Get your engines started for the Drydene 400 DFS slate! Sean Engel provides top NASCAR Daily Fantasy Picks for Cup Series DraftKings & FanDuel lineups!
THIS WEEK’S RACE DETAILS
Time & Date of Race: Sunday, May 16th, 2021 at 2:00 PM EST
Track: Dover International Speedway
Track Details: 1.0 Mile Concrete Oval
Banking of Turns: 24°
Banking of Straightaways: 9°
Race Length: 400 Laps/ 400 Miles
Last Race Details at Dover
Date: August 23rd, 2020
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick
Lap Leaders (6 Total Drivers): Kevin Harvick (223), Ryan Blaney (37), Aric Almirola (22), Joey Logano (15), Matt DiBenedetto (11), Jimmie Johnson (3).
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Drivers will accumulate points as follows below:
- Place Differential (How many positions a driver finishes above or below their starting position):
+/- 1 Pt each
- Fastest Laps (Awarded for the driver that sets the fastest lap time on each lap): + 0.45 Pts.
- Laps Led (Awarded for each lap a driver leads the race): + 0.25 Pts.
(Awarded for where a driver finishes at the end of the race):
1st: +45 Pts.
2nd: +42 Pts.
3rd: + 41 Pts.
4th: + 40 Pts.
5th: + 39 Pts.
And the amount of points earned continues decreasing until the last finishing position in the field.
DK Scoring Notes to Keep in Mind:
- A driver’s starting position is based on his qualifying position. If a driver’s qualifying position is disallowed, his starting position will be his new spot at the back of the race. If a driver’s starting position changes between qualifying and the start of the race for any other reason (Example: going to a backup car) the original qualifying position will be used to calculate place differential.
- Finishing Position is defined as the driver’s standing order at the end of the race. Disqualifications related to same-day post-race inspection will not change a driver’s Finishing Position, Laps Led, or Fastest Laps stats.
- Laps Completed (Awarded for all laps any driver completes): +0.1 Pts
- Laps Led: +0.1 Pts.
- Place Differential: +/- 0.5 Pts.
1st: +43 Pts.
2nd: +40 Pts.
3rd: +38 Pts.
4th: +37 Pts
5th: +36 Pts.
And the amount of points earned continues decreasing until the last finishing position in the field.
If you’re new to Elite Sports’ DFS Picks articles, here is the rundown. Every week for each Cup race, this article will be published including driver outlooks based on a combination of track results, loop data, and performance from this season. If there are any pre-race events including qualifying and practices, this article will be updated based on their results upon completion. If a racer performs well or poorly throughout pre-race events, this will affect their outlook and be noted as such. Otherwise, all picks listed are final.
This article will feature four groups of driver recommendations: Top-priced picks, Mid-Tier picks, and Value Sleepers. Between each of these groups there will be 12 total drivers with their outlooks evaluated for this week’s race. These outlooks are here to help you make tough lineup calls that detail which drivers to start or park every week.
In case you want additional information to follow-up on this article, I encourage you to check out the cheat sheet for this race and the projections tab. Without further delay, I present to you the picks for this week’s race, the Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Dover is one of the smaller tracks in the Cup Series and races there have lap counts comparable to short tracks. With 400 laps racers can lead this week, this means that DFS players must aim to include dominators in their lineups.
Last season in both Cup events at DIS, the driver that led the most laps went on to win while five of the last six winners at the Delaware track led at least 100 or more laps. Considering how several favorites to win start towards the front this week, expect one to three different drivers to dominate and lead portions of the entire Cup Series event.
Due to the small track length, it’s harder for drivers to make passes for position at Dover and it’s easier to fall behind and be lapped more than most Cup tracks. As a result, racers that start towards the front are more likely to finish around their starting position than those starting further back.
There are still a few drivers this week that are strong plays based on their place differential upside, but fantasy players must be mindful of these factors when creating lineups for Dover.
As always, the more lineups any DFS player can create for a Cup Series race, the greater the chance of cashing out in contests especially when crashes can happen at a smaller track like Dover. Good luck and be wary of my picks and recommendations below.
LOOP DATA AND DRIVER STATS
Here are the Top 10 drivers in the field this Sunday at Dover in Driver Rating since 2019:
1: Kyle Larson – 124.6
2: Martin Truex Jr. – 122.8
3: Kevin Harvick – 122.4
4: Denny Hamlin – 106.7
5: Brad Keselowski – 97.2
6: Alex Bowman – 94.6
7: Kyle Busch – 91.8
8: William Byron – 90.8
9: Ryan Blaney – 90.0
10: Joey Logano – 89.5
Here are the Top 10 drivers in the field this Sunday at Dover in Average Running Position since 2019:
1: Kyle Larson – 3.5
2: Kevin Harvick – 5.1
3: Martin Truex Jr. – 5.1
4: Brad Keselowski – 8.1
5: Denny Hamlin – 8.9
6: Ryan Blaney – 11.0
7: William Byron – 11.7
8: Alex Bowman – 11.8
9: Kyle Busch – 11.8
10: Cole Custer – 12.0
Here are the Top 10 drivers in the field this Sunday in Average Finish at Dover since 2018:
1: Kevin Harvick – 3.3
2: Martin Truex Jr. – 4.3
3: Kyle Larson – 6.5
4: Denny Hamlin – 9.2
5: Brad Keselowski – 10.0
6: Cole Custer – 10.5
7: Joey Logano – 11.8
8: Kyle Busch – 12.2
9: Erik Jones – 12.8
10: Aric Almirola – 13.5
Here are the Top 10 drivers in the field this Sunday in Laps Led at Dover since 2018:
1: Kevin Harvick – 676
2: Denny Hamlin – 333
3: Martin Truex Jr. – 235
4: Chase Elliott – 183
5: Brad Keselowski – 183
6: Kyle Larson – 154
7: Aric Almirola – 86
8: Austin Dillon – 49
9: Alex Bowman – 42
10: Ryan Blaney – 37
Here are the winners of the last 10 Dover races:
August 23rd, 2020 – Kevin Harvick
August 22nd, 2020 – Denny Hamlin
October 2019 – Kyle Larson
May 2019 – Martin Truex Jr.
October 2018 – Chase Elliott
May 2018 – Kevin Harvick
October 2017 – Kyle Busch
June 2017 – Jimmie Johnson
October 2016 – Martin Truex Jr.
May 2016 – Matt Kenseth
DRYDENE 400 DFS NASCAR PICKS FOR DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL
Martin Truex Jr. #19 (DraftKings: $11,900 | FanDuel: $14,000) – Starting: 1st – The only driver with multiple wins this season, Martin Truex Jr. is one of the best top picks for Dover. The driver of the No. 19 Toyota has eight finishes of fourth or better in the last nine races at the site including two wins. Since 2019 at DIS, Truex ranks third in Laps in the Top 15 (1,340) and Average Running position (5.1), and second in Fastest Laps (181), and Driver Rating (122.8). Truex considers Dover his home track and one of his favorite tracks. Although he has no PD upside due to his starting position, his equipment and performance this season indicate he will lead plenty of laps early. DFS players need to build several lineups around Truex this week as history favors him to compete for the win.
Kyle Larson #5 (DraftKings: $11,500 | FanDuel: $13,500) – Starting: 4th – Last week’s runner-up, Kyle Larson, has great history at Dover. In 12 races at the Delaware track, the driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet has one win from his last appearance there and nine top-10 finishes. Larson also leads all drivers in Average Running Position (3.5) and Driver Rating (124.6) since 2019 at Dover. This season, Larson has been a regular contender for wins regardless of track type and this week is no exception as Dover is one of his top tracks. Larson is one of the best choices as a top-priced pick based on history and equipment and should be one of the core pieces of lineups.
Brad Keselowski #2 (DraftKings: $10,300 | FanDuel: $11,000) – Starting: 15th – Fantasy players looking for PD upside this weekend should consider Brad Keselowski. In 22 starts at Dover, the driver of the No. 2 Ford has one win and 10 top-10 finishes including his last two Cup events at the site. Since 2019 at DIS, Keselowski ranks fifth in Driver Rating (97.2), fourth in Average Running Position (8.1), and first in Laps in the Top 15 (1,399) of active drivers. Although Keselowski has mixed results throughout 2021 so far, the PD upside as well as his equipment and history make him a favorable option to recommend at Dover.
Kyle Busch #18 (DraftKings: $10,000 | FanDuel: $12,000) – Starting: 6th – One of the more consistently stronger drivers in recent races this season is Kyle Busch. The driver of the No. 18 Toyota is a three-time Dover winner and placed in the Top 10 in four of his last five races at the site. Since 2019 at the track, Busch ranks fifth of active drivers in Laps in the Top 15 (1,129) and first in Quality Passes (152), which are passes of cars in the Top 15 under green flag conditions. Busch does not provide a lot of PD upside this week, but his results and equipment this season point to him competing for a top-5 finish.
Kurt Busch #1 (DraftKings: $8,700 | FanDuel: $8,500) – Starting: 28th – The older Busch brother has not had a strong 2021 so far, but is a great DFS option for Sunday. The driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet has four top-15 finishes with positive PD in his last five Dover starts and is a former winner there. Busch has scored positive PD in four of his last six starts this season and also picked up three top-20 finishes. Considering the massive PD upside and how he has better equipment than some starting ahead of him, look for Busch to place in the Top 20 with a strong chance of finishing in the Top 15.
Aric Almirola #10 (DraftKings: $8,200 | FanDuel: $7,500) – Starting: 32nd – Almirola is having one of his worst seasons in years, but despite this, he’s still a fantastic pick for DFS this week. Dover is one of the more favorable tracks statistically for the driver of the No. 10 Ford. He has 11 top-20 finishes in 14 starts there including every race since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018. This season, Almirola has six top-20 finishes including three of the last five Cup events. With plenty of PD upside and strong equipment, Almirola is a must-play for DFS lineups, especially in cash games.
Cole Custer #41 (DraftKings: $7,700 | Fanduel: $6,500) – Starting: 30th – Sophomore driver Cole Custer is another mid-tier option to recommend for Sunday. The driver of the No. 41 Ford is a former Xfinity winner at Dover and placed 11th or better in both of his Cup starts at the course last season. This season, Custer has five top-20 finishes and captured positive PD five times. Statistically, Dover is a favorable track for Custer and with his amazing PD upside this week, he is a great pick, especially for FanDuel lineups where he provides cap flexibility.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #47 (DraftKings: $7,100 | FanDuel: $6,300) – Starting: 20th – For the price, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a quality option for DFS players at Dover. In 17 starts at the site, the driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet has 12 top-20 finishes including three of his last five Cup events. Stenhouse also has been quietly consistent with top-20 finishes in all but two Cup Series races this season. While offering a fair amount of PD upside, look for Stenhouse to compete for a top-15 finish based on history and equipment this season with JTG Daugherty Racing.
Bubba Wallace #23 (DraftKings: $6,900 | FanDuel: $5,200) – Starting: 22nd – Bubba Wallace is a value sleeper with potential for a finish in the Top 15 at Dover. Historically, the driver of the No. 23 Toyota only picked up one top-20 finish in his career at Dover, but he procured positive PD five times at the site. In his first season with 23XI Racing, Wallace has five top-20 finishes including two of the last races in 2021. Wallace has a decent amount of PD upside this week and with better equipment this year, look for Wallace to compete for a Top 15 at a track where he consistently obtained PD.
Ross Chastain #42 (DraftKings: $6,500 | FanDuel: $5,000) – Starting: 19th – One of the better options for value picks this Sunday is Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ross Chastain. In six races at Dover in the Cup Series, the driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet’s best finish is 20th while he scored positive PD four times. Chastain currently has a streak this season of placing 17th or better in each of the last five races while taking positive PD nine times in 2021. Considering his consistency in his season to date performances, Chastain has a high chance of placing in the Top 15 while claiming a modest amount of PD.
Daniel Suarez #99 (DraftKings: $6,300 | FanDuel: $6,700) – Starting: 24th – Daniel Suarez is a driver that is highly capable of delivering a solid finish for the price at Dover. In his career at Dover, the driver of the No. 99 Chevrolet placed in the Top 20 in all but two of his starts. Suarez also has regularly finished well this season based on his salary, which includes six top-20 finishes with four in the last seven Cup events. Based on his solid PD upside and favorable track history, Suarez is one of the best value sleepers of the week for Dover.
Ryan Preece #37 (DraftKings: $5,900 | FanDuel: $4,500) – Starting: 25th – Fantasy players looking to save a lot of cap flexibility for Dover this week should consider Ryan Preece. Preece’s best finish in four starts at the site is 19th, but he captured positive PD in all of his Cup events there. In 2021, the driver of the No. 37 Chevrolet had five top-20 finishes and earned positive PD five times so far. Considering his equipment, track history, and results this season, Preece will compete for a top-20 finish.
CORE 4 PICKS TO WIN:
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Larson
- Denny Hamlin
- Kyle Busch
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