NASCAR DFS: Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway DraftKings Lineup Plays

Brian Polking

The second Cup Series race of the weekend at Michigan International Speedway is set for Sunday afternoon, and double the races means double the chances to cash in playing NASCAR DFS at DraftKings.

In Saturday’s event, I went after dominator points since most of the big names were starting up front, but that won’t be the case I today’s Consumers Energy 400. The starting lineup for the second leg of the doubleheader will involved an inversion of the Top 20 finishers from yesterday, meaning we now have several heavy hitters who have some place differential upside.

As a result, I am shifting my focus a bit and will be trying to roster at least three big names starting towards the middle of the pack in a majority of my lineups.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($11,500)

He led the most laps and ranked first in fastest laps on his way to the win in Saturday’s race, and Harvick now has a 2.4 average finish in the last five races here with three in his last four starts. He has to start 20th Sunday, adding in a bunch of place differential points on top of his dominator upside.

Ryan Blaney ($9,900)

Blaney spent plenty of time near the front of the field Saturday, leading 27 laps (the second most in the race) and delivering a fourth-place finish. The invert has him starting 17th, and this is a great price tag for a driver who should gain double-digit spots, finish in the Top 5 and chip in some dominator points.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cash Plays

Denny Hamlin ($11,100)

He ended up sixth Saturday, but Hamlin easily had a Top 3 car. He led 10 laps and ranked second with 20 fastest laps, so the dominator potential is obvious. He will also have some differential points at his disposal in Sunday’s race thanks to the invert. Hamlin rolls off 15th.

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,800)

Truex continued his run of success at the two-mile ovals with a third-place effort Saturday, and the finish becomes even more impressive when you consider he was trapped a lap down early and had an uphill battle most of the race. Set to start 18th Sunday, he has enough differential points to prop up his point total with a strong finish alone. If he can avoid another early issue, I think you can bank on some dominator points, as well.

Brad Keselowski ($10,500)

Keselowski ran second in Saturday’s race, his fourth finish of sixth or better in his last five starts at Michigan. Starting 19th, he should easily gain 10-plus spots while challenging for a Top 5.

Cole Custer ($7,500)

A late crash has him starting 34th Sunday, but Custer has been showing Top 10 upside on a weekly basis recently, and he was at least headed to a Top 20 finish before the crash. If he can just manage a mid-pack finish, he will be a solid option for the price, and he should end up being one of the top values on the board.

Ryan Newman ($7,000)

A Top 15 is probably the best-case scenario for Newman, but we are talking about a guy who usually ends up in the Top 20, even on bad days. Throw in the fact that he is affordable and starting back in 28th, and Newman should be a relatively safe addition to fit into balanced lineups.

Austin Dillon ($6,500)

Dillon found trouble during the chaotic finish Saturday, forcing him to start 31st in today’s event. He’s been a Top 15 performer at Michigan for much of his career, and he’s had sneaky speed on the bigger tracks in 2020. At this price, Dillon is a no-brainer play for cash contests.

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Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

GPP Specials

Kyle Busch ($9,400)

He still hasn’t shown the same speed as the title frontrunners, but Busch did finish fifth Saturday, and he owns a series-best 3.8 average finish at two-mile tracks since the start of last season. You can’t count on dominator points, but starting back in 16th, he could be a great pivot to guys like Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski or Martin Truex Jr.

Alex Bowman ($8,400)

His trend of running well early and fading late continued Saturday, and Bowman is slated to roll off 21st in Sunday’s event. He hasn’t given us much reason to trust him recently, but if the driver shows up who cracked the Top 10 in both Michigan races last year and dominated at Auto Club in March, Bowman could end up being a real X-factor Sunday.

Erik Jones ($8,000)

Jones delivered in a big way Saturday, showing Top 5 speed and ultimately gaining 12 spots on his way to an 11th-place finish. Starting 10th Sunday, he loses most of his differential upside, but after what I saw from the No. 20 car in the first race, I think he could be a sneaky source of dominator points and sleeper contender for the win.

Clint Bowyer ($7,600)

Somebody has to lead this race early on while the big names work their way to the front, and Bowyer happens to be a former Michigan winner. He also happens to start from the front row. Yes, he has been inconsistent all year, but if he can grab some early dominator points and hold on for a decent finish, he will easily hit value at this price tag.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,300)

We saw both sides of Stenhouse in Saturday’s race as he showed some surprising speed early on before ending up crashing and finishing 32nd. He will once again be a roll-of-the-dice play Sunday, but if he happens to have one of his solid runs, he is going to be able to post a huge point total.

John Hunter Nemechek ($6,400)

Austin Dillon, Cole Custer and Ryan Newman are going to be popular plays among the drivers starting deeper in the field, but I love Nemechek as a pivot. Not only is he cheaper and starting deeper than any of the three drivers I mentioned, but he has also shown Top 20 upside on routine basis.

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