Food City 500
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fox / NASCAR: Quick Picks
Short track racing returns this weekend as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visits Bristol Motor Speedway.
If you play DFS NASCAR at DraftKings, there are a lot of factors to consider when building a lineup for Sunday's Food City 500, but your main concern has to be the 500-lap distance of the race.
In terms of number of laps, Sunday's race is tied for first, which means it is also tied for first in the amount of fantasy points available in the dominator categories. Historically, at least two drivers are able to lead more than 100 laps in any given race at Bristol, so there is a good chance that at least two drivers are scoring in triple digits Sunday at DraftKings.
Of course, picking the drivers who will lead the most laps is the challenge, but in order to make sure I get as much exposure as possible to the dominator categories, I will pay up for at least two big names in every lineup I build, and I will go with three high-priced options in some of them.
I'll try to round out my roster with cheaper options who have upside in the place differential category, but if it comes to it, I'll punt a roster spot in order to go after the points in the dominator categories, especially in GPPs.
Check out a complete look at my favorite cash and GPP plays for Sunday's Food City 500, and make sure to get your lineups locked in at DraftKings before the green flag waves.
Top Cash Game Plays
Kyle Busch ($10,600)
His resume at Bristol is one of the best, and in addition to his five wins here, Busch leads all drivers in both dominator categories. Starting in the Top 10 with a car that was fast in practice, he has a great chance to finish as the top scorer at DraftKings Sunday. He should also be one of the most popular plays, making him safe to build around in cash games.
Kevin Harvick ($10,400)
Harvick has always run well at Bristol, and he has been even better since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, winning here last fall and leading a combined 428 laps in six starts. He showed up in the Top 10 in both practices, and his Top 10 starting spot puts him in good position to exploit the dominator categories. Harvick is always a popular play, which only adds to his appeal in cash games.
Kyle Larson ($10,100)
The speed has always been there for Larson at Bristol, but a true breakout performance at the track has eluded him. Starting from the pole and running as well as anyone in the series, I expect that to change in a big way this weekend. He should be one of the most popular picks this weekend, and Larson should lead plenty of laps on his way to being one of the top scorers at DraftKings.
Matt Kenseth ($9,100)
Thanks to rain washing out qualifying, Kenseth has become a must-play option in cash games. He starts back in 22nd, but he is a four-time Bristol winner who ranks in the Top 3 in both dominator categories at the track. His upside through place differential gives him one of the safest floors, and Kenseth's ceiling only goes up from there at one of his best tracks.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($8,600)
He's a little pricey for how he has performed this year, but he's Junior, so the ownership should be there, especially since he is starting 20th. In addition to a safe floor through place differential, Junior was a Top 10 car in both practices Saturday, and he has the best average finish of any active driver at Bristol.
Kurt Busch ($7,700)
He has been slumping a bit since winning the Daytona 500, but Busch knows how to get the job done at Bristol. He is a five-time winner here, and he has finished in the Top 15 in four of his last five starts. Busch starts 15th, so he has some potential in the place differential category, and he knocking on the door of the Top 10 in practice Saturday. Overall, Busch projects as a safe, solid pick, and he won't kill your cap situation.
Austin Dillon ($7,300)
Dillon has everything you look for in a cheaper cash play. He starts outside the Top 20, so he has the place differential category working in his favor. He also has decent numbers at Bristol, logging four Top 15s in six starts. Throw in solid practice times, and Dillon should be a great option to free up some cap space.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,100)
His stellar record at Bristol and surprisingly cheap price tag ensures that Stenhouse will be a popular option this weekend. The likelihood of high ownership kills his appeal in GPPs, but it makes him a safe, smart choice for cap relief in cash games.
Landon Cassill ($5,300)
If you are hunting for a punt play this weekend, Cassill checks all the boxes. He is easily the cheapest option with a realistic chance to finish near the middle of the pack, and starting 30th, he in good position to add to his score through the place differential category. Cassill showed Top 25 speed in practice Saturday, and he finished 20th and 22nd in two starts at Bristol last year.
Top Tournament Plays
Joey Logano ($10,000)
If you are looking for a contrarian to win the dominator categories, I think Logano is a smart bet. After all, he has won two of the last five races here, and he is one of only two drivers with three straight Top 10s at the track. Logano showed decent muscle in practice, and he starts up in the Top 5. He could certainly end up leading plenty of laps while contending for another win at Bristol.
Denny Hamlin ($8,800)
Hamlin has been boom or bust at Bristol, but with two third-place finishes in his last three starts here, there is no doubt he has upside. He cracked the Top 5 in Saturday's first practice, so another one of his strong runs at the track could be on tap. I don't think he is cheap enough or starting deep enough to be highly owned, so I like him as a contrarian option, particularly to his teammate, Matt Kenseth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Erik Jones ($7,800)
I expect his Top 15 starting spot to hold down his ownership, but while he lacks upside in the place differential category, he didn't seem to be lacking speed in practice Saturday. Jones appears to have a borderline Top 5 car, and he is definitely worth taking a chance on in a few lineups.
Kasey Kahne ($7,600)
With mediocre results at Bristol recently and for much of this season, I expect Kahne to be lost in the shuffle this weekend, especially since he starts in the top half of the field. However, he was very impressive in practice, and based solely on the times, he looks to have one of the cars to beat. Kahne could be an excellent contrarian to the mid-priced options starting deeper in the field.
Daniel Suarez ($7,000)
The rookie has run hot and cold this season, but he showed serious muscle in practice Saturday, especially on longer runs. Suarez also starts outside the Top 20, so he will be in line for a big point total if he can move forward Sunday. For the price, I think he is worth throwing into a few lineups this weekend.
A.J. Allmendinger ($6,500)
Allmendinger is an all-or-nothing play, but if you are looking for a sleeper who can set your lineup apart in big tournaments, he is one of them. His numbers at Bristol are all over the place, but he cracked the Top 10 here last fall, and he showed up in the Top 10 in practice Saturday. He starts 25th, so Allmendinger can exploit the place differential category for a big score if he can come somewhat close to backing up his practice times.
Paul Menard ($6,400)
He never seems to be a popular pick, but I think having a little exposure to Menard this weekend could pay off. He has seven Top 15s in his last 10 starts at Bristol, so he has had some success here. He also starts back in 26th with a car that performed well on long runs in practice. I think he could end up a being a steal at this price and a real difference-maker in GPPs.
Drivers to Fade
Jamie McMurray ($8,000)
McMurray has been the model of his consistency at Bristol, reeling off five straight Top 15s. That being said, his fantasy appeal is curbed by his Top 10 starting spot. He typically doesn't score many points in the dominator categories, and he has almost no upside through place differential. A solid finish alone won't be enough to justify this price tag, and I think McMurray is more likely to disappoint than deliver this weekend.
Trevor Bayne ($6,800)
With three straight Top 15s at Bristol, I had Bayne tabbed as a potential sleeper this weekend. Unfortunately, much of his value was destroyed when qualifying was rained out and the field was set by points. He will now start 12th, killing most of his upside in the place differential category. For my money, I'd go with an even cheaper option starting deeper in the field.
My Favorite DraftKings Cash Game Lineup
- Kyle Busch ($10,600)
- Kyle Larson ($10,100)
- Matt Kenseth (9,100)
- Kurt Busch ($7,700)
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,100)
- Landon Cassill ($5,300)
Checkers-or-Wreckers GPP Lineup
- Kyle Larson ($10,100)
- Joey Logano ($10,000)
- Denny Hamlin ($8,800)
- Kasey Kahne ($7,600)
- A.J. Allmendinger ($6,500)
- Paul Menard ($6,400)