Pure Michigan 400
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fantasy Live / Fox: Quick Picks
With just three races to go in the regular season, the Sprint Cup Series heads back to Michigan International Speedway for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.
For those playing DFS NASCAR, the 200-lap distance of Sunday’s race poses a bit of a challenge. Yes, the laps led and fastest laps run categories are going to be important, but on the flip side, they don’t carry near they do in a 500-mile race or a short track event.
In other words, you can’t go with a completely top-heavy lineup, and you also can’t focus solely on finishing position and place differential. It is going to take a multi-faceted lineup capable of producing points in all the scoring categories to win big at MIS.
Fortunately, history says a great place to start building your lineup is with the front row. In each of the last five races, a driver starting on the front row has led at least 63 laps. Meanwhile, the two drivers starting on the front row have combined to lead more than 140 laps three times during the same stretch.
Capitalizing on the place differential category can be a bit trickier. In the last five races combined, only seven drivers have started outside the top 20 but finished in the top 10. Pay close attention to the practice sheets before deciding which poor qualifiers to roll the dice on.
Check back this weekend for more DFS lineup tips, and in the meantime, you can check out qualifying Friday at 5:15 p.m. ET. Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 is set for 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Kevin Harvick ($10,700)
Harvick has been piling up top-five finishes at Michigan, logging six in his last seven starts at the track. In fact, Harvick has five second-place finishes in that stretch, and he has led 141 laps in five starts at MIS since joining Stewart-Haas Racing. Expect him to contend for the win while providing points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories.
Joey Logano ($10,400)
He is going for a season sweep at Michigan after a dominating performance in June that saw Logano lead a race-high 138 laps and lead all drivers with 51 fastest laps run. Since joining Team Penske he leads all drivers with a 5.0 average finish at MIS, and his 332 laps led during that same span are 181 more than any other driver. Logano has led more than 20 laps in five of his seven starts here in the No. 22, so he is a safe bet to post a big point total.
Chase Elliott ($8,700)
The sample size is small, but Elliott had one heck of a debut at Michigan in June. Not only did he finished second, but he led 35 laps and recorded 31 fastest laps, ranking second in both categories. The rookie could end up being one of the top scorers Sunday, and he is priced a notch below the top guys.
Austin Dillon ($7,900)
Dillon has plenty of experience at Michigan, and he has made major strides at Michigan recently. He led 19 laps and finished fourth here last August, and he notched a top 10 finish in the first trip to the track this year. Dillon is an easy choice if he has upside through place differential, and he could be worth a look regardless of where he qualifies if he shows good speed in practice.
Ryan Newman ($7,700)
Newman has been rock solid at Michigan, and he has cracked the top 20 in 10 straight races here, finishing in the top 15 eight times during the stretch. Newman also has an average place differential of +3.9 in his last ten starts at MIS, and he should be a great mid-priced cash game option if he starts outside the top 15.
Jamie McMurray ($7,600)
He has reeled off five straight finishes of 16th or better at Michigan, and he has two top 10s in his last three starts at the track, including a ninth-place run earlier this year. McMurray's price tag is higher than some other potential sleepers, but if he qualifies outside the top 20, his safe floor and decent upside could be worth the extra money.
Paul Menard ($7,100)
His 12.1 average finish in the last ten races at Michigan is the third-best mark in the series, and Menard has seven top 15 finishes during that stretch. He also has four top 10s in his last six races at MIS, including three fourth-place finishes. For the price, Menard could deliver a solid point total based on his finishing position alone, and his potential only increases if he starts in the middle of the pack or deeper.
Trevor Bayne ($6,300)
Not only is Bayne available at a friendly price tag, but he has been trending in the right direction at Michigan. He has finished 22nd or better in six of his last seven starts here, and he has two top 15s in his last three starts. Bayne needs to qualify back in the pack, but I'll target him for some cap relief if he starts outside the top 25.
Danica Patrick ($6,000)
Michigan has been one of Patrick's best tracks, especially when it comes to consistency. In seven starts here, she has never finished outside the top 25, and overall, she owns a 19.0 average finish and +5.7 average place differential. Patrick's price tag is as low as it has been in quite some time, and she is worth a look if she ends up starting deeper in the field.
David Ragan ($5,800)
Ragan has held his own at Michigan, and in the last ten races here, he has notched eight top 25 finishes. He also finished with a place differential of +10 or better four times during the same stretch, including earlier this year when he started 35th and finished 22nd. If Ragan qualifies outside the top 30, he could be an excellent source of cap relief.