Dover International Speedway kicks off Round 2 of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Playoffs, as we’re set for 400 laps around The Monster Mile in the Gander Outdoors 400 on Sunday afternoon. Dover is a relatively predictive racetrack as far as Fantasy NASCAR goes, and even though you can kind of view it as a short track, it’s not. Being one of the more predictable races means that wrecks aren’t necessarily an issue, although they do happen sometimes. Mechanical issues are much more likely to happen, and those are what can really mess up your day in Fantasy NASCAR–not to mention pit road penalties. Pit crews are going to need to be perfect here on Sunday, because one small mistake on a green flag stop can easily put your drive 2 or 3 laps down.
DraftKings: Talkin’ Strategy
GPP Drivers I Love For Dover 2 Gander Outdoors 400
Clint Bowyer ($9,300) – Honestly, I don’t hate the idea of fading The Big Three this weekend. I think Kevin Harvick ($12,100) has a car that can dominate on Sunday, but it’s hard for me to image Kyle Busch ($11,800) or Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,500) coming out with the absolute fastest cars for the Gander Outdoors 400. So from a DraftKings perspective, you have to start looking elsewhere, and Clint Bowyer sitting there at $9,300 could end up being one of the best plays on Sunday. I have Harvick and Kyle Larson ($10,200) as my top 2 dominators heading into Sunday’s big race, but the 3rd guy in that category is kind of a toss up between Bowyer and Truex. Busch is a not-so-distant 5th. Dover has been a good track for Clint since he joined Stewart-Haas Racing, as he’s finished 6th and 2nd in the last two races here. Additionally, Bowyer led 40 laps here back in May, which nearly doubled his career total over 25 starts. The Stewart-Haas Fords have been great on the tracks shorter than 1.5-miles this season and there’s no reason that that will change this weekend. Oh, and Bowyer’s so happy with his car that he quit practicing early on Saturday, even though they only had one session to work with. His overall average speed was 2nd-best to Harvick.
Jimmie Johnson ($8,200) – Jimmie Johnson priced at $8,200 at Dover is insanity. Through 33 career starts at The Monster Mile, Jimmie has won 11 times (not a typo–33.3% of the time) while also accumulating 17 top 5s and 24 top 10s. His overall average finish here is 9.1, which is 4th-best in the series, but the guys ahead of him (Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Larson) have all made 9 or less starts at this track. As far as this weekend goes, the #48 Chevrolet will roll off the grid from 13th when the Gander Outdoors 400 goes green (thanks to Johnson’s last-lap move at the Roval), but it should finish in the single-digits by the time this is all said and done. What I really like most about Johnson this week, though, is the fact that he ran 95 laps in Saturday’s lone practice session, tied for the most of anyone in the session. Jimmie only does that when he really likes his race car.
Daniel Suarez ($8,000) – This weekend has been the perfect storm for Daniel Suarez to go severely under-owned for Dover. He’s going to start from back in 19th, which gives him a pretty good amount of room for positive place differential, but at the same time, it’s in that area of the starting lineup where it’s not glaringly obvious that you should take in DraftKings. Additionally, Suarez’s salary is higher than usual, so it’s going to be very easy for most people to overlook him. Finally, the #19 Toyota didn’t look super fast in Saturday’s lone practice session, so that will make people shy away, too. I wouldn’t recommend that, though. We’re going to have a completely different track to work with here on Sunday, and Daniel Suarez is really, really good at Dover. And like you’ve heard me said before, when Suarez is good at a track, it’s stupid to go against him. In three career starts here, Daniel has yet to finish worse than 8th, and he posted a 3rd-place finish at The Monster Mile back in May. I don’t see him finishing inside the top 5 in Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400, but I am expecting a top 10.
Regan Smith ($6,200) – Regan Smith has made just four starts in the #95 Chevrolet thus far, but three of those ended in top 20 finishes, so it’s not like he’s not getting the job done. This weekend will be start number five for Regan, and I think there’s a very good chance that he ends up inside the top 20 yet again. He’s going to start from 25th when the green flag waves on Sunday, which is a little bit high, but if he can finish in the teens at the end of the Gander Outdoors 400, that’s some great value for a $6,200 driver. As far as this team goes, Kasey Kahne ran 17th here at Dover in the Spring, and the #95 Chevrolet was 14th-best in ten-lap average during the lone practice session here at Dover on Saturday. Guys like Michael McDowell ($5,600) and Ty Dillon ($5,700) are going to be chalk plays this weekend, and I think Regan Smith is a nice off-sequence pair with one of those two, especially if you stay away from The Big Three and their high salaries.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($6,000) – Bonus driver! As I mentioned earlier, Dover doesn’t see a whole lot of wrecks, which bodes well for Wrecky Stenhouse. Also, The Monster Mile has actually been pretty nice to him in the past, as long as the #17 Ford has no mechanical issues on race day. And for just $6,000 in DraftKings, Stenhouse might be one of my favorite plays in the field. Stenhouse is going to start from 21st when the Gander Outdoors 400 goes green on Sunday, but I’m expecting him to challenge for a top 15 when it’s all said and done. He’s made 12 career starts here at Dover and 9 of them have ended in top 20 finishes (75%). Most recently, he finished 5th here back in May, and that makes it four results of 15th or better for Stenhouse in the last six Dover races. Practice-wise, the #17 Ford was 11th-fastest in Saturday’s session and ranked 3rd on the ten-lap average chart (as well as 10th in overall speed!).
DraftKings Driver Point Projections for Dover 2
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from five different ranking systems, using both mathematical equations as well as personal rankings. This chart also includes the average projected base + laps led + fastest laps DraftKings FPTS as well as the dollar per FPT. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Starting Position||Avg. Projected Finish||Proj Laps Led||Proj Fastest Laps||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||$11,500||74.1||3||03.4||51||41||$155|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$6,000||29.6||21||18.2||0||2||$203|