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Cap Considerations

Draft Kings: Quaker State 400

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: July 12, 2019, 10:18 am ET

There are always good values on the aero-restricted superspeedways… Unfortunately, one never knows who they are until after the fact. So, unless you have perfected your algorithm for including everyone in multiplayer games – and some of the better mathletes among us have – you probably lost a lot of money in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Now it’s on to Kentucky Speedway and one of 11 races on 1.5-mile tracks that will be contested this year. Once the playground of only marquee teams, this track type has been host to some amazing dark horses in recent years. Several of them have been consistent enough to recommend starting them in multiple games along with anchors like Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, or Joey Logano.

Group A: 5 Most Expensive (>=$10,000)

Martin Truex Jr. ($11,000)
Truex has been simply dominant at Kentucky in the past two seasons. He won both stages in 2017 and 2018 en route to Victory Lane. A three-peat in NASCAR is difficult to pull off, but Truex is hungry to get another win and set himself apart from teammate Busch and the rest of the field. He has a three-race streak of top-10s on unrestricted tracks and can easily forget about last week’s accident at Daytona if he has a solid run in the Quaker State 400.

Group B: (Between $9,700 and $8,500)

Alex Bowman ($8,500)
We are going all-in on Hendrick Motorsports this week. They have been the lead Chevrolet drivers almost every week and improved exponentially on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. Bowman got his career first win two weeks ago in the Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway and it contributed heavily to his 262 points earned in Draft Kings in the past 45 days. But that is not the only reason he is recommended. Bowman also finished second at Kansas Speedway and was seventh at Charlotte Motor Speedway to be a consistently good value.

Kyle Larson ($9,500)
Larson finished second to Bowman at Chicagoland. He almost got the monkey off his back, but the Hendrick-mate was determined not to finish in the runner-up position again. After the race, Larson knew what he could have done differently and put that information in the memory bank. The way he spoke about that race was similar to how we’ve heard him discuss other events before he applied those lessons and rattled off several victories on the 2-mile tracks. He is a little risky this week, but we think he’s worth it.

Group C: (Between $8,300 and $7,500)

Jimmie Johnson ($8,100)
It is time to think of Johnson as one of the top values on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks again. Twenty-eight of his 83 career wins have come on this track type with the most recent occurring in 2017 at Texas Motor Speedway. He was already struggling at that time and his poor performance was reflected in his 24th-place effort in qualification, but he looked relatively impressive in race trim throughout that event. More importantly, he has a four-race, top-10 streak going on this track type and we think he might even be ready to win.

William Byron ($7,500)
Like Bowman and Johnson, Byron has gotten a lot stronger as the season has progressed. He has three top-10s in his last four races on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. In the Camping World 400, he earned the seventh-most points of 49; in the Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway, he banked 46, which was 10th best and at Texas, he put 57 in his owners’ coffers. Given his salary cap, he is an easy driver to place on the roster first. Then you can judge see how that impacts the remaining cap-per-driver.

Group D: (Between $7,300 and $6,300)

Chris Buescher ($7,300)
Buescher is one of those dark horses we talked about in the opening paragraphs – with enough top-10s this season to make him a solid choice. When he finished ninth in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, it was too early in the year to know if that was sustainable. Then he finished 18th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was 20th at Texas. Those were respectable runs, but not enough to make you want to risk the $7,600 at Kansas. He finished 10th in that race and scored the 12th-most Draft Kings points. The next week, he was fifth-best at Charlotte. Buescher slipped again at Chicagoland to 18th in the rundown, but even in that race he scored the 13th-most points of 35.

Paul Menard ($7,000)
The best thing about Menard is that he has been consistent. In Draft Kings, he has scored the 16th-most or better points in half of his starts. His production has ranged from 29 points to 41 – and there is only one time this season that he stumbled badly enough to log negative points. If you are in a crunch and don’t want to completely rearrange your lineup when you get to the final pick – and if Menard fits the cap consideration, could be a comfortable pick.

Group E: (Less than or equal to $6,100)

Corey LaJoie ($5,300)
LaJoie’s points-per-thousand are skewed heavily by last week’s performance at Daytona when he banked 62 for a cost of $5,200, but he’s had another couple of solid runs this season such as when he earned the seventh-most in the Coke 600 (50 points with a 12th-place finish) or his 18th-best attempt (30 points) at Michigan International Speedway in the Firekeepers Casino 400. He’s not going to win your league outright, but he is a relatively risk-free proposition.

 

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Kyle Busch

8.17

333.00

55.50

$11,500

          4.83

A

Martin Truex Jr.

13.33

314.75

52.46

$11,000

          4.77

A

Joey Logano

13.17

263.75

43.96

$10,300

          4.27

A

Kevin Harvick

14.83

219.75

36.63

$10,600

          3.46

A

Brad Keselowski

13.17

206.00

34.33

$10,000

          3.43

A

 

Alex Bowman

12.33

262.00

43.67

$8,500

          5.14

B

Kurt Busch

15.50

193.50

32.25

$9,300

          3.47

B

Denny Hamlin

16.00

183.25

30.54

$9,100

          3.36

B

Kyle Larson

18.00

188.00

31.33

$9,500

          3.30

B

Erik Jones

19.00

151.75

25.29

$8,900

          2.84

B

Chase Elliott

19.00

143.50

23.92

$9,700

          2.47

B

Clint Bowyer

27.67

36.00

6.00

$8,700

          0.69

B

 

William Byron

14.00

227.50

37.92

$7,500

          5.06

C

Jimmie Johnson

13.67

227.00

37.83

$8,100

          4.67

C

Ryan Newman

15.00

207.75

34.63

$7,900

          4.38

C

Ryan Blaney

13.83

216.25

36.04

$8,300

          4.34

C

Aric Almirola

15.33

197.75

32.96

$8,200

          4.02

C

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

21.67

140.50

23.42

$7,800

          3.00

C

Daniel Suarez

21.50

129.25

21.54

$7,600

          2.83

C

 

Chris Buescher

12.17

230.75

38.46

$7,300

          5.27

D

Daniel Hemric

17.67

176.50

29.42

$6,300

          4.67

D

Matt DiBenedetto

17.67

187.00

31.17

$6,800

          4.58

D

Paul Menard

18.00

170.75

28.46

$7,000

          4.07

D

Ty Dillon

21.50

143.50

23.92

$6,500

          3.68

D

Michael McDowell

24.17

136.75

22.79

$6,700

          3.40

D

Austin Dillon

27.83

32.00

5.33

$7,200

          0.74

D

 

Corey LaJoie

20.17

169.00

28.17

$5,300

          5.31

E

Matt Tifft

20.83

160.00

26.67

$5,400

          4.94

E

Bubba Wallace

21.00

158.00

26.33

$5,500

          4.79

E

Landon Cassill

25.50

119.50

19.92

$5,200

          3.83

E

BJ McLeod

27.00

52.50

17.50

$5,100

          3.43

E

Ross Chastain

24.40

96.00

19.20

$5,900

          3.25

E

Bayley Currey

27.33

47.50

15.83

$4,900

          3.23

E

David Ragan

25.00

99.75

16.63

$5,700

          2.92

E

Quin Houff

28.00

70.00

14.00

$5,000

          2.80

E

Ryan Preece

29.17

79.75

13.29

$6,100

          2.18

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.