NASCAR DFS: Coca-Cola 600 DraftKings Lineups Plays
The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the longest race on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, and if you plan on cashing in playing NASCAR DFS at DraftKings Sunday night, you need to prepare for the 400-lap marathon.
The process of building a winning lineup became a little more difficult after qualifying when Kyle Busch won the pole and Kevin Harvick failed inspection and didn't make it on the track. Now, the two most expensive options are perfectly positioned to be two of the highest scorers Sunday night, and paying up for both Harvick and Busch won't leave a lot of money left over for your final four roster spots.
Even with Harvick starting at the back, you can't ignore the dominator categories. After all, we've got 400 laps on tap, so the Coca-Cola 600 is on par with the recent races at Richmond and Dover in terms of points available in the laps led and fastest laps run categories.
If there is a silver lining, it is that the marathon-format of this race tends to lead to a higher attrition rate. Drivers can easily crack the Top 25 just by staying out of trouble, which means we should be able to find value among the cheaper options. I won't hesitate to roster multiple drivers below the $6,000 range in order to load up the top of my lineup.
Check out all of my top NASCAR DFS plays for DraftKings for Sunday's race, and make sure to lock in your lineups for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.
Kevin Harvick ($12,200)
He couldn't make it through qualifying inspection Thursday, forcing Harvick to start 39th Sunday night and giving the most dominant driver in the series incredible upside in the place differential category. Plus, 400 laps will provide more than enough time for Harvick to get to the front and potentially earn some dominator points, as well. A triple-digit score seems on tap for Harvick at DraftKings, and you will want a ton of exposure to him this weekend.
Kyle Busch ($11,100)
Busch will lead the field to the green Sunday night, giving him the inside track to piling up dominator points. He's been fast at the 1.5-mile ovals all year, posting a 5.0 average finish in four races and leading more than 100 laps in his win at Texas a few weeks back. Busch also led more than 20 laps in both races at Charlotte a year ago and has led almost 1,000 laps here for his career. A dominant night could be on tap.
Clint Bowyer ($9,400)
He qualified back in 28th, but Bowyer has been piling up Top 10s all year. He has a 10.7 average finish in 2018, and he has finished outside the Top 15 in only two of the 12 races. At the very least, he should gain double-digit spots, and Bowyer has a legitimate chance to gain 20-plus spots Sunday night.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,700)
Truex was a little off in qualifying, but on the plus side, starting 15th gives him a little room to pad his score in the differential category. He has three Top 5s in the first four race at 1.5-mile tracks this year, and he has five Top 5s in the last six races at Charlotte, winning twice and leading 90-plus laps four times in that span. Truex has a safe floor and plenty of upside this weekend.
Chase Elliott ($9,500)
Although he hasn't been contending for wins at the 1.5-mile ovals this year, Elliott has finished 12th or better in three of the four races this year. He's also had a couple of strong runs at Charlotte recently, including a second-place finish last fall. Starting outside the Top 20, Elliott should have a 40-point floor at DraftKings.
Kurt Busch ($8,300)
Busch has been the model of consistency at Charlotte lately, finishing 11th or better in six of the last seven races. Like all of Stewart-Haas Racing, he's also been fast at the 1.5-mile ovals this year, notching three Top 10s in the four races. Starting 16th, Busch has a little room to pad his score in the differential category and should be a dependable mid-priced play.
Alex Bowman ($8,000)
He admitted to missing it a bit on his qualifying setup, but Bowman should be able to move up from his 27th-place starting spot. After all, he has cracked the Top 20 in 10 of the 12 races this season and in three of the four races at 1.5-mile ovals. Bowman should be a safe mid-priced play Sunday night.
Kasey Kahne ($6,700)
He will start back in 26th Sunday night, but Kahne has been decent at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, finishing between 17th and 21st in all four races. Popping up in the Top 10 in practice Saturday doesn't hurt his appeal either. He should at least be able to finish in the Top 20 and provide a decent point score for a lower price. Use Kahne for some cap relief in cash games.
Denny Hamlin ($9,200)
Hamlin is too much of a liability on pit road to trust to a cash lineup, but he has upside as a contrarian dominator this weekend. He has eight Top 10s in the last 10 races at Charlotte, including four Top 5s in the last five races. He has also led double-digit laps in the last three races at Charlotte. Starting third, Hamlin could spend some more time out front Sunday night.
Ryan Blaney ($8,900)
He's been a high-risk, high-reward option this year, but with the third-most laps led of any driver, his high ceiling is undeniable. Blaney has shown plenty of speed at the 1.5-mile tracks, picking up a couple of Top 5s and leading more than 50 laps a few weeks ago at Kansas. He qualified in the Top 10, and he could end up providing some dominator points for a discounted price.
Jimmie Johnson ($8,700)
Johnson has been mediocre all year, and he has really been struggling for speed at the 1.5-mile tracks. All that being said, he had decent practice times Saturday, and he is an eight-time winner at Charlotte. I have modest expectations, but after qualifying 23rd, Johnson could be worth a flier. He has plenty of points to gain in the differential category, and his price tag won't break your bank.
Erik Jones ($8,200)
If you are looking for the potential steal of the weekend, look no further than Jones. He's been fast all year at the mile-and-a-half tracks, and he is starting fourth with a car that topped the charts in Saturday's lone practice. Try Jones as a pivot to one of the popular dominators and beef up the rest of your lineup with the savings.
William Byron ($6,500)
The rookie has been building momentum, and he has five Top 15s in the last nine races, including a Top 10 run at Texas. For a driver who seems to get better as races go on, Sunday night's 600-mile marathon should play to his strengths. Byron could be the under-owned, lower-priced driver who helps you take down a big GPP.
A.J. Allmendinger ($6,400)
Allmendinger hasn't shown much speed at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, but he has does have four Top 20s in the last five races at Charlotte. He also seemed happy with the changes his team made to his car during Happy Hour. Starting way back in 30th, Allmendinger has more than enough upside in the differential category to roll the dice on Sunday night.
Matt DiBenedetto ($5,700)
He continues to get a lot out of less-than-stellar equipment. DiBenedetto owns a 24.2 average finish for the year, and he has finished 22nd or better in the last three races at 1.5-mile ovals. He will start 31st Sunday, so a Top 25 finish will result in a worthwhile point total for the price.
Michael McDowell ($5,600)
McDowell has been one of the more volatile punt plays this season, but he's also shown one of the higher ceilings. In fact, he has cracked the Top 20 in the last two races at mile-and-a-half ovals. McDowell starts 29th tomorrow night, giving him enough differential to make a difference.