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Fantasy NASCAR DFS: Kobalt 400 Post-Qualifying

Following the qualifying round at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking points out who to target on DraftKings for the Kobalt 400!

Kobalt 400

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Brad Keselowski was out front when the checkered flag flew at Atlanta last weekend, and he will back at the front of the field when the green flag waves at Las Vegas Sunday. With a lap of 193.680 mph in the final round of qualifying, Keselowski claimed the pole for the Kobalt 400, his first career pole at the 1.5-mile track.

He will be joined on the front row by Martin Truex Jr. as Team Penske, and Joe Gibbs Racing dominated time trials in general. Counting Truex and Erik Jones who have a technical alliance with JGR and Ryan Blaney who has an alliance with Penske, the two organizations claimed seven of the Top 10 starting spots and nine of the Top 15.

There has been a correlation between drivers starting up front and leading laps at Vegas, and in four of the last five races here, the driver who has led the most laps has started 11th or better. Last year, seven different drivers led 10-plus laps, and six of them started inside the Top 10.

With 267 laps on tap Sunday, you will have to earn a decent amount of points in the dominator stats if you plan on cashing in playing DFS NASCAR. To do that, history says you will need to roster a couple of drivers who are starting toward the front.

Now that the starting lineup is set for the Kobalt 400, let's take a closer look at the drivers positioned to help you win big in Vegas.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

Harvick is the type of driver who is in play each and every week, and after qualifying 19th, he becomes a no-brainer play in cash games. He delivered a dominating win at Las Vegas in 2015, and now that he has potential through place differential, he doesn't even need to lead a bunch of laps to deliver a huge point total.

Brad Keselowski ($10,400)

Fresh off a win last weekend at Atlanta, Keselowski will lead the field to the green Sunday at Las Vegas. He just so happens to be the defending winner at the track, and over his last four starts, he has two wins and a 3.0 average finish. Keselowski should be able to contend for another win this weekend, and he is in position to pile up a ton of points in the dominator categories.

Jimmie Johnson ($10,200)

He has owned the dominator categories at Las Vegas, and Johnson has led 30-plus laps in each of his last five starts at Vegas, finishing sixth or better four times in that span. He qualified back in 16th, so he is in position to post a big score simply by moving forward and finishing up front. Johnson's starting spot makes him an obvious play in cash games, and you will also want some exposure in GPPs. His ceiling is that high.

Joey Logano ($10,000)

Team Penske showed a ton of muscle in qualifying, and I expect the speed to carry over to Sunday. Logano has been particularly useful in the dominator categories at Vegas, leading 40-plus laps in four straight races here. Last year, he finished second and led all drivers in fastest laps run and ranked second in laps led. I expect another big point total from him Sunday.

Value Plays

Matt Kenseth ($9,000)

He is a GPP-only option for me after qualifying in the Top 5, but Kenseth is a contrarian candidate to win the dominator categories. He is a three-time winner at Vegas, and he ranks second in both laps led and fastest laps run. In four starts here with Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth has three Top 10s, including a win in 2013.

Austin Dillon ($8,200)

Dillon started 19th in Atlanta last weekend and was looking at a Top 5 finish before a mechanical issue. He is starting in the middle of the pack again this weekend, and I expect a similar surge to the front. He finished a career-best fifth at Las Vegas last year, and the 1.5-mile tracks have become some of his best in recent years.

Ryan Newman ($7,800)

Newman's value is very qualifying dependent, but starting 22nd, he is on the right side of the place differential category. He showed Top 5 potential at Atlanta last weekend, and he has finished seventh, third and 13th in his last three starts at Vegas. At the very least, he should be a safe, solid mid-priced play or cash games.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,700)

Yes, Stenhouse's lack of consistency can make you pull your hair out, but his price tag is friendly, and place differential is in his favor after his 29th-place qualifying effort. Stenhouse is coming off a 14th-place finish at Atlanta last weekend, and he finished 12th at Las Vegas last year. Another Top 15 run Sunday will make him a bargain, and Stenhouse is someone you will want to use as a cap saver in at least a few of your lineups.

Ty Dillon ($6,500)

Last weekend at Atlanta, Dillon started 26th and finished 15th. He has nearly identical potential in the place differential category this weekend after qualifying 24th. Dillon showed last weekend he could deliver a decent finish at a 1.5-mile track, so he is one of the cheaper drivers you will want exposure to Sunday.

Sleeper Specials

David Ragan ($5,800)

His record at Vegas leaves a lot to be desired, but Ragan can free up a ton of cap space and is set up to capitalize on the place differential category after qualifying back in 32nd. I was also impressed by his Top 25 run at Atlanta last weekend, and I think he has better equipment to work with than he has in recent years. He is one of my favorite punt options if you want to top load your lineup.

Cole Whitt ($5,100)

Whitt was the unsung hero of last weekend's race at Atlanta, starting 37th and finishing 20th. He remains dirt cheap this weekend, and while it remains to be seen if he can continue to run in the middle of the pack, it won't cost you much to take the risk.

2017 Kobalt 400 Starting Lineup

Pos.

No.

Driver

Sponsor

Make

1

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

2

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats

Toyota

3

21

Ryan Blaney

Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Ford

4

20

Matt Kenseth

BlueDEF/Peak

Toyota

5

42

Kyle Larson

Target

Chevrolet

6

22

Joey Logano

Pennzoil

Ford

7

5

Kasey Kahne

LiftMaster

Chevrolet

8

77

Erik Jones

5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength

Toyota

9

18

Kyle Busch

M&M's

Toyota

10

1

Jamie McMurray

Credit One Bank/Cessna

Chevrolet

11

19

Daniel Suarez

ARRIS

Toyota

12

24

Chase Elliott

NAPA Auto Parts

Chevrolet

13

14

Clint Bowyer

Haas Automation

Ford

14

27

Paul Menard

Valvoline/Menards

Chevrolet

15

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx Office

Toyota

16

48

Jimmie Johnson

Kobalt

Chevrolet

17

41

Kurt Busch

Monster Energy/Haas Automation

Ford

18

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Nationwide

Chevrolet

19

4

Kevin Harvick

Mobil 1 AP

Ford

20

6

Trevor Bayne

Performance Plus Oil

Ford

21

31

Ryan Newman

Caterpillar

Chevrolet

22

3

Austin Dillon

Lucas Oil

Chevrolet

23

47

AJ Allmendinger

Kroger Click List

Chevrolet

24

13

Ty Dillon

GEICO

Chevrolet

25

37

Chris Buescher

Natural Light

Chevrolet

26

95

Michael McDowell

WRL General Contractors

Chevrolet

27

34

Landon Cassill

Loves Travel Stops

Ford

28

10

Danica Patrick

Aspen Dental

Ford

29

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal

Ford

30

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield Foods

Ford

31

32

Matt DiBenedetto

Can-Am/Kappa

Ford

32

38

David Ragan

Juice Battery

Ford

33

72

Cole Whitt

Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

Chevrolet

34

83

Corey LaJoie

JAS Expedited Trucking

Toyota

35

23

Gray Gaulding

Schluter Systems

Toyota

36

33

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Little Joes Autos/Curtis Key Plumbing

Chevrolet

37

15

Reed Sorenson

Premium Motorsports

Toyota

38

55

Derrike Cope

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

39

51

Timmy Hill

Dashub

Chevrolet


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