O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fox / NASCAR: Quick Picks
Setting a NASCAR DFS lineup at DraftKings is never easy, but Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is shaping up to be an exceptionally tight race.
The track's repaved, reconfigured surface has been giving drivers fits all weekend, and if that wasn't enough, several big names are starting deep in the field after missing qualifying because of issues with tech inspection.
Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are all starting outside the Top 30, creating an unusually high number of potential points in the place differential category.
However, the race is still a 334-lap event, so there is also plenty of points in the dominator categories. Finding the balance between the two will be the difference between a big payday and coming up empty.
Things are a little simpler in cash games where loading up on the drivers starting in the back is the safest and smartest strategy. Things get a little trickier when you deal with GPPs, and I recommend trying to pinpoint one driver starting up front who is going to win the dominator categories with a bunch of drivers starting in the back.
I just don't think you can afford to take a chance on two drivers starting toward the front when there are so many drivers starting in the back who have a great chance to finish in the Top 10. Yes, guys like Larson, Busch, and Elliott are going to be popular plays, but popular plays can also be the right plays. Don't be afraid to mix in chalk options, even in big tournaments.
Get ready for a wild race at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday, and check out my top cash and GPP plays before finalizing your lineups.
Top Cash Game Plays
Kyle Larson ($10,300)
He starts back in 32nd, but I don't expect Larson to stay there long. He has been a Top 5 driver all season, and he showed Top 5 speed in practice Saturday. Look for Larson to be one of the biggest movers this weekend, and he has an incredibly high floor thanks to his potential in the place differential category.
Kevin Harvick ($10,000)
If you are looking for the traditional play to win the dominator categories, I think Harvick is the pick. He starts on the pole, and the last time he led the field to the green this year, he led almost every lap at Atlanta. I expect track position and clean air to mean a lot on the new pavement at Texas, and Harvick should jump out front early and could stay there most of the afternoon.
Top Tournament Plays
Brad Keselowski ($10,500)
He has been a factor for the win in almost every race this season, and Keselowski has also been one of the steadiest performers at Texas. His practice times suggest that the new surface isn't going to slow him down much, and starting in the Top 5, he is in prime position to get out front and own the dominator categories. Kevin Harvick is my favorite play among drivers starting up front, but Keselowski is probably the best alternative.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,200)
If Truex has shown us anything the last two seasons, it is that he is always capable of leading a lot of laps at the larger ovals. He led over 200 laps combined in the two races at Texas last year, and while the track has been repaved, he is still one of the best bets to win the dominator categories. If you are fading Kevin Harvick, Truex joins Brad Keselowski as one of my favorite alternatives.