I’d say week one of my new job went just as planned. Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon were both optimal, as RCR had a phenomenal race as predicted. Ty Gibbs, while not spectacular, did what he needed to do to be a solid play by gaining some spots and fighting for a top fifteen. Meanwhile, my fade Stenhouse call was solid as well, with him fading to finish outside the top ten and never really running up front.
Now, this week comes an even greater challenge. Vegas, like always, is a big gamble. But I’m back again for more with three DFS plays and one fade for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400.
*All Prices listed are on DraftKings
Ross Chastain – $10,300
Ross Chastain has a misleading average finish here (21.2) that I am hoping will move people away from him. In the NextGen car, Chastain has finished second and third here respectively, while leading the most laps at each event. While his practice speeds were good, they weren’t great. But, Ross Chastain rarely practiced well last year either. The fact that he was quick in practice and qualifying should be an indicator that the Watermelon man has a hot rod this weekend at Vegas. His eighth-place starting position is better than both of his starting positions at Vegas last year (11th and 18th).
Alex Bowman – $8,500
I debated this one for a while. But $8,500 for a defending race winner in a Hendrick Chevy is just way too cheap. Bowman just missed advancing to the second round in qualifying (just like he did last year), and the last time he was on this track he won. Even if you want to look at how the #48 did with Noah Gragson behind the wheel in the fall, the Ally Chevrolet still finished 11th. Bowman has dark horse winner potential, and with so many people likely to play Bowman’s teammate William Byron because of how impressive his practice and qualifying were, Bowman could be lower owned than expected.
Aric Almirola – $6,400
Again, another driver with misleading averages is Aric Almirola. AA has just one top 10 in his last six starts here. But, that top ten was in the spring race last year here. He was 18th in the fall race, bringing his NextGen Las Vegas average finish to 12th. The thing that really impressed me about Aric Almirola though was his practice speeds. He was ninth on the time charts and sixth in the five-lap average. Starting back in 21st, at such a low price point, Almirola is easily a driver who could go under the radar in terms of ownership and could be a winner.
DO NOT TOUCH
Christoper Bell – $9,300
I don’t love putting this here, because I feel like it could burn me. The numbers don’t lie, however. Bell did have the fastest car in round 1 of qualifying, but Bell can never seem to catch a break here at Vegas. In his last six starts, he has just two top 10 finishes. Outside of that, he has finished outside of the top twenty in the other four. His best finish is just seventh place, and he has only led 32 laps at this track in total. You can mix in Bell if you want (fully fading a Joe Gibbs Toyota at Vegas probably isn’t a great idea), but I recommend being underweight.