DraftKings DFS NASCAR Picks: Kansas
The Sprint Cup Series moves to middle America for the GoBowling.com 400 from Kansas Speedway in suburban K.C. It’s also a return to an intermediate track after two short track runs and a race on the superspeedway at Talladega.
Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. ($9,200) captured the pole and will look for his first victory at the track. In 15 previous starts he has four Top 5s, five Top 10s and 11 finishes inside the Top 20 while turning in a respectable 17.3 Average-Finish Position (AFP). He has led 346 laps at Kansas Speedway, and he looks to add to that total Saturday night. As a No. 2 driver he is worth the price since he starts in such an advantageous position. Four of the 20 Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas have been won from the pole.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth ($9,900) will start on the outside of Row 1, and he is going to be a popular DFS selection despite his overall struggles this season. Kenseth has managed just two Top 10 finishes in 12 starts, but he is in good shape at Kansas. Over the past five races he has a 99.7 Driving Rating, leading 176 laps while running 65.8 percent of his laps inside the Top 15. While only one winner has ever come from the No. 2 starting position, a rather quirky fact, Kenseth has two wins, 11 Top 20s and a 13.8 AFP in 20 career starts at the track. And he leads all drivers with 655 laps led.
JGR teammate Kyle Busch ($10,200) has had his difficulties over the years at Kansas, stumbling to a dismal 20.4 AFP in 16 starts with just two Top 5s and four Top 10s. Teammate Carl Edwards ($10,100) might be a better DFS play, as he checks in second among all drivers in AFP at 10.6. While he has never won at what amounts to the Missouri natives’ home track, he has brought it home 10th or better in 12 of his 17 career starts, a solid conversion rate. He goes off 12th, and has a chance to scoot up in the order and claim plenty of Place Differential points.
Denny Hamlin ($8,700) qualified well and will start in the third spot. Over the past five starts he isn’t listed among the Top 10 in Driver Rating, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data, but he does have one win, 11 Top 20s and a 15.4 AFP overall. He is a solid mid-tier value given his track record in Kansas, which is not nearly as spotty as his teammate Busch, who has a much higher price tag.
Penske’s Joey Logano ($9,800) won the last time the circuit stopped at Kansas last October, and he has won two of the past three races at the track which is why he is on the perch with a 126.9 Driver Rating over the past five starts. He has run a mind-boggling 96.9 percent of his laps inside the Top 15 since the starts of the Fall 2013 at Kansas, and he has a 3.0 AFP during the span. His teammate Brad Keselowski ($9,500) hasn’t been nearly as impressive, but he has a win, six Top 10s and a 12.3 AFP with 155 laps led. A one-two Penske combination isn’t a bad starting point for DFS players.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson ($10,600) leads all drivers with an 8.7 AFP in 19 career starts, and he won the spring race at Kansas last season. It was his third-career checkered flag at the track in 19 starts, and he looks to add to his 16 Top 10 finishes and 601 laps led in Kansas. Teammate Kasey Kahne ($8,200) might be a strong mid-tier sleeper since he has 13 Top 20 finishes in 17 career starts and a 13.4 AFP, sixth among all active drivers with at least two starts in Kansas.
ON THE DOWN LOW
If you weren’t looking at Ryan Blaney ($7,100) already, his efforts in practice and qualifying certainly made DFS take notice. He will go off seventh after posting a best speed of 189.673 mph. He has just two starts under his belt at the track, but he finished seventh and 27th last season. A Top 10 finish by Blaney Saturday night would exceed salary cap expectations by miles.
Veteran Greg Biffle ($6,300) has done very little over the past couple of seasons to get excited about, but he has seen a slight resurgence over the past few races. ‘The Biff’ has rolled to three consecutive Top 20 finishes, and he has two or more fastest laps in four straight runs to snag a few extra DFS points. In 19 career starts in Kansas he has two wins, seven Top 5s, nine Top 10s and 17 Top 20s while leading the pack for 346 laps. You can certainly do worse with your No. 6 driver.
Clint Bowyer ($7,000) is the only driver on the circuit hailing from the Sunflower State of Kansas, and he looks to build on his season-best seventh-place finish at Talladega last weekend. In 15 career starts he has yet to taste victory in his home state, but he has rolled to 10 Top 20 finishes. He has endured a trying season in his lame duck season at HScott Motorsports, but lately things have been a little brighter. He will start 33rd, and if he has a halfway decent run he’ll pile up the Place Differential points.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,800) was on his way to a decent showing at Talladega before being collected in a last-lap wreck. He still finished 16th, and has three or more fastest laps in each of his past five races. He has been exactly 16th in three of his past four starts, more than earning his DFS salary. He’ll start ninth Saturday, and he looks for his fourth Top 20 in seven starts in Kansas.
Landon Cassill ($6,100) finished 11th last week at Talladega, and generally he has been better at the restrictor-plate tracks. But he has strung together eight straight finishes of 28th or better, which isn’t great, but considering his price tag he is more than useful as a No. 6 salary saver, helping you squeeze in perhaps a third high-priced option up top.
Lastly, Paul Menard ($6,700) has just one Top 5 in 14 tries at Kansas, but he has finished 20th or better on 11 different occasions, posting a respectable 16.0 AFP. Kyle Larson ($7,500) is also one to watch, posting three Top 20s in four career starts in Kansas. Menard will starts 11th, while Larson goes from the 18th position.