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NASCAR DFS: The Clash at Daytona Post-Qualifying

Following the qualifying round at Daytona, Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking points out who to target on DraftKings for the Clash!

The Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona is set for Saturday night, and there is nothing traditional about the race, including qualifying. The starting lineup for the 75-lap exhibition race was set by a random drawing, and Brad Keselowski will lead the 17-car field to the green after earning the top spot.

He will be joined on the front row by Denny Hamlin, and Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, and Martin Truex Jr. complete the Top 5.

Starting up front is typically a death sentence for a driver's fantasy value at a restrictor-plate track like Daytona because of all the wrecks that usually occur. However, the fact that there are only 17 cars in the field limits the impact of the place differential category. I'd still lean towards drivers starting deeper in the field for all cash lineups, but no driver is off limits when it comes to GPPs.

The 17-car field is also going to limit the number of available lineup combinations, and the Clash is essentially going to be the DFS NASCAR equivalent of a short slate in the NBA or NHL. It is going to be difficult to differentiate your lineups from the masses, so don't be afraid to go out on a limb with some of your tournament picks.

You can catch all the action Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1, and to help get you ready for the race, I've highlighted some of my favorite fantasy options now that the starting lineup is set.

Must-Own Drivers

Brad Keselowski ($10,100)

He drew the pole position for Saturday night's race, and while that means he has everything to lose in the place differential category, Keselowski is also in a position to potentially dominate the event. After all, he led the most laps at plate tracks last year, winning twice and leading 40-plus laps three times. He is a little risky for cash games, but he is one of my favorite tournament plays.

Denny Hamlin ($8,600)

If Brad Keselowski isn't the top restrictor-plate track driver right now, Hamlin is. He is the defending winner of the Clash and a three-time winner of the event overall, and he is also the defending winner of the Daytona 500. Starting on the front row, Hamlin could be out front early and often Saturday night. He isn't an ideal cash game play because of all the points he could lose in the place differential category, but I expect him to be one of the main contenders for the win and one of the drivers you need plenty of exposure to in tournaments.

Value Plays

Kyle Busch ($8,300)

Joe Gibbs Racing has been the dominant organization in the Clash, winning eight times overall and four times in the last five races. Busch has been part of that dominance and starting 13th; he has added potential in the place differential category. He will likely be a popular pick, and Busch should be one of the top cash game plays. However, it wouldn't be a shock to see him finish as the top scorer, and he can be an anchor for any lineup this weekend.

Matt Kenseth ($7,200)

After drawing the 15th-starting spot, Kenseth is going to be a popular play, and he is a must-own option in cash games thanks to his safe floor. He also has a 7.0 average finish in four starts in the Clash with JGR and won the 15 events, so he has plenty of upside. Kenseth is in prime position to be one of the top scorers this weekend.

Kyle Larson ($7,000)

His overall record at restrictor-plate tracks isn't great, and it could scare some people away from Larson. However, he has finished in the Top 5 in both of his starts in the Clash, so he has the upside you need if you plan on winning a GPP. With such a small field, you need to try to find ways to differentiate your lineups. Larson could be an under-owned stud.

Jamie McMurray ($6,300)

I expect plenty of repeat lineups with just 17 drivers to pick from, so if you want to win a GPP, you need to target drivers who won't be popular but also have legit upside. Starting third, McMurray could be the perfect fit. Some players are going to be scared off by his potential to be one of the biggest losers in the place differential category, but with four restrictor-plate wins under his belt, McMurray could end up in victory lane.

Sleeper Special

Chris Buescher ($5,500)

He drew the short straw and will have to start dead last Saturday night, but all that means is that Buescher has the most points to gain and the least to lose in the place differential category. He is a low-risk, low-priced option, and he should be a staple of cash game lineups.

2017 Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona Starting Lineup

Pos.

No.

Driver

Sponsor

Make

1

2

Brad Keselowski

SKF

Ford

2

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx Express

Toyota

3

1

Jamie McMurray

McDonald's Big Mac

Chevrolet

4

3

Austin Dillon

Dow

Chevrolet

5

78

Martin Truex Jr.

5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength

Toyota

6

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe's

Chevrolet

7

4

Kevin Harvick

Busch Beer

Ford

8

88

Alex Bowman

Nationwide

Chevrolet

9

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil

Ford

10

41

Kurt Busch

Monster Energy/Haas Automation

Ford

11

42

Kyle Larson

Credit One Bank

Chevrolet

12

10

Danica Patrick

TaxAct

Ford

13

18

Kyle Busch

M&M's

Toyota

14

24

Chase Elliott

NAPA Auto Parts

Chevrolet

15

20

Matt Kenseth

Interstate Batteries

Toyota

16

19

Daniel Suarez

ARRIS

Toyota

17

37

Chris Buescher

Kroger ClickList

Chevrolet


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