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NASCAR DFS: Kobalt 400 DraftKings Lineup Tips

Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking breaks down the top drivers to target in cash games and tournaments on DraftKings, while also revealing who to avoid in Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway!

Kobalt 400

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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is visiting Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and for anyone who plays DFS NASCAR at DraftKings, the strategy that worked last week at Atlanta could also prove profitable for Sunday's Kobalt 400.

As is the case at most 1.5-mile tracks, races at Vegas tend to be dominated by one or two drivers, so earning a chunk of points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories will be a must. History says that the drivers who earn the most points in the dominator categories will be starting in the Top 10, so you are going to have to pay up for a couple of studs.

For the rest of your lineup, I recommend focusing on the place differential category. In cash games, quality drivers starting deeper in the field are the smartest plays. It's a little trickier in GPPs because you need to consider how popular a driver will be among the masses. If you can find that one hidden gem, it can mean the difference in a decent week and a huge payday.

To help you finalize all your DFS NASCAR lineups for the Kobalt 400, check out my favorite cash game and tournament plays and my favorite lineup combinations.

Top Cash Game Plays

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

I expect his ownership to be through the roof, and Harvick is a must-own driver in cash games. He qualified back in 19th, so he can post a big score simply by finishing in the Top 10. Meanwhile, he is always a threat to own the dominator categories, and he led the most laps and won at Vegas back in 2015. Harvick's ceiling is sky high, and he probably has the safest floor of any driver in the field Sunday.

Brad Keselowski ($10,400)

Even in a cash game lineup, you can't afford to overlook the two dominator categories, and Keselowski is in perfect position to score points in both. He starts on the pole, and he will be trying for his third win in the last four races at Vegas. I also expect him to be a very popular play, so he is the one driver starting up front that I won't hesitate to roster in cash games.

Jimmie Johnson ($10,200)

His numbers at Vegas speak for themselves, and in addition to his series-leading four wins, he ranks first in both dominator categories. Johnson has led 30-plus laps in five straight starts here, finishing sixth or better four times in that span. As a bonus, he has a little potential through place differential after qualifying 16th, so he doesn't even need to lead a lot of laps to post a strong score.

Austin Dillon ($8,200)

Dillon qualified back in 22nd, so he the place differential potential you want in a cash game option. He has also shown a high ceiling at 1.5-mile tracks, and he finished fifth at Las Vegas last year. Even if he just challenges for a Top 10, he will deliver a strong point total.

Ryan Newman ($7,800)

He doesn't have the highest ceiling among the drivers in this price range, but Newman should be one of the safest. He starts 21st, but he has cracked the Top 15 in three straight starts at Vegas. Newman should have no problem delivering a decent finish and some extra points through place differential.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,700)

Starting back in 29th, Stenhouse has the safe floor you look for in a cheap cash game play. More importantly, he could capitalize on his upside through the place differential category. Stenhouse finished in the Top 15 last weekend at Atlanta, and he finished 12th at Vegas last year. He could be one of the biggest movers Sunday.

David Ragan ($5,800)

His practice times haven't been great, but Ragan showed last weekend in Atlanta that he could finish in the Top 25 at a 1.5-mile oval. Starting 32nd this weekend, he is a decent bet to move up a handful of spots and deliver a decent score for a cheap price. At the very least, he won't hurt you too much while providing some roster flexibility.

Top Tournament Plays

Chase Elliott ($9,700)

Elliott began to establish himself as one of the best at 1.5-mile tracks at the end of last season, and he continued the trend last weekend at Atlanta. He isn't slowing down at Las Vegas, and Elliott has been at or near the top of the charts all weekend. I would not be surprised to see him win Sunday, and he could own the dominator categories while doing so. He is my favorite contrarian option to build a lineup around this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr. ($9,500)

Vegas hasn't been his strongest track, but Truex is coming off a year when he led the most laps of any driver at 1.5-mile tracks. He is starting on the front row with a car that was among the best in practice, so another dominant run at a 1.5-mile oval could be on tap for Truex this Sunday. He is a contrarian candidate to finish as the top scorer.

Matt Kenseth ($9,000)

Kenseth is another prime contrarian option to build around. He qualified in the Top 5, and he has shown Top 5 speed throughout Saturday's practices. Kenseth is also a three-time winner at Vegas, and he ranks second among active drivers in both dominator categories.

Ryan Blaney ($7,400)

I expect his third-place qualifying run to scare away a lot of people, and it's true that he will destroy your lineup if he happens to have trouble. On the flip side, he has been one of the fastest cars all weekend, and a Top 5 finish isn't out of the question. Blaney could put a GPP lineup over the top if you are willing to take the risk.

Danica Patrick ($6,400)

She hasn't shown much speed this weekend, but she is starting deep enough in the field to take a chance on as a cheaper play. Patrick will roll off 28th, and she has finished 21st in two of her last three starts at Vegas. She also delivered a Top 20 last weekend at Atlanta. I don't expect huge ownership numbers, and she could end up being a decent sleeper.

Cole Whitt ($5,100)

Whitt was one of the biggest surprises last weekend at Atlanta, finishing 20th with a +17 place differential. He starts 33rd this weekend, and while there is no guarantee he can repeat the performance, it's not a bad gamble at this price.

Drivers to Fade

Kasey Kahne ($8,400)

He has been a DFS stud at the 1.5-mile tracks dating back to the second half of last year, but he has been so valuable because he has consistently been one of the biggest movers. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much room to move forward this weekend after qualifying seventh. I still expect Kahne to deliver a decent finish, but he won't have the place differential category waiting to pad his point total. You can find better value in this price range.

Paul Menard ($6,800)

Menard has been rock solid at Vegas throughout his career, but part of his fantasy appeal has been his ability to gain spots. After qualifying in the Top 15, I just don't see him moving forward. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see him lose a chunk of spots based on his poor showing at Atlanta last weekend. There are better ways to save cap space this weekend.

My Favorite DraftKings Cash Game Lineup

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)
Jimmie Johnson ($10,200)
Austin Dillon ($8,200)
Ryan Newman ($7,800)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,700)
Danica Patrick ($6,400)

Checkers-or-Wreckers GPP Lineup

Chase Elliott ($9,700)
Martin Truex Jr. ($9,500)
Kyle Larson ($8,800)
Ryan Blaney ($7,400)
Erik Jones ($7,100)
Cole Whitt ($5,100)


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