The first trip to the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was expected to create some fireworks, and it certainly hasn't disappointed. From qualifying crashes to violent practice wrecks that caused NASCAR to experiment with different angles for tire barriers around the track, Sunday's Bank of America Roval 400 looks poised to be one of the most interesting races in recent memory.
Of course, fireworks and excitement aren't necessarily conducive for a great afternoon at DraftKings and Fanduel, but I'm here to make sure you still have a profitable day across both DFS sites.
The scheduled distance of the race is just 109 laps around the 17-turn, 2.28-mile road course, so there aren't a ton of dominator points available this weekend, and I think varying pit strategy could split up the points that are for grabs. I don't think you can ignore these categories completely, especially at DraftKings, but with the potential for high attrition, I recommend a lineup that also has room to score some place differential points.
Place differential points will be even more critical at Fanduel because of little the lap led category is weighted, but at both site, I'll be targeted some of the higher-priced studs lurking outside the Top 10 while trying to steal some dominator points out of some of the cheaper drivers who qualified up front.
Check out all of my top DFS plays for the Bank of America Roval 400, and make sure to lock in your lineups for the inaugural Cup Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
DraftKings Must-Own Drivers
Kyle Busch ($11,400)
With four road course wins already under his belt, Busch can make a strong claim to being the top road racer in the series today. He has also finished seventh or better in eight straight road races, leading laps in seven of those starts. After qualifying 14th, Busch is still close enough to the front to lead a decent amount of laps, and he also has a little place differential potential.
Martin Truex Jr. ($11,100)
Truex has been the most reliable source of dominator points at the road courses recently, leading 115 laps in the last four road races, topping 20 laps led in three them. He has also finished either first or second in three straight road races and seventh or better in five of the last six. Starting 13th, Truex is positioned to be an all-around force at DraftKings.
Kurt Busch ($9,000)
Over the last 10 road races, Busch's eight Top 10s are tied for the most in the series, and his 7.1 average is the best of any driver. He grabbed the pole for Sunday's race, and I think the track position is going to be a huge advantage when it comes to navigating the Roval. I'm expecting Busch to at least lead some laps early and deliver a solid finish, and I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up leading the most laps.
DraftKings Cash Game Plays
Kevin Harvick ($11,700)
Harvick has been rock solid at the road courses recently, logging seven Top 10s in the last nine races and finishing second and 10th in the two road races this season. He also qualified back in 19th, giving him significant upside in the place differential category. His practice times left a lot to be desired, and he will have a tougher time earning dominator points than the other Big 3, but he still has a great floor thanks to his mid-pack starting spot.
Brad Keselowski ($9,800)
It has been a bit of a rough start to the weekend for Keselowski, but on the plus side, he now has one of the safest floor among the big names and plenty of place differential upside after qualifying 25th. He has to start in the back after a wreck in final practice, but he is a capable road racer, ranking seventh in driver points scored and fourth in laps led over the last 10 events. Even in a backup car, Keselowski should be one of the safer options for anchoring cash lineups.
Ryan Newman ($7,300)
Newman isn't a road racing ace by any means, but he does have seven Top 20s in the last 10 road races and an 18.3 average finish in that span. More importantly, he qualified way back in 29th, so he has the place differential category working in his favor in a race where drivers could be dropping like flies. Newman should be a safe, lower-priced addition to lineups.
Michael McDowell ($6,100)
McDowell has been a steady performer at the road courses, finishing 21st or better in the last five races. If his stout practice speeds are any indication, his road racing background is really helping him handle the unknowns of the Roval. Meanwhile, the potential for high attrition could also help push his ceiling from a Top 15 to a Top 10. McDowell starts 18th, and I think he can at least finish in the top half of the field and deliver 20-plus points.
DraftKings GPP Plays
Chase Elliott ($10,500)
A fourth-place effort in qualifying means Elliott is going to kill you if he has trouble, but it also puts him firmly in the mix for some dominator points. Don't forget that he has cracked the Top 5 in both road course races this year, leading a race-high 52 laps and winning at Watkins Glen. Elliott looks to have a fast car once again, and I love him as alternative to any of the Big 3 this weekend.
Denny Hamlin ($9,200)
He will go to a backup car and start from the rear, but even though Hamlin is going to be scored from 27th, he is still going to a high-risk, high-reward option because he can't settle for anything less than a win if he wants to advance in the playoffs. I expect his aggression level and strategy to reflect this, and it won't be a surprise to see him wreck before the end of this thing. On the flips side, he could end up being one of the top scorers if he finds a way to battle for the win.
Daniel Suarez ($8,100)
Suarez only has four road course starts under his belt, but he has two Top 5s and a 9.5 average in those races. With the potential for a crash-filled race, starting 17th puts him in the danger zone as far as place differential goes, but it also gives him 40-point potential if he can grab another Top 10. He could be a mid-priced X-factor for bigger tournaments.
A.J. Allmendinger ($7,700)
He has always been a boom-or-bust option at the road courses, and starting second pushes both his ceiling and his floor to the extreme. If he crashes, he is going to ruin your lineups, but he could also lead a bunch of laps and up being the steal of the weekend. Allmendinger has led the second-most laps of any driver over the last 10 road races, leading laps in seven of those 10. Dominator points are a real possibility.
Erik Jones ($7,400)
He has cracked the Top 10 in three of his four road course starts, finishing seventh and fifth in the two races so far this season. Jones has been one of the stronger cars throughout the practices again this weekend, but he absolutely destroyed his primary car in Saturday's first practice. Starting in the back but being scored from 12th should limit his ownership, but this is still way too cheap of a price for a driver with Top 5 potential. Don't ignore him in GPPs.
Landon Cassill ($4,900)
If you are looking to free up a bunch of cap space with a true punt play, Cassill would be my pick. He seems to have a knack for stealing Top 25s in races with high attrition, just as he did at Bristol and Texas in the spring, Daytona in July and at Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. There is a good chance a Top 25 will a given for anyone still running at the finish this weekend, and starting back in 38th, Cassill could end up with a solid point total for close to the minimum price.