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NASCAR DFS: Ford EcoBoost 400 Lineup Tips

Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking reveals his final DraftKings lineup tips before the final race of the season!

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Ford EcoBoost 400

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Homestead-Miami Speedway plays host to final race of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season this weekend, and for those of you that have been playing DFS NASCAR all year, Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 is your last chance to win some serious cash before the offseason begins.

On the plus side, Homestead is a 1.5-mile oval, so you already have plenty of experience setting lineups for this type of track. Start by focusing on the laps led and fastest laps run categories. History says that you will want to target a few drivers starting in the top 10, preferably a couple of top five qualifiers.

The other factor to consider this weekend is that the championship is on the line. In the two previous years that this elimination format has been used, title contenders have claimed the top two finishing spots. You will probably want to have at least one of the four remaining Chase drivers in your lineups this weekend.

Don’t forget to lock in your final DFS NASCAR lineups of the season, and be sure to follow along as a champion is crowned Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Building Blocks

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

Harvick won't win the title Sunday, but he can still win the race. More importantly, he can help you win a lot of money. He is already the most consistent driver at Homestead based on average finish, and he has led 40-plus laps in both starts here with Stewart-Haas Racing, finishing first and second, respectively. He also grabbed the pole for Sunday's finale, and two of the last three pole winners have led more than 100 laps. While the four title contenders are busy fighting it out, Harvick could be busy dominating the laps led and fastest laps run categories.

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,000)

All year, Truex has been the most impressive driver at the 1.5-mile tracks, dominating the laps led category. Homestead has always been one of his strongest, so there is no reason to expect that to change as he caps off the best season of his career. Truex rolls off sixth, putting him in a great position to add to his impressive total of laps led and fastest laps run at the 1.5-mile ovals.

Carl Edwards ($9,700)

The two-time Homestead winner boasts an impressive resume at the track, and over the last ten races here, no driver has led more laps. In fact, Edwards has led more than 100 laps at the track three times in that span. He had one of the best cars throughout both practice sessions Saturday, so Edwards appears to have a good chance at delivering another dominant showing at Homestead.

Difference Makers

Brad Keselowski ($9,500)

Keselowski has been trending in the right direction at Homestead, and his last three starts have yielded finishes of sixth, third and third, respectively. He led a race-high 86 laps in last year's race, and after qualifying second, a similar performance could be on tap this weekend. Keselowski is a great contrarian option to build around.

Chase Elliott ($9,000)

The rookie has never made a Cup start at Homestead, but his record at 1.5-mile tracks this year speaks for itself. Elliott has six top 10s in 10 races, including four top five finishes. He has also led laps in all four races at 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase, leading 75-plus laps twice. He has been fast on the charts all weekend, so don't be surprised if he contends for the win.

Denny Hamlin ($8,600)

Qualifying fourth makes him a risky play, but it also gives Hamlin plenty of upside. He is a two-time winner at Homestead, and he is one of the most consistent drivers at the track. If he just runs in the top 10, he will be a decent value for the price, and if he happens to lead his share of laps, Hamlin could be one of the steals of the race.

Austin Dillon ($7,900)

Dillon isn't an obvious mid-priced play like Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne, but he does have some upside through place differential after qualifying 17th. He has also shown top 10 upside at the 1.5-mile tracks all year, and he finished 14th at Homestead last fall. He could be a sneaky lineup addition Sunday.

Ryan Blaney ($7,700)

His top 10 qualifying spot will likely scare off most people, and Blaney is a high-risk, high-reward pick. However, he has shown top 10 upside at the 1.5-mile tracks all year, so there is a decent chance he finishes right around where he starts. He could post a solid score through finishing alone, and a lack of ownership could make him an effective mid-priced alternative in GPPs.

Danica Patrick ($6,100)

A lot of pieces have to fall in place for Patrick to be worth taking a chance on, but she checks all the boxes of a viable sleeper this weekend. She is priced on the low end of her usual range, and she has some room to pad her score through place differential after qualifying 30th. Patrick owns a 20.7 average finish in three starts at Homestead, and she has never finished outside the top 25. Take a chance on her as an alternative source of cap relief.

Drivers to Fade

Kurt Busch ($8,400)

He has been average at best during the Chase, and although he has been better since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, Homestead has never been his strongest track. Busch starts 16th, so he would have to have outperformed his career numbers here by a big margin to earn a substantial amount of points through place differential. There are too many stronger options in this price range to gamble on Busch.

Ryan Newman ($7,800)

Newman has shown solid speed this weekend, but his third-place run in qualifying makes him an incredibly risky pick. He does have some strong runs at Homestead, but he has been up or down at the track overall. Even if he cracks the top 15, his negative place differential is going to erase most of the points he will earn. If he has serious trouble, he is going to destroy your entire lineup.

My Favorite DraftKings Cash Game Lineup

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

Kyle Larson ($8,800)

Kasey Kahne ($8,200)

Austin Dillon ($7,900)

Alex Bowman ($7,400)

Ty Dillon ($6,600)

I can't ignore the laps led and fastest laps run category, but I am willing to put all my eggs in Kevin Harvick's basket. He starts on the pole and owns an excellent record at Homestead, so I fully expect him to have the car to beat Sunday.

The rest of this lineup is loaded with upside through place differential. All five drivers start 17th or worse, and three drivers start 24th or worse. As with most cash game lineups, I will be able to absorb a mediocre run or two and still post a competitive score as long as a few of my drivers live up to their potential.

Larson and Kahne, in particular, could prove to be valuable plays. Larson owns excellent place differential numbers at Homestead, and Kahne boasts a similar resume at the 1.5-mile tracks since the Chase began. I could see both finishing as top five scorers at DraftKings based on finishing position and place differential alone.

Checkers-or-Wreckers GPP Lineup

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,000)

Carl Edwards ($9,700)

Brad Keselowski ($9,500)

Chase Elliott ($9,000)

Chris Buescher ($6,400)

Regan Smith ($5,300)

I have four drivers in this lineup starting in the top 10, and I need all four to have strong runs to have any shot at cashing. On the plus side, all four drivers have the potential to not only win but to lead their share of laps. I'm also fading Kevin Harvick in this lineup, and if one of my drivers ends up being the dominant driver instead of Harvick, it is going to give me a leg up on a lot of my competition.

I'm rounding out my lineup with a couple of cheap options who have decent upside through place differential. Granted, Smith is way more of a reach than Buescher, but even Smith should deliver a decent point total if his recent results at 1.5-mile tracks are any indication.


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