NASCAR DFS Prop Picks: Go Bowling 235 – Monkey Knife Fight

On Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series makes it’s debut on the Daytona road course. This wasn’t a scheduled race. It might never be a Cup race again. But because of the weirdness that is the 2020 season during a global pandemic, we’re here for what could be one of the bumpiest races of the season if Saturday’s Xfinity race is any indication.

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We’ll be helping you along every day and night where there’s a race, by providing you with expert prop picks all NASCAR season long here at RotoBaller.

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One of the things that interests me the most about this race is the potential for things to get weird, especially if it rains.

And because of that weirdness, I kind of lean towards taking a lot of the “less fantasy points” picks this weekend, regardless of who is driving.

But first, let me lay out arguments for the less here before I get into theorizing about this track.

For Kyle Busch, it’s about 2020. He has 12 top 10s through 22 races, and while a pair of top fives at Michigan help his overall case for the season, it’s still been a fairly inconsistent year for this 18 car, which just hasn’t had the same speed we’re used to seeing.

This is the first road course race of 2020, but in three races last year, Busch had two finishes outside of the top 10. Overall as a Cup Series driver, Busch has a slightly worse average finish on road courses (13.8) than he does overall, and  at the closest comparable track to this one — the Charlotte road course — he’s finished 32nd and 37th in his career.

As for Blaney, MKF doesn’t have points for place differential, so you’re betting on Blaney driving through a crowded field after starting 24th. In DFS, I like the upside bet, but in a more strict scoring setting like this one, I think you have to weigh the various factors. Yes, he’s been strong at road courses and won the first roval race at Charlotte. But will it be easy to pass here? Are there enough laps in this race for him to get up there and lead some to help with his fantasy numbers?

The other factor here is what we know from Saturday’s Xfinity race, which is that Chase Briscoe, Earl Bamber (in the 21 car that’s been running well all year), Ross Chastain, Daniel Hemric, and Justin Haley all finished outside the top 20. Sure, Austin Cindric won, but Andy Lally, Jeremy Clements, and Myatt Snider all earned top 10s. Things were weird. They were hard to predict. And when things are this unpredictable, I tend to prefer the under picks.

With that being said…

…someone has to win this race, and these two drivers are among the best bets you could make.

Obviously, for all the chaotic reasons mentioned above, we can’t pick “more” for both guys. No way. But what we can do is weigh the various factors and determine which of the two is more likely to win.

For me, that’s Martin Truex Jr.

Elliott won two road course races last year. Truex won the other. Elliott’s 144.5 driver rating on road course races last year was best in the series, while Truex’s 125.0 was second.

But Truex has had more success overall at road courses than Elliott, and I think we need to weigh in the fact that Truex starts higher up, giving him a better chance to lead laps early on, helping his fantasy day. Remember, this race only has 65 laps, which means that only 6.5 additional points for laps led are available. Without laps led, these drivers would both need to finish second or better to hit their over. I just don’t see that being super possible. A favorite is going to have an issue here. I think the younger Elliott is who I’d lean towards having that issue, though it’s a close battle here.

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