NASCAR DFS: Coke Zero Sugar 400

NASCAR DFS: Coke Zero Sugar 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Coke Zero Sugar 400

Location: Daytona, Fla.
Course: Daytona International Speedway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 160

NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar Race Preview

Kyle Larson swept the weekend at Watkins Glen winning both NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series races. His win meant the playoff battle to be the last of the 16 drivers to have a chance at the 2022 championship is to be decided at this week's regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway. That picture changed again midweek, though, when word came that Kurt Busch and 23XI Racing would withdraw their request for a waiver for Busch to compete for the title by virtue of his win at Kansas. Busch will likely remain out of the car beyond Daytona with that news, but it frees up a playoff spot for someone not currently in the running, which right now would be Martin Truex Jr. However, despite two spots now still undecided to finalize the championship field, anything can happen at Daytona. Ryan Blaney and Truex would be the final two playoff contenders to be confirmed this week if all remains unchanged, but Daytona's racing has been known to produce a surprise or two, which means everything is still in play, and a surprise playoff qualification or elimination is still very much in the cards.

Key Stats at Daytona International Speedway

  • Number of races: 150
  • Winners from pole: 26
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 75
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 114
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 12
  • Fastest race: 183.295 mph

Previous 10 Daytona Winners

2022 spring - Austin Cindric
2021 fall - Ryan Blaney
2021 spring - Michael McDowell
2020 fall - William Byron
2020 spring - Denny Hamlin
2019 fall - Justin Haley
2019 spring - Denny Hamlin
2018 fall - Erik Jones
2018 spring - Austin Dillon
2017 fall - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

February's Daytona 500 presented many unknowns with the introduction of the new generation of car. Those questions have since been answered. The new car drafts similarly to those of the past, though side drafting and the ability of drivers to slow the car ahead by pulling close to their rear fender, has significantly reduced. That pack-style racing Daytona is famous for still reigns supreme, though. Better alignment between front and rear bumpers have made bumping slightly less risky, and we've seem some very aggressive moves this year at both Daytona and Talladega. Finding drafting partners and linking up to move forward remains a necessity, too. Arguably, being out front and choosing which oncoming lane to block is where most will want to be in the final laps. Fantasy players should expect manufacturers to team together, pit at the same times and work to keep other manufacturers behind throughout the race. Keep in mind that things should be wild with the final two playoff spots on the line, however.

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DraftKings Value Picks for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Chase Elliott - $10,500
Kyle Larson - $10,400
Ross Chastain - $10,200
Ryan Blaney - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Joey Logano - $9,800
Denny Hamlin - $9,600
Kyle Busch - $9,400
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Christopher Bell - $8,600
Austin Cindric - $8,500
William Byron - $8,400
Alex Bowman - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Bubba Wallace - $7,800
Chris Buescher - $7,700
Erik Jones - $6,900
Corey Lajoie - $5,800

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Coke Zero Sugar 400

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ryan Blaney - $10,000
Denny Hamlin - $9,600
Bubba Wallace - $7,800
Brad Keselowski - $7,200
Erik Jones - $6,900
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,200

All eyes will be on Blaney (DK $10,000, FD $13,500) this week at Daytona as he seeks to confirm his spot among the 16 playoff contenders. He is the defending winner of this race and was in position to win again in February off of the last corner of the race. Blaney is focused on the playoffs, but the best way for him to put that to bed would be by winning Saturday night. Daytona has been a good venue for Denny Hamlin (DK $9,600, FD$13,00). He has three victories at the track and consistently leads laps, too. He didn't get to show what he is capable in February due to a crash, but he led nine laps at Talladega and should be a factor again at Daytona. Bubba Wallace (DK $7,800, FD $12,500) could play spoiler in the playoff battle. He enters every superspeedway race knowing he can and should win. He's a former Talladega winner and February's Daytona 500 runner up, and he should be in the mix to win again this week. Early days at Daytona in February showed Brad Keselowski's (DK $7,200, FD $6,800) potential with his new car and team. He won his qualifying race and finished ninth in the race. He is one of the many long-shots, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he made it to Victory Lane. A superspeedway visit also should give Erik Jones (DK $6,900, FD $7,000) a boost. He has proven to be competitive on many types of tracks this season and has three top-10s in the last five races. He finished sixth at Talladega and won this race back in 2018 with Joe Gibbs Racing. Another name that rises to the top of fantasy targets at superspeedways is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,200, FD $7,800). His aggressive style comes with risks for fantasy rosters, but the potential for him to win is always there.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Chase Elliott - $10,500
Joey Logano - $9,800
Chris Buescher - $7,700
Ty Gibbs - $7,500
Michael McDowell - $7,300
Corey Lajoie - $5,800

Chase Elliott (DK $10,500, FD $14,000) might be feeling like he should have won last week at Watkins Glen, but he will get to start on pole Saturday after rain eliminated qualifying for Daytona. Elliott has been building playoff momentum as the regular season wound down, and he clinched the regular-season championship already. He only has to race for the win this weekend. He'll have to beat Joey Logano (DK $9,800, FD $11,500) to do so, though. Logano has been consistently at the front at superspeedways when crashes have taken him out. The last four races have seen him finish sixth or better, and he led a lap in all of his last seven Daytona visits. Avoiding crashes will be his goal Saturday, and if he succeeds in doing that, he should be a contender for the victory. Chris Buescher (DK $7,700, FD $7,200) has been knocking on victory's door recently, but this week could be one of his best chances to get it done. Buescher has three top-10s in the last five races and three top-fives in 13 Daytona starts. Ty Gibbs (DK $7,500, FD $5,500) is another driver fantasy players should not overlook. He has had a rough two races filling in for Kurt Busch, but is in the same equipment Wallace drove to a second-place finish in February and has one of the best superspeedway drivers, Busch, in his corner helping coach him this week. A driver who could also be an invaluable superspeedway coach is Michael McDowell (DK $7,300, FD $7,500). McDowell is a former Daytona 500 winner and finished seventh at Daytona this year. The final driver not to overlook this week is Corey Lajoie (DK $5,800, FD $4,500). He has three top-10s from his 11 Daytona starts and often finds a way to survive and race for top finishes at this 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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