The field is set for Sunday evening’s race at Texas Motor Speedway with Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch on the front row. Let’s delve into the top NASCAR DFS picks on DraftKings and FanDuel for the annual All-Star Race.
NASCAR All-Star Race DFS Picks | DraftKings & FanDuel
NASCAR DFS Strategy
Before considering the individual merits of these drivers, DFS players need to come fully armed with a strategy for this unique slate. Unlike the Shootout at the Daytona Road Course which was just an abbreviated exhibition race, the All-Star Race has its own unique set of guidelines. These rules were addressed in this week’s preview, a recommended read this week. Bob Pockrass, of Fox Sports, went amazingly in-depth to explain this carnival ride.
So what should lineups look like when the field is getting reset multiple times in what could easily become a 40-lap pack race? It means two scoring metrics become paramount; place differential and finishing position. As drivers get shuffled and go from the front to the rear, and vice versa, the only variables that will remain constant will be how many positions they pick up from start to finish and points awarded for that finish. The fastest laps could get randomly dispersed if the tapered spacer produces pack racing. Laps-led points could be shared by several drivers with the field resets.
:ineups should look a bit like a superspeedway this week but not fully embracing “stack in the back.”
Ryan Newman explains the difference between having 550 horsepower to having 510 horsepower as they will for the All-Star Race Sunday at Texas. Traction compound is expected to be the same as last year. pic.twitter.com/2sMCexfAFV
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 8, 2021
DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Picks
Kyle Larson, 1st ($13,500 FanDuel, $10,200 DraftKings)
Kyle Busch, 2nd ($12,000 FanDuel, $8,200 DraftKings)
In a slate with just 21 drivers on DraftKings, 17 on FanDuel, DFS players will have to make courageous stands to find differentiation. Getting off the entire front row, on either site, could be all that’s needed to get different. If line movement on DraftKings Sportsbook is any indication of where the general DFS player is headed, then Kyle Larson should be one of the higher-owned players. After opening at +480 on Monday, Larson’s number now sits at +350. This number suggests the public doesn’t have a clue how this race is going to go including the average DFS player. For what it’s worth, Kyle Busch sits third in odds at +800.
Besides fading Larson and Busch for the sake of ownership, as people will play them for their dominator appeal, fade consideration has to be given from a game theory concept too. Sure, Larson or Busch could easily lead the first segment. However, that will only be 15 laps. When the second segment sees the field get reset via random draw, who knows where either driver will restart. Even if Larson or Busch races back near the front, the third segment will shuffle the field via inversion and could send them to the rear once more.
The main point being, starting out front only guarantees these two an early shot at dominator points for the first segment. After that, it’s going to be up in the air as to when they make it back up front and actually lead.
William Byron, 8th ($10,000 FanDuel, $8,000 DraftKings)
Byron may be starting a bit too far forward for those looking at this race like a plate race. He has far more spots to lose than he can gain. On the other hand, Byron checks off other aspects for DFS this week besides place differential. At intermediate tracks in 2021, Byron has been a consistent top-10 driver with his average finishing position and running position both sitting at sixth place. Thus, if this 510 horsepower engine inevitably races like the low horsepower package, Byron is still a top-tier driver with winning and lap-leading upside.
Still though, if this becomes a mini-Talladega, Byron can still be in contention. As the winner of last year’s Daytona night race in August, a race that tends to lean on chaos, it’s a good indicator of his potential performance in possible pack racing.
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Ryan Newman, 14th ($4,000 FanDuel, $6,200 DraftKings)
Writing up Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin is too easy and chalky. Hopefully, everyone understands those two drivers should be in the majority of player pools. However, as DFS players move up the starting grid the less inclined they will be to play certain drivers. Especially, a driver lacking theoretical upside like Ryan Newman who is here because of something that went down in 2002. Yet, Newman offers place nearly as much place differential as Blaney and Hamlin.
Furthermore, if this race becomes a “mini-Daytona” as Newman mentioned in the interview above, what better driver to play than Newman who continues to display a knack for navigating through chaos in superspeedway races? If Newman can manage to get out front in the 30-lap segment, he could potentially block his way to a win.
The Three Open Winners and Fan Vote Winner on DraftKings
On FanDuel, just go ahead and lock in lineups. The four drivers that advance from the Open will not be making their way into the player pool. However, on DraftKings, the three Open winners and winner of the fan vote will be considered part of the player pool. Regardless of who these drivers are, they have to be part of player pools and near locks in cash games. They will all possess the safest fantasy floors as well as ceilings thanks to their starting positions.
If playing these assumedly chalky drivers is of concern – relax. Year after year shows that typical DFS players are not keeping up with the results of The Open. Most don’t even know The Open exists. Thus, when they see a red Q next to a driver’s name, like Tyler Reddick, they just assume the driver missed the race and DraftKings just hasn’t removed them.
Watch The Open, keep up with the four drivers who advance to the NASCAR All-Star Race, and add them to DFS rosters.