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Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview & Picks for DraftKings - 1000Bulbs.com 500
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Kyle Larson picked up his first win in almost two years last week at Dover and was the first to book his ticket into the next round of the Playoffs. This week the series heads back to Talladega Superspeedway for 1000Bulbs.com 500 and second race of the Round of 12. As it stands, Joey Logano and William Byron are tied for 8th in the standings with Clint Bowyer(-4), Chase Elliott(-7), and Ryan Blaney(-22) on the outside looking in going into Talladega.
From a fantasy perspective, Talladega and Daytona are unlike any other track in terms of strategy. Teams work together more than ever as the draft is king but with that draft comes large groups of cars packed together on the track which always leads to "The Big One". The draft also makes is easy to navigate through the field which puts the weight heavily on the side of place differential in terms of lineup construction. Looking at the last six races, there have been four drivers in five of the six races who started Top 10 and finished there and on the flip side, there have been four drivers who have started outside the Top 20 who have finished Top 10 as well.
With that, let's take a look at the track, previous winners, track history trends, and then dive into the picks.
Track - 2.66 Mile Tri-Oval Superspeedway
33° of Banking
Last Six Winners at Talladega
- 2019(1) - Chase Elliott(started 11th)
- 2018(2) - Aric Almirola(started 4th)
- 2018(1) - Joey Logano(started 9th)
- 2017(2) - Brad Keselowski(started 6th)
- 2017(1) - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(started 1st)
- 2016(2) - Joey Logano(started 16th)
Track History at Talladega
Aric Almirola won the Playoff race here last year and has easily been the best driver at this superspeedway lately with Top 10's in six straight races. Not far behind is Joey Logano who has Top 5's in four straight and five of his last six races here which include two wins(Spring 2018, Fall 2016). Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski have combined for six wins in the last 10 races here at Dega and have eight career wins between them and sit #1 ad #2 in career average finish.
Kurt Busch was consistent here at Talladega in his time with SHR(12.1 average finish over 10 races) and that carried over into the #1 car this season as he finished 6th here in the Spring. When it comes to superspeedway racing, especially at Talladega, we can't skip over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as he has seven Top 10's in 12 career Cup races here with a win in 2017 and also returns with Top 5's in four of his last six(other two were crashes). His teammate, Ryan Newman, has also been consistent here lately with Top 10's in three of his last four Dega races.
From a value perspective, rookie drivers Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric impressed in their first Cup race here in the Spring. Preece started 30th and ended up 3rd while Hemric qualified 5th, was lower owned because of it, and ended up finishing 5th at the end of the end day. Veteran driver David Ragan is another one to watch as he has three Top 10's and five Top 25 finishes in his last six races here.
Martin Truex Jr. remained hot to start the Playoffs with a runner-up finish at Dover to open the Round of 12 and is one of just two drivers with a Top 10 in each of the first four races and the only driver with multiple wins. Kevin Harvick joins Truex as the only other driver with a Top 10 in each race and sits fourth in the standings coming into Talladega. Brad Keselowski joins those two as the only other driver with at least three Top 5's and also has the third-best average finish(5.8).
With a win last week at Dover, Kyle Larson was the first to book his ticket into the next round and he has been consistent all Playoffs with three Top 10's and no finish worse than 13th. Alex Bowman is another driver trending in the right direction with back to back podium finishes(2nd at the Roval, 3rd at Dover).
Hamlin blew an engine before starting his qualifying lap and will start from the rear after changing an engine. He will start from the rear(40th) and provide us with elite place differential upside making him a tough fade even at his projected high ownership. He picked up his only career win here back in 2014 and has a Top 15 finish in five of his last six trips to Dega(wrecked out this Spring). All things considered, he is my top driver in all formats.
Logano is one driver I will roster at a superspeedway no matter where he starts as he has been fantastic with Top 5 finishes in four straight and five of his last six trips including two wins. More good news as he will start 10th giving us some place differential upside. At his sub $10K on DraftKings, I will be overweight in all formats.
Matty D is another place differential play but at a value price on both sites. He will be starting 31st on Sunday and has finished at or better than that in six straight races here at Talladega with two Top 20's. Roster him on his own as a straight value one-off or stack him with one or multiple Toyotas in GPP formats.
Almirola is more of a GPP play starting 5th with minimal place differential upside but returns to Talladega with excellent track history having finished Top 10 in six straight races here with a win in last year's playoff race. At these prices, I will be overweight on Almirola on both sites this week.
Ryan Preece/Daniel Hemric
I talked about both of these drivers above in the track history section as they finished 3rd and 5th in their first trip to Talladega in Cup car and once this time around both give us nice place differential upside starting 30th and 29th. Both are top value plays this week.
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for five years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in NFL, MLB, NHL, PGA, and of course NASCAR. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @Jager_Bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any NASCAR questions or how he copes with the winters up north.
- NASCAR Phoenix Auto Racing: (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)