DraftKings DFS NASCAR Picks: AAA 400
It’s the third race of the Sprint Cup Series playoffs, and it’s the second stop of the season at Dover International Speedway for the AAA 400. Last season’s Chase champ Kevin Harvick ($11,000) will have to pull out all the stops this weekend as he faces elimination after two subpar finishes in the first two Chase races.
Over the past five races Harvick has posted a 109.5 Driver Rating, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data, running 82.7 percent of his races inside the Top 15. He has led 339 laps during the five-race span, posting a 9.2 Average-Finish Position. Harvick will go off 15th in Sunday’s race, and he has a great opportunity to pick up plenty of Place Differential points for DFS players, so stop him. He’ll be racing with plenty of fervor as he tries to keep his season alive.
Of course, any Fantasy lineup at DIS must include Hendrick Motorsports superstar Jimmie Johnson ($11,200). Over the past five races he has dominated with a 127.8 Driver Rating, and he has run an amazing 97.0 percent of his laps inside the Top 15 in his past 12 starts at Dover. During the span he has led 2,064 laps at the Monster Mile, nearly triple the next driver (Kyle Busch – 748). Johnson has 10 career victories in 27 starts at the track, leading 2,999 laps. He does have two DNFs during the span, but he also has 15 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s and he is a must-have option for DFS players. You know almost everyone will have him in cash games in GPPs, but you simply cannot afford to leave him out of your lineup. He is that automatic at DIS.
Joe Gibbs Racing has had tremendous success lately, and Carl Edwards ($9,500) is worth a look at this price level. He will start third Sunday, and he could still move up the leaderboard. In 22 career starts at the track he has one win and eight Top 5s with an AFP of 10.6, and he has never had a DNF at the track. Kyle Busch ($10,200) has a pair of wins at the track, and while he has mediocre numbers overall, as mentioned above he has turned it on lately. Denny Hamlin ($9,800) has actually struggled at the run, posting just three Top 5s in 19 career starts with zero wins. For whatever reason the No. 11 hasn’t fared well at Dover. Of all the JGR drivers, he is the one to avoid.
Hendrick’s Jeff Gordon ($8,400) makes his final start at Dover, and he looks for his sixth-career victory at the Delaware track. He goes off 10th in Sunday’s race, and could be a solid mid-level play as a No. 4 or 5 driver given his success at the track. He has showed some signs of life with a pair of seventh-place finishes in his past three starts, so he isn’t quite done yet. And in his past five starts at Dover he has a 107.5 Driver Rating, posting a 6.6 AFP. His swan song at DIS could be a fruitful one.
While Penske Racing’s Joey Logano ($9,600) has led just one total lap in 13 starts at Dover over his career, he has a respectable 13.6 AFP. He has been even better lately in the past five races, posting a 6.6 AFP which is tied for second with Gordon for second behind only the No. 48. That’s not bad considering the fact he has never been out in front. He has been inside the Top 15 in 86.2 percent of his laps in the past five starts at DIS, so he cannot be dismissed.
Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski ($9,900) is also a solid play given his 100.7 Driver Rating over the past five starts, posting 109 laps led and a decent 11.6 AFP.
On the flip side, Kasey Kahne ($7,600) should be avoided, as he has never looked comfortable at Dover like his teammates Gordon and Johnson. In 23 career starts he has no wins, just two Top 5s and an AFP of 20.2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($8,500) is not that attractive, either, as he has just one win in 31 career starts with an AFP of 16.1. There isn’t a lot to like about Little E, who starts 12th in the grid Sunday.
ON THE DOWN LOW
Of the lower-priced guys, Ryan Newman ($6,900) cannot be avoided by DFS owners this weekend. As a No. 5 or 6 driver he is essential, as he has a good history at Dover and his inclusion will allow you to start a stud like J.J. or Harvick. Newman finished 10th last week at New Hampshire, and fourth the previous week at Chicagoland, yet his salary remains low. And he has three wins in 27 career starts at Dover while posting six Top 5s and 13 Top 10s at the track.
Greg Biffle ($6,700) could have some confidence after turning in a fourth-place finish at New Hampshire last weekend. He has run well over the years at Dover, winning twice with 20 Top 20 finishes in 26 starts with a 13.9 AFP. Aric Almirola ($6,100), another non-Chase driver, has had a measure of success at DIS with an AFP of 15.7 in seven career starts. Clint Bowyer ($6,900) is another low-priced driver with some upside. He has never taken checkers at Dover, but he has finished inside the Top 20 in 17 of his 19 career starts, posting an Average-Finish Position of 11.6, fourth-best among all active drivers with at least four starts at the track.
As far as the low-priced options to avoid, A.J. Allmendinger ($6,100), Danica Patrick ($5,900), David Ragan ($6,400) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($5,800) have all struggled at the track and aren’t worth using in your No. 6 spot despite their attractive DFS salary.