Welcome to the debut edition to the Cup Series Setup for Fanduel. Here we will be breaking down the best plays and fades for Fanduel purposes. My name is RyanLarkin88 and you can follow me @Larkin8 on twitter. This week the Cup Series is at ISM Raceway (Phoenix). Finally we get to hear less about what the new rules package will do and more about the actual racing. This race should run fairly similar to the races of the past few years. Be sure to check out the VIP Member Research Station and Domination Station to help create your lineups. Also, jump in the NASCAR VIP Slack as tons of info is being talked about all the time. If you are not a DFS Army VIP Member then sign up now and use promo code Xfinity for 20% of your subscription.
Ryan Blaney – Dude is absolutely flying this weekend. Anytime you see a car this fast in qualifying and practice you bank on playing him. He hasn’t had the finishes at ISM that he should have but we have seen some strong runs across both the Cup and Xfinity Series. If his car continues to a step above everyone else we could see a truly dominating performance come sunday.
Kevin Harvick – The lame but very true joke of the week is that ISM Raceway should be renamed Kevin Harvick Raceway. Harvick has won 7 of the last 13 at ISM and led 1,190 laps over those races. That is a ridiculous stat line. When he isn’t winning he has a worst finish of 6th in the last 11 races. Harvick starts 8th which provides some position upside. He can obviously dominate this race or at the very least finish top 5.
Kyle Busch – Much like Harvick, Busch has a fantastic record at ISM. Due to this I can not leave him off this list. He has finished 7th or better in each of the last 7 races and has lead 75+ laps in 4 of the 7. He won the race last fall as well.
Aric Almirola – 7th and 4th in his two races at ISM with Stewart Hass Racing. Almirola starts 14th and is has a strong shot at another top 10. Almirola was running 2nd to late in the race last fall and had a really shot to win before falling to 4th late. Should score nicely for his price point and does have an outside shot at winning.
Kyle Larson – Larson starts 31st so the position upside is obvious. He has scored 3 top 3 finishes in his last 5 races at ISM. There is always the off chance Larson finishes 15th-20th and still scores in the mid 30 point range but the upside is too good to be ignored.
Ricky Stenhouse – Finished 4th and 8th in both races in 2017. He starts 19th so there is some position upside there. I believe he has a solid chance of cracking into the top 10 but realistically probably ends up in that 12th-18th area which he has done 7 of his 12 races here.
Daniel Suarez – Suarez wrecked out of the race last fall but before that posted finishes of 7th, 18th, and 8th. He starts 28th so there is great position upside here. He also had 3 straight top 5 in the Xfinity series before crashing out of his final Xfinity race at ISM. Bottom Line he has huge upside for a driver with a pretty decent finishing history here
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Non Plays / Fades
There not anyone I would call an absolute fade this week but these are my least favorite plays.
Paul Menard – Menard has a rather pedestrian history here with a best finish of 10th in his last 12 races. He generally stays out of trouble so he certainly is a safe play but I don’t think anyone will be looking for a finish between 15th-20th. He starts 17th so technically he offers some upside but based on his 22nd place average finish and inability to ever get close to the top 5 I just don’t think he is worth a playing here.
Daniel Hemric – Hemric is a solid driver but there are just too many unknowns and way too much downside. He starts 11th which is too high for my liking. I anticipate him dropping a few spots by race end and struggling to break 25 points.
Alex Bowman – Bowman starts 6th which is too high for me. He could possibly maintain a top 15 finish but the negative point diff. worries me too much.
This will conclude this edition of The Monster Energy Cup Series Setup for Fanduel. If you would like to reach out and talk NASCAR Follow me on twitter @Larkin8 or Become a VIP and join me as well as our other DFS Army NASCAR contributors (Brady Miller, Taco, and NillyJay) in the NASCAR coaching channels.