Victory Lane – FanShield 500
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr
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Chase Elliott won the pole for the FanShield 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Lineup lock is 3:30 pm eastern on Sunday, check out The Setup for a full statistical analysis and preview of this race. Victory Lane will highlight the top plays for cash game consideration. Let’s get started!
Brad Keselowski ($11,500/10,400) I think Brad Keselowski is the best DFS play this weekend. I like Keselowski’s price tag and the fact that he was the fastest car in final practice over 15-30 consecutive laps. Overall, Keselowski and Harvick seem to be the class of the field, but starting 14th, Keselowski poses the best risk/reward ratio.
Kyle Busch ($14,000/12,000) Based on recent history at this race track, Kyle Busch has to be considered this weekend. Busch has won 2 of his last 3 races at Phoenix and finished top 4 in 8 of his last 9. He is the highest priced driver, but I expect Kyle to lead some laps and finish in the top 5 on Sunday which makes him a solid play.
Kevin Harvick ($12,500/11,300) Kevin Harvick might have the fastest car in Phoenix (I think it’s close between Harvick and Keselowski) and he will likely lead laps early from the 2nd starting position. I think Harvick is a good play but I prefer Keselowski and Kyle Busch at the top end. You can fit Harvick, Busch, and Keselowski in a Fan Duel lineup if you are willing to overlook some strong mid-tier options.
Joey Logano ($11,200/10,700) If we are operating under the assumption that Keselowski and Harvick have the best cars and Kyle Busch will work his way to the front, I would include Joey Logano on the short list of front running contenders for DFS lineups on Sunday. Logano was only slightly off Keselowski and Harvick’s practice speeds in final practice (fastest in 5 lap, 3rd in 10 lap, 15, and 20 lap average). Logano is cheaper than Busch, Harvick and Keselowski on Fan Duel and may come in at lower ownership.
Jimmie Johnson ($10,000/9,000) Starting 21st, this is a week where you cannot overlook Jimmie Johnson. I’m not convinced that Johnson has a top 10 car this weekend, but I am sure he will finish better than his starting position. Johnson didn’t practice well, but the team has been strong so far this year. I think he deserves consideration as a mid-tier play, particularly on Draft Kings where you cannot fit 3 top end drivers in a lineup.
William Byron ($9,500/8,300) William Byron showed promising speed during final practice, running 6th-8th in 5-20 consecutive lap speed. Starting 17th, I think Byron is my favorite for a top 10 driver priced under 10k on Fan Duel.
Tyler Reddick ($6,700/6,900) Tyler Reddick is my favorite value play of this weekend. Reddick and teammate Austin Dillon had abysmal qualifying efforts with Reddick starting 29th and Dillon starting 30th. I like Reddick slightly better than Dillon because he was faster than Dillon in practice and he is quite a bit cheaper. I think Reddick has a top 20 car, but I would be surprised if he broke inside the top 15 on Sunday. For what its worth, Reddick qualified and finished in the top 5 in both Xfinity races at Phoenix last year.
Ty Dillon ($5,500/6,200) I think a lot of people will look at Reddick and Austin Dillon and overlook Ty Dillon starting this race in the 25th position. Ty ran top 20 speeds in final practice on Friday and has top 20 finishes in each of his last 3 races at Phoenix.
Austin Dillon ($7,600/7,500) Starting 30th, it makes a lot of sense to play Austin Dillon and just move on. I am worried about playing Austin for two reasons, he was not fast in final practice (25th in 5 lap average, did not run 10 consecutive laps) and he has not historically done well at this track (2 top 10 finishes in 12 races, average finish 20.6) I think Tyler Reddick is a better play and I think Ty Dillon is an equal play at a lower price tag.
My core lineup includes Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Tyler Reddick. On Fan Duel you can play Harvick/Logano plus a value play or you can play Byron/Johnson and Austin Dillon. Due to salary differences on Draft Kings you will need to alter the lineup to be more mid-tier heavy with Byron, one or both of the Dillons, and Reddick along with a top end driver (Busch, Keselowski, or Harvick). Good luck to all our subscribers!
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 a Masters’ of Science in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.