’t thrilled with his speed on Saturday during final practice. He knows the feel he needs to win races and he clearly didn’t have it on Saturday. Can Rodney Childers and the boys get him fixed up before tomorrow? Probably. I’d recommend around 50 percent ownership for Harvick, considering his price.

Martin Truex Jr. should be one of your most heavily owned drivers on Sunday. Starting from 16th, Truex has plenty of upside. He can win at any track and he’s proven he has the speed to do so. Phoenix typically isn’t kind to Truex, but I see no reason why he can’t bring home a solid top ten and challenge for more. Truex was the fastest of the cars that turned in a ten lap average during the Saturday morning practice session.

Ryan Newman should be a nice little mid-tier play this week. I’m not expecting Newman to set the world on fire by any means, but Newman should be able to run in that 15th range for most of the day. Starting from 22nd, Newman is one of the safer plays of the day.

Michael McDowell shouldn’t be forgotten about starting 25th. He’s proven that he can run in the teens, no matter what the track. McDowell looked somewhat competitive on the stopwatch during Saturday practices and should be able to hang around on the edge of the top 20 for much of the day.

Daniel Suarez is struggling — no doubt about it. Be careful here, but coming from 27th there’s a lot of potential here. We know how good the car is, but it’s up to Suarez to put it all together. He’s a really cheap option this week for a reason, but I think you at least need some exposure to him for tournament play.

Aric Almirola proved me wrong last week. He’s one that routinely qualifies outside of the top 25 and is always in this category. The problem is that sometimes he doesn’t have the speed to advance. Tread lightly here, but you definitely need some Almirola in some lineups for Sunday. The upside is too much to pass up starting 28th.

Chris Buescher is another rookie who is stuggling. To be blunt — his equipment doesn’t look up to par yet. They have shown zero speed. Add Buescher to the “tread lightly” group, but coming from 33rd he’s worth at least a couple of shots. This team has RCR support, so in theory they can’t stay this bad for long.

Drivers I’m Staying Away From

Ryan Blaney just starts too high. 2nd place offers little upside with a very fast Joey Logano sitting in front of him. I don’t think he can pass Joey — and he’ll have plenty of hungry hounds behind him gunning for his spot. I’d expect a decent top ten out of Blaney, but you don’t need that on your roster.

Austin Dillon looks like a pretty good play coming from 17th, but he has really struggled this weekend. The No. 3 just doesn’t have any speed. I don’t mind a few tournament lineups with Dillon, but I’m not expecting much from him.

Trevor Bayne just doesn’t look appealing on the speed charts. A 24th starting position looks enticing, but I’m not sure I can trust Bayne with what he’s shown us in practices.

Jamie McMurray continues to qualify nicely. This week he starts 5th, but I’m not sure he can stay there. I’m expecting about a 10th place run, which should take him out of consideration.

Others to Consider

Jimmie Johnson is a bit of a lightning rod play. He hasn’t run up front yet this year, but he looked good in final practice, posting the second fastest 20 lap average.

Kasey Kahne starts 10th with limited upside, but I think he’s got a chance to hang around in that 7-10 range all day. He could be an off the wall play that wins you a tournament.

Denny Hamlin will have to start from the rear, but he’ll be scored from 19th. I don’t think you should be afraid of this. Hamlin always succeeds on the shorter, flat tracks. I’d expect a top ten out of Hamlin.

 

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