We’re down to the final race of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, and it’s been a pretty interesting journey to this point. One thing has remained relatively constant, though, and that’s the domination of The Big Three: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex, Jr. And when you add in Joey Logano, you have the four best drivers of the season fighting for the championship this Sunday. As far as average finish goes, Busch is P1 in that category through 35 races at 8.4 followed by Harvick at 9.0, then Logano at 10.9 and Truex at 11.0. It all comes down to this weekend’s Ford EcoBoost 400, though, as whoever finishes highest between those four drivers will be crowned the 2018 champion.
Although some DraftKings contests got a nice (and surprising) boost in size and prizes this week, the big GPP remained the same with $20,000 going to first and a total prize pool of $100,000 for a $10 entry fee (maximum 150 entries per user). Before we dive into this weeks Bargains and Busts, though, please note that two charts are included below: average DraftKings points scored at Homestead over the last 5 races, and average DraftKings points scored in this year’s Playoff races at 1.5-mile tracks. We only visit Homestead-Miami Speedway once per season, and it’s always the season finale. A lot can change over a year’s time, and that’s why I think it’s important to look at performance on this track type lately as well.
Average DraftKings Points Scored at Homestead Over Last 5 Races
|Driver||DK Salary||# of Races||Avg DK Pts Per Race||Avg DK Pts Per Race (w/o PD)||Avg Finish||Avg Fastest Laps Per Race||Avg Laps Led Per Race||Avg Start|
|Martin Truex Jr||$11,300||5||31.45||38.05||14.00||06.80||16.20||07.40|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$7,300||5||15.10||23.10||22.20||02.60||00.00||14.20|
Average DraftKings Points Scored in Playoffs Races at 1.5-Mile Tracks
|Driver||DK Salary||Avg DK Pts Per Race||Avg DK Pts Per Race (w/o PD)||Avg Finish||Avg Fastest Laps Per Race||Avg Laps Led Per Race||Avg Start|
|Martin Truex Jr||$11,300||69.00||63.00||05.67||33.33||32.00||11.67|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$7,300||19.42||24.42||20.33||01.33||00.33||15.33|
Potential DraftKings Bargains for Homestead-Miami
Kyle Larson ($10,000) – You can call this a chalk pick all you want, but the truth is DraftKings did pretty well with the driver pricing this weekend for Homestead. With that being said, they (understandably) priced the Championship Four at the top, and then ended up with Kyle Larson at 5th-highest, when if this wasn’t the season finale, he’d probably be priced at least $1,000 higher. In other words, even though he’s priced at $10,000 this weekend, Larson is likely to be a bargain on Sunday. Over the last five races at this track, Kyle is averaging 81.1 DraftKings points per race, which is by far the most of all drivers in the field (next best is Kevin Harvick ($12,500) at 63.8). Additionally, Larson is 2nd-best in that category over the three Playoff races at 1.5-mile tracks this season (67.3 DraftKings points per race). He’s probably going to be one of the higher-owned drivers this weekend–which will open up the door to a fade strategy play, which we may talk about this weekend–but Larson has had 85 or more DraftKings points in each of the last three race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and there’s no reason to think he can’t do that again this weekend.
Chris Buescher ($6,100) – You could easily have A.J. Allmendinger ($6,500) in this slot, too, as he has finished 20th or better in seven of his nine career Homestead-Miami starts, including four finishes of 11th or better, but I’m going to spotlight the other JTG Daugherty Racing driver of Chris Buescher. This #37 team is putting together a nice stretch of races to end the 2018 season, as they have three ‘teens’ finishes in the last four races overall and have ended up inside the top 20 in nine of the last fourteen. Here at Homestead, Buescher has just two career starts, but he’s had positive place differential in both with finishes of 20th and 24th after starting 29th and 27th, respectively. This weekend in DraftKings, Chris is the 27th-highest-priced driver on the slate but he’s ranked 15th-best in DraftKings points per race here at Homestead and 13th-best in that category at the 1.5-mile tracks in this year’s Playoffs, giving him an average difference of +13. And when you look at the full season, Buescher is averaging 31.3 DraftKings points per race on this track type, which is 13th-best in the series. All signs point to him being a great value play on Sunday.
Over-Priced DraftKings “Busts” at Homestead-Miami
Kurt Busch ($9,200) – How last week’s race at Phoenix ended really took a toll on Kurt Busch. He handled his post-race interview well, but you could tell that he was completely dejected–and why wouldn’t he be? He had one of the best cars in that race and a real chance at winning his way into this week’s Championship race, and now he’s racing for nothing this weekend and doesn’t (officially) have a ride lined up for next year, either. As far as this weekend goes, it’s going to take a lot for Kurt Busch to be worth a lineup spot on Sunday. This #41 Ford hasn’t performed well on the 1.5-mile tracks recently (15.3 average finish and just 5.7 fastest laps per race), and as far as Homestead-Miami Speedway goes, this track has never really been Kurt’s strong suit: he did win here back in 2002, but six of his last eight races here have ended with top 10 results, and the best finish Busch has been able to muster here since 2009 has been 8th.
Daniel Suarez ($7,800) – At Homestead, I’m not a big fan of picking drivers on their way out the door. When it comes to Kurt Busch, I guess there’s still a chance he comes back to Stewart-Haas next season, but he’s still priced too high in DraftKings. As far as Daniel Suarez, though, he won’t be returning to Joe Gibbs Racing, and I don’t like that situation. The season finale is often used as an experimental race for teams to test things for the next season, and what better guinea pig to use than someone heading out the door? Add in the fact that Suarez has finished 24th or worse in three of the last four races overall and I’m already calling him a full-out fade for Sunday. Suarez is averaging 20.8 DraftKings points per race in the Playoff races at 1.5-mile tracks (worse than JJ Yeley) and for the entire season he is at 19 DraftKings points per race on this track type–32nd out of the 36 drivers I tracked. No thanks.