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NASCAR DFS: Hollywood Casino 400 Lineup Tips

Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking reveals his final DFS picks on DraftKings for the Hollywood Casino 400!

Hollywood Casino 500

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The Sprint Cup Series is visiting Kansas Speedway this weekend, and as the third race of the Chase at a 1.5-mile track and ninth of the year, the formula for DFS NASCAR success is simple. Unfortunately, picking the right pieces to make the formula is anything but simple.

As is typically the case, history suggests that one driver is going to lead more than 100 laps Sunday, and there is a very good chance that the driver who leads the most laps starts in the top five. Even in a 267-lap race, the laps led and fastest laps run categories are important, so don't be shy about rostering two of the top guys starting up front.

Of course, picking the dominant driver is only half the bottle. You also have to figure out which driver starting deeper in the field are going to pile up points in the place differential category. There are going to be at least a couple of drivers who start outside the top 15 who finish in the top 10, and there are probably going to be a couple of drivers who qualify outside the top 20 who end up in the top 10.

To help you make the tough decisions and finalize your DFS NASCAR lineups, check out one last look at my top picks and lineup combinations. You can watch Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at 2:00 p.m ET on NBC.

Building Blocks

Martin Truex Jr. ($11,100)

Truex has been the best driver at 1.5-mile tracks all year, and he has led 411 more laps than any other driver in the eight races on 1.5-mile ovals. He logged 172 of those at Kansas in May, and he has led the most laps in two of the last three races at the track. After qualifying fourth, another dominating performance could be on tap. He could carry a lineup this weekend.

Kevin Harvick ($10,900)

Despite some bad luck in the Chase, Harvick continues to bring one of the best cars to the track week in and week out. He was one of the best cars in practice Saturday, and he in the last six races at Kansas, he has four finishes of either first or second. He has led more than 20 laps in five of the six races during that stretch, leading more than 50 laps four times. Harvick is a safe bet to finish as one of the top scorers.

Matt Kenseth ($8,700)

Kenseth led a race-high 155 laps at Kansas last fall before being dumped from the lead by Joey Logano in the closing laps. He ranks first in laps led at the track overall, and after qualifying on the pole and practicing in the top five, he is in perfect position to pile up points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories.

Difference Makers

Chase Elliott ($9,500)

Elliott has been solid at 1.5-mile tracks all year, logging five top 10s in eight starts. However, he has shown some muscle recently, leading 75 laps at Chicagoland and 103 laps last weekend at Charlotte. The rookie has shown impressive speed in practice, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him out front again Sunday. Elliott could be a sneaky contender for top scorer honors.

Joey Logano ($9,200)

He is flying under the radar a bit, but since joining Team Penske, Logano has five top-five finishes in seven starts at Kansas, winning twice and leading at least 29 laps five times. Logano starts sixth, so another top five finish is certainly possible. If he also leads his share of laps, he could be a great contrarian option to build around.

A.J. Allmendinger ($7,000)

I would normally write off Allmendinger completely after a top 10 qualifying run, but he has finished in the top 15 in three of his last four starts at Kansas, and he cracked the top 10 in practice Saturday. Still, he is not going to be a popular pick, and if you have the guts to roster him this weekend and he comes through with a top 10, he is going be a serious X-factor in GPPs.

Clint Bowyer ($7,300)

It's the same old story for Bowyer. He qualified back in 31st, so the upside through place differential is there. The question is whether he will simply stay mired deep in the field and be dead weight on your roster or climb into the top 20 and end up being a bargain. He is an all-or-nothing option in GPPs.

Paul Menard ($6,400)

I would have loved to see him qualify deeper than 16th, but the same can be said for everyone else who was considering Menard. The solid qualifying effort should scare away a lot of owners, which could make him a useful alternative source of cap relief. Menard showed excellent speed in practice Saturday, and he has finished 12th or better in five of his last ten starts at Kansas. If he flirts with a top 10, he will be a steal.

Michael McDowell ($5,100)

If you are looking for a serious roll-of-the-dice option, McDowell does offer some appeal. He starts back in 33rd, but for the year, he averages a 24.5 average finish. Meanwhile, he is coming off a 14th-place run at Charlotte, and he managed to crack the top 20 in practice Saturday. If he comes close to backing up his practice times on Sunday, McDowell is going to finish with a useful point total while freeing up a ton of cap space.

Drivers to Fade

Carl Edwards ($8,900)

Edwards has a solid record at Kansas, and he always seems to come away with a decent finish. However, starting third limits a lot of his appeal since he is unlikely to lead laps and will probably lose some points in the place differential category. For the price, you can find a driver with more upside.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,200)

Stenhouse has shown top 15 potential at Kansas, but he still has limited upside through place differential after qualifying 18th. Meanwhile, he is priced above several comparable drivers who have more upside through place differential. Bottom line, there are better options available for less.

My Favorite DraftKings Cash Game Lineup

Jimmie Johnson ($10,600)

Kyle Larson ($9,400)

Matt Kenseth ($8,700)

Kasey Kahne (8,500)

Aric Almirola ($6,800)

Chris Buescher ($6,000)

Even in a cash game lineup, scoring points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories is a must. Kenseth had a strong track record of leading laps at Kansas, and starting on the pole gives him a great shot to add to his total this weekend.

The rest of the drivers in my lineup all start 20th or worse, and Almirola and Buescher both start 30th or worse. Part of the beauty of this lineup is that while no driver outside of Kenseth can ruin it with a bad finish, I still have multiple drivers who could post huge point totals.

Johnson and Larson could both finish among the top scorers based solely on place differential and finishing position, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see either driver lead laps or at least record some fastest laps.

Almirola could also be a surprisingly high scorer. Starting 35th, he is going to gain 15-plus spots simply by cracking the top 20. If he runs in the top 15 as he has in recent weeks, he is going to pad his final score by as many as 20 points.

Checkers-or-Wreckers GPP Lineup

Martin Truex Jr. ($11,100)

Kevin Harvick (10,900)

Chase Elliott ($9,500)

Trevor Bayne ($6,600)

Paul Menard ($6,400)

Michael McDowell ($5,100)

This lineup is packed with potential pitfalls, and if Truex, Harvick or Elliott have trouble, the negative place differential that will result could doom my entire lineup. However, I expect all three to be contenders for the win, and they should allow me to score a ton of points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories.

I'm hoping Menard and Bayne prove to be under-owned, effective sleepers. Both drivers showed top 10 speed in practice, but Menard's solid starting spot and Bayne's lackluster record at Kansas could keep their ownership down.

McDowell is a complete roll of the dice, but his practice times and recent runs suggest he could move from his 33rd-place starting spot into the top 25.

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