As we head into Michigan Race Week, we will have to look at drivers’ stats and history from this course and other similar courses as we build our lineup this week. This week we are going to focus on finding value by looking at previous top contenders at road races the past couple of years. There are quite a few value drivers that you can insert into your lineup. Let’s now take a deep dive into who I think you can insert into your lineup for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Past Winners/Track Knowledge
It’s time for NASCARs Cup Series to take their best shot winning at Michigan International Speedway. The Cup Series raced back-to-back races last year that saw Kevin Harvick win both. This will be a 400-mile race where the drivers will be tasked with completing 200 laps around the Speedway. Michigan International Speedway is a 2.0-mile Speedway, with an asphalt surface. This racecourse is home to 4 turns that will push drivers to the limit. The best part about Michigan is that each turn has its own set of challenges that the drivers must overcome. As stage points are becoming more coveted as the year goes on and racers, must win stages to get those oh so valuable stage points, racers will have three stages to try and get points. Stage one is 60 laps, stage two is 60 laps, and stage three is 80 laps. With Michigan being a tricky track with a history there is a lot of data to sift through as we build out winning lineup.
Below is a lineup that we believe can provide the best value for the FireKeepers Casino 400 atMichigan International Speedway on 08/22/2021 (DraftKings Values)
|Driver #1||Kevin Harvick||$ 10,000|
|Driver #2||Joey Logano||$ 9,600|
A-List Premium Price Drivers
Kevin Harvick ($10,000 DK, $12,000 FD)
2021 has been far from the year that Kevin Harvick had in 2020 where he had nine wins, 20 top five finishes, 27 top 10 finishes, while leading 1531 laps. Harvick was the regular season winner last year and was by far the best and most dominant driver all year. 2021 has been less than average for Harvick as he has yet to find victory lane. He does however have six top five finishes, and 16 top 10 finishes. It is safe to say that Harvick is due for a win. This might even be the week. Harvick provides value while also providing as good a shot as any to win this race. Harvick has been one of the better if not best racers at Michigan recently and frankly in his career. Harvick won both races last year at Michigan and I think he can do it again this week. I want to see Harvick get to the front of this race and just see what happens. We all know what happens more times than not when Harvick is in the front of the field. They do not call him “the closer” for no reason.
Joey Logano ($9,600 DK, $10,500 FD)
Here is one of those drivers that you never really feel bad about having in your lineup each week. Joey Logano is going to race well, and he is going to race hard every time he hits the tracks. And of course, because of that he is often a very expensive driver to insert into your lineup. With saying that when you can get him into your lineup for only $9,600 on DraftKings, it’s almost a no-brainier choice. Logano is off to another usual season for him, so far, he has one win, eight top five finishes, 13 top 10 finishes, and had led 372 laps. All totals are well within what we expect from him. In his career Logano is averaging just under two wins a year, so you know he is going to be out racing for his second of the year this weekend. With his 27 career wins Logano has won at Michigan three times in the past, where he also adds seven top five finishes, 17 top 10 finishes and has led 590 laps in his career. Starting 19th this week, makes me think that Logano is going to be finishing this race with another top five finish. I think this is some of the best value all year for a driver.
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William Byron ($11,000 FD)
I think the value for William Byron is justified in your FanDuel lineup this weekend especially with how he has raced so far, this year. In 2021 so far, Byron has one win at Homestead-Miami, eight top five finishes, 15 top 10 finishes, and a has led 246 laps. After winning at Miami, Byron followed up with finishing top 10 in 11 straight races and top 10 in 12 of 16 races. Byron finished sixth at Watkins Glen two weekends ago. Byron is becoming one of the elite drivers in the cup series. I think Byron can be right in the mix of things by race end and at his price point I think he has a lot of value.
B-List Value Drivers
Aric Almirola ($8,300 DK, $7,000 FD)
I have always thought that Aric Almirola is one of the unluckiest drivers in the series. If Almirola can avoid disaster and finish this race, he will be in a very good place DFS wise. Almirola has had a pretty good year in 2021 where he has one win at New Hampshire, two top five finishes and three top 10 finishes. Almirola has been decent at Michigan the last three years where he has an average finish of 15, two top 10 finishes, and all but one has been top 20 finishes. Almirola is going to start this race in the 23rd position which, if he can get into the top 20, will provide a lot of point differential points. You know he will be driving a fast Stewart Haas racing car for this race. No reason he cannot crack the top 10 this weekend. And if he does this is excellent value.
Daniel Suarez ($7,800 DK)
Coming into his fifth season in the NASCAR Cup Series, Daniel Suarez has joined a new team. Suarez is now driving for Trackhouse Racing in the Number 99 car. Suarez has had a good season so far where he has one top-five finish, three top 10 finishes and 13 top 20 finishes in 24 races. Suarez’s top five finish came at the Bristol Dirt track. He was the big surprise in the top 10 as that was his first-time racing on dirt. At Michigan in the last three years, Suarez has two top five finishes and two top 10 finishes. I like Suarez as a value option this weekend as I try to fit some other top drivers into my lineup. I am actually surprised he isn’t valued a little higher.
Tyler Reddick ($7,400 DK, $8,500 FD)
Tyler Reddick moved up to the Cup Series in 2020 and had a great rookie season with three top-five finishes and nine top 10 finishes. I have been enjoying everything I have seen from Reddick since he burst onto the scene in 2018 and 2019 winning eight races in the Xfinity Series while also being back-to-back champion those two years. For me, anytime I see Reddick at a good price point I am going to insert him into my lineup, especially after being a past winner at Michigan in the Xfinity Series. I think Reddick provides a lot of value for his price point.
C-List Sleeper Pick Drivers
Chase Briscoe ($6,700 DK)
All year I have been very excited to see what rookie Chase Briscoe can do in this Number 14 Stuart Haas Racing Ford this season. He has not had the success I thought he might have had out of the gun, but he will come around. Briscoe finished his Xfinity career in 2020 with nine wins, four more then the five-race goal that he set for himself. He was especially great at road courses the last three seasons where he had two wins, three top five finishes, six top 10 finishes and led a series most 135 laps. Yeah, he was good. Briscoe has shown so far that he may need a couple of races to adjust to the new challenges that driving in the Cup Series presents, however, his 2020 success could indicate otherwise. Chase should still be a lock for contention for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award and could very well be in the mix for a playoff spot in 2021. Look for him to have a good race this weekend. All you need to do is win one race, right.
Now go win your matchup and let us know how you did.
Or if I picked every driver that will be in that lap 98 crash, I encourage you to let me hear it.
Either way come find us on Twitter (@FantasyDFSX).
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