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Cap Considerations

Draft Kings: All-Star Race

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: May 17, 2019, 3:35 pm ET

The All-Star Race is a wide open shootout. With nothing on the line except a $1 million paycheck and bragging rights, there is little incentive to play it safe and as a result the past five years have featured a different winner as accidents have thinned the field.

Draft Kings recognizes the difficulty in developing and maintaining streaks on this track and as a result, the highest salary cap this week is $10,500. By comparison and because of his productivity throughout the season, Kyle Busch has commanded a salary of more than $12k in eight of the last nine weeks.

There is an old adage in racing that the most aggressive drivers would wreck their grandmothers for a win. Since Grannie’s pacemaker can’t quite handle the G-forces of a 1.5-mile track, they have to be content with wrecking their brother or teammate. Several Thanksgiving dinners have been ruined in this event alone – and the 2007 crash involving Kyle and Kurt Busch still makes the highlight reels.

Spread the wealth around, but this is a week when Fantasy Players can top-load the roster with expensive drivers, so don’t be afraid to roll the dice on marquee teams.


Group A: 5 Most Expensive (>=$9,300)

Martin Truex Jr. ($9,500)
Truex was a disappointment in the last points’ paying race with a 19th at Kansas Speedway. He has an opportunity to redeem himself this week with a solid run in the All-Star Race and could be a great value based on his Charlotte Cup performance. He won the Fall 2017 race there and also the 2016 Coke 600. Six of his last seven attempts have been in the top five. The reason he is so cheap this week, however, is because he has not executed in the All-Star Race very often with four consecutive results outside the top 10.

Chase Elliott ($10,100)
Previous to this year, Elliott has needed to rely on the fan vote to get into the All-Star Race. This will be his first appearance based on winning races and that is going to add to his confidence. Not that’s he’s really needed an ego boost because he has never finished worse than seventh in this event. Can he win outright? Certainly. He proved as much by winning Kansas last Fall.

Group B: (Between $9,000 and $7,200)

Denny Hamlin ($8,400)
A lot happens in a typical All-Star Race, not the least of which is some beating and banging at the front of the field. That makes it incredibly difficult to build and maintain streaks, so when one looks at the chart and sees Hamlin’s six consecutive top-10s and nine such finishes in the last 10 races it is impossible to fail to take notice. Hamlin won this race in 2015 and then struggled for a couple of events. Last year, he was back among the top five with a fourth.

Aric Almirola ($7,500)
There is not a lot of data to crunch where Almirola and the All-Star Race is concerned. He’s made one previous start in 2015 and that was a modest 14th-place finish. What he has in his favor is an exceptional record on the 1.5-mile tracks. Last week snapped an eight-race, top-10 streak on them when he crossed under the checkers 12th. None of these strong runs were top-fives, but with a smaller field, he should be able to improve and finish with the leaders – if he stays out of trouble.

Group C: (Between $6,900 and $6,000)

Jimmie Johnson ($6,500)
This is a race tailor made for Johnson. His latest of four career wins came in 2013; that in turn came on the heels of another win in 2012. Since then, he’s finished sixth or better in three of the last five races. He has struggled in recent years and is getting frustrated with his winless streak, but his difficulties in points’ paying races did not slow him much in 2017 when he finished third. Johnson has been rapidly improving and that has shown up on the 1.5-mile tracks this year with a fifth at Texas Motor Speedway and a sixth at Kansas in his last two starts. This will not snap his 71-race winless streak, but it will go a long way toward restoring his confidence.

Erik Jones ($6,700)
Jones came up one position short of advancing into last year’s All-Star Race. In the final segment he finished behind AJ Allmendinger and with Elliott’s popularity, there was no way he was going to get the fan vote – so he had to watch the race from on top of a hauler in the infield. As a result, fantasy owners need to look at his 1.5-mile track record. Jones has back-to-back top-fives at Texas and Kansas this season and four top-10s plus a seventh on this track type in his last seven attempts.

Group D: (Between $7,100 and $6,100)

Austin Dillon ($5,800)
Fuel mileage won’t come into play this week, but Dillon does have a Coke 600 win in 2017 when he burped his way across the finish line. Never underestimate the importance of a good attitude at the track. Fantasy Players have the benefit of knowing he will be in the big show based on that victory while drivers who have to expend their energy in the Open are often emotionally drained by the time the big show begins. Ryan Newman ($5,600) is the only other driver in this price range with a guaranteed spot in the All-Star Race and he has not scored a top-10 in it since 2012.

Daniel Hemric ($5,200)
Hemric will need to advance from the Open in order to contend for points in this week’s Draft Kings game, so Fantasy Players need to have a backup ready to roll. This is a race that could benefit the Rookie contender, however, because it is a short, balls-to-the-wall contest of bravado and short-sightedness. Richard Childress Racing puts a good package together on intermediate tracks and one needs look no further than last week’s top-10 by teammate Tyler Reddick at Kansas for an example of dark horse success.  

 

Draft Kings points earned
last 45 days

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Martin Truex Jr.

9.33

401.75

66.96

$9,500

          7.05

A

Joey Logano

8.83

363.75

60.63

$9,300

          6.52

A

Chase Elliott

7.00

389.50

64.92

$10,100

          6.43

A

Kyle Busch

8.67

374.50

62.42

$10,500

          5.94

A

Kevin Harvick

10.00

320.75

53.46

$9,800

          5.45

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clint Bowyer

12.17

275.25

45.88

$7,200

          6.37

B

Kurt Busch

10.00

304.75

50.79

$8,700

          5.84

B

Denny Hamlin

17.50

217.50

36.25

$8,400

          4.32

B

Brad Keselowski

15.50

222.25

37.04

$9,000

          4.12

B

Aric Almirola

17.33

173.00

28.83

$7,500

          3.84

B

Ryan Blaney

23.50

167.75

27.96

$8,100

          3.45

B

Kyle Larson *

22.67

121.75

20.29

$7,800

          2.60

B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Suarez *

8.50

305.00

50.83

$6,900

          7.37

C

Alex Bowman *

12.67

269.00

44.83

$6,300

          7.12

C

Erik Jones

11.83

265.00

44.17

$6,700

          6.59

C

Jimmie Johnson

14.50

225.50

37.58

$6,500

          5.78

C

William Byron *

18.83

168.00

28.00

$6,000

          4.67

C

Ty Dillon *

21.00

151.75

25.29

$6,100

          4.15

C

Chris Buescher *

21.33

148.50

24.75

$6,200

          3.99

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Newman

13.33

237.00

39.50

$5,600

          7.05

D

Paul Menard *

17.83

167.50

27.92

$5,400

          5.17

D

Ryan Preece *

18.83

176.00

29.33

$5,900

          4.97

D

Austin Dillon

19.33

167.75

27.96

$5,800

          4.82

D

Daniel Hemric *

24.50

104.00

17.33

$5,200

          3.33

D

Matt DiBenedetto *

25.50

105.75

17.63

$5,300

          3.33

D

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. *

26.00

100.25

16.71

$5,500

          3.04

D

* needs to advance from Open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 15 years with a little help from his >600,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.