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NASCAR DFS: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Lineup Tips

NASCAR DFS Expert Brian Polking reveals his final DraftKings advice for tonight's race!

Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

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Bristol Motor Speedway can be a double-edged sword when it comes to trying to build an effective DFS NASCAR lineup.

On one hand, you need to try to score as many points as possible in the laps led and fastest laps run categories. With 500 laps as the scheduled distance, it is common for one or two drivers to lead 100 laps or more and score well over 100 fantasy points at DraftKings. When a driver posts such a huge point total and you don't have them in your lineup, you simply can't make up the difference.

On the flips side, crashes are common at Bristol, and even the best drivers at the track have around a 50-50 chance of finishing in the top 10. The drivers starting up front are historically the most likely to lead a lot of laps, but these same drivers have the most lose in the place differential category if you wreck.

In other words, the same drivers who you need to have a shot at cashing in big are the same drivers that could single-handedly keep you from cashing at all.

There are some tough lineup decisions to make this weekend, so let's take a closer look at my top drivers to build around as well as some potential X-factors who could contribute to making your lineup stand out from the masses.

Make sure to lock in your final lineups, and don't forget to check out the action under the lights Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Building Blocks

Kyle Busch ($10,600)

The five-time Bristol winner has been fast all weekend, topping both practice sessions and qualifying third. In 22 starts here, Busch has led more than 150 laps on five occasions, including last August when he led 192 laps. He looks capable of dominating the laps led and fastest laps run categories this weekend.

Carl Edwards ($9,700)

Edwards is eyeing a season sweep at Bristol after winning from the pole in April and leading a race-high 276 laps in the process. He starts on the pole again Saturday night, and considering he has never led fewer than 74 laps in three starts at Bristol with Joe Gibbs Racing, he is a safe bet to post a big point total and could easily finish as the top scorer at DraftKings as he tries for his fifth Bristol win.

Matt Kenseth ($9,200)

All he does is lead laps at Bristol, and over the last ten races here, his 830 laps led at the most of any driver. More importantly, he has led more than 40 laps eight times in that stretch, leading more than 100 laps four times. For his career, he has led more than 100 laps in a race here seven times, and in each of those races, he started in the top five. For the record, Kenseth rolls off fifth Saturday night.

Difference Makers

Joey Logano ($10,000)

The night race at Bristol has brought out the best in Logano, and in three starts in the event with Team Penske, he has a 2.3 average finish. He has won the night race in each of the last two seasons, leading a combined 252 laps in the process. If you are looking for an alternative to the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers to build around in GPPs, Logano might be your best bet.

Denny Hamlin ($9,500)

While he has shown similar speed to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Hamlin's record here has been much more hit and miss. That being said, he won the night race in 2012 and finished third in the event last year. He also starts second, so he is in a good position to lead laps early and often. Among the JGR drivers, Hamlin is the least likely to deliver a dominating performance. On the flip side, he is likely to be the least owned JGR driver, and he is still capable of dominating Saturday's race. He could be the reason you win a GPP this weekend.

Kasey Kahne ($7,900)

It has been another forgettable year for Kahne, but he has enough upside at Bristol to warrant your attention. Just a couple of years ago, he won the spring race here and finished second in the August race the same season. He starts 19th this weekend, so he has some room to earn points through place differential. His lackluster performance this year and higher price tag should keep his ownership low, so he could end up being a useful contrarian play.

Ryan Blaney ($7,800)

Blaney has shown a ton of speed all weekend, and he is the only non-Joe Gibbs Racing driver who was able to qualify in the top five. The great starting position gives him a high ceiling, but it also gives him a low floor if he wrecks and loses a ton of spots. Avoid him in cash games, but he is an intriguing high-risk, high-reward option in GPPs.

Trevor Bayne ($6,200)

He finished 15th at Bristol last summer and fifth earlier this year, so he is no stranger to success at the short track. Starting 22nd, Bayne doesn't have the most upside through place differential, but he is also priced a bit below the other attractive sleepers starting outside the top 20. If you need to free up some extra cap space, Bayne is worth a look.

Chris Buescher ($5,900)

Buescher knocked himself out of cash game consideration with his 12th-place run in qualifying, but despite the potential to lose a bunch of points because of a negative place differential, he could still be worth a look in GPPs. Track position can be significant at Bristol, and Buescher's starting spot could help him stay on the lead lap early, putting him in position for a top 15.

Drivers to Fade

Chase Elliott ($8,600)

The rookie impressed in his Bristol debut in April, coming away with a fourth-place finish. Despite the promising run, he is tough to justify paying up for after qualifying sixth. He will have to have another top five run just to avoid losing points in the place differential category, and with so many Bristol studs starting up front, Elliott probably isn't going to lead many laps. You could end up paying a lot for a 30-point performance that you could get from several drivers priced substantially less.

Austin Dillon ($8,100)

He has had three top 15s and two finishes outside the top 25 in five Cup starts at Bristol, but it is Dillon's 13th-place starting spot that makes him a tough sell. The best-case scenario is Dillon finishes around where he starts, putting him in the 30-point range at DraftKings. There are plenty of similar drivers with that should score a similar amount who carry more upside and less risk through the place differential category.

My Favorite DraftKings Cash Game Lineup

Kevin Harvick ($10,400)

Carl Edwards ($9,700)

Kyle Larson ($8,500)

Jamie McMurray ($7,600)

Greg Biffle ($7,000)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6,700)

Given the chaos that can break out at Bristol, I'm building in some protection to my lineup by selecting a lot of drivers starting deeper in the field. That being said, you can't ignore the laps led category in a 500-lap race and expect to compete. As a result, I'm banking on Edwards dominating the race from the pole, just as he did in the spring when he led 276 laps and won.

Harvick and Larson both start outside the top 20, but both have top five potential and have shown the ability to score points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories at Bristol.

McMurray, Biffle, and Stenhouse all start 25th or worse, so all three could post decent scores simply by cracking the top 20. Meanwhile, all three have decent records Bristol, particularly McMurray and Stenhouse.

This lineup gives me a solid chance to post a strong score, and equally as important; it gives me a chance to compete even if a couple of my drivers have lackluster runs.

Checkers-or-Wreckers GPP Lineup

Kyle Busch ($10,060)

Carl Edwards ($9.700)

Matt Kenseth ($9,200)

Jamie McMurray ($7,600)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,700)

Trevor Bayne ($6,200)

I'm leading off this lineup with a Joe Gibbs Racing stack. Busch, Edwards, and Kenseth have combined for 13 wins at Bristol, and with all three starting in the top five, they are in perfect position to dominate the laps led and fastest laps run categories. If they all run up front all night and battle for the win, this lineup is going to be unstoppable. If even one of them falters early, I am going to be in trouble.

Despite paying up for three studs, the bottom half of my lineup isn't bad. McMurray and Stenhouse have both run in the top 15 with regularity at Bristol, and both have shown top 10 upside. Both drivers start 25th or worse, so they are much more than just salary dumps.

On the flip side, Bayne's most attractive feature is his price tag, but with back-to-back top 15s at Bristol, he isn't a total throw-away pick by any means. He starts 22nd, and if he can finish anywhere inside the top 20, I'll be happy.


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