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NASCAR DFS: Bank of America 500 Lineup Tips

Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking reveals his final DFS picks on DraftKings for the Bank of America 500!

Bank of America 500

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The Sprint Cup Series visits Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, and for the second week in a row, DFS NASCAR lineups will have to be set without the benefit of practice data.

Qualifying was held Thursday, but all Friday activities were wiped out by the effects of Hurricane Matthew, making it tough to gauge which drivers have their cars dialed in heading into Saturday night's Bank of America 500.

Identifying the driver with the car to beat is always important in a scoring system that rewards laps led and fastest laps run, and it is especially important in a 334-lap race. In the last five races at Charlotte, six drivers have led at least 100 laps, and one driver has led at least 160 laps four times in that span.

Someone is going to post a huge score, and that driver needs to be on your roster if you want to hit it big at DraftKings. That being said, there are also a few big names who qualified deeper in the field, so there could also be some big scores to be had in the place differential category.

The ideal scenario would be picking both the dominant driver and two of the biggest movers, but you may want to hedge your bets and take two drivers starting closer to the front who are capable of leading a lot of laps. Ultimately, it will be better to miss out on a driver who gains 15 spots than it will be to miss out on a driver who leads 150 laps.

Don't forget to lock in your DFS NASCAR lineups, and make sure to check out the Bank of America 500 Sunday at 12:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Building Blocks

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,900)

Truex was in a league of his own at Charlotte in May, leading 392 of the 400 laps and ranking first in fastest laps run. It was the second time in the last three races at Charlotte that he has led the most laps, and he enters this weekend's race amidst the best stretch of his career. In each of the last five races, Truex has either led the most laps or gone to victory lane, and he could certainly extend that streak this weekend.

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

He starts on the pole, and based on his record at Charlotte, he might stay out front most of the night. He has a series-leading 5.3 average finish in the last ten races here, and he has four finishes of either first or second in his last five starts here. Harvick is one the best bets to be among the leaders in laps led and fastest laps run, and he should contend for the win while posting one of the top fantasy scores.

Difference Makers

Brad Keselowski ($9,800)

Keselowski has three straight top 10s at Charlotte and five in his last six starts at the track, so there is little doubt he can move forward from his 20th-place starting spot. More importantly, the No. 2 team is one of the best at using pit strategy, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him find a way to spend some time out front over the course of the night. He could put together the type of all-around performance that makes him one of the top scorers.

Kyle Larson ($9,600)

Speed has never been an issue for Larson at Charlotte, but he has had trouble finishing off races at the track. He did manage a 13th-place finish here in May, and after qualifying 25th, he has a chance to score the most points in the place differential category this weekend. He won't come cheap, but if Larson charges into the top five, will be worth every penny.

Kasey Kahne ($8,500)

He is suddenly one of the hotter drivers in the series, reeling off seven straight top 15s and finishing in the top 10 four times in his last five starts. Kahne carries the momentum to a Charlotte track where he has won four times, and ranks in the top three in both laps led and fastest laps run. He could be a solid pick based on finishing position alone, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him lead a few laps.

Alex Bowman ($8,000)

Bowman has shown plenty of speed as the replacement for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and after qualifying on the front row, you can't help but wonder just how high his ceiling is. He carries his share of risk, and if he wrecks or struggles, he is going to destroy your lineup with a huge negative score. However, that risk should keep his ownership low, making him a potential X-factor if he finishes somewhere in the top 10.

Clint Bowyer ($7,100)

He has struggled for much of the season, but starting 31st, Bowyer can't be completely overlooked. Yes, he may just stay mired in the back of the pack, but if he happens to sneak into the top 20, he will end up posting a solid score for a discounted price. He is worth a roll of the dice in GPPs.

Drivers to Fade

Carl Edwards ($9,400)

Edwards has solid numbers at Charlotte, but he just hasn't been running all that well in recent weeks. He has one top 10 in the five races leading up to Charlotte, and his last top five finish came at Kentucky in early July. He starts eighth, giving him little upside through place differential, and he isn't going to live up to his price tag unless he suddenly finds a ton of speed.

Tony Stewart ($7,800)

He has been a 15th-place driver at best in recent weeks, and Stewart has been struggling at Charlotte. He has five straight finishes outside the top 10, including four straight outside the top 20. After qualifying fifth, it is all but guaranteed Stewart ends with a negative place differential and a lackluster point total. If he struggles, he is going to saddle your lineup with a negative score.

A.J. Allmendinger ($6,900)

Coming into the weekend, I had my eye on Allmendinger is a potential sleeper. After all, he has shown top 15 upside at Charlotte. Unfortunately, he had an excellent qualifying run, and he loses all his fantasy appeal now that he is starting sixth. Allmendinger is likely to lose double-digit spots, and he might even struggle to break even on points. Look elsewhere for cap relief.

My Favorite DraftKings Cash Game Lineup

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)
Brad Keselowski ($9,800)
Kurt Busch ($8,700)
Ryan Newman (7,400)
Paul Menard ($6,800)
Aric Almirola ($6,400)

Even in a cash game lineup, you can't avoid the laps led and fastest laps run categories, especially in a 334-lap race. Harvick starts on the pole, and no driver has been more consistent at Charlotte. I expect him to finish as one of the top scorers and potentially dominate the race.

With Harvick hopefully taking care of business, the rest of my lineup is focused on piling up points in the place differential category. Keselowski and Busch both start 20th or worse, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see either finish in the top five.

Newman, Menard, and Almirola all start outside the top 20, and Menard and Almirola actually start outside the top 25. All three could gain around ten spots, and equally, as important, they won't ruin my lineup with a mediocre run.

Checkers-or-Wreckers GPP Lineup

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,900)
Kevin Harvick (10,700)
Kasey Kahne ($8,500)
Austin Dillon ($8,200)
Trevor Bayne ($6,600)
Brian Scott ($7,100)

I'm shelling out a ton of money for Truex and Harvick, so between the two, I better score monopolize the points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories. Of course, the two have been the best drivers in the series at Charlotte lately, so there is a good chance they finish as the top two scorers.

Kahne is a potential X-factor as my No. 3 driver, but he is running as well as he has all year, and Charlotte has been his best track. I'm rolling the dice that he has one more stellar run left in him here.

With several bigger names starting deeper in the field, I'm hoping Dillon is overlooked. He consistently shows top 10 potential at 1.5-mile ovals, and he still has some upside in the place differential category himself.

Bayne is another contrarian sleeper. I expect Menard and Almirola to be widely owned, but Bayne starts nearly as far back and has been the best of the three at 1.5-mile ovals in 2016.

Scott is mainly a source of cap relief, but starting 30th, he can't hurt my lineup too bad. Plus, he could end up being a useful addition if he can creep toward the top 20. If he tops 20 fantasy points, he will be worth the price.

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