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NASCAR DFS: Bojangles Southern 500 Lineup Tips

Don't miss Brian Polking's final NASCAR DFS tips for DraftKings players!

Bojangles Southern 500

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Thanks in part to Mother Nature, it won't be particularly easy to build a winning DFS NASCAR lineup for Sunday's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Qualifying was rained out, setting the field by owner points, which essentially means every driver typically finishes around where they are going to be starting. As a result, there are no obvious choices when you start looking for a low-priced sleeper deeper in the field.

However, finding low-priced quality drivers is a must because you need to own at least a couple of the studs starting at the front of the field. Drivers starting in the top five, especially the polesitter, tend to dominate the laps led category. With 367 laps on tap in Sunday's race, there a ton of points available in the category, and there is a good chance at least one driver is going to make a run at 100 fantasy points at DraftKings.

You have to hit on the top drivers to be in the mix this weekend, and if You have to hit on the top drivers to be in the mix this weekend, and if you can pair them with low-priced quality options, you will be in a position to win some serious cash.

With that in mind, here is a closer look at my final DFS NASCAR picks for Sunday's Bojangles' Southern 500. You can watch the action at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Building Blocks

Kevin Harvick ($10,600)

Harvick is arguably the safest driver to build around week in and week out, and he is a must-own option as he starts on the pole at Darlington. He led 238 laps and won when he started on the pole here in 2014, and he has three straight top-five finishes at the track overall. Harvick is in prime position to dominate the laps led and fastest laps run categories and post a massive point total.

Brad Keselowski ($10,200)

Drivers who start up front tend to dominate at Darlington, so Keselowski deserves plenty of attention. He rolls off second Sunday, and when he started from the pole last year, he led 196 laps and finished second. He topped the charts in Happy Hour, so Keselowski could be out front early and often on his way to being the top scorer.

Difference Makers

Martin Truex Jr. ($9,800)

He has always been decent at Darlington, but Truex could be in for a real breakout performance at the track this weekend. He was one of the best cars on short and long runs in practice Saturday, and he has shown throughout the year that he can dominate at intermediate ovals. Truex is a great alternative option to build a lineup around this weekend.

Jimmie Johnson ($9,300)

It has been a while since Johnson has dominated a race, but he showed signs of a return to form at Indianapolis and Michigan. He showed top three speed on both short and long runs in practice Saturday, and over the last ten races at Darlington, he has six top-five finishes, including three in his last four starts. Johnson is a three-time winner at the track, and he could be a great contrarian option to build a lineup around. Target him in larger GPPs.

Ryan Blaney ($7,600)

He doesn't have much experience at Darlington, and his 20th-place starting spot is a bit of a no man's land when it comes to place differential. He isn’t a slam dunk pick by any means, but his practice times were impressive, and Blaney has shown top 10 potential all year. He could be a great mid-priced addition to lineups, especially in GPPs.

Kasey Kahne ($7,500)

Kahne has been one of the biggest disappointments this year, and I don't blame you for not trusting him. However, he has had a few impressive performances at Darlington, and he had a top five car in final practice on both the short and long runs. Starting back in 18th, he has more upside than most of the big names, and he will finish with a big score if he works his way toward the front. Kahne could put a lineup over the top in GPPs.

Paul Menard ($7,100)

He been a 20th-place driver at Darlington for the most part, but Menard has occasionally had a solid run at the track. His excellent practice times suggest he could be in for a top 15 showing, and he has room to add to his score through place differential since he starts 24th. When all's said and done, Menard could end up comfortably in the 30-point range.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,900)

His record at Darlington doesn't jump off the page. He has two top 20s in three starts but hasn't finished better than 18th. However, he cracked the top 10 in both practice sessions and showed solid long-run speed. Stenhouse starts 22nd, and if his practice times are for real, he could end up being a steal on both GPPs and cash games.

Chris Buescher ($6,600)

Buescher will be making his Darlington debut this weekend, but based on his practice times Saturday, he has a decent feel for the egg-shaped oval. He cracked the top 20 in both sessions, and since he has to start 31st, he has a great chance to pad his point total with a place differential bonus points. He is worth targeting as a cheaper option in all formats..

Drivers to Fade

Jeff Gordon ($8,700)

His record at Darlington is incredible, but asking Gordon to jump in and out of the car and compete for wins is a tall order, even at one of his best tracks. His practice times indicate he is a top 15 driver, but he probably is not a top 10 option. Starting 15th, Gordon is likely to break even in the place differential category, and you could end up paying a lot of money for a 25 to 30 fantasy points.

Austin Dillon ($8,200)

Dillon has a couple of things working against him. He has an uneven record in two starts at Darlington, and starting 12th, he would need a career run at the track to avoid a negative place differential. Throw in lackluster practice times, and it's hard to justify paying for Dillon when there are multiple options with more upside through place differential that can be rostered for less money.

My Favorite DraftKings Cash Game Lineup

Kevin Harvick ($10,600)

Brad Keselowski ($10,200)

Ryan Blaney ($7,600)

Greg Biffle (7,200)

Paul Menard ($7,100)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,900)

Last year, Keselowski started on the pole and dominated this race, and the year before, Harvick did the same. With the two sharing the front row, I expect the duo to dominate the laps led and fastest laps run categories, and between the two, I should have the top scorer on my roster.

The rest of my lineup is loaded with drivers starting 20th or worse, so they have room to pad their point totals through place differential and won't destroy my lineup with if they do have trouble. As a bonus, Blaney, Biffle, Menard, and Stenhouse were all stout in practice, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if all four gained close to 10 spots.

Checkers-or-Wreckers GPP Lineup

Kyle Busch ($10,400)

Martin Truex Jr. (9,800)

Jimmie Johnson ($9,300)

Kasey Kahne ($7,500)

Chris Buescher ($6,600)

Trevor Bayne ($6,200)

While the two drivers on the front row are my top picks to dominate the laps led and fastest laps run categories, there are several attractive alternatives. Busch has led the most laps of any driver at Darlington over the last ten races, and Truex and Johnson were probably the best cars in practice across both short and long runs. If all three drivers run up front and challenge for the win, this lineup should be in contention.

The real X-factor for this lineup could be Kahne. Sure, he has disappointed for most of the season, but he has had some strong showings at Darlington in the past. Starting 18th, he also has some upside through place differential, and he showed top 10 potential throughout practice.

Starting 31s with a top 20 car in practice, Buescher could also be an option in cash games, but I'm hoping his recent price increase will keep his ownership down. Bayne is a bit riskier starting in the top half of the field, but he showed some promise in Happy Hour, and you can't complain about the price.


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