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Expert NASCAR Fantasy Picks Today for Pennzoil 400 | DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Advice

Phillip Bennetzen

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After a wild last couple of weeks in the NASCAR world, Sunday has arrived once again and we’re getting ready to wave the checkered flag once again. The field is set for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas with Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson on the front row. Using the NASCAR DFS projections and ownership projections, we’ll break down the best strategy for cash games and double-ups. Let’s dive into some of the best NASCAR fantasy picks today on DraftKings and FanDuel for the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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DraftKings & FanDuel NASCAR Fantasy Picks Today | Pennzoil 400

Kyle Larson, 2nd ($11,300 DraftKings, $14,000 FanDuel)

The reigning champion of this race from 2021 finds himself starting on the outside of the front row, opposite Christopher Bell. Based on his consistency (winning five of the past seven regular-season Cup races), his speed thus far in the three races of the Generation Seven car, and how well he ran at intermediate tracks last season (five victories), Larson is the preferred pay-up option — as far as dominators go. Based on the top short-run speed from Saturday whether looking at single-lap, five-lap or 10-lap averages, Larson should be able to establish a lead out front early and potentially hold it for the majority of the race.

Yes, there are lots of place-differential options on the board, but NASCAR DFS players are going to need a foundational driver who accrues the valuable fastest lap and laps led points. Larson is that driver.

Kevin Harvick, 25th ($9,100 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel)

Another week and another disappointing starting spot for Harvick, this time it wasn’t due to a spin-out during practice or qualifying. In Saturday’s practice session, the No. 4 team couldn’t find any speed — initially ranking as low as 31st in terms of single-lap speed before finally climbing up the chart to 24th. However, as the laps churned off, Harvick was able to find speed late (21st in the 5 lap average, 15th in the 10 lap average, and ninth in the 15 lap average) implying that his car was never going to be blazing fast during practice and is going to need a long run to really show its form. This theory was more or less confirmed during qualifying with the time posted and his starting position.

Thus, once again, Harvick is a premier option for cash games although his ceiling isn’t quite as high as last week at Fontana.

When running lineups in the NASCAR optimizer, Harvick was one showing up as one of the best NASCAR fantasy picks today. See who else is rating out as a great NASCAR DFS pick for cash games in our DraftKings NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet.

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Chris Buescher, 27th ($6,500 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel)

Neither Buescher nor his teammate Brad Keselowski showed anything promising during practice ranking in the lower mid-levels to the rear of each lap category. Although Keselowski was able to squeak out a little more speed during qualifying (15th), Buescher didn’t and finds himself rolling off the grid in 27th. Before finishing 25th at Las Vegas last fall, Buescher had been finishing in the mid-teens with consistency, including back-to-back 14th-place finishes in the past two Pennzoil 400 races. A lack of speed is nothing new for Buescher, who was always able to take lemons and make lemonade at intermediate tracks last year. Expect him to replicate his previous results at Las Vegas and be valuable in cash games but potentially the most-owned driver in the $6,000 range in tournaments.


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Todd Gilliland, 30th ($5,000 DraftKings, $2,500 FanDuel)

Due to all of the high-priced place differential options, DFS players are going to need to save money somewhere and Todd Gilliland is the driver that makes it possible. Gilliland can be deployed in either cash or tournament lineups as a cheap punt who opens up lineups while also possessing a bit of a floor thanks to his starting position. After finishing 20th last week at a track he has never raced at before, with just 15 minutes of practice time the day before, the sky is looking up for Gilliland, who gets to compete at a non-drafting oval that he’s seen plenty of previous times while in the Trucks Series. Although the season is young, it appears Gilliland is taking the Alfredo route of 2021 and playing the race slow and steady not trying to let mental mistakes screw up a good day. While a few peak results like John Hunter Nemechek, when he was in this vehicle, would be appreciated, just picking up double-digit place differential once again should result in a very positive day and perhaps even push him towards being optimal if all of the high-priced place-differential hits.

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Kyle Busch, 38th ($10,200 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel)

After a tire went down, during practice, Busch spun around and drug his entire left side against the wall forcing him to a backup. Starting 38th, Kyle Busch is simply an auto-play in cash games due to the place-differential upside he presents. It’s been more than a decade since Busch has won at his home track in the Cup Series, 2009 to be exact, but with the number of spots he can gain, he just simply needs to move forward to end up being optimal for tournament lineups (check out Chris Pennell’s Best GPP NASCAR Fantasy Picks Today for more on how to win tournaments). Over his past six starts at Las Vegas, Busch has finished in the top five in half of those starts. If he replicates that he’s golden for NASCAR DFS, at the very least, he probably needs just a top 10 finish to be included in optimal lineups.

That all said, in tournaments, there is a definite path to fading Busch and it’s because his backup was originally deemed the parts car for Las Vegas. Turning the car that was supposed to be a spare that parts got picked off of and flipping it into a racing-worthy car is a monumental task. If this were a mid to lower-funded squad, this could be a very risky issue for NASCAR fantasy this week. The hope is that every person at Joe Gibbs Racing is working overnight to get this car ready for racing on Sunday.


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Looking for more NASCAR DFS picks content? We have loads of articles, data, DraftKings and FanDuel cheat sheets and more on the Awesemo NASCAR DFS home page.

Phill Bennetzen is a father, husband, and Catholic as well as a self-professed annoying fitness guy. Phill heads up NASCAR content at Awesemo.com. You can contact Phill by emailing [email protected].

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