The field is set, so it is time to take a look at who we’re rostering for the Pennzoil 400 DFS picks.
2023 Pennzoil 400 DFS Picks
Chase Elliott will be out for "several weeks" after suffering a fractured tibia while snowboarding in Colorado. He is expected to be released from the hospital this morning, says Hendrick's Jeff Andrews. pic.twitter.com/3eWgwEKcLE
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 4, 2023
Many other drivers reached out to Chase yesterday after he underwent a three-hour surgery Friday night. While an unfortunate accident, it is not unprecedented. Kyle Busch also broke his leg in 2015 and returned to win the championship later that year. For now, Josh Berry will take his place in the No. 9 Chevrolet for Vegas, and we await word of a timeline for Elliott’s return.
Here’s a look at the starting 10.
- Joey Logano (Team Penske)
- William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports)
- Ryan Blaney (Team Penske)
- Ty Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing)
- Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing)
- Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports)
- Brad Keselowski (RFK Racing)
- Ross Chastain (Trackhouse Racing)
- Austin Cindric (Team Penske)
- Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing)
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 Pennzoil 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 value in this area:
- Daniel Suarez – QP 24 | $7,600
- Justin Haley – QP 27 | $5,900
- Corey Lajoie – QP 19 | $5,200
- Noah Gragson – QP 25 | $6,300
- AJ Allmendinger – QP 23 | $6,100
- Corey Lajoie – QP 19 | $3,500
- Michael McDowell – QP 17 | $4,000
- Ryan Preece – QP 31 | $5,200
- Aric Almirola – QP 21 | $5,500
- Austin Dillon – QP 26 | $7,200
I really like Corey Lajoie on both sites as a lineup filler this week. His first two races saw finishes of 16 and 14, and he has bottom-barrel pricing. I plan to use him in fantasy leagues this week as well. Austin Dillon has two Top 5 finishes at this track, while Allmendinger has a respectable driver rating of 75.2, and Gragson is 73.0.
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 Pennzoil 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.
- Tyler Reddick – QP 34
- Due to an engine replacement penalty, Reddick did not participate in qualifying races.
- Martin Truex – QP 15
- Kevin Harvick – QP 14
- Denny Hamlin – QP 12
Last week, we saw a whole lineup of proven veteran drivers starting near the back of the race. This week, we’re stretching to find true movement-points value among that group. Reddick will most likely be the chalkiest of the chalk due to starting 34th, but that also means that a guy who has had two terrible races this season is going into this one blind with his backup car. I will sprinkle him around in my GPP contests, but he is not someone I have full confidence in. The Truex-Harvick-Hamlin trio are just three drivers outside the Top 10 who are typically good at finding their way to the front of the pack, which in this case, would result in positive movement points.
Penzoil 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.
I continue to be hesitant to use Kyle Larson even though his price and expected value are a good match. He had a DNF at Daytona and ended up many laps behind for a 29th-place finish in Sonoma after engine issues cost him early on.
Under the file titled “Least Surprising,” Kyle Busch is the most expensive driver on both sites. I will have some exposure to him, but he does not produce the most value on paper.
- Ross Chastain – $13,000
- Denny Hamlin – $12,000
- Kevin Harvick – $8,500
- Daniel Suarez – $7,500
- Austin Dillon – $7,200
Total Salary: $48,200
- Kyle Larson – $10,700
- Ross Chastain – $10,300
- Denny Hamlin – $9,900
- Daniel Suarez – $7,600
- AJ Allmendinger – $6,100
- Corey Lajoie – $5,200
Total Salary: $49,800
White Flag Thoughts Before You Go
I plan to use Chastain and Busch in season-long leagues today. Ride the hot hand. And depending on your league’s scoring, Ty Gibbs just got a little more interesting.
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 not to 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.