NASCAR Fantasy Picks for Daytona 500
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action with the 2021 season kicking off with the 2021 Daytona 500 scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. EST.
With Sunday's 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and race rapidly approaching with a 2:30 p.m. EST start time, let's take a look at some drivers to consider when building your fantasy lineup to win the Daytona 500 this year.
Daytona 500 Fantasy Picks
*Note: All career results rankings are among active drivers in this weekend's Daytona 500 with three or more appearances at the Daytona International Speedway track unless otherwise noted.
What better place to start with the 2021 Daytona 500 NASCAR fantasy picks than the 2020 Daytona 500 defending champion and 2021 betting favorite by the odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, in Denny Hamlin? Sure, Hamlin's the stand-alone favorite at +800, but his work on this track is hard to ignore, even at a lower return value. Hamlin has the third-highest winning percentage on this track among the field (10.00 percent), sits tied with Jimmie Johnson for the most total wins (3), tied for best top-5 finishing rate (33.33 percent) and he has led more laps here than anyone else with 530. Hamlin also has two wins in his last six appearances here with the fourth-best average finishing rate to show for it at 12.00.
Austin Dillon has only twice the total of performances here (15) as Hamlin's 30, but his pace in some of the most important statistics puts him close behind at an adjusted rate. Dillon's lone win in those 15 appearances gives him the fifth-best winning rate (6.67 percent), however, his overall average finishing rate of 15.53 is the second-best mark in the entire field. Dillon also trails only Chris Buescher in top-10 finishing rate with an impressive second-best mark of 46.67 percent and trails only Darrell Wallace Jr. for the best top-20 finishing rate at 73.33 percent.
Ryan Newman, who comes to us in the odds as twice the dark horse to win Sunday's Daytona 500 than Dillon (+2000) at +4000 provides a high-upside pick who has been successful here as of late. Newman has a total of 38 races at Daytona to his name, but his 13.33 average finishing position in his last six appearances ranks seventh in the field with four top-10 finishes to show for it as well – the most among any driver in their last six respective appearances. Newman has been in the running down the stretch, he just has struggled to make the podium with only 1 top-5 finish from those four top-10 placings and no wins.
David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.