The field is set, so it is time to take a look at who we’re rostering for the United Rentals Work United 500 DFS picks.
United Rentals Work United 500 DFS Picks
As we discussed in our United Rentals Work United 500 preview, Phoenix Raceway is our first 1-mile intermediate track of the season. It is a track with plenty of history to draw from for making our lineups.
Kyle Larson will sit in pole position when the green flag waves this afternoon. His pole-setting lap was 130.237 mph, winning by a mere 0.06 seconds over Denny Hamlin.
Larson’s win comes the day after two of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Alex Bowman and Josh Berry, had their hood louvers confiscated by NASCAR competition officials following their first practice. The NASCAR Research & Development Center will evaluate them this week, but there is no punishment in effect for today’s race. This race will also be the first with NASCAR’s new rule package for short ovals and road courses.
Here’s a look at the starting 10.
- Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports)
- Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing)
- William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports)
- Brad Keselowski (RFK Racing)
- Christopher Bell (Joe Gibbs Racing)
- Ross Chastain (Trackhouse Racing)
- Michael McDowell (Front Row Motorsports)
- Ryan Blaney (Team Penske)
- Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing)
- Erik Jones (Legacy Motor Club)
Many of the usual suspects are in the Top 10 and have had a lot of success on this size of a track. Drivers who start in the Top 10 at this track typically have a leg up as there aren’t as many opportunities for passing or gaining an edge in pit stops. Additionally, with the new aero package mentioned above, we want the fastest cars that are likely to lead a lot of laps. And while that may sound like a dumb and obvious statement, it’s just a reminder this is not necessarily the track you want to focus heavily on movement points. They’re still important for lineup fillers, however.
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 United Rentals Work United 500 DFS lineups will need some cheaper options to stay under the salary cap. This is where movement points are 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:
- Aric Almirola – QP 31 | $6,900
- AJ Allmendinger – QP 22 | $6,200
- Chase Briscoe – QP 24 | $8,400
- Zane Smith – QP 34 | $2,500
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – QP 23 | $4,200
- Michael McDowell – QP 7 | $4,000
- Austin Cindric – QP 20 | $6,200
There isn’t a ton of value within lower-priced drivers on the board after Saturday’s qualifiers. Aric Almirola pops out as the one I might focus a little more on out of that group. He has a driver rating of 83.7 at Phoenix, and a veteran driver starting that far back could still make some noise. Michael McDowell is also intriguing because he is so cheap and starting in that front group.
Which Higher-Priced Drivers Got the Same Bump?
Without looking at each site separately, the following drivers are in the upper range of salary costs for DFS contests. Still, they are veteran drivers with a good history at the track, starting from a much lower position than their anticipated finish.
- Joey Logano – QP 16
- Martin Truex – QP 13
- Kevin Harvick – QP 15
Here are our triumvirate drivers, and they’re sitting in the top half of the field with the significant skill to find their way to the front. These three know how to race in Phoenix and now have good potential for movement points and great chances at the Top 10.
And, oh yeah, Kevin Harvick is still the best at this track.
United Rentals Work United 500 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.
While Kyle Larson starting first is a blessing to DraftKings DFS lineups as he should accumulate plenty of dominator points, he is the most expensive driver on the board there. He’s not my overall favorite driver to roster on either site, but drafting him to my squad makes sense. (And he makes a lot of sense in season-long leagues.)
Lots of things can go upside down and sideways at smaller tracks, but this will be a significantly different race than we’ve seen thus far. if you enter GPPs, make sure you diversify.
- Kyle Larson – $13,000
- Kevin Harvick – $11,500
- Martin Truex Jr – $10,000
- Chase Briscoe – $9,000
- AJ Allmendinger – $5,500
Total Salary: $49,000
- Joey Logano – $10,800
- Martin Truex Jr. – $9,200
- Kevin Harvick – $9,000
- Chase Briscoe – $8,400
- Aric Almirola – $6,900
- Ty Dillon – $5,000
Total Salary: $49,300
White Flag Thoughts Before You Go
I like Ryan Blaney after qualifiers more than I thought I would, and Denny Hamlin in second is also intriguing for season-long purposes. Strangely, if I had to bet on an outright winner, it’d be one we haven’t discussed at all: Christopher Bell.
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.