NASCAR DFS: Apache Warrior 400 Post-Qualifying Picks

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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is visiting Dover International Speedway this weekend, and during qualifying Friday, it was Martin Truex Jr. getting the best of "The Monster Mile." Truex earned the pole for Sunday's Apache Warrior 400 with a lap of 160.664 mph in the final round of qualifying.

He will be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch, who was going for his third straight pole and ninth of the year. Kyle Larson qualified third, and Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez, rounded out the Top 5.

Starting up front has been a big advantage when it comes to winning at Dover. There have been 95 races at the track, and 42 of them have been one from the Top 3 spots. Meanwhile, 71 races have been won from a Top 10 starting spot, and just five have been won by a driver starting outside the Top 20.

More importantly for DFS purposes, the drivers starting near the front also tend to lead the most laps at Dover. In five races since the start of the 2015 season, a driver has led 100-plus laps in a race here eight times. Seven of those drivers started in the Top 5.

The lone exception was Kevin Harvick in the fall of 2015 when he started 15th but stormed to the front to lead 355 of the 400 laps. After seeing how qualifying played out, I don't see anyone delivering a similar performance this weekend. In fact, my money is on the Top 3 qualifiers scoring a majority of the dominator points this weekend.

Now that the starting lineup is set, it's time to take a closer look at my top NASCAR DFS picks for DraftKings for the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover.

Must-Own Drivers

Kyle Busch ($11,000)

Busch just missed out on the pole, but he could still end up finishing as the top scorer at DraftKings. He ranks second in both dominator categories at Dover, and he led more than 100 laps here last September. Busch appeared to have the car to beat in the June race before a tire issue ruined his day on the first pit stop, and he could pick up where he left off this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr. ($11,000)

He stormed to the pole Friday, putting Truex in the catbird seat for winning the dominator categories. He won this race last season, and he has led more than 100 laps in three of the last five races at Dover and 40-plus in three straight races at the track. It could be a long day for the rest of the field.

Kyle Larson ($10,200)

Larson had a fast car at Dover in June, qualifying fifth and leading a race-high 241 laps while ranking first in fastest laps run. After qualifying third for Sunday's race, he is in position to earn plenty of points in the dominator categories once again. I think you need a lot of exposure to Larson in all DFS games.

Value Plays

Jimmie Johnson ($9,400)

I was kind of hoping Johnson would qualify up front and have a chance to provide a lot of dominator points for a discounted price. I'm not sure he can do that after qualifying 17th, but he should be able to provide a solid finish and a lot of place differential points. After all, he was able to go from last to first to win at Dover in June, and in 31 starts here, he has 11 wins, 22 Top 10s and a 9.3 average finish. If he does lead laps, it will be icing on the cake.

Joey Logano ($9,000)

Logano didn't have a great qualifying run, but starting 18th does put him in position to exploit the place differential category. He has finished 11th or better in eight of his last 10 starts at Dover, and he has finished in the Top 10 in the first two races of the playoffs. His safe floor and reasonable price tag make him a great cash play.

Jamie McMurray ($8,100)

It was a rare miss in qualifying for McMurray, but after qualifying 26th, he is poised to be one of the safer cash game plays. He has cracked the Top 10 in three of his last five starts at Dover, finishing seventh here back in June. McMurray started 19th in that race, so he is no stranger to working his way up through the field and earning place differential points.

Daniel Suarez ($6,900)

He may be more of a GPP play after qualifying fifth, but don't let the lack of place differential upside scare you off Suarez entirely. After all, we are talking about a driver with a fast car who has been challenging for Top 10s on a routine basis in recent weeks. He could easily deliver 30-plus fantasy points from his finishing position alone, and at this price, that's more than enough.

Ty Dillon ($6,700)

Dillon has really been struggling in qualifying recently, and the trend continued with a 29th-place effort at Dover. He actually had one of his strongest runs of the season at Dover back in June, leading 27 laps and finishing 14th. Dillon gained seven spots in that race, and he has even more upside through place differential this time around. He looks like one of the safest sources of cap relief this weekend.

Sleeper Special

Matt DiBenedetto ($5,000)

If you are looking for a punt play this weekend DiBenedetto should definitely be your top choice. He failed to log a lap during qualifying, and he will have to start 40th as a result. However, he owns a 26.6 average finish this season, and he has cracked the Top 30 in his last two starts at Dover. DiBenedetto has a decent chance to gain double-digit spots and deliver around 20 fantasy points at DraftKings Sunday.

2017 Apache Warrior 400 Starting Lineup

Pos.

No.

Driver

Sponsor

Make

1

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row/Denver Mattress

Toyota

2

18

Kyle Busch

M&M's Caramel

Toyota

3

42

Kyle Larson

Credit One Bank

Chevrolet

4

20

Matt Kenseth

DeWalt Flexvolt

Toyota

5

19

Daniel Suarez

Comcast/ARRIS

Toyota

6

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx Freight

Toyota

7

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Nationwide

Chevrolet

8

31

Ryan Newman

Waste Masters

Chevrolet

9

4

Kevin Harvick

Busch Beer

Ford

10

77

Erik Jones

SiriusXM

Toyota

11

21

Ryan Blaney

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center

Ford

12

24

Chase Elliott

Mountain Dew

Chevrolet

13

41

Kurt Busch

Monster Energy/Haas Automation

Ford

14

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield

Ford

15

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal

Ford

16

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

17

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe's

Chevrolet

18

22

Joey Logano

Shell Pennzoil

Ford

19

14

Clint Bowyer

Haas Automation

Ford

20

6

Trevor Bayne

Ford EcoBoost

Ford

21

5

Kasey Kahne

Farmers Insurance

Chevrolet

22

37

Chris Buescher

Kingsford

Chevrolet

23

3

Austin Dillon

AAA

Chevrolet

24

10

Danica Patrick

Warriors in Pink

Ford

25

27

Paul Menard

Richmond/Menards

Chevrolet

26

1

Jamie McMurray

Gearwrench

Chevrolet

27

47

AJ Allmendinger

Kroger Click List

Chevrolet

28

38

David Ragan

TheHouse.com

Ford

29

13

Ty Dillon

GEICO

Chevrolet

30

95

Michael McDowell

FDNY Foundation

Chevrolet

31

34

Landon Cassill

MDS Transport

Ford

32

15

Ross Chastain

Use Your Melon, Drive Sober DE

Chevrolet

33

72

Cole Whitt

TriStar Motorsports

Chevrolet

34

83

Brett Moffitt

HlKVision

Toyota

35

66

Timmy Hill

O.C.R. Gaz Bar

Chevrolet

36

51

B.J. McLeod

Donnie Neuenberger Foundation

Chevrolet

37

23

Corey LaJoie

Fresh Beards

Toyota

38

33

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Hulu

Chevrolet

39

55

Reed Sorenson

Sundance Vacations

Toyota

40

32

Matt DiBenedetto

Keen Parts

Ford