Victory Lane – Pocono 350
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr
NASCAR will race 140 laps (350 miles) at Pocono Raceway this afternoon in the second half of the double header for the Cup Series. Kevin Harvick won on Saturday and will start Sunday’s race from the 20th position. Several drivers had issues on Saturday and will start at the back of the field on Sunday which makes them valuable from a DFS perspective. I like all of the drivers I wrote up for Saturday, but we can’t ignore the potential for massive differential from guys like Erik Jones, Joey Logano, and Tyler Reddick. Finding the right balance is key. Let’s get started.
Erik Jones ($10,000/7,400) In my opinion, Erik Jones becomes the top driver for DFS on Sunday. Jones crashed on Saturday, not because his car was handling poorly but because of the circumstances created by the drivers around him. The 20 team will unload a backup car and Jones will start from the 38th position. Before this weekend, Jones finished in the top 5 in 4 of 6 races at Pocono.
Joey Logano ($12,000/9,400) Joey Logano does not have stellar numbers at Pocono. I don’t expect him to contend for the win, but you can’t ignore the potential for massive differential in a really short race. Using Fan Duel scoring, there are only 14 points available for laps led (0.1 points per lap led multiplied by 140 laps). Joey Logano could score 14 differential points just by finishing 10th. I think you have to look at playing Logano, particularly in cash games on Sunday.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000/10,700) Starting 20th, Harvick would be a no brainer for my top play if Jones and Logano weren’t starting from the back. Harvick’s salary is a bit prohibitive, particularly if you are looking to focus on differential points. I think we see a similar performance from Harvick with a top 5 finish, potentially another win.
Chase Elliott ($12,200/10,400) Similar to Logano, Chase Elliott has to be considered for Sunday’s race at Pocono. Elliott is starting in the 25th position and has the potential for a top 10 finish with +15 differential. I like Harvick over Elliott, but Elliott’s salary allows you to stay away from scraping the bottom of the barrel for a value driver.
Aric Almirola ($9,000/7,200) We saw Aric Almirola shine on Saturday, leading 61 laps and finishing 3rd. I don’t expect the same performance from Almirola on Sunday, but at his salary, starting 18th, I think this is a good play. On Fan Duel, my toughest decision is between Almirola and Tyler Reddick.
Tyler Reddick ($8,400/7,600) Reddick is starting 30th on Sunday because he was involved in the Erik Jones incident. Reddick is too cheap to pass up. I would look for Reddick to score positive differential and finishing in the range of 12th-17th which would make him a solid play with very little risk.
Ty Dillon ($6,000/7,000) Ty Dillon is a sneaky play for Sunday because he finished Saturday much worse than he was running. Dillon stayed out too long in the final pit cycle and lost a lot of track position late in the race. Dillon is starting the race 26th and has the potential to finish top 20, maybe even top 15 if he stays out of trouble and doesn’t try the same pit strategy on Sunday. Ty Dillon is as far down the sheet as I want to go for Sunday. I am not into Michael McDowell starting the race 13th, though I think that will be a popular play because of his price tag. I don’t think McDowell has the equipment to run in the top 10 all day, I think it’s more likely that McDowell and Ty Dillon finish within 5 positions of each other which would make Dillon a better play, unless you really need the extra $1k in salary.
My cash lineup will be built around Erik Jones and Joey Logano. I think you have three decisions to make. 1: between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick, 2: between Tyler Reddick and Aric Almirola, and 3: between Ty Dillon and Michael McDowell. I think any lineup you build using those guys would be solid. I’m leaning towards Elliott, Logano, Jones, Dillon, and Reddick and adding Almirola as my 6th driver on DK. Good Luck!
Tyler Miller is a lifelong NASCAR enthusiast who spent five years as a producer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (2008-2013). Upon meeting his wife in Washington DC, Tyler became an Army spouse and left his career to move all over the country and help raise their two children. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Communication and Electronic Media Production from Ashland University and is currently pursuing a Masters’ of Science degree in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.