DraftKings DFS NASCAR Picks: Hollywood Casino 400
A couple of weeks ago Kevin Harvick ($11,500) looked to be on his last legs as he attempts to repeat as Sprint Cup Series champion. However, a win at Dover and a runner-up finish at Charlotte has him right back in the mix for a title.
Harvick can bolster his standing with another strong finish at Kansas Speedway, a place he has done very well in recent years. In fact, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data, he has a 125.3 Driver Rating, 14 points higher than any other driver over the past five starts at the metropolitan Kansas City track. He has led 371 laps during the span while running 87.6 percent of his laps inside the Top 15. He also has a 5.8 Average-Finish Position (AFP), and no one is even close to him in any of the categories. In other words, the No. 4 is an essential part of your DFS lineup Sunday.
Brad Keselowski ($9,700) is on the pole for this week’s race, but a penalty incurred at Charlotte forces him into Pit Stall No. 11, between the teams of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle. He would have been able to select Pit Stall No. 1, with no one in front of him, but now he will be mixed up in traffic and it could cost him extra time on Pit Road. It’s something to watch, and definitely tarnishes his standing as the pole sitter. DFS players might be better off using another driver with more upside, as the only place the Blue Deuce can go is down.
Keselowski’s teammate Joey Logano ($10,600) picked up the win in Charlotte last weekend in the eliminator round, and he has already moved on in the Chase. Still, he will be looking for a 10th consecutive Top 10 finish. According to Loop Data, Logano is second among all drivers over the past five starts at Kansas with a 111.2 Driver Rating, leading 247 laps while running inside the Top 15 in 77.0 percent of his laps. He goes off 14th, so he should be able to gain several spots and run inside the Top 5 to make him a great DFS play and well worth his high salary. He just hasn’t been doing anything wrong lately.
This is considered the home track for Carl Edwards ($9,600), and while he has never won at the track in 16 starts he has six Top 5s, 11 Top 10s and an AFP of 10.8, fourth-best among all drivers with at least three starts at the track. Over the past five starts he has a decent 97.9 Driver Rating, running 74.1 percent of his laps inside the Top 15 while posting an AFP of 10.6. He is a strong play in DFS this weekend, especially since he goes off on Row 1 outside of the pole sitter Keselowski.
Clint Bowyer ($6,600) also hails from the Sunflower State of Kansas, and this is the home run for him. He has 14 career starts under his belt in Lenexa, posting two Top 5s and 10 Top 20 finishes with an AFP of 14.8. Bowyer will go off 26th, and if he can simply live up to his career averages he will be a strong DFS play based on Place Differential.
Kasey Kahne ($8,000) has the tools to get a win most every week, and he has run particularly well at Kansas over the years. Over the past five starts at Kansas he has an 8.2 AFP, running 65.5 percent of his laps inside the Top 15. Hendrick really seems to get the most out of Kahne at this stop, and he has a 99.3 Driver Rating in the past five races at the run. He starts 24th and could slide up significantly to earn plenty of valuable Place Differential points. Don’t be surprised to see the No. 5 out front leading plenty of laps, too. He has 24 laps led in the past five, but 102 laps led for his career at the track. He has never won, but he has four Top 5s and 12 Top 20s in 16 career runs in Kansas.
Lastly, Jimmie Johnson ($10,400) might be ineligible for the championship this season, but DFS players should not disregard him. He still has 18 Top 10s in 31 starts this season, and J.J. tops the charts in AFP at Kansas with a 9.1 mark. Johnson has three wins, seven Top 5s and 15 Top 10s in 18 career starts at the track, leading 596 laps which is best among all drivers. He starts 21st and will be hungry to show the world he is still relevant.
Matt Kenseth ($10,500) ranks fourth in Driver Rating (102.0) over the past five starts at Kansas. while Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($8,300) is a great value since he is fifth in Driver Rating (101.4) at Kansas during the same span. Little E is particularly attractive due to his lower price. He has never won in 18 starts at Kansas, but he does have 13 Top 20s. He goes off 15th, while Kenseth is starting 11th.
ON THE DOWN LOW
Rookie Matt DiBenedetto ($5,400) has been respectable lately, rising from 35th to 30th in New Hampshire, 37th to 34th at Dover and 40th to 29th at Charlotte. He hasn’t been challenging for wins, but that’s not what you’re looking for from the rookie of the year candidate. He has averaged a healthy amount of DFS points, especially a low salary. As a No. 6 driver you can certainly do worse. He goes off 34th Sunday, and could easily rise to a Top 25 finish.
Jamie McMurray ($7,800) has really struggled over the years at Kansas, starting 17 times and posting a 19.88 AFP, with no wins or Top 5s, and just three Top 10s during the span. As a mid-tier driver he is one to avoid based on his poor overall numbers at the track.
Unlike Jamie Mac, second-year driver Kyle Larson ($7,900) has plenty of upside this weekend. He has made three career starts at Kansas, never finishing lower than 15th. He has been a runner-up at the speedway, and something about Kansas agrees with him. He starts 20th and there is plenty of opportunity for him to scoot up to the Top 10 and provide DFS players with plenty of Place Differential points.
Lastly, a deep sleeper might be Brian Scott ($5,300), who starts 16th. He practiced and qualified very well this week and could make noise at a low-priced driver with plenty of speed under the hood.