Welcome to contrarian week! The starting lineup for this Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at the Daytona Road Course is all jumbled up thanks to this being the second race of the year and NASCAR’s formula system, which means there are a lot of chalk options in DFS this week. So why do I call this contrarian week? Because I think this is a great opportunity to pivot off of some of those chalk options and differentiate yourself with your lineups if you’re playing in large tournaments. And that’s what my picks are going to center around in this article: the contrarian plays. You can assume the chalk by checking out the driver projections. Now let’s get to the picks and projections!!

By the way, make sure you check out my DraftKings article for the is race as well (click here). There’s a ton of road course data included over there, and I did a full video breakdown as well.

Enjoy the FREE content on this site? Consider buying me a beer by donating here. Miller Lite is my favorite. Also, if you missed the Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order for this race, click here to check it out!

FanDuel DFS Picks for the Daytona Road Course

Kyle Busch victory lane after Busch Clash at Daytona Road Course 2021
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Kyle Busch ($12,500) – Obviously the top picks in this race are Chase Elliott ($14,000) and Martin Truex, Jr. ($13,000). They are the best road course racers in the series right now, and it’s not even close. But if you’re looking to have a contrarian strategy–which I think is a good option on Sunday–look at pivoting down to Ryan Blaney ($12,700) or, even better, Kyle Busch ($12,500). Blaney is a great pick but he’s going to get a good amount of ownership share because of his starting position and potential to win. This is going to make Kyle Busch under-owned (in my opinion). But don’t forget, Rowdy just won the Busch Clash here at the Daytona Road Course and had one of the best cars at this track last season before his day went to hell. Kyle Busch is a legitimate contender to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on Sunday and is a great play in DFS.

Chase Briscoe ($8,700) – Again, just looking at this price range, there’s a lot of chalk. From William Byron ($9,600) to Alex Bowman ($9,000) to Kurt Busch ($9,000) to Matt DiBenedetto ($8,300), there are quite a few great road course plays in this price range with the “odd man out” being Chase Briscoe. By “odd man out” I’m saying he should be very low owned. But there is a ton of potential for this rookie to score just as many, or even more FanDuel fantasy points than the guys listed above. Not only is he taking over the #14 Ford, which was very good on road courses with Clint Bowyer, but Briscoe was also incredibly strong on the road courses in the Xfinity Series last year–including a win at the Indianapolis Road Course. Don’t sleep on Chase this week.

Tyler Reddick ($7,000) – I also like Christopher Bell ($7,600) in this price range as a pivot option, but I’ve talked about Bell enough in my other articles, so let’s talk about Reddick. There were two surprising amounts of speed in the Busch Clash last week: one was Martin Truex, Jr. because he was on another planet coming up through the field. And the second was Tyler Reddick. He legitimately ran a great race. His average running position was 7.8 (which was 5th-best) and his Green Flag Speed ranked 4th-fastest behind the three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. Now the bad part: Tyler Reddick wasn’t very good at road courses last season. So, was the Busch Clash a fluke? Or did he learn how to race on these tracks over the offseason? Reddick was a solid top 5 contender in all of the road course races during his final Xfinity Series season. I’m going to guess he has figured out how to run these Cup cars competitively on them as well.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 FanDuel Driver Projections

The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from six different ranking systems. Also factored in are projected laps led for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.

DriverFanDuel SalaryAvg Proj PtsStarting PositionAvg. Projected FinishDollar Per Pt
Martin Truex Jr.$13,50055.71902.5$243
Ryan Blaney$12,70052.32706.5$243
Chase Elliott$14,00051.7101.8$271
Alex Bowman$9,00050.33610.5$179
William Byron$9,60048.42207.2$198
Kyle Busch$12,50046.71406.5$268
Brad Keselowski$10,00043.81507.8$229
Denny Hamlin$12,00043.7405.2$275
Kurt Busch$9,00043.31708.8$208
Joey Logano$10,70043.01107.0$249
AJ Allmendinger$12,00042.33415.2$284
Kevin Harvick$11,30039.8507.2$284
Matt DiBenedetto$8,30039.33216.5$211
Erik Jones$8,00038.33718.8$209
Aric Almirola$7,80037.32615.8$209
Kyle Larson$9,30036.0810.7$258
Christopher Bell$7,60035.01212.7$217
Tyler Reddick$7,00034.02417.3$206
Chris Buescher$6,00033.83019.5$178
Chase Briscoe$8,70032.81816.2$266
Cole Custer$7,20030.31316.2$238
Ross Chastain$6,60027.0917.0$244
Ryan Newman$6,00027.03325.0$222
Ty Dillon$2,50025.83827.5$97
Daniel Suarez$4,50025.03527.0$180
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$4,50023.51621.7$191
Anthony Alfredo$5,50022.33127.5$247
Michael McDowell$6,50021.3218.5$306
James Davison$3,00019.33932.2$156
Bubba Wallace$6,20018.51023.0$335
Justin Haley$4,00018.32026.5$219
Austin Dillon$5,00015.8322.5$317
Garrett Smithley$2,00015.52530.0$129
Timmy Hill$2,00014.84035.5$136
Quin Houff$2,00013.32932.8$151
Ryan Preece$3,50012.5625.7$280
Scott Heckert$2,00012.52833.0$160
Cody Ware$2,00011.82131.2$170
Josh Bilicki$2,70011.32332.2$240
Corey LaJoie$2,00007.3729.5$276
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.