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Aric Almirola
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Cap Considerations

Draft Kings: Hollywood Casino 400

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 18, 2019, 2:15 pm ET

It is going to be difficult not to top load your roster this week. The five drivers with values greater than $10k are all extremely attractive in terms of either their Kansas Speedway record, recent momentum, or both. Not all of them will score top-five points this week, but for players who set multiple rosters, each of them should anchor at least one.

Fortunately there are some solid values in Group C, which this week ranges from $7,300 to $8,400. Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson are profiled below, but one cannot overlook Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, or William Byron and that gives you a lot of options to fill in the middle tiers before considering a long-short dark horse.

With a few exceptions, place-differential points have not been as important this week as on other tracks. Kansas is a course where drivers who perform well typically roll off the hauler fast, so concentrate on practice speeds and qualification.


Here are some of the drivers to pay special attention to this week:

Group A: Most Expensive (>=$10,000)

Kevin Harvick ($11,000)
With the exception of Denny Hamlin there really isn’t a bad option in Group A this week. We could find a reason to suggest each of the other four drivers based on recent streaks of top-fives. And even Hamlin has recent momentum from this season on his side. However, Harvick has been so dominant on this track in the past that he gets the nod. While Draft Kings does not offer stage points, it is notable that Harvick has finished first or second in every stage for the past two years and that shows dominance through the entirety of the race.

Group B: (Between $9,800 and $8,600)

Kyle Larson ($9,400)
Over the past three Kansas races, Larson has earned the most points with an average of 80.75. He has swept the top 10 in those races with a pair of top-fives coming last year. One thing to note, however, is that 23 of his points on average have come as the result of place-differential so his worth will be modified if he qualifies among the top 10 instead of worse than 20th as he has for the last three events.

Joey Logano ($8,800)
Logano finished only 15th this spring in the Digital Ally 400, but he has much more on the line this week. With a 20-point advantage over the bubble, he is not safe and cannot afford to assume he will advance to Round 3. On the other hand, he does not need to take major risks and should easily land inside the top 10. Over the last three Kansas races, he has earned 55.75 points per race, which places him fourth on that chart behind Larson and two Group A drivers Harvick and Chase Elliott.

Group C: (Between $8,400 and $7,300)

Aric Almirola ($7,800)
Almirola is a nice, constant pick this week. In his last four attempts at Kansas he has earned three top-10s and a 12th. His record on the "cookie-cutter" tracks this year is virtually the same and there is very little reason to think he will not keep his streak alive. For his efforts during that span, he has earned the ninth-most Draft Kings points of 41. This week his price tag is the 16th-highest, which is going to make him a solid value.

Jimmie Johnson ($8,000)
Johnson has been among the most improved drivers on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year. In 2018 his average finish on this track type was 17.2; this year he has improved to 13.4 with only two results outside the top 20. One of those came in the first 1.5-mile race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway; the other was with damage at Kentucky Speedway. The reason he is recommended, however, is on the strength of four top-10s and an 11th in the last six races on this course type.

Group D: (Between $7,200 and $6,100)

Chris Buescher ($6,700)
Buescher is not the first driver who comes to mind on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, but he has one of the better records on them this year. He started the season with a ninth-place finish in the QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta and has added three more top-10s in the last five attempts on this track type. One of these was a 10th at Kansas in the Digital Ally 400. That was not his first top-10 on this track; Buescher finished sixth in the fall 2017 race.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,000)
Stenhouse will be more relaxed this week than he has been since he found out he was being unceremoniously dropped from Roush Fenway Racing. In what is essentially a driver swap, he will take over the No. 37 next year and drive for JTG-Daugherty Racing. That should give him the confidence needed to challenge for a top-15. In eight starts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year, he has earned two top-10s, three more top-15s, and a 16th. Stenhouse was 11th this spring at Kansas.

Group E: (Less than or equal to $5,900)

Michael McDowell ($5,800)
McDowell got off to a slow start on the 1.5-mile tracks with 30-something finishes at Atlanta and Las Vegas Motor Speedway this spring. Since then, he has been in the 20s for every race except one and that was a 15th at Texas Motor Speedway. On this track type, he has an average finish of 22nd in the last six races, which is enough to make him an attractive pick for under $6k.

The top-10 points’ earners from this spring were: Chase Elliott (93.25), Alex Bowman (79.25), Kevin Harvick (74), Kyle Larson (63), Brad Keselowski (59), Aric Almirola (54), Daniel Suarez (52.5), Erik Jones (50), Tyler Reddick (47.5), Clint Bowyer (46), and Jimmie Johnson (46).

Greatest Place-differential Points: Chase Elliott (28), Kyle Larson (27), Aric Almirola (21), Daniel Suarez (20), and Joey Logano (15)

NASCAR Fantasy Live Preview

 

Last 45 Days

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Denny Hamlin

6.67

378.25

63.04

$10,500

          6.00

A

Martin Truex Jr.

12.33

339.25

56.54

$10,800

          5.24

A

Kevin Harvick

8.33

340.75

56.79

$11,000

          5.16

A

Chase Elliott

13.83

239.00

39.83

$10,100

          3.94

A

Kyle Busch

19.67

222.25

37.04

$11,400

          3.25

A

 

Joey Logano

14.33

255.50

42.58

$9,800

          4.35

B

Ryan Blaney

13.17

231.25

38.54

$9,200

          4.19

B

Kyle Larson

17.33

221.50

36.92

$9,400

          3.93

B

Brad Keselowski

15.67

205.00

34.17

$9,600

          3.56

B

Alex Bowman

18.67

168.50

28.08

$8,600

          3.27

B

Clint Bowyer

17.50

166.00

27.67

$8,800

          3.14

B

Kurt Busch

26.33

73.75

12.29

$9,000

          1.37

B

 

Ryan Newman

13.33

238.25

39.71

$7,300

          5.44

C

Matt DiBenedetto

14.50

216.25

36.04

$7,600

          4.74

C

William Byron

15.83

194.50

32.42

$8,200

          3.95

C

Aric Almirola

20.00

164.00

27.33

$7,800

          3.50

C

Daniel Suarez

22.33

124.00

20.67

$7,500

          2.76

C

Jimmie Johnson

21.50

106.25

17.71

$8,000

          2.21

C

Erik Jones

35.33

-37.75

-6.29

$8,400

         (0.75)

C

 

Bubba Wallace

14.50

228.25

38.04

$6,100

          6.24

D

Ty Dillon

12.33

227.25

37.88

$6,200

          6.11

D

Austin Dillon

14.83

210.25

35.04

$7,200

          4.87

D

Paul Menard

18.00

180.25

30.04

$6,900

          4.35

D

Ryan Preece

23.50

142.50

23.75

$6,400

          3.71

D

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20.17

152.00

25.33

$7,000

          3.62

D

Chris Buescher

24.83

120.50

20.08

$6,700

          3.00

D

Daniel Hemric

27.00

81.75

13.63

$6,600

          2.06

D

 

Parker Kligerman

17.67

85.00

28.33

$5,000

          5.67

E

Michael McDowell

18.50

185.00

30.83

$5,800

          5.32

E

Ross Chastain

20.83

166.75

27.79

$5,600

          4.96

E

Corey LaJoie

20.83

170.00

28.33

$5,900

          4.80

E

Matt Tifft

22.50

135.00

22.50

$5,200

          4.33

E

JJ Yeley

24.75

80.00

20.00

$5,100

          3.92

E

Timmy Hill

28.00

17.50

17.50

$4,500

          3.89

E

Landon Cassill

23.33

117.75

19.63

$5,300

          3.70

E

Reed Sorenson

27.50

97.50

16.25

$4,900

          3.32

E

Garrett Smithley

29.75

56.00

14.00

$4,600

          3.04

E

Josh Bilicki

29.00

28.00

14.00

$4,700

          2.98

E

David Ragan

27.83

91.00

15.17

$5,500

          2.76

E

Joey Gase

32.50

17.00

8.50

$4,800

          1.77

E

 

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.