NASCAR DFS Picks and Projections for the Brickyard 400

NASCAR heads to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400. It’s been a wet weekend, with the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon lingering in the area. All track activity on Saturday was wiped out (both practice sessions and qualiyfing). As a result, we have no practice data to use, and the starting lineup will be set by owner points. As always, I’ll give you my NASCAR DFS picks, fades, and projections for this weekend’s race. Also, the NASCAR DFS Multi-Lineup OptimizerSim Scores, and Splits apps are updated for your NASCAR DFS needs.

Because of potential weather impacting strategy, I’ll do a FREE RotoViz Live show tomorrow morning. Be sure to vote for the time you prefer for the free, live show.

For betting insights into the race, be sure to check out my piece at The Action Network. In that article, I’ll highlight my favorite NASCAR bets for Indy.

If you’re new to daily fantasy NASCAR, or simply need a refresher, check out the flat track section of my track types article. Brush up on your general GPP strategy and game theory if you want to have a shot at taking down first place. If you’re more of a cash game player, check out how to target high floor drivers, and remember to find any potential race dominators.

Let’s get to the NASCAR DFS picks, strategy, rankings, and projections for Indianapolis!


The model projections assume that the driver finishes the race – hence why you don’t see any average finishing positions worse than about 30th. The Pts column shows the average projected DraftKings points for races when the driver finishes the race.

Note: Ownership projections will be added later Saturday evening.

Kyle Busch15.6632.7519.751.721170049.0%
Kevin Harvick25.5328.0916.5250.221220034.6%
Martin Truex Jr36.7417.3413.8444.781010012.8%
Kurt Busch47.845.386.0636.7880016.5%
Joey Logano57.644.542.5436.12860014.4%
Brad Keselowski67.364.855.9839.47980014.2%
Kyle Larson77.884.656.6639.741130018.5%
Clint Bowyer89.914.25.3935.92900013.9%
Ryan Blaney910.28.925.6937.67950012.4%
Denny Hamlin108.634.689.3942.61060015.2%
Chase Elliott118.975.355.341.05920037.8%
Aric Almirola1211.835.944.1635.9800012.4%
Erik Jones137.87.162.8144.6840035.8%
Jimmie Johnson148.468.026.3146.24820014.5%
Alex Bowman1513.382.652.1333.98770011.5%
Ricky Stenhouse Jr1616.252.141.7228.973008.3%
Ryan Newman1714.192.292.2634.3372009.6%
Austin Dillon1815.780.892.3131.8271009.9%
Paul Menard1915.470.90.5432.55670014.4%
Daniel Suarez2014.210.481.7836.59750046.7%
Jamie McMurray2114.291.341.0637.27790011.7%
William Byron2214.872.230.4437.04680039.6%
Chris Buescher2318.30.40.1330.56650013.2%
AJ Allmendinger2419.020.310.1230.1610012.6%
David Ragan2519.920.390.329.41550011.5%
Michael McDowell2619.890.520.1130.39570013.5%
Regan Smith2721.350.080.1428.39
Bubba Wallace2821.
Matt Kenseth2918.491.612.5937.71700028.7%
Ty Dillon3022.480.380.1229.2630027.6%
Matt DiBenedetto3125.060.350.1225.0354006.7%
Ross Chastain3229.010.140.1218.0853004.4%
Corey Lajoie3328.990.40.1119.1751003.0%
Landon Cassill3429.740.120.1418.6152002.5%
JJ Yeley3529.950.10.0919.1748000.6%
David Starr3630.170.090.1719.7644002.0%
Jeffrey Earnhardt3729.850.040.1121.3849002.6%
Reed Sorenson3830.110.060.6322.150000.9%
Timmy Hill3929.990.050.1123.0946001.5%
BJ McLeod4030.410.050.1123.2447001.3%

Now on to the NASCAR DFS picks for Sunday!


Kyle Busch ($11,700) — At Pocono this year, Busch and Harvick have been basically neck-and-neck, with Harvick dominating more than Busch, but Busch pulling home the higher average running position and average finish. To be fair, Harvick did encounter an issue late in the second Pocono race and probably had the fastest car before that. However, for me, the decision between Harvick and Busch really comes down to three things. First, going back to last year, Busch actually leads Harvick in dominator points at Pocono and Indy combined. Second, Busch is $500 cheaper. Third, Busch starts on pole, which gives him the early advantage as well as the pit stall selection advantage. Ignore last year’s poor result at Indy — Busch and Truex were battling for the lead on a restart last year when Truex got loose and into Busch, causing heavy damage for both.

Daniel Suarez ($7500) — Suarez started up front and finished up front in the most recent Pocono race, and going back to last year (his rookie season) he has the 11th-best driver rating at the two large, flat tracks. Suarez also has the 16th-best driver rating this year in incident-free races. He’ll start 20th on Sunday, making him a near lock to pick up moderate to significant place differential barring any incidents.

William Byron ($6700) — Byron has an average finish of 12th, and average running position of 14th, and an average driver rating of 15th at Pocono this year. He won at Indy last year in the Xfinity series in his only start at the track, and also won at Pocono in the truck series in his only start there in that series. The model projects Byron for a top 15 finish, should he remain out of trouble, with more upside from there. At $6700, that’s a steal.


Kevin Harvick ($12,200) — Harvick and Busch are neck-and-neck, so it’s not a bad idea to get plenty of Harvick exposure should he have a faster car than Busch. He was faster than Busch in both Pocono races, but bad strategy and a pit road incident cost him in the second Pocono race, where he came from the back to the front much faster than Busch, after both started in the rear for failing inspection.

Chase Elliott ($9200) — Elliott has come on strong the second half of the season, boasting the fourth-best driver rating over the last 15 races. He’s also performed admirably at both Pocono races this year, with the third-best driver rating despite an average finish of only 8.5. Extending to last year, Elliott has the fourth-best driver rating at the two large, flat tracks in non-DNF races (he blew a motor at Indy last year while running 11th after starting 16th). He’ll start 11th this weekend.

Erik Jones ($8400) — Aside from Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Brad Keselowski, Jones is the only active driver with a driver rating above 100 in his incident-free races at Pocono and Indy since 2016. If we include incidents, despite his one DNF he actually comes in with the fourth-best driver rating at these tracks. Jones will start 13th on Sunday (or Monday) thanks to the wash-out of qualifying. Jones has the 12th-best driver rating when removing each driver’s DNFs this year, so as long as he keeps out of trouble, he should be a lock to move forward at a nice price tag.


Kurt Busch ($8800) — Starting fourth — immediately behind the Big Three — is not good news for Busch, who is unlikely to pick up enough dominator points to pay off his price tag. Additionally, his large, flat track history isn’t great, with an average driver rating of only 91.2 in incident-free races dating back to 2016. That’s only 10th best


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Co-Owner and Editor-in-Chief at RotoViz. Mathematics Ph.D. 3x qualifier for the DraftKings NASCAR Main Event.
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