By Matthew Sallows
As we head into Championship week at Phoenix Raceway, we will have to look at drivers’ stats and history from this raceway 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 Phoenix 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 Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway.
Past Winners/Track Knowledge
It’s time for the NASCARs Cup Series to take their best shot winning at Phoenix Raceway for the second time this year. The Cup Series raced at Phoenix earlier this year where Martin Truex Jr left victorious. This will be a 318.864-mile race where the drivers will be tasked with completing 312 laps around the Raceway. Phoenix raceway is a One-mile Raceway, with an asphalt surface. This raceway is home to 4 turns that will push drivers to the limit. The best part about Phoenix is that no part of the track is off limits, and it is not uncommon to see three, four, or even five wide racing at this Raceway. With Phoenix being a tricky track with a history there is a lot of data to sift through as we build out winning lineup.
A big piece of information that is critical for this race when choosing your line up is that history shows that in the Championship race the race has been won by one of the final four drivers in all series. Plan accordingly.
Below is a lineup that we believe can provide the best value for the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway on 11/07/2021 (DraftKings Values)
A-List Premium Price Drivers
Kyle Larson ($11,500 DK, $14,500 FD)
As the regular season champion and best driver this year, Larson comes into this raced poised to win, or if he doesn’t win have a strong showing. In the last three years Larson has raced at Phoenix six times, which is less than most drivers, but his average finish is 7.0. Larson has finished top five twice and top 10 three times in those six races, which is incredible and part of the reason he is extremely expensive this weekend. As well as the fact he has been the best driver this year. You know he is going to be hungry for this win this year after winning five in the regular season and three in the playoffs. Larson is poised to win this race and get your DFS team a lot of points.
Chase Elliot ($10,800 DK, $14,000 FD)
There is not much to say here. Chase Elliot has dominated the last three years. Chase won the championship last year at this raceway in seven races over the last three years he has one win, three top five finishes, and four top 10 finishes. Elliot is likely going to start near the front this week, and like so many races this year, this feels like a race he could lead a lot of laps. Elliot is turning into an elite level driver, but he is already the best road race driver, potentially ever. For me, I will put Elliot in my lineup no matter the cost at a race like this. He is expensive but it will be worth your investment.
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B-List Value Drivers
Bubba Wallace ($7,700 DK, $7,000 FD)
There was a lot of hype about the new 23XI team owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan and driven by Bubba Wallace this year. Earlier this year, Wallace was right in the mix on the last lap of the Daytona 500 before wrecking on the last lap. Wallace has not had the best season so far, but there have been some bright spots, like at Dover where he started 22nd and finished 11th, or how he has six top 20 finishes, or his two top five finishes. Not awful for a new racing team, trying to figure stuff out in their first year. Wallace could start near the rear and could be in for a solid day.
Austin Dillon ($7,300 DK)
Richard Childress Racing Austin Dillon has had a pretty good year so far. Dillon finished the earlier version of this race at Phoenix in 17th. In seven races at Phoenix in the last three years, Dillon has one top 10 finish. The nice thing here is that Dillon has shown that he can place in the top 10 here. Which is good for his price and value this week. So far in 2021 Dillon’s highlights have been winning the Bluegreen Vacations Duel Two and finishing third in the Daytona 500. If he and his team can keep up their solid efforts there is no reason why Dillon cannot add another top 10 finish, or better.
C-List Sleeper Pick Drivers
Chris Buescher ($6,400 DK, $6,300 FD)
Driving the Number 17 for Roush Fenway Racing, Chris Buescher has had a relatively normal year by his standards. In 35 races, he has one top five finish and eight top 10 finishes, which other than in 2020 would be tied for a season high. 2020 was by far Buescher’s best year as he had two top five finishes, eight top 10 finishes and led 33 laps. His 2021 lap led total is a career high with 93. Buescher had his best race of the year at the Charlotte Roval Road Course. Overall, pretty good and consistent. I think Buescher can add another top 10 finish this week while also providing point differential potential depending on his starting position.
Chase Briscoe ($6,200 DK)
All year I had 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 this season, maybe he’s in for a late season surge to reclaim his season. Briscoe finished his Xfinity career in 2020 with nine wins, four more then the five-race goal that he set for himself. 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. Briscoe was only able to get three top 10 finishes in the regular season. I like Briscoe to come in to this race and get a top 15 finish.
Now go win your matchup and let us know how you did.
Or if I picked every driver that will be in that lap 199 crash, I encourage you to let me hear it.
Either way come find us on Twitter (@FantasyDFSX).
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