This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
Location: Loudon, N.H.
Course: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Format: 1.06-mile oval
Denny Hamlin ran away to his fifth season win in a Thursday-night race last week at Kansas City Speedway. The victory moves him one win ahead of Kevin Harvick, as the seesaw battle between the two continues to build toward the season-ending playoffs. With seven races remaining in the regular season, focus is beginning to shift to the final playoff positions. Jimmie Johnson's continued bad luck dropped him further adrift of a playoff spot in his final full-time season. His teammate, William Byron, sits in the final playoff position with just a 10-point gap back to Tyler Reddick in 17th position. Erik Jones is hot on their heels, though, and is now just 12 points behind Byron. As the final races approach, there's a good chance another new winner will be crowned in the 2020 season, which would just add more pressure on those trying to get in on points.
This week may not be the one for fantasy players to expect an upset winner, though. Last year's race was a battle between Harvick and Hamlin, and those two have won four of the last five at the track. New Hampshire isn't on the playoff schedule, and the series only visits it once a year now. That means teams could throw caution to the wind to see what works and what doesn't, but recent trends would suggest the usual suspects will be tough to beat at the flat oval.
Key Stats at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 48
- Winners from pole: 6
- Winners from top-5 starters: 13
- Winners from top-10 starters: 25
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 9
- Fastest race: 117.134 mph
Previous 10 New Hampshire Winners
2019 - Kevin Harvick
2018 - Kevin Harvick
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Denny Hamlin
2016 fall - Kevin Harvick
2016 spring - Matt Kenseth
2015 fall - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Kyle Busch
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - Brad Keselowski
Fantasy managers will want to keep Martinsville Speedway in mind when contemplating driver selections for this week's race. Martin Truex Jr. won at Martinsville last month after leading 132 laps. The long straights and flat sweeping turns of the two tracks pose similar challenges for teams and drivers, so Truex's win in June shouldn't be lost in preparation for this week. While New Hampshire's turns are wide, the shallow banking means a low groove through the middle of the corner is the preferred line and passing will be difficult. Track position and pit strategy will be major factors in Sunday's race as a result. Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin have the early advantage having drawn front-row starting positions. Pitting off-sequence comes with greater risk this week since the short lap distance will mean going a lap down. As a result, drivers starting at the back will be considering two-tire stops early to gain track position and hope that a late caution allows them to keep it.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
There is a good chance that Kevin Harvick (DK $11,600, FD $14,200) or Denny Hamlin (DK $10,400, FD $13,400) will battle for the win on Sunday. They could even battle one another like they have multiple times in recent weeks and like in this race last season. Finding a way to incorporate both into a lineup could be the way to go. They have a combined seven wins at this track, and both start inside the top 10. Aric Almirola (DK $8,500, FD $10,500) will lead the field to green on Sunday and has a good chance of leading laps. He led 54 total in the last two New Hampshire races and has been on a run of great form with top-10 finishes in every points race since Miami. Clint Bowyer (DK $7,200, FD $9,400) starts sixth on Sunday and has two New Hampshire wins. Chris Buescher (DK $6,100, FD $6,000) has an average finish of 23.3 from six career starts at New Hampshire and placed 15th in last year's race. He starts 24th on Sunday and should be capable of a finish inside the top 20. Another value for fantasy managers this week could be Daniel Suarez (DK $5,900, FD $4,500). The Toyota driver starts on the last row Sunday but hasn't finished lower than 22nd at New Hampshire in his career. He also has two top-10s from four track starts.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Martin Truex Jr. (DK $10,700, FD $12,200) led 132 laps to win at Martinsville Speedway earlier this season and that should be a good indication of his potential this week at New Hampshire. He has just one win so far this season, but fantasy managers should probably expect that number to increase. The benefit of choosing Christopher Bell (DK $10,100, FD $9,000) this week is that he will start 35th. Bell is much more of a top-20 driver than that starting position gives him credit for. While fantasy players shouldn't expect him to win, he should be scoring handfuls of points for finish differential. Kurt Busch (DK $7,700, FD $10,000) has three top-10s in the last three races and three New Hampshire wins. He started from pole and led 94 laps here in 2018. Tyler Reddick (DK $7,500, FD $8,200) put himself in the playoff picture and will be working to ensure he stays there through the final seven races. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,800, FD $6,800) has endured some difficult races recently, but was a top-20 driver before that. He has two top-10s in 12 New Hampshire starts but crashed out of last year's race. Cole Custer (DK $6,700, FD $7,700) has a 2020 win that has him in the playoffs, but also has three top-10 finishes in the last four races and will start 14th on Sunday.