NASCAR DFS: Quicken Loans 400 Picks

NASCAR DFS: Quicken Loans 400 Picks

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.


Location: Brooklyn, Mich.
Course: Michigan International Speedway
Format: 2.0-mile oval
Laps: 200

Race Preview

Michigan International Speedway has recently made a strong case for being NASCAR's most exciting track. The wide turns and long full-throttle straights have allowed for some excellent races among cars and strategies, combining for an exciting push and pull between teams fighting for victory. The turns feature 18-degrees of banking, and allow for three- and sometimes four-wide racing throughout the radius. There have been 91 previous races at the track with more than 75% of the races having been won by a driver starting inside the top 10. The pole sitter has won the race twice in the last three events, too. Speed matters here, which would suggest Chevrolet and Toyota might have the upper hand against Ford again this weekend. The drivers will reach average speeds of more than 200 mph per lap in qualifying making this a fast track that produces plenty of excitement.

Key Stats at Michigan International Raceway

Pevious races: 91
Winners from pole: 18
Winners from top-5 starters: 54
Winners from top-10 starters: 69
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 6
Fastest race: 173.997 mph

Last 10 Michigan Winners:

2014 fall – Jeff Gordon
2014 spring – Jimmie Johnson
2013 fall – Joey Logano
2013 spring – Greg Biffle
2012 fall – Greg Biffle
2012 spring – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2011 fall – Kyle Busch
2011 spring – Denny Hamlin
2010 fall – Kevin Harvick
2010 spring – Denny Hamlin

Although Hendrick Motorsports drivers won both races at the track in 2014, other marques and teams have been successful here as well. Greg Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing spent their time at the front, while Joe Gibbs Racing also has seen significant success at the track. Given the recent races in 2015 we would expect the Chevrolet- and Toyota-powered teams to have the early edge over Ford and Penske Racing. However, the Penske teammates have raced better than they've practiced, so don't count them out. Michigan allows drivers to search for a groove that their car can work best in, and teams will work to find where their car reacts best with their chosen combination of settings. Fuel can often be a factor at Michigan, so don't be surprised if there are some late dashes for fuel-only stops.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $13,900
Jimmie Johnson - $ 13,000
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $11,900

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $11,500
Joey Logano - $11,200
Jeff Gordon - $11,100
Carl Edwards - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Jamie McMurray - $9,900
Paul Menard - $9,700
Clint Bowyer - $8,700

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Kyle Larson - $10,100
Greg Biffle - $9,400
Aric Almirola - $8,300


Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson- $13,000
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $11,900
Ryan Newman - $9,600
Danica Patrick - $8,400
Michael Annett - $7,100

Johnson may be missing the consistency that Kevin Harvick has, but he is still likely to meet expectations on any given week, especially at a fast track like Michigan. Earnhardt is a two-time Michigan winner with top-10 finishes in both races there last season. While Newman ended up in the garage in Pocono, he should be back to his normal performances this week. He has battled adversity but remains one of the more underrated teams given their propensity for finishing inside the top 10. Danica Patrick and Michael Annett serve as drivers with some upside potential. Patrick is in need of a top-15 finish, and will work hard to make sure she gets it, while Annett is capable of a top-20 this week.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $13,900
Brad Keselowski - $11,300
Greg Biffle - $9,400
A.J. Allmendinger - $7.800
Casey Mears - $7,500

Harvick has finished in the top two in five of the last six races, and it seems like just a matter of time until he revisits Victory Lane again. Though Penske may have been down slightly in Pocono, team will come back at some point and Michigan could be that venue since it is considered a home race for them. Biffle has shown improvement with Roush Fenway Racing, but there is some real question about how sustainable and repeatable it may be. A.J. Allmendinger and Casey Mears may currently be out of Chase contention, but a single win is all they need to reignite those dreams. Both of those drivers recorded top-20 finishes in their last visit to the track.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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