NASCAR Quaker State 400 @ Kentucky

Posted By PlayPicks Staff on July 11, 2015 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018

Welcome back for our sixth week of DFS NASCAR! This article will once again focus on the rules of fantasy NASCAR on DraftKings and breakdown what’s important to pay attention to. Following that, we will dive into strategy for this week. Our goal is to pick the drivers who we anticipate will perform strong, regardless of where they finish. Note, if last week’s race was your first time playing DFS NASCAR and you’re feeling discouraged, know that Daytona can be extremely tricky with the increased potential of a big accident, which we saw. I encourage you to try your skill once again with a Kentucky track that is a little bit more manageable for DFS purposes, albeit a small sample size.


Official Rules can be found here


What’s important to know:


Final Position: This is the easy one. The higher your driver finishes, the more points you receive. A 1st  place finish receives 46 PTS, while 43rd will receive 1 PT.


Fastest Laps: Each time your driver runs the fastest lap, you will receive +0.5 PTS. Your driver, while unlikely, will have the potential to earn a maximum of (0.5) X (# of laps in the race) PTS.


Laps Led: For each lap your driver leads, you will receive +0.25 PTS. It’s as simple as that.


Pass Differential: This one will be a bit tricky. For each pass your driver makes, he/she will receive +0.25 PTS. In turn, for each time your driver loses a position, he/she will lose -0.25 PTS. This will NOT be scored on a lap-by-lap basis but on a pass-by-pass basis. So, if your driver goes back and forth battling for a position multiple times during a lap, the scoring WILL account for that. I don’t see this category having a major impact on which drivers you should select, however, it’s something we have to be aware of.


Place Differential: Place differential will be determined by the difference from where your driver starts, to where he/she finishes.  So, if your select driver starts 1st, he/she cannot have a positive place differential. (Example: if your driver qualifies 20th and finishes 10th, he/she will have receive +10 PTS for a positive 10 in the place differential category). Note: If your selected driver has to go to the back at the start of the race for any reason (backup car, engine change) he/she will still maintain the position he/she qualified, for fantasy purposes.


Odds for the Quaker State 400 @ Kentucky Speedway


Kevin Harvick 9-2

Jimmie Johnson 6-1

Kurt Busch 7-1

Martin Truex Jr. 7-1

Brad Keselowski 8-1

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10-1

Matt Kenseth 10-1

Joey Logano 11-1

Kyle Busch 12-1

Jeff Gordon 14-1

Carl Edwards 16-1

Denny Hamlin 18-1

Kasey Kahne 20-1

Kyle Larson 25-1

Jamie McMurray 40-1

Ryan Newman 50-1

Greg Biffle 65-1

Paul Menard 65-1

Tony Stewart 80-1

Clint Bowyer 100-1

Austin Dillon 125-1

David Ragan 200-1

Danica Patrick 250-1

Field (All Others) 300-1


Starting Lineup:


1. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet ($9,800)

2. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford ($12,100)

3. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, owner points. ($10,600)

4. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, owner points. ($11,400)

5. (78) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, owner points. ($13,000)

6. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, owner points. ($13,100)

7. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, owner points. ($9,500)

8. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, owner points. ($10,100)

9. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, owner points. ($10,800)

10. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, owner points. ($11,500)

11. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, owner points. ($8,500)

12. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, owner points. ($7,900)

13. (41) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, owner points. ($12,200)

14. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, owner points. ($8,800)

15. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, owner points. ($13,900)

16. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, owner points. ($11,300)

17. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, owner points. ($7,600)

18. (9) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, owner points. ($7,800)

19. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, owner points. ($10,500)

20. (19) Carl Edwards, Toyota, owner points. ($10,400)

21. (13) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, owner points. ($7,500)

22. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, owner points. ($9,000)

23. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, owner points. ($7,700)

24. (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, owner points. ($7,00)

25. (55) David Ragan, Toyota, owner points. ($8,100)

26. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, owner points. ($9,300)

27. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, owner points. ($8,900)

28. (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford, owner points. ($8,600)

29. (46) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Attempts. ($7,000)

30. (15) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, owner points. ($8,600)

31. (7) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, owner points. ($7,100)

32. (51) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, owner points. ($7,300)

33. (35) Cole Whitt, Ford, owner points. ($7,100)

34. (38) David Gilliland, Ford, owner points. ($7,400)

35. (26) Jeb Burton, Toyota, Attempts. ($7,000)

36. (40) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, owner points. ($7,300)

37. (98) Josh Wise, Ford, Attempts. ($7,300)

38. (34) Brett Moffitt, Ford, owner points. ($6,900)

39. (83) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, Attempts. ($7,300)

40. (32) Will Kimmel, Ford, Attempts. (N/A)

41. (23) J.J. Yeley, Toyota, Attempts. ($7,200)

42. (62) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, Attempts. (N/A)

43. (33) Alex Kennedy, Chevrolet, owner points. ($7,100)


From here, we will dive into the analysis for this week’s Quaker State 400.  Drivers will be broken down by:


(1) GREEN FLAG: must play in all formats


(2)  YELLOW FLAG: GPP plays, come with some risk)


(3) RED FLAG: avoid these drivers


(4) WHITE FLAG: My extreme value play for the week


(5) CHECKERED FLAG: My pick to win the race.


Green Flag


Brad Keselowski ($12,100): If you’re going to pay up for a driver, Brad is your guy. We’ve got limited samples here as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Circuit has only run at Kentucky 4 times, but in those 4 races, Keselowski has 2 wins & an additional top 10. The only other finish (33rd) was in 2013 when he got caught up in another driver’s accident. Those 4 races, Keselowski started an average of 5.8 so his 2nd place starting position does not worry me despite the increased potential for a negative place differential. Keselowski has led roughly 32.4% of ALL laps NSCS has run at Kentucky, including 199 one year ago. His price could scare some people away but he’s near a must-play in all formats for me on Saturday night.


Kyle Busch ($10,800): Kyle Busch will be the highest-owned driver this week as he has finished in the top 10 all 4 races here. Because of this? You get a bonus “green flag” driver this week!


Ryan Newman ($9,300): Newman has placed 14th or better 3 out of the 4 races here with the other start being affected by an accident. I love the potential for a positive place differential with a starting position of 26th.


Yellow Flag


Kevin Harvick ($13,900): Can you already see where I’m going here? It’s price. If you’re entering multiple GPP’s, you’ll be able to split up Keselowski & Harvick but that $13.9K price tag is hefty with a starting position of 9th offering very little room for a positive place differential. My guess is: He’ll finish top 5, but will not lead many laps, if any. Therefore, I’d rather pay up for Keselowski. Harvick has finished in the Top 20 all four races here, but again, for DFS purposes? I’d spend my money elsewhere. Regardless, he always has the upside, making him a nice target for GPP’s.


Matt Kenseth ($11,300): In 4 starts here, Kenseth has finished 7th or better with one win. His price is tied for the 2nd highest we’ve seen his since week 1 of DFS NASCAR. He’ll start 15th, but still lacks the amount of upside I want for this race. I believe Keselowski will dominate this race and I don’t see Kenseth getting any better than the top 5, overall, limiting his production — especially at this price.


Red Flag


Greg Biffle ($8,700): 4 races = 14, 21, 21, 34. Not terrible, but not great either. You can find better value elsewhere.


Casey Mears ($7,500): Mears has been kind of a “go-to-guy” for value the past couple weeks but this week I’ll be avoiding him. He starts 21st and has a best finish of 18th, twice. There’s just not enough there for me and again, there’s better value out there.


White Flag


J.J. Yeley ($7,200): Every time J.J. has finished the race, he’s finished 23rd or better. 3 of the 10 attempts he’s made at Kentucky (between both the  XFINITY & NSCS Series) he’s either had a transmission or engine failure. SO, provided he can avoid that, we’re looking at a 23rd place finish or better — if we go strictly on the data. That’d be a +18 place differential if he were to finish 23rd. I know we can’t rely solely on the data but at $7,200 and a 41st starting position, there’s little to no risk and will free up a lot of salary for your other 4 drivers.


Checkered Flag:


Keselowski will win on Saturday night. Then again, I’ve missed this pick every week. But hey, this could be the week I’m right. Your call 🙂


DraftKings is paying out over $250K in guaranteed contests this Sunday  including the $100K Slingshot ($3 entry) with a $10,000 top prize.


Once again, a huge shoutout to Tyler Salsbury for providing the statistics for this weekend’s race. Go follow him on Twitter here: @TSals23


Good luck this weekend!

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