Qualifying is over. All of the practice laps have been run. This is it. Let’s make some picks.
Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day.
High Price Salary
Brad Keselowski ($12,100) – This is a daily fantasy NASCAR race where the drivers that get out front will dominate the DFS standings. Brad is starting second and will more than likely be in first in no time. It’s hard to believe that he will relinquish that lead. His two wins at Kentucky are the best in NASCAR. He’s dominated this track in all three NASCAR series. Don’t worry about Brad’s latest mediocre races they were at non-intermediate tracks. Kentucky is a second home for Brad.
Kevin Harvick ($13,900) – The rain has presented DFS players with a gift. Harvick will be starting 15th; he’s not a 15th place driver. Harvick averages a 3rd place finish at intermediate tracks this year. Even if he does not lead laps (doubt it), and does not run fast laps (doubt this even more), Harvick’s place differential and position points will be above 50. Harvick is averaging around 40 fast laps per 1.5 mile track. That’s 20 points on top of place differential and finishing position.
Jimmie Johnson ($13,100) – When you pick DFS NASCAR drivers at intermediate tracks, you can’t be cute. Maybe on road courses and plate tracks, but at these cookie cutter 1.5 mile tracks, you have to play by the rules. Jimmie already has 4 wins this year, so you can’t doubt him or his team. NASCAR is implementing a new rules package for this race, and the smartest, craftiest team will have an advantage – The Lowe’s 48 Chevy. Three of Jimmie’s four wins this season have come at intermediate tracks.
Mid Price Salary
Kyle Busch ($10,800) – It’s hard to believe that anyone can be better than Brad Keselowski in Kentucky, but Kyle is better. In the last three years, Kyle has 3 top 5 finishes at Kentucky. Rowdy has owned this track at every level of NASCAR. Although he is always a risk for a wreck, Busch will find a balance between winning it all and wrecking. He will still gun for the win, but he’ll be a little more patient.
Matt Kenseth ($11,300) – One of the all time greats at intermediate tack is Matt Kenseth (2nd highest avg. finish). At the 4 Sprint Cup races at Kentucky, Matt has finished 4th, 1st, 7th, and 6th. Once again, mother nature handed DFS players a gift by raining out qualifying. Kenseth, like Harvick, is starting 16th. He is in a great spot to grab position, place differential, fast laps, and laps led points.
Ryan Newman ($9,300) – In four races at Kentucky, the Rocket Man has two top 5s. The often forgotten RCR driver has 10 tops 10s this season. Newman will be starting 26th due to rain. He’s a top 10 driver. Can you see the place differential points? This is a must play in cash lineups. Let’s just hope A.J. Allmendinger doesn’t wreck him again.
Low Price Salary
Clint Bowyer ($8,600) – This is the cheaper version of Ryan Newman. Bowyer has heated up over the last several weeks. He’s been average at intermediate tracks this year, but that was before his current boost of confidence. Even if Bowyer is average, he’ll move from 30th to 20th and flirt with 40 DFS pts. At $8,600, it will be hard to fade Bowyer in cash lineups.
Danica Patrick ($7,700) – This is where it gets tricky. You can go very low and hope your driver lucks his way upward. The odds are against you, if that’s your plan. Danica has finished around the 20s at intermediate tracks this season, and she’ll finish near where she starts. At Kentucky, home run value plays do not happen. It’s okay to give up a high ceiling with your value picks. This week isn’t about place differential; it’s about fast laps and laps led.
Casey Mears ($7,500) – Same story as Danica. You can try to hit a homerun with an extreme value play, and if you’re doing a lot of entries at Draft Kings, then go for it. I hope the dice hop your way. If you want the odds on your side, then take a car with less upside, but more consistency. Mears will not hit a homerun, but he’ll keep your lineup in the game. In the last 3 years at Kentucky, Mears has finished in the top 20 in DFS points. That’s not a homerun, but it allows your big dogs to take over. The last thing you want is your perfect lineup ruined by a bad value play.
Long Shot Value Drivers
Brett Moffitt ($6,900) – The lowest priced driver in DFS NASCAR history. He doesn’t deserve this embarrassment. He’ll start from 38th place this weekend. If he can work his way to 30th at this intermediate track, then he’ll bring a solid return of around 25 points. Even if you ignore the stats from his MWR races, he flirts with 30th in his lesser machine.
David Gilliland ($7,400) – Let’s do this dance again. It’s blown up in my face the last three weeks, but on paper, that was the play. Among the bottom drivers, Gilliland is the best at 1.5 mile tracks. He’s the most experienced, and he’s having one of the best seasons. He has one of the best place differentials at Kentucky. I’ll say it again, he can’t wreck four weeks in a row.