The Checkered Flag – FREE Picks – Season Finale 500 – NASCAR DFS


Hi Everyone! Joe Kooinga back again for one last race to cap the season. The championship race! I want to thank you for following along this season and I hope you had some fun and made some money. Nascar returns February 14th… We have 4 drivers remaining with a chance at winning the title and putting their name in the books with the legends of the sport. Chase Elliot, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski. After breaking this one down, here’s a list of drivers who caught my eye based on starting position and past performances here at Phoenix. 


Chase Elliot| 1st |10,600 DK|12,500 DK|

Chase was really good here when they raced this track back in March. He led 93 laps during that race and finished 7th. I think he’s getting better and better here each time they race here and with so much at stake here, I want exposure and hopefully nearly 25 bonus points racked up during the race. I think having his pick of starting spot, on the outside, will end up getting chase the lead to start and arguably the best pit spot on pit road will have him contending to stay near the front the whole race. He should be a pretty popular play, but well warranted. 

Denny Hamlin| 4th |10,300 DK|13,000 FD|

While Phoenix isn’t one of Denny’s best tracks, he isn’t bad here. He did win this race last year, however he wasn’t still in the playoffs when he got that win. I think having the whole Gibbs organization behind him makes this a solid play. I like Chase a bit more for DFS sake, but it’s up in the air who will finish first out of the 4 left. It could very well be Hamlin, so I want exposure to him as well. 

Joey Logano| 2nd |10,000 DK|13,300 FD|

Joey won here back in March. I think he will be lower owned then both Hamlin and Elliot. So again, I like the idea of making a few lines with Logano instead of Elliot or Hamlin. He very well could win here today again and will probably have slightly lower ownership. 

Brad Keselowski| 3rd |10,800 DK|13,500 FD|

Brad is priced up as high as I’ve seen before. And I don’t quite get why. He’s never won here and 4 out of the last 5 races here he finished 10th or worse. He is a championship contender however, so I expect a little better results then that. Still not enough to rank him higher than any of the other 3 drivers. I like all 3 more.

Kyle Busch| 8th |9,600 DK|12,000 FD|

Kyle actually has the highest driver rating here of anyone since 2017 including 2 wins and a whopping 605 laps led. The last 5 trips to Phoenix, Busch has finished no worse then 3rd place. (2 wins, 2nd place twice, 3rd place) I really like this play and will be combining Kyle Busch with one of the 4 drivers mentioned above on most of my lines. Make sure you have some exposure

Place Differential

Tyler Reddick| 21st |8,100 DK|7,600 FD|

I’m starting with Reddick because he’s my favorite play based on what he did here in the spring. He started near the back and rocketed up to 10th place by the end of stage 1. Later in the race he and Truex got into each other and both wrecked out, but prior he stuck around in stage 2 and finished in 4th. He was well on his way to a great day prior to the wreck. So I’m going to have a lot of exposure. I believe he has a chance at a Top 10 here. 

William Byron| 25th |8,400 DK|10,200 FD|

I like Byron here because of the starting spot. He has got to be a Top 15 car in my opinion which would pay off the price tag. He’s finished 17th or better 4 out of his 5 races here at cup level. Most recently he finished 10th here in March. 

Jimmie Johnson| 26th |9,300 DK|10,500 FD|

This is Jimmie’s last race. Starting 26th he has a good shot to move up, but recently they haven’t been very good. And you are paying up a bit in comparison to Byron or Reddick, or even Buescher and might not get ceiling level points here. So I think he is a solid play overall, but I would consider others in his spot if you are making multiple entries.

Chris Buescher| 31st |7,100 DK|6,700 FD|

This is really based on starting spot only. You hope he can get close to Top 20 and pay off his price. There’s not a ton of high ceiling value plays because of pricing but Buescher could with a great race in this spot. He makes for a good GPP play and should have reasonable high ownership in cash games.

Ty Dillon| 22nd |6,000 DK|6,000 FD|

Bottom of the barrel type of play, but Ty has shown some good things here over the years. Other than a 30th place finish in 2017, he’s cracked the Top 20 seven out of the last eight times here. That would pay off the cheap price tag if he could do it again.

Michael Mcdowell| 29th |6,300 DK|5,000 FD|

McDowell is a Phoenix native and actually works as a driving instructor for Phoenix speedway at times when his schedule permits. The past performances here aren’t very good. Underwhelming in fact, but he knows the track and has been better overall this year then at any point prior in his career. So I’ll take a couple chances here as a punt. 

Remember, NASCAR is a CRAZY DFS sport. Scores and your place in the money can change in a heartbeat. There are so many variables that really no one can predict. Cars can be finicky, and some will crash which can ruin your day. You need your full team to be on its game if you want to cash, and you may need a little luck. This is not a one man sport when you pick a player like other styles of DFS. There’s 30-50 guys behind the scenes who all have a hand in building the car or developing a game plan. Sometimes it only takes one mistake by one of those guys for a driver to have a bad race. That narrative does not apply to other forms of DFS, so be cautious when building your lines, but most of all, have fun!

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