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NASCAR DFS: NASCAR Cup Series Championship Picks

It’s the final race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. These drivers were able to get a lengthy practice session on Friday. Then on Saturday, we had qualifying and William Byron gained a huge edge by winning the pole. Not only does he start with great track position, but he also had first pit stall selection. Obviously, he’s taking the last pit stall on pit road. That stall is crucial at Phoenix because of the clean exit off pit road. Kyle Larson qualified P4 but didn’t seem pleased with the setup with his car. Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney, the final two championship drivers, qualified P13 and P15 respectively. It’s shaping up to be an exciting race. We have plenty of storylines to monitor as well. Here are the NASCAR Cup Series Championship picks for Sunday’s finale in Phoenix!

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NASCAR Cup Series Championship Picks: The Top 10

  1. William Byron (#24 Hendrick Motorsports)
  2. Martin Truex Jr. (#19 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  3. Kevin Harvick (#4 Stewart-Haas Racing)
  4. Kyle Larson (#5 Hendrick Motorsports)
  5. Bubba Wallace (#23 23XI Racing)
  6. Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  7. Erik Jones (#43 Legacy Motor Club)
  8. Ross Chastain (#1 Trackhouse Racing)
  9. Chris Buescher (#17 RFK Racing)
  10. Tyler Reddick (#45 23XI Racing)

Not too many surprising results here. Both Hendrick playoff cars qualify well. Byron will be heavily owned, and we can expect him to collect laps led early on. The pit stall will certainly help him gain track position during pit stops. Kevin Harvick qualified P3 on arguably his best track, as we discussed in this week’s NASCAR DFS Preview. The 23XI drivers have been qualifying very well lately. And if you haven’t seen it yet, they’ll be sporting some awesome Star Wars-themed cars this weekend. But perhaps the biggest story about the top 10, is who isn’t there. Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney certainly did themselves no favors. But it’s a long race and they’ll have over 300 laps to get to the front. For DFS purposes, everybody has to love William Byron winning the pole.

Which Value-Priced NASCAR Cup Series Championship Picks Got A Points Movement Bump?


  • Chase Briscoe – $7,500; Starting P26
  • Aric Almirola – $7,300; Starting P28
  • Alex Bowman – $7,100; Starting P23
  • J. Allmendinger – $6,200; Starting P32
  • Ty Dillon – $5,100; Starting P33


  • Chase Elliott – $9,000; Starting P20
  • Chase Briscoe – $8,500; Starting P26
  • Brad Keselowski – $8,000; Starting P31
  • Aric Almirola – $6,500; Starting P28
  • J. Allmendinger – $4,800; Starting P32

This is actually interesting. The pricing discrepancy is always pretty noteworthy between both sites. But Chase Elliott is criminally underpriced on FanDuel. And there’s a large pricing “gap” between Briscoe and Almirola between DraftKings and FanDuel. Briscoe starts in front of Almirola for this race and he’s only $200 more on DraftKings. But he’s $2,000 more than Almirola on FanDuel. Elliott, Briscoe, and Almirola all have top 15 upside in this race. The SHR value drivers thrive on short, flat tracks. Brad Keselowski will drop to the rear, but it doesn’t matter. Cole Custer had to qualify the car since Keselowski’s wife went into labor. But Brad should still pilot the car to a good finish with some PD points. He is a cash game lock. And as we noted in the preview this week, Allmendinger has three consecutive top-20 finishes in the NextGen car at Phoenix.

Which Higher-Priced Drivers Got A Similar Bump?

  • Ryan Blaney – Starting P15
  • Joey Logano – Starting P17
  • Brad Keselowski – Starting P31 (DraftKings)
  • Kyle Busch – Starting P18
  • Chase Elliott – Starting P20 (DraftKings)

We’ve already touched on the value on FanDuel with Elliott and Keselowski. They’re reasonably priced on DraftKings. Keselowski’s car has had speed the last handful of races. However, he’s overqualified the car all too often. But we get him at a great starting spot for the finale at least. Joey Logano has historically been very good at Phoenix. He won this race a year ago and he had a top five day at Martinsville last weekend. Ryan Blaney is likely to be the most popular driver of this group. He’s the only one eligible for the championship. Additionally, he’s coming off a win last week and he kind of helped Logano secure the win last year. Perhaps Logano returns the favor for his teammate in 2023.

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Picks


  • Ryan Blaney – $11,300; Starting P15
  • William Byron – $11,200; Starting P1
  • Chase Briscoe – $7,500; Starting P26
  • Aric Almirola – $7,300; Starting P28
  • Alex Bowman – $7,100; Starting P23
  • Corey LaJoie – $5,600; Starting P29

This is potentially the chalk lineup for Sunday’s race. It’s the ideal Cash game lineup. Why? Well, we have William Byron who could potentially lead plenty of laps early on and he has the best pit stall. We also have Ryan Blaney. He offers position differential, dominator upside, and win equity. We also build this lineup with Briscoe and Almirola. They are two drivers that thrive on flat tracks. Briscoe won here in the Spring of 2022. Almirola has a win at New Hampshire in his career and he finished second at Martinsville last week. This is technically Alex Bowman’s home track and he finished ninth here in the Spring. And as always, we round it out with Corey Lajoie. This lineup has win equity, dominator upside, two championship-eligible drivers, and value plays capable of moving up. Chalky? Sure. But there are pivots available if you so choose.


  • Ryan Blaney – $13,500; Starting P15
  • William Byron – $13,000; Starting P1
  • Chase Elliott – $9,000; Starting P20
  • Brad Keselowski – $8,000; Starting P31
  • Aric Almirola – $6,500; Starting P28

While the last lineup didn’t lean into the chalk with Brad Keselowski, it’s too hard to pass up on FanDuel. That’s the one thing keeping the DraftKings lineup from being incredibly chalky. However, I’ll take the value with Keselowski on FanDuel. We build this line with the same championship core as the previous lineup. We also eat the value with Aric Almirola who is hilariously cheap on FanDuel. And the lineup rounds out with Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski. They are two drivers with top 10 equity. Truthfully, you can make an argument for all five drivers to finish in the top 10. I’m fine playing this lineup in both cash games and tournaments.

White Flag Thoughts Before You Go

It’s the final race of the year, so I hope you all enjoy it! Admittedly, I’ve scaled my amount of play back in recent weeks with NFL in full swing. However, this week is kind of a crappy week for the NFL Week 9 DFS main slate. So I’m going a little heavier on this championship race. It’s the last NASCAR DFS action we get until the Daytona 500 in 15 weeks. Best of luck with the 2023 finale! I hope you all have a profitable day with your DFS lineups!

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