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Fantasy NASCAR DFS: Camping World 500 Post-Qualifying

Following the qualifying round at the Phoenix International Raceway, Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking points out who to target on DraftKings for the Camping World 500!

Camping World 500

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Qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway is in the books, and for the second week in a row, a Team Penske driver will lead the field to the green. Joey Logano claimed the pole for Sunday's Camping World 500 with a lap of 137.321 mph in the final round of qualifying.

He will be joined on the front row by Ryan Blaney, who uses Team Penske equipment as part of an alliance with Wood Brothers Racing. Dale Earnhardt Jr. carried the banner for Hendrick Motorsports and will start third, and Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray round out the Top 5.

Eight of the 41 races at Phoenix have been won by a driver starting on the front row, and 21 races have been won by a driver starting in the Top 10. On the flip side, just three drivers have won at PIR after qualifying outside the top 20.

There is also a benefit to starting up front for fantasy purposes. Over the last three years, at least one driver starting in the Top 5 has led 70-plus laps in five of the six races at Phoenix. Even if you throw out the Phoenix master Kevin Harvick, you still have seven drivers who started in the Top 5 that have led 30-plus laps in that same span, including five who have led 50-plus laps.

In other words, you may want to commit several roster spots to drivers who are starting near the front. Yes, you run the risk of being burned in the place differential category if any of those drivers wreck, but history says that the drivers starting the first couple of rows are going to own the dominator categories and be among the top scorers.

Let's take a closer look at the top DFS NASCAR plays and potential sleepers following qualifying for Sunday's Camping World 500.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($11,100)

It was a bit of a shock to see him qualify back in 23rd, but we are talking about the king of Phoenix. He has a 2.7 average finish in the last ten races here and a 1.7 average finish in six starts with Stewart-Haas Racing, so he should be the biggest mover Sunday. He has also led the most laps in five of the last six races at Phoenix, and he has started outside the Top 10 on two of those occasions. Harvick is a must-own in cash games this weekend, and you also need plenty of exposure to him in tournaments.

Joey Logano ($10,500)

Logano has been no slouch at Phoenix. In addition to winning the fall race at the track last season, he has six Top 10s in his last seven starts. More importantly, he has led the second-most laps at the track over the past three seasons, leading a combined 106 laps in two previous starts from the front row. Starting on the pole, he could easily own the dominator categories this weekend. Logano should be one of the main building blocks this weekend.

Value Plays

Denny Hamlin ($9,200)

He had a tire going down during qualifying, resulting in him starting 19th Sunday. Hamlin has always been one of the strongest flat track drivers, and he has seven Top 10s in his last ten starts at Phoenix, including four in his last five. Hamlin should be one of the biggest movers this weekend, riding the place differential category to a big point total.

Ryan Newman ($8,200)

Newman is one of those drivers who value is tied heavily to his starting spot, and I love him in cash games after he qualified outside the Top 20. He has finished 12th or better in six of his last seven starts at Phoenix, so he is in perfect position to exploit the place differential category. He should have one of the safer floors among the mid-priced options.

Ryan Blaney ($8,000)

He will be a risky play in cash games after earning a spot on the front row, but I'll be all over Blaney in GPPs. He has been on fire to start the 2017 season, and he finished in the Top 10 in both of his starts at Phoenix last year. I wouldn't be surprised to see him contend for the win Sunday, and he has the track position to score some points in the dominator categories. For a mid-priced driver, his upside is too much to ignore.

Aric Almirola ($6,900)

Another week, another bad qualifying run for Almirola. He will start 28th Sunday, but he has been decent at Phoenix. He has a 15.9 average finish over the last ten races here, and his worst finish in that span is 22nd. Almirola should be able to gain a handful of spots Sunday, and at the very least, he should be a safe source of cap relief in cash games.

Daniel Suarez ($6,400)

It has been a slow start to his rookie campaign, but his price tag has dropped, and he qualified back in 27th. Even if he only manages another mid-pack finish Sunday, he is going to pad his point total via the place differential category. If he happens to have a breakout run, he will be one of the steals of the weekend. Either way, Suarez has enough potential for the price to take a chance on in a few lineups.

Sleeper Specials

Chris Buescher ($5,800)

Buescher has been mediocre at best this season, but his 33rd-place effort in qualifying and his price tag make it a lot easier to take a chance on him. He has cracked the Top 25 the last two weeks, so he should have no problem finishing with a positive place differential. His ceiling is a limited, but he is also one of the few drivers priced below $6,000 who is a good bet to finish with a decent score.

Landon Cassill ($5,600)

You may need a cheap punt play this weekend to build a decent lineup around Kevin Harvick, and Cassill could be the guy. He has a 21.7 average finish through three races this year, and he picked up a pair of Top 25s at Phoenix last season, gaining a combined ten spots. He starts 29th, and I think he's a decent bet to gain a few spots and challenge for another Top 25.

2017 Camping World 500 Starting Lineup

Pos.

No.

Driver

Sponsor

Make

1

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil

Ford

2

21

Ryan Blaney

Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Ford

3

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Axalta

Chevrolet

4

42

Kyle Larson

Credit One Bank

Chevrolet

5

1

Jamie McMurray

Cessna

Chevrolet

6

2

Brad Keselowski

Alliance Truck Parts

Ford

7

24

Chase Elliott

NAPA Auto Parts

Chevrolet

8

77

Erik Jones

5-hour ENERGY Extra Strength

Toyota

9

18

Kyle Busch

Skittles

Toyota

10

5

Kasey Kahne

Great Clips

Chevrolet

11

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation/Monster Energy

Ford

12

20

Matt Kenseth

Tide

Toyota

13

14

Clint Bowyer

Haas Automation

Ford

14

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe's

Chevrolet

15

13

Ty Dillon

GEICO

Chevrolet

16

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats

Toyota

17

3

Austin Dillon

Dow World Water Day

Chevrolet

18

27

Paul Menard

FVP/Menards

Chevrolet

19

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx Freight

Toyota

20

47

AJ Allmendinger

Kroger Click List

Chevrolet

21

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal

Ford

22

31

Ryan Newman

Grainger

Chevrolet

23

4

Kevin Harvick

Jimmy John's

Ford

24

6

Trevor Bayne

AdvoCare

Ford

25

95

Michael McDowell

WRL General Contractors

Chevrolet

26

10

Danica Patrick

TaxAct

Ford

27

19

Daniel Suarez

ARRIS

Toyota

28

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield

Ford

29

34

Landon Cassill

Starkey Hearing Foundation

Ford

30

32

Matt DiBenedetto

Can-Am/Kappa

Ford

31

83

Corey LaJoie

BK Racing Graphics

Toyota

32

72

Cole Whitt

Standard Plumbing Supply

Chevrolet

33

37

Chris Buescher

Scott Products

Chevrolet

34

38

David Ragan

Jacob Companies

Ford

35

15

Reed Sorenson

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

36

23

Gray Gaulding

SunFrog.com

Toyota

37

55

Derrike Cope

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

38

33

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Little Joes Autos/Curtis Key Plumbing

Chevrolet

39

51

Timmy Hill

Spoonful of Music Foundation

Chevrolet


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