Welcome to my NASCAR DFS Breakdown for the M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway! In this article, I will preview the race, lineup construction, offer some drivers to target, and give out a cash core. You can find all of our Core Plays throughout the NASCAR Premium Package. By signing up, you’ll get access to our Final Thoughts, all our Core Plays for DraftKings, FanDuel, and SuperDraft, as well as our Prop Plays for MonkeyKnifeFight and PrizePicks! Remember, our NASCAR Premium content extends to ALL series (Trucks, Xfinity, Cup).
The Cup Series will be heading to Pocono which is also known as the The Tricky Triangle. This track is 2.5 miles in length, so I wouldn’t expect lapped traffic to be an issue unless we get some long green flag runs. There’s not much data to look at with this being the first race here with the Next-Gen cars. However, we could look at Auto Club from earlier this season as well as some of the intermediates. This race is 160 laps with the stage breaks falling on lap 30 and lap 95. Since track position will be so important, I expect a lot of drivers to be on different strategies towards the front.
At Pocono, we usually only see 1-2 lap leaders in the optimal lineup since there’s less dominator points available here. There are plenty of place differential options on this slate so for cash games, I think it makes sense to have one driver up front and fill in the rest with guys that can move up from their starting spots and finish well. For GPPs, I like targeting two dominators because it could be a track position race which means there should be multiple leaders with drivers on different strategies. The Joe Gibbs Racing and 23XI cars looked the strongest in practice with Hendrick and Trackhouse not far behind. This looks like a very fun slate for tournaments as there’s a lot of good plays with plenty of pivots in each price range. Now, let’s get into some of the drivers I’ll be targeting for today’s race at Pocono.
Kyle Busch (DK $10,600 FD $14,000)
Busch had a lot of success at Pocono last season finishing runner-up on Saturday and taking home the checkered flag on Sunday. I like the speed Kyle had in practice as he was 8th overall, 6th in the 5-lap, and 2nd in the 10-lap. He has a great pit crew and the #1 pit stall on Sunday which should help him keep his track position. I know Busch has been underperforming lately for DFS, but this looks like a great spot for him to dominate and capture another win. The race is literally called the M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400, so you do what you want with that.
Ross Chastain (DK $10,000 FD $14,000)
Chastain hasn’t been dominating lately, but he’s been very consistent finishing 8th or better in the last six races. He offers a ton of place differential starting 21st and was fastest both overall and in the 5-lap averages. It’s hard not to like Ross here as Trackhouse brought some fast cars to the track like they always do. He also has a Truck Series win at Pocono back in 2019, so Chastain clearly knows how to get around this place. He will have to start from the rear, but I’m not worried with the speed this #1 car has here and all season.
Christopher Bell (DK $8,900 FD $9,500)
Bell was able to lock in his playoff spot winning last week at New Hampshire. The Joe Gibbs Racing drivers looked great in practice, and Bell was 5th fastest and 2nd in the 5-lap averages. He offers some place differential starting 11th and looks like a great pivot off of Harvick in this price range. I like his price on both sites and think he’s one of my favorite tournament plays on this slate.
Erik Jones (DK $7,600 FD $6,000)
Jones had a lot of success at Pocono back when he was driving the #20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing with lots of top 5 finishes. I know this #43 car isn’t the same level equipment, but he can usually run around 15th and also has top 10 upside as well. Jones messed up his qualifying lap and looks like a great place differential option starting 34th. He’s a lock in cash games and will probably be one of the highest owned drivers on the slate. At his price, all we need is a top 15 finish for him to make the optimal lineup.
Michael McDowell (DK $6,500 FD $5,200)
McDowell’s consistency is something we can’t ignore as he’s finished top 15 in seven of the last ten races. The Fords definitely aren’t as strong as some of the other teams, but he was still 17th in practice and offers place differential starting 25th. I know track history isn’t a huge factor, but McDowell has finished top 20 in five of the last seven races here. I think he’s one of the safer value options on this slate that offers a very high ceiling as well.
Justin Haley (DK $6,100 FD $4,800)
Haley struggled with his car in practice, but he still offers plenty of place differential starting 30th and has finished top 20 in four of the last six races. There’s not a ton of great value options on this slate, so we just need to pick the driver that scores the most in this price range assuming one of these guys is optimal. I think Custer is probably the safer cash option, but Haley looks like a good pivot even though he’ll still have ownership.
NASCAR Pocono Quick Picks:
Winner: Kyle Busch
Favorite Play: Erik Jones
Favorite Low Owned Play: Daniel Suarez
Fade: Kyle Larson
Guy I’m playing you shouldn’t: Bubba Wallace
DK/FD Cash Game Core
- Kyle Busch
- Ross Chastain
- Kevin Harvick
- Erik Jones
Single Entry Chalk
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Ross Chastain
- Kevin Harvick
- Erik Jones
- Cole Custer
I hope you guys enjoyed reading my free article for Pocono and I wish you the best of luck in your DFS contests! Make sure to follow me on Twitter if you haven’t already @DFS_NASCAR_Zone, so you can see when I post NASCAR DFS content or ask any questions! If you want access to our final thoughts, core plays, prop plays, and betting card, make sure to sign up for the NASCAR Core Plays Package! Good luck and let’s see those winning screenshots!