The field is set, so it is time to take a look at who we’re rostering for the Pala Casino 400 DFS picks.
2023 Pala Casino 400 DFS Picks
As we discussed in our Pala Casino 400 preview, Auto Club Speedway is a 2-mile D-shaped oval. This will be the last race on this track (which will be transitioned into a short track down the road) and will be run without practice or qualifying races due to weather.
When qualifying races are rained out, starting position was determined by performance metrics from last week’s Daytona 500. These metrics include each driver’s fastest lap time position, their final race position, the owner’s final race position, and the owner’s points position. While all of that makes things slightly more complicated, here’s a look at the starting 10.
- Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing)
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing)
- Joey Logano (Team Penske)
- Alex Bowman (Hendrick Motorsports)
- Chris Buescher (RFK Racing)
- AJ Allmendinger (Kaulig Racing)
- Daniel Suarez (Trackhouse Racing)
- Ross Chastain (Trackhouse Racing)
- Ryan Blaney (Team Penske)
- Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing)
One of the more interesting things about this arrangement is how far back some heavy hitters will start this afternoon. Due to crashes, Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott, and William Byron will start 35th through 32nd. Kyle Busch, one of my personal favorites, begins 21st. There are a lot of movement points to be had in that group.
Which Value-Priced Drivers Got a Movement Points Bump?
Here is a quick reminder of what we mean by “movement points” for fantasy NASCAR DFS:
Both DFS sites that feature NASCAR – DraftKings (DK) and FanDuel (FD) – and most season-long fantasy formats will include a scoring category called “position differential” or “place differential.” (The words are interchangeable for this purpose.) This number is figured quite simply: If Driver A qualifies to begin 10th and he ends up 18th, then he will have a position differential of -8. On DK, that will subtract eight points from your overall score; on FD, it will cost you four points. However, the opposite is true, too. If Driver B qualifies for 18th and ends up in 10th, he will gain eight points on DK and four on FD. This is what we talk about when we say “movement points” in our weekly articles.
Beyond the top drivers, your Pala Casino 400 DFS lineups will need some cheaper options to stay under the salary cap. This is where movement points are definitely a primary focus as a quick way to earn some positive value. Here are some that stick out to me as having great value in this area:
- Tyler Reddick – Qualifying Position (QP) of 35 | $9,100
- Aric Almirola – QP 17 | $6,500
- Chase Elliott – QP 33 | $10,500
- Todd Gilliland – QP 25 | $5,000
- Brad Keselowski – QP 16 | $7,900
- Todd Gilliland – QP 25 | $2,500
- Justin Haley – QP 29 | $4,000
- Aric Almirola – QP 17 | $6,200
- Tyler Reddick – QP 35 | $9,000
- Chase Briscoe – QP 31 | $6,500
It is a rare day that a driver priced north of $10K is listed as a “value,” but that day is today. When the driver is Chase Elliott, you redefine value however you want to. Reddick, with his driver rating of 100.3, is a deal on both sites. Unlike last week, when I offered Ty Dillon as not managing to lose points right before he … lost points, I can quite confidently say that Reddick is the safest positive movement points choice on the board.
Which Higher-Priced Drivers Got the Same Bump?
Without looking at each site separately, the following drivers are in the upper range of salary cost for Pala Casino 400 DFS contests, but they are veteran drivers with a good history at the track, starting from a much lower position than their anticipated finish.
- Martin Truex Jr. – QP 14
- Kyle Busch – QP 21
- William Byron – QP 32
- Chase Elliott – QP 33
- Erik Jones – QP 34
- Tyler Reddick – QP 35
Pala Casino 400 DFS Picks
Using a variety of metrics, recent track history, and QP, the following are two lineups I like for larger GPP (guaranteed prize pools with multiple entries) contests, one for each site. Kyle Larson can also be a great anchor on either site. If you wanted to squeeze Larson and Elliott together on FanDuel, Todd Gilliland at $2,500 seems like a steal.
- Chase Elliott – $10,500
- Martin Truex Jr. – $9,300
- Tyler Reddick – $9,100
- Kevin Harvick – $8,500
- Chase Briscoe – $7,500
- Todd Gilliland – $5,000
Total Salary: $49,900
- Chase Elliott – $13,500
- Kyle Busch – $11,500
- Tyler Reddick – $9,000
- Erik Jones – $8,000
- Brad Keselowski – $7,000
Total Salary: $48,500
White Flag Thoughts Before You Go
Erik Jones remains a good sleeper and is affordable. Kevin Harvick is also intriguing starting in the 10th position.
Don’t be afraid to leave salary on the table if you have a build you like that lands well below the $50,000 cap. In cash games, it’s better to not come up with entirely weird lineups, but in GPP contests, throwing a couple of bizarre ones in can result in huge payouts. Avoiding DNFs (did not finish) is as much luck as it is a skill, but it’s important to deviate so that one driver’s early exit doesn’t sink every lineup you have.
Enjoy your race days, everyone! And, as always, good luck!
Kelly Kirby covers fantasy NASCAR, fantasy hockey, and other random things at Fantrax. For more of her work, check out her archive and follow her on Twitter at @thewonkypenguin.