DFS NASCAR Strategy Series – nillyJay’s NASCAR Driver List and Tools

Hello everyone, nillyJay here again!  I’ve been busy this winter working on new NASCAR and MLB stuff for you guys, and I’m very excited to present to you the new driver list & tool suite that I’ll be using this season and beyond.  I wanted to create a “one-stop shop” to make my content easier to find, as well as introduce a new tool that I think a lot of you will find pretty useful.  As always, you can find and follow me here on Twitter or, for DFS Army members, in our Slack chat (@nillyJay or just swing by my channel #nillys-garage-nas-mlb).

Of course, this entire suite is VIP only, so if you aren’t a member you won’t be able to use it.  Not to worry, we have a free month offer you can take advantage of to use this as well as everything else we offer here in the DFS Army, for NASCAR and every other sport as well (don’t forget to use promo code NILLY for 20% off).  For now, let’s get to the good stuff!

Before we begin…

I’ll use some terminology here that should be pretty basic to most NASCAR DFS players, but if you’re unfamiliar with any of it please take some time to read through my beginner’s and intermediate guides.

For the video of choppodong and I going over the suite, head on over here!

One last note, please be aware that the drivers/salaries/starting positions shown in this article are NOT representative of any current race.  They were taken from random 2018 races and are used here for testing purposes only.  VIP members, you can find the most up to date version right here.

NASCAR Lineup Projector

I’ll kick this off with the newest addition for 2019, the lineup projector.  This will be the first thing you see whenever you access the suite.

Click me for the full-sized view!

The top section is pretty basic.  You’ll see at a glance how many laps the race has and how many drivers are being scored.  Do note that this can change between sites because sometimes one site will be missing a driver.  If that happens, it will be reflected on here when you switch sites.  How do you do that?  Easy!

Simply highlight the current site, click the drop-down menu icon, and then select the other site.  Everything will automatically convert over.

Speaking of the different sites, if you look on the right side of the screen you will see the drivers with their salaries and starting positions.  They are always sorted by salary and their starting positions are highlighted so that the deeper in the field they start, the more green they are.  This makes it easier to see at a glance which drivers have more place differential potential.

Finally, the main area of the tool itself.  When you’re using it, you only need to change what’s in the lighter orange boxes.  All of the other boxes will automatically change depending on what you’ve done.

To start, let’s select a driver.  To do that, simply click on one of those orange boxes and click on the drop-down menu icon.  Scroll down until you find the driver you wish to select:

Alternatively, you can select the box and start typing the first name of a driver.  Let’s quickly find Vinnie Miller:

Once we select him, we’ll see some other boxes auto-populate:

Let’s continue doing this until we’ve built a full lineup:

Great!  Now we have a lineup we can research.  Of course, we won’t have much to work with if we don’t fill out the other values, so let’s do that now:

NOTE: For the purpose of this article I’ve assigned some random numbers to explain how to use the tool.  Knowing what to use here comes with experience and/or discussing theory with the coaches or other DFS Army members in Slack chat.  If you’re new/inexperienced, strike up some conversation!

Now that we’ve assigned some values, we see some new boxes populate.  Let’s discuss what we’re seeing in the bottom area, starting with the totals:

Salary – shows how much salary the lineup has used, and how much salary is remaining or over budget (this will change to red if the total exceeds $50,000).

Finish – the number of fantasy points earned by all of the drivers’ finishing positions.

Diff – the total positive/negative place differential of the lineup.

Lead – the number of lead laps earned by the lineup.

Fastest Comp – the number of fastest laps earned by the lineup (or by completing laps in Fanduel).

DKFP FDFP – the total number of fantasy points each driver earned (the grand total is shown with the large number below).

Value – the value multiplier of each driver.

Next, we see “% of category.”  This is showing how much of the total available fantasy points the lineup is earning for each category (i.e. 251 laps led of 350 total laps is 71.71%)

Below that we see “% of total DKFP FDFP” which is the amount earned for each category compared to how many fantasy points are available from all sources.  These are pretty important for lineup construction, so if you want to discuss this any further, hit me up in Slack!

Next up we have:

Max DKFP FDFP – the total number of fantasy points available for the race (note: this does NOT include place differential or completed laps).

% of total DKFP FDFP – the percentage of total fantasy points this lineup earned.

Now, why is that last one important?  Simply put, we need a way to gauge a lineup’s worth to ensure it could realistically cross the cash lines (or have enough ceiling to win a tournament).

With that in mind, I’ve found that by earning about 25% of the total fantasy points, cash lineups will generally do pretty well.  Around 33% is where we start looking at having enough of a ceiling to win a tournament.

Now, keep in mind this will depend on how both qualifying and the race play out.  It might take closer to 40% to win a big tournament, so don’t assume 33% will get you there every time.  Rather, use these as a minimum; don’t enter a lineup that’s only giving 20% and expect it to win a tournament.  It won’t have enough of a ceiling to do it!

Now that we’ve gone over the primary way to use this tool, let’s see how else we can put it to use:

Here, instead of using it as a lineup projector, we can compare multiple drivers to better determine who we want to use (and if they’re safe for cash games or not).  In this example, I’m comparing value drivers, but you can just as easily compare dominators, studs, or anybody else.  This is a great way to determine exposures for tournaments, decide which driver(s) to use for your best cash lineup, figure out who to fade, and so forth.

NASCAR Race Calculator

Let’s next take a quick look at the race calculator:

Click me for the full-sized view!

The top section gives an overview of the race.  It will show the number of laps, drivers (remember that this can sometimes change between sites), fantasy points available for the race, and the weighting of dominator points versus finishing position.  Lastly, we see the recommended number of dominators for each site on the bottom.

The sections below are geared towards cash vs GPP play.  Here I will list how risky I feel cash games are and the types of lineup construction I feel best suits each style of play.

The race calculator is a “first look” or “at a glance” tool that will help you determine how to approach construction for both cash and GPP lineups.  I won’t go into too much detail here about how to best apply it, so if you have any questions, please come ask them in Slack!

NASCAR Driver List

Finally, we have the driver’s list, which will be where I put my final notes regarding every driver (as well as a few other key points).  I break down every driver into one of several categories, depending on their price and what we want from them;

Dominators – a driver that leads a significant number of laps and lands a top-10 finish.

Studs – medium-high/high priced drivers that are capable of top-10 finishes.

Value studs – low/medium priced drivers that are capable of top-15 (or better) finishes.

Value – low/medium priced drivers that are capable of top-25 finishes.

Punts – low priced drivers that are capable of top-30 finishes.

Fades – drivers that I don’t feel have enough of a floor and/or ceiling to be worth taking.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at an example of some dominators;

Click me for the full-sized view!

The first section should be pretty self-explanatory, but there are a few things to note.  In the first box, every driver will be marked as all formatscash only, or GPP only, depending on how I feel they would be best utilized.  If a driver is bolded with a green background (see Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr), that means they are top plays in all formats.  If they are bold/italicized with a yellow background (see Brad Keselowski), that means I feel they are a top GPP play (but are too risky for cash games).

The next two sections show what I feel about every driver’s floorceiling, and the likelihood they are to hit that target.  I included this to be able to identify any driver that has a realistic shot at scoring big, but to also temper expectations in the process.  Just because somebody is in a position to be able to score big doesn’t mean they are very likely to do it, but sometimes that gets lost in translation with notes.  This aims to fix that problem.

For example, if a driver has a very low floor and a very high likelihood, that means I think there’s a very good chance that they will score poorly.  A driver with a high ceiling and a low likelihood represents a driver that has a realistic path of a big score, but it’s not overly likely to happen.  As a final example, a driver with a very high floor/ceiling and a very high likelihood shows somebody who is very likely to score a lot of fantasy points.

Also, keep in mind that these are always compared to the other drivers within the same category.  In other words, a dominator and punt might both have a very high ceiling, but that doesn’t mean I think the punt has the same 150+ fantasy point ceiling as the dominator might.  Rather, it means that the dominator has a very high ceiling compared to other dominators, and the punt has a very high ceiling compared to other punts.

The next section shows dominator potential, which will generally be directly tied to the driver’s ceiling.  This simply shows how likely I think they are to dominate a significant number of laps.  The other sheets will show something else here, depending on the driver category you’re viewing.  Finally, the boxes on the right are a place for some notes.

Whew!  That should about do it for this one.  Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you guys are as excited about the new season as I am.  For those of you on the outside, don’t forget about our free trial offer (as well as promo code NILLY to get 20% off).  Come check out everything we offer, I know you won’t be disappointed.  For everybody else, I’ll see you all in Slack!