NASCAR Daily Fantasy Picks and Helper: AdventHealth 400

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NASCAR Daily Fantasy Picks and Helper: AdventHealth 400

If you are looking for an action-packed way to consume sports on the weekend, NASCAR may be a great avenue to explore. Far from just driving in circles, some of the world's best compete nearly every weekend from February to November on tracks across America.

NASCAR drivers are scored ultimately based on how they finish in the race, how many spots they advance from their starting position, and how many laps they finish and lead. Avoiding drivers who crash out of the race is a must, though!

FanDuel Research is always your home for fantasy NASCAR advice. In addition to this helper, Jim Sannes takes a look at the best bets of the weekend in his betting guide.

With all of this in mind, let's preview this weekend's AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway from the perspective of playing daily fantasy NASCAR on FanDuel.


Track Primer and General Lineup Strategy

Though not circled on many calendars, I love races at Kansas Speedway for betting and daily fantasy.

The reason? We stop four times a year between here and the pair of races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which are arguably the two most similar tracks on the entire circuit. It provides a ton of quality data of who will be fast. Charlotte Motor Speedway in May will be another 1.5-mile track with modest tire wear.

Oddly enough, the 1.5-mile races at these venues have produced some of the best racing in this next-gen car. Therefore, we return to a balanced strategy in daily fantasy this weekend. Unlike short tracks, we don't need to entirely sell out seeking points for laps led. There are 26.7 FanDuel points available in the 267 laps, but there will be different leaders at the front. Last year's pair of races saw no driver eclipse 100 laps led.

Plus, you can be more open to drivers with speed toward the rear of the field. Of last year's 20 top-10 finishers, 7 of them (35.0%) came from outside the top-15 starting spots. A majority of the fastest cars at still at the front, but this is a venue where passing is possible.

Above all, I just want fast race cars at this quick oval. 6 of the top-10 fastest drivers in practice at Las Vegas scored top-10 finishes. This isn't a week to mess around with underfunded teams like a drafting oval or short track; speed kills.

Driver Rankings

Below are my post-qualifying rankings for each driver based on equipment, starting order, recent form, track history, and overall talent level -- in that order.

Starting Spot is where the drivers will roll off the grid. For potential lap leaders (i.e. high-salaried drivers), closer access to the front is better. For value plays, a lower starting spot gives a higher floor and access to 0.5 points on FanDuel for each position advanced in the order.

Practice Ranks are provided for both 5-lap and 10-lap average data. Those can typically be found at for all times, including different intervals that may be more appropriate for the track type.

Jim's Sims are the win simulations run by FanDuel Research's Jim Sannes. This week's sims were updated after practice and qualifying. Only drivers with a win probability above 0% in the sims or a top-15 finish this season were included in the rankings.

MLT Rank, the driver's weighted average median lap time ranking at the relevant sample of similar racetracks to this weekend, is a great indicator of overall speed. The prior races in the sample (with weight percentage) this week are:

  • Las Vegas (Spring 2024) - 40%
  • Kansas (Fall 2023) - 30%
  • Kansas (Spring 2023) - 30%

Swaim's Rank
Starting Spot
Practice Rank (10-Lap)
Practice Rank (15-Lap)
Jim's Sims
MLT Rank
1William Byron $12,500 36125.52%9
2Denny Hamlin $13,500 144315.18%1
3Kyle Larson $14,000 42121.12%2
4Martin Truex, Jr. $12,000 13555.20%7
5Tyler Reddick $13,000 153412.82%3
6Bubba Wallace $10,000 23894.28%16
7Chase Elliott $11,500 99N/A5.36%5
View Full Table

Potential Lap-Leaders

Kyle Larson ($14,000)

After leading 181 of 267 laps and winning at Kansas' sister track, Las Vegas, it's no surprise that Kyle Larson unloaded and maintained his status as this race's favorite to win (+250), per the NASCAR odds at FanDuel. Jim Sannes' simulations also put Larson (21.12% to win) as the favorite.

Larson's dominance at 1.5-mile tracks transcends just that one-race sample, and he's got a clear path to the front of today's field. He was the only driver in the top five of the 10-lap (2nd) and 15-lap averages (1st) in practice to qualify in the first five starting spots.

Though the #5 team has had trouble executing races in 2024 since Las Vegas, there's no doubt who will be the fastest car in the race. Larson had a top-six median time in both Kansas races last year, too.

Cash-game lineups likely have to start with "Yung Money".

William Byron ($12,500)

The decision of which frontrunner to pair with Larson got much easier in qualifying.

Due to scrubbing the outside wall, William Byron will start 36th in the field with the car that appeared to be most threatening to Larson in practice. Byron was 2nd on the single-lap charts, maintaining that speed on the 10-lap (1st) and 15-lap (2nd) averages, as well.

Byron's speed in Las Vegas might have been slept on because of an extra pit stop during the race, but he had the eighth-best median time.

Starting closer to the rear, Byron might not be able to overtake Larson to lead and win, but he won't have to do that. A top-five finish from this starting spot would make FanDuel's perfect lineup without much question.

Others to Consider

  • Denny Hamlin ($13,500)
  • Tyler Reddick ($13,000)

Mid-Range Threats

Martin Truex Jr. ($12,000)

The same five drivers comprised the top five on both the 10-lap and 15-lap charts in practice, presenting pretty clear favorites to win. Interestingly, the trio beyond Larson and Byron all carry some place-differential juice.

Toyota teammates Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, and Martin Truex Jr. were those three other cars, and they'll start 14th, 15th, and 13th, respectively, on the grid. Expect them to ascend as the race progresses.

Hamlin and Reddick combined to lead 65 laps and battled for the win last fall in Kansas, so Truex might be the sleeper of this group. The two-time Kansas winner crashed out of that event, but that broke an eight-race streak of top-10 finishes here.

At salary, it's possible to squeeze Truex into a build with Larson and Byron, and that's interesting when his speed is right with them.

Bubba Wallace ($10,000)

Another Toyota that is no stranger to success at Kansas is Bubba Wallace.

Wallace won the 2022 fall race here, and an incident last fall snapped a three-race streak of top 10s for him. However, he had the fifth-best median time in this race a year ago, so I'm extremely willing to buy into his excellent practice results.

Bubba was third on the single-lap charts, eighth on the 10-lap charts, and ninth on the 15-lap charts. Outside of the big five, there wasn't a stronger performing car that stayed fast throughout a longer sample.

Like the other Toyotas, he wasn't quite as fast in qualifying, so his starting position (23) matches his car number. I think Wallace is a must in cash games when I wouldn't write him off to win this race outright.

Others to Consider

  • Ryan Blaney ($9,500)
  • Alex Bowman ($9,200)

Value Plays

Brad Keselowski ($7,800)

Sunday's position is a familiar one to Brad Keselowski.

Keselowski acknowledged that, for whatever reason, his #6 bunch can't find speed in qualifying. He's scored a top-10 finish in five of the last eight races but started in the top 15 just once in that stretch. He qualified 30th in Kansas.

Practice times insinuate that another ascension is coming, though. Kes was 14th on the 10-lap charts, and he was 10th on the 15-lap charts. He finished 13th in Las Vegas with the 19th-best median time, so while not expecting him to contend, he appears to comfortably have a top-20 car on speed.

I'm expecting Keselowski to command decent popularity from such a deep position on the grid, but his lone path to failure appears to be an accident. At worst, RFK Racing's excellent analytics department usually finds track position at some point.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($5,500)

With such obvious favorites, DFS contests will likely be decided in the value section today. Outside of Keselowski, it's comprised of solid options that may or may not pan out.

One of them is Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who hasn't quite excellent on these larger tracks like he did a year ago. He had just the 22nd-best median lap time at Las Vegas, but practice this week brought a bit more hope. He was 20th on the 10-lap average board, and that increased to 16th within the 15-lap averages.

Notably, his seventh-place time on the single-lap charts showed a decent bit of speed in a satellite operation to Byron and Larson. I'm willing to buy him as a dark-horse candidate for a top 15.

Stenhouse has two top-12 finishes in his last four Kansas races. Among the options down here, that previous form is a bit of a tiebreaker.

Others to Consider

  • Chase Briscoe ($7,200)
  • Daniel Suarez ($7,000)
  • Carson Hocevar ($6,000)
  • Austin Hill ($4,000)

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.