Dustin's PrizePicks and Underdog Plays for Phoenix
Welcome to a special Sunday edition of the DailyFanRacing newsletter! Today, I will go over my top PrizePicks and Underdog plays for today’s race. If you have any questions or comments, hit me up on Twitter or join me in the DailyFanRacing Discord!
Almirola needs to finish in the top 15 to hit the over, which he has done in 8 of the past 10 races at Phoenix. He also ranked top 10 in 15-, 20-, and 25-lap average speed in Friday’s practice. This is his best track type, and I expect him to move through the field if no issues arise.
Suarez just has not performed well at Phoenix in the past. He has just two top 10 finishes in the past ten races. His average running position has ranked no better than 13th in those same races. Suarez does have the potential to sneak in a top 10 finish, but I’m betting on history and others being faster. Need a 12th place finish or worse to stay under this projection.
As I stated early in the week, I don’t think Chastain does particularly well this weekend. He finished well here in both races in 2022, but both were better than his driver rating would suggest. Also, after a poor showing in practice (26th quickest), he said that he thinks their team missed the setup. Unless the team is able to adapt throughout the race, I do not envision him achieving the top 6 finish needed to hit the over.
Over the past 10 Phoenix races, the polesitter has averaged 94 laps led (median 93.5). Larson had the fastest car in every metric in practice on Friday then followed it up with a pole on Saturday. Assuming he leads from the start, it’s likely he’s able to hit this projection. There are usually few cautions at Phoenix, meaning less chance that a shakeup on pit road or restart messes up our chances, though it can happen. If you feel confident in Larson as a DFS play, you could also consider playing over his fantasy point projection. It is riskier though since you need more to go right for it to hit.
Reddick contended for the win here last spring and is now with a team that appears to have stronger equipment on this track type. He ranked top 5 in long run speed in practice and had the lowest amount of lap time falloff (excluding Cody Ware who was slow and stayed slow) of all drivers. The start to the 2023 season has not been how Reddick envisioned when he switched to 23XI Racing, but his luck is due to turn around any time now. He needs to finish 8th or better for this to hit.
***Note: I will be playing 1 unit on the top 2 plays, 0.5 units on 3 of the top 4 plays (flex or power), and 0.5 units on all 5.
Joey Logano and Penske Racing always seem to show up on these short, flat tracks, no matter what rules package is being used. He won here last fall, in addition to a win at Richmond, 7th at New Hampshire, and 3rd at Gateway. Over the past eight races at Phoenix, his driver rating ranks have been 1st, 7th, 9th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, and 8th. Logano had the 2nd best average lap time in Friday’s practice as well.
Briscoe is similar to Chastain in that he also achieved two top 5 finishes here at Phoenix last year. However, he’s different since he ranked 2nd and 3rd in driver rating in those races. It will be tougher this year though since he’s starting in the back half of the field. He was 9th in 5 lap average and 7th in 10 lap average speed in Friday’s practice and has top 10 potential if things go right. I think this projection is just too low. PrizePicks has him projected for 13th!
See earlier notes regarding Reddick. This projection is better than what is on PrizePicks (for now)!
Bubba doesn’t have the best history at Phoenix. However, he was fast on the long run in practice and seemed confident in his car afterwards. He did finish off 2022 with 13th, 3rd, and 12th place finishes at comparable tracks, Richmond, New Hampshire, and Nashville, showing that the team may be blossoming on this track type. If the race has long green flag runs, Bubba should be able to contend for a 10th to 15th place finish. The issue is if there are numerous cautions since other cars are faster on the short run.
It’s tough to play Keselowski in DFS lineups this week due to his high starting spot and limited upside, but he makes for a great pick on Underdog. RFK Racing appears to have made great strides in the off-season as Brad qualified 4th after some strong runs the past few weeks. He also was 10th in 20-lap average speed in practice with the 6th best single lap speed. Prior to joining RFK Racing, Brad ranked 12th or better in driver rating in 7 of the past 8 Phoenix races. With the new package possibly putting it more in the driver’s hands due to less downforce, I trust Keselowski to get the job done.