Simple NASCAR Strategy

Fantasy NASCAR seems like it should be easy to master, right? Just pick the five best drivers in the field, the five that will finish highest in the rankings. But, it’s a lot more difficult than this in reality. You have certain factors that you are up against that need to be overcome before you will start experiencing long term success. Take them into account, and you will find that you are suddenly finishing in the money in your daily tournaments much more often.

First, remember that you have a salary cap. At DraftKings, the cap is $50,000, meaning that you cannot spend more than $10,000 per driver, on average. You can spend more on someone if you wish, but once you do this, you will need to spend less on others. If you wanted Kevin Harvick, for example, he will cost you $13,900. Do this, and you now can only spend $9,025 on each of your remaining four choices.

Next, remember that finishing position is not the only thing that matters. There are certain occurrences during each race that can help you to score points. And because many people do not consider these things when drafting their teams, it is something that you can and should use to your advantage. Place differential is a good one to use as it takes starting position versus finishing position into account. If a good driver has a poor starting position, they suddenly become worth much more to you. Pay attention to this, and you will find you are squeaking out a few extra points here and there with every race. A great driver with a poor starting position is worth much more than what his posted price states. Likewise, an average driver with a great starting position is worth less than their stated price, and should be avoided in your draft as you are paying a premium on something that’s just going to lose you points. The pass differential has a similar benefit. If they can pass more people overall than they are passed by others, you will get an extra +0.25 per extra pass. For an aggressive driver with a poor starting position, this is basically free points, but not as many as the place will guarantee you.

Also pay attention to the drivers that like to take early leads. DraftKings awards +0.25 points when someone leads a lap. If leading the first hundred laps is a driver’s style, and they are still able to finish in the top 10, you are getting a decent value out of their finishing rank (10th place returns 34 points), and you are able to get an extra 25 out of them, too, just because they are more aggressive than the average driver.

DraftKings has a nice tool that lets you see what the average FPPR per race is for each driver. Harvick is in the top spot right now with 72.4, and although Jimmie Johnson is the second most expensive driver ($12,400), he is not the driver producing the second highest amount of points. That distinction goes to Kurt Busch, who is priced at $11,600. It’s a small difference, but it’s a big one in a contest like this. You want to stretch your money as far as possible, and getting more potential points for less money is the best way to increase your chances of winning. Many people will quickly choose the more expensive driver over the lesser one, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. DraftKings uses popularity in their pricing system, and although it’s a valid measurement, it is very misleading. The most expensive driver is not necessarily the best. This fact combines the first two points and suddenly shows you that analysis is a far better tool than anything else. Don’t draft a team because you like the drivers, but because they will score you more points than any other combination.