The field is set for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. on the front row. With some help from the Awesemo expert NASCAR DFS projections, let’s dive into the top NASCAR DFS picks on DraftKings and FanDuel for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.
Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 NASCAR DFS Picks
By the way, every individual driver and their classification as a dominator, cash, and or tournament player are now highlighted better in the Race Sheets.
Kyle Busch, 1st ($10,900 DraftKings, $12,500 FanDuel)
Busch is the ultimate question of form versus history this week among drivers up top. On one hand, even with Busch’s 38th-place finish last year after a cut tire sent Busch into the wall, he is still averaging 32.7 fastest laps and 51.3 laps led at New Hampshire since 2018. The bulk of those numbers coming from the 2019 race, for whatever it is worth. However, in the 750-horsepower package this season, his average finish sits at 14th with just 10 fastest laps and 3.3 laps led per event. So, what gives, form or history?
If considering form, it is hard not to just smash Kyle Busch, especially as the pole sitter. However, the bulk of all recent numbers have come in road courses and races utilizing the 550-horsepower package. The 2021 version of Kyle Busch in the high-horsepower package has been good but not elite or even great. Especially, when one highlights the lone short and flat venues that the Cup Series has raced at. In all, this makes Kyle Busch a tournament-only play as a risky dominator option.
Martin Truex Jr., 2nd ($9,100 DraftKings, $13,500 FanDuel)
In this week’s preview, the corollaries of Phoenix and Richmond were touched upon as the best races to compare to Phoenix. The binding tie from both of those previous races was Martin Truex Jr. At Phoenix, Truex came on strong late in the event winning after leading 64 laps with 52 fastest laps. A month later at Richmond, Truex started on the pole and led the second-most laps again (107) while knocking down 74 fastest laps.
Earlier this season, it was announced by crew chief James Small that the focus of the 2021 season was the high-horsepower package, namely Phoenix since that is where the championship would be decided. Thus, the performance at Phoenix makes sense, and with Richmond being a close comp to Phoenix, Truex’s numbers at Richmond are not arbitrary either. So, in this line of correlation, Truex succeeding at a track with elements of Phoenix and Richmond fits the bill.
Regardless, New Hampshire is a track that Truex has previous success at. Over the past eight races at Loudon, Truex only has one finish outside of the top 10, including five straight top-six results. The last time Truex started on the front row (2018), he led 83 laps before finishing fourth. Truex may be popular but hopefully, his last two finishes in the 750-horsepower package (19th at Dover, 22nd at Nashville) keep DFS players from making Truex one of the highest-owned drivers.
Joey Logano, 15th ($9,500 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel)
For Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski, the bulk of 2021 has been to play one in a certain package then fade the other. It is almost as if their respective crew chiefs agreed that one should be strong in one package while the other should be better in another package. Thus far, this crazy theory has played out as Keselowski has been better in the 550-horsepower package and stinking it up in the higher horsepower setup. On the flip side, Logano’s results have been subpar in the low-horsepower package but better in the 750-horsepower setup.
At the flatter venues, utilizing the high horsepower setup, Logano finished second at Phoenix, 6th at Martinsville, and third at Richmond. In those races, his laps led totals went 143-6-49. Expectations for Logano should oddly mirror that of Truex, for him to pick back up in a setup he has done well in for 2021 at a track he has had similar results at — nine out of his last 10 races were top-11 finishes including fourth last year.
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William Byron, 16th ($10,600 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel)
There may be buyer’s remorse with Byron after last weekend’s letdown that saw him race his way into the top 10 only to lose place differential by the end of his evening in Atlanta. However, there was a valid reason to be concerned with Byron’s ceiling, especially in light of the splits at high-tire wear races that Nick Giffen brought to attention on Sunday morning. Managing tire-wear is a skill, perhaps one that Byron is still trying to grasp at Atlanta.
New Hampshire is a great opportunity to jump back on the Byron bandwagon. Besides this place differential, in a week where viable options are few and far between, Byron also offers top-five upside. In four of the six races using the high-horsepower package, Byron has finished in the top five, and his worst finish was eighth at Phoenix. On DraftKings playing Byron in cash is in lieu of a second dominator unless projecting him to be a lap leader.
Ross Chastain, 20th ($7,000 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel)
If DFS players are worried about rostering Chastain due to what happened last week at Atlanta, that is assuming Chastain races his way up to Kyle Busch or vice versa. Chances are better Busch punts Chastain at a track like Daytona or Watkins Glen where “accidents do happen.”
Nonetheless, Chastain has been doing quite the opposite of what he “should” be doing in the high-horsepower package. Generally the mid-tier to lower-tier teams excel in the 550-horsepower package while they struggle in the high horsepower setup. Chastain, meanwhile, has done better in the package running this weekend. It is even more pronounced with the road courses are using the 750-horsepower package. For this season, Chastain has no finish outside of the top 20 in this weekend’s package and they have steadily been improving with each race.
Admittedly, there does not appear to be a ton of place differential to milk here. On the other hand, the appeal of Chastain will be his ability to hang on to the lead lap and potentially outscore everyone priced around him who could get lapped and stuck in the mid-20s and beyond.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 29th ($7,100 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel)
Daniel Suarez, 31st ($8,900 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel)
Across DraftKings, Stenhouse offers the best combination of floor and ceiling for cash games at his price. Starting way back in the upper 20s, Stenhouse should be a safe bet for another top-20 finish mimicking what he has done in the 750-horsepower package all season.
On FanDuel, either Stenhouse or Suarez become a great “last driver in” option as they are similarly priced with identical floors for cash. However, based on Suarez’s finishes in the high-horsepower package, he does possess a slightly higher ceiling evidenced by his back-to-back top-10 finishes. His three finishes below 20th also suggest a driver with a lower floor.
That said, FanDuel is the only site DFS players should want exposure to Suarez on. Much like betters shop around for prices in the betting market, Suarez and his $8,900 salary are a scenario that has made it nearly impossible for him to make value on DraftKings. At this salary, combined with typical roster construction, one will have to force Suarez in as a priority play, on DraftKings, to get him in lineups. Yet do not be tempted by the allure of a low-owned driver with seemingly endless place differential. Since Suarez’s rookie campaign he has failed to finish any better than 19th here, and that was in the 41 for SHR.
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