We’re off to Michigan International Speedway this weekend for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday afternoon. Michigan is a 2-mile oval, which means there are 200 scheduled laps. We’ll see some very high speeds this weekend and horsepower will be important. Unfortunately, the only other 2-mile track was Auto Club Speedway, but the Cup Series doesn’t race there anymore, so we really don’t have comparable 2021 data to look at for this race. Still, we can pull previous Michigan and Auto Club data as well as 550hp package data from this year (eight races).
Surprisingly, Kyle Larson isn’t the projected winner by the Algorithm this weekend (I was shocked, honestly). To see who is predicted to win “according to the numbers” you ca click here to check out the full predicted finishing order for Sunday. Now let’s get to the FanDuel projections!
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Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections
The optimal FanDuel lineup for Michigan according to my Projections is:
- Kyle Larson
- Denny Hamlin
- Brad Keselowski
- Austin Dillon
- Daniel Suarez
Confidence Rating = 8.1/10. This is a strong lineup if what’s expected to happen on Sunday actually does (Kyle Larson dominating). If the #5 Chevrolet isn’t out front very much, then paying up to $14,500 for him in FanDuel isn’t going to work out, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Larson lead 100+ laps this weekend. One shift I would probably make with this lineup is going with Bowman over Keselowski, but Kez is a safe play on Sunday. The best non-Larson lineup according to my projections is: Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Blaney, Bell, and Austin Dillon, which I also like a lot.
FanDuel “Safe” DFS Picks for Michigan (Cash Lineups)
Brad Keselowski ($10,300) – Both Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano ($10,500) are solid cash plays this weekend in FanDuel, but if you had to pick between the two, I’d go Keselowski. Honestly, when it comes to the 550hp package this season, I’m just not loving what we’ve seen out of Logano (13.1 average running position and 14.9 average finish). Yeah, Joey’s record here at Michigan specifically is a little bit better than Keselowski’s, but Brad still has four top 6 finishes in the last six races at this track, including a 2nd-place finish in the first race. BK also finished 2nd at Las Vegas this season and 3rd at Kansas. The reason that’s noteworthy is because Goodyear is bringing the same left side tire to Michigan as what was ran in the last year’s races, but the right side tire is the one from the Vegas and Kansas events. Overall, Brad has a 10.7 average running position in the 550hp package in 2021 and an average finish of 10.6.
Austin Dillon ($7,500) – Honestly, this is a mis-price by FanDuel this weekend considering Austin Dillon starts back in 26th. Here’s finished 14th or better in five of the last seven Michigan races, and when you look at the eight races that have used the 550hp package this season, AD has an average running position of 12.6 and an average finish of 11.5, which ranks 11th- and 10th-best in the series, respectively. Looking at Auto Club numbers, Dillon has four finishes of 11th or better in seven starts at Michigan’s sister track. He’s a safe FanDuel play on Sunday and has top 10 finishing potential.
FanDuel “Risky” DFS Picks for Michigan (Tournament Lineups)
Alex Bowman ($10,000) – Considering Alex Bowman has a career average finish of 25.5 at Michigan, plus the fact that he’s never finished better than 10th at this track, it’s very possible that he goes overlooked by FanDuel players this weekend. With that being said, you have to like Bowman as a pivot or as a combination with the Byron/Logano/Keselowski chalk on Sunday. In the 550hp package this year, the #48 Chevrolet has four top 5s in the eight races (including a win at Pocono) and at Michigan’s sister track (Auto Club) Bowman was the last driver to win there, leading 110 of the 200 laps in March of 2020. He’s starting 10th in the FireKeepers Casino 500 on Sunday but has legitimate top 5 finishing upside.
Ryan Blaney ($9,500) – If you remember back to that Auto Club race that Bowman run, you probably remember that Ryan Blaney had the 2nd-best car that day and could’ve won if it wasn’t for a late tire issue. Additionally, Young Ryan Blaney has been in position to contend for the win here at Michigan on multiple occasions, finishing inside the top 5 in two of the last five races in the Irish hills (and inside the top 10 in four of the last six). Blaney starts 3rd this weekend, which makes him pretty risky in any NASCAR Fantasy game that takes place differential into play, but if he can get to the lead on Sunday and finish top 5, he could easily help you take down a FanDuel racing tournament. In the 550hp package this year, Blaney has a win (Atlanta) and five finishes of 6th or better in the eight races.
FanDuel Driver Projections for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan
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.
|Driver||FanDuel Salary||Avg Proj Pts||Starting Position||Ceiling Proj Pts||Dollar Per Pt|
|Martin Truex Jr.||$13,000||58.90||5||67.50||$221|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||$5,800||38.00||12||49.00||$153|