The whole name with the dash is throwing me off but here we are for NASCAR DFS with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. Some of you bagged already with the Xfinity Race and others are looking to bounce back on Sunday. I think we see somewhat of a predictable race this weekend – which probably means all hell will break loose.
I rank every driver and tier them based on price. There is no sense to compare Chase Elliot to Quin Houff, but comparing Chase Elliot to Kevin Harvick, for example, tends to make sense. The rankings will be posted first and represent the “initial pass” on my approach to the slate.
The notes represent my “second pass” and will provide more insight into how I am building lineups, what I have learned from looking around the industry, and mention any situations where I’m “hotter” or “colder” on anyone than when I set the rankings. For example, I may mention that there is a large gap in my interest level after the top three ranked drivers in a given tier. Another example would be to point out that drivers ranked 1-3 are interchangeable in terms of my interest. My suggestion is to enter multiple lineups and use the rankings and notes as a guide as you build lineups.
If you are a more serious player building 40+ lineups, I do suggest purchasing a lineup optimizer tool. These are affordable for our more advanced players and you can get them relatively cheap – especially if you are purchasing for NASCAR only. We will definitely look to partner with a third party or build one in-house for next season. If you need help selecting one, I’m here to help explain and recommend what you need. To reiterate – this is only for advanced players and you do not need this unless you have full command of the tool. In fact, it can do more harm than good if you do not know what you are doing.
NASCAR DFS Tiered Rankings – Toyota/Save Mart 350
As a reminder, at races like Sonoma, there are way fewer dominator points to go around than a normal race. This means that you need to prioritize place differential and finishing position more than fastest laps and laps led. That doesn’t mean that those points can’t help, but the main reason you should be playing guys starting in the front is that you think they can finish there and get that finishing position score. The dominator points are just a bonus.
My strategy is to limit how many drivers I have in the same lineup starting in the top 10-12. I would not exceed 3 in the same lineup and most of my lineups will have less than 3.
As for tier 1, I expect this race to be predictable like I mentioned in the intro. I gave Truex the number 1 ranking just because he has so much more place differential potential than Chase, but Chase is the favorite for a reason. This situation kind of reminds me of Cindric/Allmendinger yesterday where both were great plays, but Allmendinger had some place differential upside and Cindric had the scare of no place differential (no margin for error) but was the best car.
I love the three top-ranked guys in this tier. Harvick is severely underpriced for his history here, and he and Bell are more of a tie for the #2 ranking. Kurt, please stop screwing us because I’m going right back to him with this starting position. I’m playing all three of these guys more than the poorer ranked tier 1 guys like Willy B/Hamlin.
Take your choice of the several place differential options here. I ranked them in my order but slim margins across many of them in terms of point projection. My biggest change since the rankings is getting plenty of Erik Jones despite his 5th ranking. His starting position isn’t quite as nice as some others, but his top 10 potential is stronger.
Play this tier as ranked. I don’t mind punting with the super cheap guys on a few lineups, but just realize that your other drivers pretty much have to be perfect.