DraftKings DFS NASCAR Picks: Dover
The Sprint Cup Series heads east to Dover International Speedway for the AAA 400 Drive for Autism. Qualifying was washed out, so the starting lineup for Sunday’s race is based upon practice times. That makes the starting lineup and DFS strategy very interesting.
Jimmie Johnson ($10,700) has dominated at this track, and he’ll be a very popular selection for various reasons. You simply cannot afford to construct a lineup this weekend with Johnson leading the way. He has won seven of the past 14 starts at Dover, and he leads all drivers with 10 career wins at the cement oval nicknamed ‘The Monster Mile’.
Johnson has led 2,999 laps in his career at Dover, and he has 20 Top 10s in his 28 career starts while posting an Average-Finish Position (AFP) of 9.1. More importantly, Johnson posted a speed of 161.609 mph, which puts him in the No. 21 starting spot. That might seem unattractive, but based on his unbelievable success at DIS he is an even better DFS play for his near-certain ascension and multitude of Place Differential points.
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick ($10,400) rolled to a 165.145 mph practice time and he sits on the pole for Sunday’s race. Over the past five starts at DIS it is Happy Harvick, not J.J., with the most laps led. He has led the pack around the track for 693 laps to 538 for Johnson over the five-race stretch. Harvick posted a 118.8 Driver Rating during the span, and he has run 82.7 percent of his laps inside the Top 15. While Harvick has just one win in 30 career starts at DIS, he is a strong DFS option based on recent results and the fact he should lead plenty of laps starting out front.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s driver Carl Edwards ($9,900) is third among all active drivers with a 10.8 AFP, and he has posted 21 Top 20 finishes in 23 starts at DIS. He turned in a speed of 164.144 mph to land on the outside of Row 2 for Sunday. He’ll be alongside Kyle Busch ($10,500), who was fast in practice. DIS has been a friend to Rowdy, as he has two wins, 10 Top 5s, 14 Top 10s and 1,037 laps led with a 14.6 AFP. A one-two punch of Edwards and Busch wouldn’t be a terrible strategy.
JGR’s Matt Kenseth ($10,100) has managed just three Top 10 finishes in 13 races this season, however two of those results have been over the past three races. He had a season-best fourth-place in Kansas last weekend, and Dover is another one of his strong tracks. Over his past five starts he has run 94.8 percent of his laps inside the Top 15, posting a 109.1 Driver Rating and respectable 12.2 AFP. He has two wins in 34 starts at the track with 22 of those runs resulting in a Top 10 finish.
Hendrick’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,400) has a chance at early laps led, as he is on the outside of Row 1 based on his practice speed. Little E has only won once in 32 starts at Dover with a mediocre 15.7 AFP, but he has turned in a 96.5 Driver Rating with 83 laps led over his past five starts at the track while posting a 9.0 AFP. He isn’t a bad No. 2 or 3 DFS option.
It’s never a good idea to overlook the powerful Penske Racing combo of Joey Logano ($9,600) and Brad Keselowski ($8,900). Logano has not led a single lap over his past five starts at the track, but he has still run 94.9% of his laps inside the Top 15 while posting a strong 101.7 AFP. Kes has led 107 laps over the past five starts with one win in 12 career starts with 10 finishes inside the Top 20. Keselowski starts 14th, and Logano is on Row 11 with Johnson, and plenty of Place Differential points are coming.
Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. ($9,700) posted his first-career win at Dover back in 2007, and he has nine Top 10s with 14 Top 20s in 20 career starts for a decent 15.1 AFP. He has led 131 laps over his past five starts at the track while posting a 9.0 AFP. MTJ will go off in the lucky No. 7 spot based on his practice speed. In fact, Toyota was good for five of the Top 10 practice speeds.
ON THE DOWN LOW
As far as the lower-priced options are concerned, there is plenty of good picks for a high-low DFS lineup strategy.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,000) will go off from the fifth spot, and he is a solid play with five Top 20 finishes in seven career starts at the track. Kyle Larson ($7,900) is slightly more expensive, but worth a look in the No. 4 spot. He is sixth in Driver Rating (98.1) in his four career starts at DIS, posting three Top 10s. He has never finished worse than 11th in his brief history at the Monster Mile, so Larson is a great value based on his career numbers. Larson starts 23rd Sunday, so you can also expect plenty of positive Place Differential points.
Tony Stewart ($7,400) has three career wins at Dover, and while he hasn’t had a lot of success in recent years, he did pick up a win at the track as recently as 2013. He has 1,075 laps led at the track while posting 11 Top 5s and 17 Top 10s in 33 career starts. As a No. 3 or 4 DFS option, you can certainly do worse. He’ll go off 34th Sunday, so it will take an absolute disaster for him not to gain plenty of Place Differential points.
Ryan Newman ($7,300) has three wins at the track in 28 career starts for an AFP of 13.8. With 20 finishes inside the Top 20 over his career, Newman is a solid play, too. Ryan Blaney ($7,200) has posted five Top 10s in 12 starts this season, as the rookie has been more than comfortable on the track. He will start 18th Sunday. While most of his success has come on restrictor-plate tracks and short tracks, he could make noise at Dover, which has a bit of a short track feel.