The initial stage of the Pocono doubleheader is complete, with Kevin Harvick taking the checkered flag over Denny Hamlin. The race was not without drama as Aric Almirola dominated most of the race, but a bad four-tire call from his team relegated him to third place.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s chalk Erik Jones was wrecked in a massive incident with Tyler Reddick. That means Jones will start today’s race from 38th place and once again be the chalkiest driver on the board.
Like the second race in the Darlington twin bill, today’s race will have the top 20 starting positions filled by an investment from its final position in the first race. That means Ryan Preece is on pole.
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NASCAR on Pocono DraftKings DFS strategy
Strategically, it shouldn’t change much from Pocono’s first run. A driver is even less likely to dominate most of the race, as the majority of the field front is not the favorite to win. That means DFS players should look once again at the combination of differential position and final position to build rosters.
Let’s get into the best plays for today’s race.
NASCAR at Pocono DraftKings DFS Picks
Pocono DraftKings Chalk Picks
There are some calcareous plays thanks to several drivers with poor finishes. I have written two controllers here because I want to specifically talk about how much exposure is optimal for these controllers.
At the bottom of the chalk section, I’ll also list several other drivers that you should have at least 25% exposure to in GPP.
Erik Jones ($ 7,400) – As I mentioned above, Jones is the obvious chalk game today. However, the real question is how much exposure should you have to Jones?
To determine this, I looked at the rate of major incidents since 2013 at Pocono. Overall, about 19% of cars experience a major incident, but that number was only 13.3% last year under similar aerodynamic rules. Also, Jones likely has a minor problem that doesn’t allow him to move as far as possible.
If we assume almost any other circumstance, Jones ends up far enough to be in the winning lineup, then we get a neighborhood number of 70% -85% for the optimal amount of Jones exposure. We also have to keep in mind that this race is a bit shorter than previous Pocono races, so there is less time for an incident.
It would divide the difference and have an optimal 75% to 80% Jones exposure.
Joey Logano ($ 9,400) – Logano is more expensive than Jones, but given the fact that there will not be many dominant points in general, I agree with choosing Logano even if his dominating potential is very low.
Logano had the third-fastest average green flag speed, but finished 36th due to a late tire failure in the race. With such an important place differential, Logano should surely be chosen for a top 13 result in an incident-free race. That would give him a minimum of 52 points that would take him to the edge of the winning lineup.
Logano has finished in the top 13 in seven of his 15 Pocono races while with Team Penske. However, with so many calcareous plays, I don’t want to have too much exposure to Logano. I would use it in a little less than half of my lineups.
Other chalk (in order of exposure more to less preferred): Tyler Reddick (30, $ 7600), Chase Elliott (25, $ 10,400), Kevin Harvick (20, $ 10,700), Alex Bowman (27, $ 8500), Denny Hamlin (19, $ 10,200), Aric Almirola (18, $ 7200)
Pocono DraftKings GPP Picks
Here are three low-ownership drivers you can add to your tournament lineups to get a little uniqueness.
Brad Keselowski ($ 9600) – Martin Truex Jr. will have relatively low ownership compared to Elliott, Harvick, and Hamlin, and you should have some exposure to it in a mass multiple-entry environment.
However, I am pretty sure there will be a huge gap in ownership between Truex and Keselowski.
The No. 2 Team Penske Ford driver will have very little ownership thanks to some struggles on Saturday combined with a higher starting position than the aforementioned drivers. The good news: His Penske teammates were quick.
Logano, Ryan Blaney and Penske affiliate Matt DiBenedetto were in the top nine in average running position and average green flag speed. Keselowski is a former Pocono winner and has seven top-five finishes in his last 10 starts on the track.
John Hunter Nemechek ($ 6,100) – I don’t exactly love Nemechek’s starting position, but thanks to the investment, he is much better than most other riders in his price range. The only other $ 5500 to $ 6600 driver with a nice starting position is Corey Lajoie ($ 5600), who comes out of a spot in front of Nemechek.
Nemecheck is likely to have the best day in this price range, and we are going to need to save the salary somewhere.
Quin Houff ($ 5100) – If an alignment occurs that has multiple high-priced drivers ending in the top three, with Jones and / or Reddick as well, we may need to completely skip the $ 5500- $ 6600 price range and go down to Houff, starting dead last.
Houff came out of the first race, but was faster than six other drivers before his accident. In case you earn six points for speed, and some more for other driver issues, one place at 30 is enough to give you 24 DraftKings points.
It’s gross, but this is a weird blackboard. Don’t go crazy here, this is a 15% type move, I just didn’t want the markers to be completely ignored.