Coke 600 DFS Gems

·7 min read

Longtime readers know that we rely heavily on drivers’ records on the current track and track type. The parity NASCAR has achieved in 2021 makes that incredibly difficult, however. It’s not just the 11 different drivers who have won, but also that 29 drivers have scored top-10s this year and 22 of them have top-fives.

It seems that on any given Sunday, almost any driver is capable of recording a strong finish. That is what NASCAR has worked diligently toward for fans of a Ryan Preece, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., or Michael McDowell – to name a few of those between 16th and 35th in the standings.

There are a handful of teams that are less than competitive and working toward building a program for the future, but they are easy to identify and avoid. In previous seasons, the most difficult part of Daily Fantasy was to find the driver who would would earn maximum points and fill in with solid picks that would earn modest points.

The focus is shifting and without the right dark horses on your roster, it’s hard to win with a six-driver lineup.

Group A: Most Expensive (>=$10,000)

Kyle Larson ($11,300)
Larson is certainly expensive and whether he fits on your lineup will depend on how you are able to budget in the lower cap tiers. He is this year’s "cookie-cutter" king with the most points earned in the last three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway. He earned the fourth most at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It’s tough to add him, however, because his position in your roster means you have only $7,740 to spend on each of the remaining five drivers, but he’s hard to ignore if you’re building a top heavy roster.

Kyle Busch ($10,200)
Last week at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Busch showed how strong he can be when NASCAR runs practice and qualification. This week they will have one practice Friday night and qualification on Saturday, which should play into his favor. Busch has not yet earned maximum points in the DraftKings game and he has only had top-three points on three occasions. One of these was at Kansas in the most recent race on this track type when he became one of the 11 unique winners.

Group B: (Between $9,900 and $8,000)

Tyler Reddick ($8,200)
Reddick has outperformed his salary cap in six of the last seven races. Only one of those was on a 1.5-mile track, but his Buschy McBusch 400 performance was one of his best points’ days this season with the eighth-most 46.4. He was a lot cheaper in that event with a salary cap of $6,900, but there were also some concerns about how consistent he would be. With six top-10s and a 12th in his last eight races, that concern is gone. Reddick also earned the second-most points (75.5) at Homestead with a cap of $8,500.

Alex Bowman ($9,400)
William Byron ($9,200)
Hendrick Motorsports is arguably the best organization on the track right now. They seem to lack a little bit of consistency, but that is a factor of the parity achieved by NASCAR and it has actually affected them less than the other marquee teams. Byron has a perfect record of top-10s on 1.5-milers while Bowman has only two, but both drivers will contend for top-fives throughout the evening this Sunday.

Group C: (Between $7,900 and $6,500)

Ross Chastain ($6,900)
A couple of top-10s will come from this level at Charlotte. If you are building multiple lineups, it will pay dividends to start here and pick two or three pairings because with the probable exception of Aric Almirola and his horrendous luck, nearly anyone can break through. Showcasing Chastain has less to do with his fourth-place finish at COTA and more to do with the seven consecutive results of 14th through 17th he had on paved tracks from Atlanta through Dover. Consistency is important because it puts drivers and teams in a position to capitalize on late race adjustments.

Chris Buescher ($6,700)
Buescher is another driver whose name is getting called with increasing frequency in the past several weeks. He posted back-to-back top-10s on "cookie-cutter" tracks with a seventh at Atlanta and an eighth at Kansas. He finished 14th at Las Vegas and has not been outside the top 20 on this track type. Those are favorable numbers for a driver less than $7k.

Group D: (Less than or equal to $6,500)

Chase Briscoe ($6,000)
Briscoe’s points per thousand ratio over the past 45 days is being drug upwards by his top-10 finish on last week’s road course, but that is not his only strong run. He finished just outside the top 10 at Darlington as well. As Kevin Harvick slowly improves the lead Stewart-Haas Racing car, he will bring Briscoe, Cole Custer, and Almirola up. If you need to free some cap room, do so with solid organizations.

Michael McDowell ($5,800)
McDowell has already shown how important momentum is. After winning the Daytona 500, he scored top-10s in the next two races. After finishing third at Talladega Superspeedway, he recorded a top-15 at Kansas. Now he’s coming off a seventh-place finish at COTA and one should not be surprised if he gets another strong run in the teens.

The top-10 points’ earners from last year’s Coke 600 were: Martin Truex Jr. (87.75), Alex Bowman (83), Chase Elliott (75.5), Brad Keselowski (72.75), Ryan Blaney (67.5), Kevin Harvick (55), Kurt Busch (53.5), Aric Almirola (53), Jimmie Johnson (51), and Kyle Busch (50.5).

Last 45 Days

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Kyle Larson

12.00

358.59

59.77

$11,300

31.73

A

Denny Hamlin

12.00

295.00

49.17

$10,800

27.31

A

Martin Truex Jr./span>

17.50

268.90

44.82

$11,100

24.23

A

Chase Elliott

12.50

248.80

41.47

$10,500

23.70

A

Kyle Busch

14.67

212.15

35.36

$10,200

20.80

A

Kevin Harvick

17.00

170.15

28.36

$10,000

17.02

A

Alex Bowman

15.00

268.05

44.68

$9,400

28.52

B

William Byron

11.83

245.90

40.98

$9,200

26.73

B

Tyler Reddick

14.33

215.20

35.87

$8,200

26.24

B

Brad Keselowski

13.33

231.85

38.64

$9,700

23.90

B

Joey Logano

14.83

203.20

33.87

$8,800

23.09

B

Ryan Blaney

17.00

172.25

28.71

$9,000

19.14

B

Kurt Busch

21.83

118.40

19.73

$8,400

14.10

B

Cole Custer

23.00

106.05

17.68

$8,000

13.26

B

Christopher Bell

24.17

96.50

16.08

$8,600

11.22

B

Ross Chastain

13.00

229.45

38.24

$6,900

33.25

C

Chris Buescher

17.00

178.90

29.82

$6,700

26.70

C

Austin Dillon

16.00

194.55

32.43

$7,700

25.27

C

Matt DiBenedetto

18.17

180.80

30.13

$7,500

24.11

C

Erik Jones

17.67

173.25

28.88

$7,200

24.06

C

Daniel Suarez

19.67

150.50

25.08

$6,500

23.15

C

Ricky Stenhouse Jr./span>

23.33

110.10

18.35

$7,400

14.88

C

Bubba Wallace

24.00

97.45

16.24

$7,000

13.92

C

Aric Almirola

26.00

98.70

16.45

$7,900

12.49

C

Chase Briscoe

15.67

186.30

31.05

$6,000

31.05

D

Michael McDowell

18.50

169.65

28.28

$5,800

29.25

D

Anthony Alfredo

19.50

149.70

24.95

$5,500

27.22

D

Corey LaJoie

19.83

146.45

24.41

$5,600

26.15

D

Ryan Newman

20.50

155.65

25.94

$6,400

24.32

D

Quin Houff

29.67

54.90

9.15

$4,500

12.20

D

Cody Ware

30.83

56.50

9.42

$4,700

12.02

D

Garrett Smithley

25.75

56.00

14.00

$5,100

10.98

D

BJ McLeod

28.20

53.45

10.69

$5,200

10.28

D

James Davison

30.75

42.00

10.50

$5,000

8.40

D

Justin Haley

29.60

37.80

7.56

$4,800

7.88

D

Josh Bilicki

32.67

38.90

6.48

$5,400

7.20

D

David Starr

$4,600

-

D

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