NASCAR DFS: Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway DraftKings Lineup Plays
We are back at Pocono Raceway for the second time in 2019, and after a busy weekend of track activities Saturday afternoon, it is time to start constructing our NASCAR DFS lineups for DraftKings for Sunday's Gander RV 400.
Now that inspection is finished and nine drivers have been sent to the rear, I think one-dominator lineups could be the way to go. There are just 160 laps on tap, so the amount of points available in the laps led and fastest laps run categories are already limited. Throw in the fact that passing is tough and that the lead can cycle to a few drivers for short periods as teams deploy a variety of pit strategies, and I wouldn't count on more than one driver leading a big chunk of the race.
We also have several bigger names starting deeper in the field now, so there are a lot of place differential points up for grabs. The differential points carry a little more weight this week because of the limited number of laps, so I want plenty of exposure.
Kyle Busch ($12,300)
Busch has been a dominator monster at Pocono recently, leading more than 50 laps and topping 30 fastest laps in four of the last five races here. He has led more than 70 laps three times in that span, and he has won three of the last four races at the track. Busch led 79 laps and recorded 49 fastest laps in his win here back in June, and with a couple of inspection failures bumping him into the Top 5 to start the race, look for him to do plenty of damage in the dominator categories once again Sunday.
Kevin Harvick ($11,700)
After throwing away a potential win at Pocono in June with a pit road penalty, Harvick looks like he will try to finish what he started. He grabbed the pole in dominating fashion, and in the last 10 races here, he is tied for the series lead with seven Top 5s. Harvick has led laps in seven of those, recording double-digit fastest laps eight times, so dominator points have been the norm. If Harvick avoids mistakes, he could control this race from start to finish on his way to being the top overall scorer.
William Byron ($7,100)
Byron didn't win the pole like he did in the June race. In fact, he has to start 31st after failing inspection. Yes, he might have a tough time matching the dominator points he earned earlier this year, but Byron also led 10 laps and finished sixth here last July despite starting 38th. Chad Knaus will not hesitate to use strategy to put him out front, and Byron had great practice times. At worst, I think Byron challenges for a Top 10, and I am expecting a massive point total thanks to the differential points.
Brad Keselowski ($11,100)
Keselowski was the runner-up at Pocono in June, and he has finished in the Top 5 in seven of his last eight starts at the track. He has also led laps in seven starts in that same span, logging fastest laps in every race. Starting 11th, Keselowski should also be able to a handful of spots or more, making him a solid, all-around DFS force.
Chase Elliott ($9,500)
A practice crash has him starting 18th in a backup car, but history says Elliott will be able to get to the front when it matters. In seven starts at Pocono, he has compiled a 10.9 average finish and cracked the Top 10 six times, finishing fourth in the June race earlier this year. A place differential of +10 or more seems like his floor.
Ryan Blaney ($9,100)
He starts back in 30th after failing inspection Sunday morning, but Blaney has finished 12th or better in six of his seven starts at Pocono, posting an 11.7 average finish. He should at least flirt with a Top 10 and easily creep into the 50-point range once place differential points are added in.
Kyle Larson ($8,500)
I normally wouldn't put a boom-or-bust driver like Larson high on my list of cash options, but when you have a mid-priced driver with Top 5 upside starting back in 23rd, it's a no-brainer. Yes, he's already in a backup car after a practice, but he led 35 laps and won both stages at Pocono in June. He should gain 15-plus spots with a decent run, and Larson could easily move up 20 or more positions on his way to a huge point total.
Jimmie Johnson ($7,600)
Even though he hasn't been dominant at Pocono, Johnson can typically finish around the Top 15 here. Now that he has to start back in 32nd, a mid-pack finish is really all it will take for him to post a solid point total for the price. All those differential points to fall back on give him such a safe floor.
Chris Buescher ($7,400)
Everybody remembers his win in the fog-shortened race at Pocono, but in the five starts since that victory, Buescher has been able to crack Top 20 and gain double-digit spots three times. Back in June, he moved up 10 spots and finished 14th. He starts back in 33rd this weekend following an inspection issue, so Buescher should be able to exploit the place differential category in a big way and provide a great point total for the price.
Austin Dillon ($7,300)
Is he going to get you a Top 10? Probably not, but Dillon has been able to finish in and around the Top 15 at Pocono, and since he has to start outside the Top 30, a decent finish is all it will take to yield a useful point total. He will be a safe, popular option for cash contests.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,500)
His consistency isn't on par with my must-own options at Pocono, but Truex is just one of just two drivers with multiple wins here since the start of 2015. More importantly, he has led laps in six of the races in that span, leading 30-plus laps three times and recording double-digit fastest laps six times in that span. Truex has a little work to do to get to the front after qualifying eighth, but his dominator upside is undeniable.
Clint Bowyer ($8,900)
His luck has been horrible recently, but Bowyer had a strong car at Pocono in June, and he ended up in the Top 5. He also put together a strong set of practices Saturday, posting a Top 5 lap in the opening session and ranking in the Top 10 in 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. Starting 13th, he has some place differential points available. Using him as a contrarian to Chase Elliott or Kyle Larson could se your lineup apart in bigger contests.
Erik Jones ($8,300)
Jones has been knocking on the door of a win at Pocono, notching four Top 10s in five starts and picking up back-to-back Top 5s. He has also led laps in three his five starts and has recorded fastest laps in four of them. Jones has been fast again this weekend, and he qualified fourth. He will burn you if he has trouble, but Jones offers Top 5 upside and plenty of dominator potential for a bargain price.
Ryan Newman ($8,000)
Newman has been on a roll heading into Pocono, and he will be looking for his sixth Top 10 in the last seven races this weekend. He has been a steady Top 15 performer at Pocono throughout his career, and starting 19th, a Top 15 this weekend will put him comfortably in the 30-point range. Now that guys like Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon and William Byron will be such popular plays, there could be room for Newman as a sneaky alternative.
Ross Chastain ($5,500)
With an inspection failure dropping him to 37th at the start of the race, Chastain becomes an intriguing punt play. He managed to sneak into the Top 25 in the June race at Pocono, and I don't think a place differential of +10 or more is out of the question.
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