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NASCAR DFS: Ford EcoBoost 400 Post-Qualifying

Following the qualifying round at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking points out who to target on DraftKings for the Ford EcoBoost 400!

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Ford EcoBoost 400

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Heading into qualifying for Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, all the focus was on the four drivers who will be competing for the championship. By the time qualifying was over, it was Kevin Harvick who had earned the headlines.

Harvick grabbed the pole for the Ford EcoBoost 400 with a lap of 177.637 mph in the final round, leaving little doubt that he isn't going to give up just because he won't be running for the title.

Brad Keselowski will join Harvick on the front row, and Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott rounded out the top five. Kyle Busch was the top qualifier among the title contenders. He will start ninth Sunday, and all four championship drivers will start in the top 15.

Starting up front has proven to be a huge advantage when it comes to winning at Homestead. Of the 17 Cup races at the track, ten have been won from a top-five starting spot, including three straight. Meanwhile, 12 races have been won from a top 10 starting spot and just two have been won by a driver starting outside the top 20.

There has also been a strong correlation with starting up front and leading laps. Over the last three races here, nine drivers have led 40-plus laps, and eight of those drivers have started eighth or better. More importantly, two drivers have led more than 100 laps during that span, and both started from the pole.

Now that the starting lineup for the season finale is locked in, it's time to take a closer look at the drivers to target for your DFS NASCAR lineups. You can check out the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

He may not be competing for the title this weekend, but that doesn't mean Harvick can't cap the season with a win. His 6.1 average finish in the last ten races at Homestead is the best in the series, and he has finished first and second in the last two races here, leading 40-plus laps in both events. Harvick starts on the pole, and two of the last three pole-sitters at Homestead have led 100-plus laps. He could cap a strong 2016 season by being the top scorer this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,000)

Truex was eliminated from the Chase early, but that doesn't change the fact that he has been one of the best drivers at 1.5-mile tracks all year, leading more laps than any other driver. After qualifying sixth, he is in a good position to add to that total Sunday, especially at a Homestead track where he owns the second-best average finish over the last ten races.

Carl Edwards ($9,700)

To be honest, none of the four title contenders look like overwhelming favorites coming out of qualifying, but history says that at least a couple of them will be among the top performers Sunday. Edwards starts in the top 10, and the two-time Homestead winner has led more laps than any other driver in the last ten races here, leading more than 100 laps three times. Among the championship drivers, he looks like the best bet to provide a big point total. 

Value Plays

Kyle Larson ($8,800)

Larson's 24th-place run in qualifying is nothing new at Homestead. He has now qualified 20th or worse in all four starts at the track, but he has yet to finish outside the top 15. Last year, he started 23rd and finished fifth, and Larson could be in line for a similar charge to the front this weekend.

Denny Hamlin ($8,600)

He is a two-time winner at Homestead, and Hamlin has cracked the top 10 in each of his last three races at the track. Qualifying fourth puts him in a position to score some points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories, and at this price, he should be a solid option based on finishing position alone.

Kasey Kahne ($8,200)

He has struggled in qualifying at 1.5-mile tracks throughout the Chase, and the trend continued with a 29th-place run at Homestead. Of course, the qualifying issues haven't carried over to race day, and he has cracked the top 10 in all four races at 1.5-mile tracks during the playoffs, logging a +13.5 average place differential. Look for Kahne to be one of the biggest movers and an absolute bargain as a mid-priced play.

Alex Bowman ($7,400)

While I don't expect Bowman to be the top scorer like he was last weekend at Phoenix, he should still post a solid score after qualifying 19th. He has been a top 10 driver at the 1.5-mile tracks since jumping into the No. 88, so he has a great chance to provide 40-plus fantasy points once place differential is factored in.

Ty Dillon ($6,600)

Fantasy owners couldn't have asked for a better scenario in qualifying. Dillon will start 35th, giving him almost nothing to lose and plenty to gain in the place differential category. He has been able to run in and around the top 20 all year, so he is shaping up to be a must-have driver in cash games this weekend.

Paul Menard ($6,500)

Menard's up-and-down record at Homestead makes him a bit of a gamble, but he has the upside through place differential that you look for in a sleeper. He will start 28th, but he has two finishes of 11th or better in his last four starts at Homestead, including a fourth-place run in 2014.

Chris Buescher ($6,300)

On the heels of a lackluster 27th-place qualifying effort, Buescher should be one of the safest sources of cap relief for fantasy owners. He has finished 21st or better in each of the last three races at 1.5-mile ovals, gaining at least nine spots in all three races. He is in perfect position to have a similar performance this weekend.

Sleeper Specials

Danica Patrick ($6,100)

She has had decent results at Homestead, cracking the top 25 in all three career starts and compiling a 20.7 average finish. After qualifying 30th, a place differential of +10 or so isn't out of the question. She could end up being a cheap source of 30-plus fantasy points.

Regan Smith ($5,300)

There is no such thing as a sure thing when you drop down to this price range, but Smith's 35th-place starting spot at least limits his risk. He isn't going to destroy your lineup with a negative score, and he has a chance to finish with a modest point total. Smith has cracked the top 30 in the last three races at 1.5-mile tracks, finishing 26th or better twice.

2016 Ford EcoBoost 400 Starting Lineup

Pos.

No.

Driver

Sponsor

Make

1

4

Kevin Harvick

Jimmy John's

Chevrolet

2

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

3

31

Ryan Newman

Caterpillar

Chevrolet

4

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx Express

Toyota

5

24

Chase Elliott

NAPA Auto Parts

Chevrolet

6

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats

Toyota

7

20

Matt Kenseth

DeWalt Flexvolt

Toyota

8

21

Ryan Blaney

Motorcraft

Ford

9

18

Kyle Busch

M&M's

Toyota

10

19

Carl Edwards

ARRIS Surfboard

Toyota

11

14

Tony Stewart

Always a Racer/Mobil 1

Chevrolet

12

47

AJ Allmendinger

Kroger/Clorox

Chevrolet

13

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil

Ford

14

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe's

Chevrolet

15

1

Jamie McMurray

McDonald's

Chevrolet

16

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation/Monster Energy

Chevrolet

17

3

Austin Dillon

Dow Corning

Chevrolet

18

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal

Ford

19

88

Alex Bowman

Axalta

Chevrolet

20

6

Trevor Bayne

AdvoCare

Ford

21

16

Greg Biffle

Roush Performance

Ford

22

44

Brian Scott

Safeway

Ford

23

13

Casey Mears

GEICO

Chevrolet

24

42

Kyle Larson

Target

Chevrolet

25

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield

Ford

26

59

Michael McDowell

Thrivent Financial

Chevrolet

27

34

Chris Buescher

Love's Travel Stops

Ford

28

27

Paul Menard

Richmond/Menards

Chevrolet

29

5

Kasey Kahne

Great Clips

Chevrolet

30

10

Danica Patrick

TaxAct

Chevrolet

31

49

Matt DiBenedetto

NASCAR Heat Evolution

Toyota

32

38

Landon Cassill

Florida Lottery

Ford

33

15

Clint Bowyer

5-Hour Energy

Chevrolet

34

95

Ty Dillon

Advil

Chevrolet

35

7

Regan Smith

Nikko RC/Toy State

Chevrolet

36

23

David Ragan

Dr. Pepper

Toyota

37

55

Reed Sorenson

RoyalTeak.com

Toyota

38

83

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Starter

Toyota

39

32

Dylan Lupton

Can-Am/CorvetteParts.net

Ford

40

46

Michael Annett

Pilot Flying J

Chevrolet

FTQ

30

Gray Gaulding

Feed the Children

Chevrolet


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