NASCAR DFS: KC Masterpiece 400 DraftKings Lineups Plays
Kansas Speedway is the site of Saturday night’s KC Masterpiece 400, which means for the fourth time this season, we have to set our DraftKings lineups for a 1.5-mile track.
The good news is that the mile-and-a-half tracks tend to be predictable. The bad news is that means everybody knows the top plays, and the margin for error is slim. You will need to be on point with all your lineup spots if you want to cash Saturday night, but I’ve got you covered.
It starts with nailing the top dominators. There are 267 laps on tap this weekend, so while you still need to soak up those valuable points, there probably aren’t enough points available to support three dominators, especially since the trends suggest that one driver is going to lead 100-plus laps. As a result, I’ll be going with a lot of two-dominator lineups.
Rounding out your lineups can be a little trickier. There are always the obvious options with upside in the place differential category, and feel free to lean on these drivers in cash games in particular.
For GPPs, I like to target some of the more dependable mid-priced options rather than throwing darts and cheaper options starting deep in the field. The power teams tend to dominate the 1.5-mile tracks, so I’d prefer a Top 10-caliber driver starting 17th to a middle-of-the-pack option starting 25th.
Check out all my top NASCAR DFS plays for both cash and GPP contests at DraftKings, and make sure to lock in your lineups for the KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Kevin Harvick ($11,700)
Harvick has been a one-man wrecking crew in the dominator categories at the 1.5-mile tracks in 2018. Through the first three races, he has two wins and a second-place finish, leading a combined 482 laps and recording 224 fastest laps. In fact, Harvick has led more than 80 laps and logged more than 60 laps in all three of those races. He’s also been excellent at Kansas, finishing third or better in five of his eight starts here with Stewart-Haas Racing and leading double-digit laps in seven of those eight races. Starting on the pole, he could put a beatdown on the field again Saturday.
Kyle Busch ($11,200)
Busch has delivered points in both dominator categories in all three races at 1.5-mile tracks this season, leading 116 laps and winning at Texas last month and topping 20 fastest laps in all three events. He also has momentum at Kansas. Busch has cracked the Top 5 in five of his last six starts here, and he has led 50-plus laps in three of his last four. After qualifying third, he is in perfect position for more dominator points Saturday night.
Clint Bowyer ($9,000)
There were a handful of drivers who failed to record qualifying times, and Bowyer is by far the best of the bunch. If you throw out the two plate races, he has finished 11th or better in eight of the other nine races this year, and he has a 10.3 average finish overall. Starting 33rd, he looks primed to be the biggest mover and one of the top scorers.
Kyle Larson ($10,600)
Larson showed great speed in practice, especially on longer runs, but he only managed to qualify 22nd. His car should be much better in the race, and he should be able to challenge for a Top 5 and maybe deliver some dominator points. Either way, the safe floor that he has through the place differential category makes him an excellent play in cash games.
Ryan Blaney ($8,800)
Grabbing a spot on the front row should make Blaney a popular play, and I'm expecting him to deliver strong results. He has finished in the Top 5 in three of the last four races at Kansas, and he led 83 laps from the pole here last spring. Armed with great track position once again, I think more dominator points will be on tap this weekend. He's an affordable No. 2 or No. 3 driver to pair with Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch or both.
Austin Dillon ($7,400)
Dillon has cracked the Top 15 in two of the three races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, and he has finished 16th or better in in his last four starts at Kansas. He also qualified back in 25th, so there is a very good chance he will be gaining points in the differential category. Dillon should be a safe, lower-priced option this weekend.
Matt Kenseth ($7,100)
I was going to take a wait-and-see approach in Kenseth's return to the Cup Series, but that strategy went out the window after he qualified 35th. I'm pretty sure Kenseth could roll out of bed and finish in the Top 25, and a Top 20 is probably more likely considering Kansas is one of his best tracks. Unless he has a weird mechanical issue, Kenseth looks like a guaranteed source of 30-plus fantasy points for a fantastic price.
Kasey Kahne ($6,300)
While there is no doubt that Kahne’s numbers have taken a hit now that he is driving for Leavine Family Racing, he is still priced where he could provide value this weekend. In the three races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, he has finished 21st, 19th and 17th, respectively, so he has plenty of room to pad his point total through the differential category since he is starting 34th. He is my cheap option of choice in cash games.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,800)
He has been a step behind Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch this year, but if you are looking for an alternative dominator, Truex still seems like a smart pivot. Not only did he sweep both races at Kansas a year ago, but he has led more than 90 laps in four of the last six races here. Starting seventh, he still has a shot to get to the front quickly and do some damage in the dominator categories.
Chase Elliott ($10,300)
Elliott hasn't shown elite speed consistently in 2018, but he is still capable of running in the Top 5 on any given week, and he finished fourth at Kansas last fall. Starting 17th, he doesn't have enough upside in the differential category to be a must-own driver, but it's enough to give him a higher ceiling. Elliott is an expensive gamble, but using him as a pivot to Kyle Larson or Clint Bowyer could be a winning move in the bigger contests.
Kurt Busch ($8,400)
Lost in the dominance of his own teammate, Harvick, and younger brother, Kyle, I’m not sure people appreciate how solid Kurt has been this year. He has eight Top 15s in 11 races, including seven in his last eight starts. Busch has also led at least 40 laps in two of the three races at 1.5-mile tracks this year. He offers some sneaky upside for a midrange price, and his Top 10 starting spot should keep his ownership percentage modest.
Erik Jones ($8,100)
His 32.3 average finish in three Cup starts at Kansas will likely scare some folks away, but Jones still has plenty of upside this weekend. He has finished 11th or better in each of the first three races at mile-and-a-half tracks in 2018, and he led 64 laps and finished fourth at Texas a few weeks ago. Starting just outside the Top 10, Jones could be one o the best mid-priced plays when all is said and done.
Alex Bowman ($7,700)
Bowman has been holding his own in his first full season in the No. 88, picking up nine Top 20s and five Top 15s in the first 11 races. He also delivered a seventh-place finish at Kansas in the fall of 2016 when he was subbing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. A 19th-place qualifying run should ensure that he isn't a popular play, but I think there is 30-point potential here. Bowman could be that under-owned driver that separates your lineup from the crowd.
Michael McDowell ($5,400)
He has been boom or bust this season, even by punt play standards, but McDowell has a chance to do some things this weekend. He starts back in 36th, but he has finished 26th or better in six of the 11 races this year, finishing 24th at Atlanta and 14th at Texas. A Top 25 finish Saturday would give McDowell almost 30 points for a bargain price.
Matt DiBenedetto ($5,200)
DiBenedetto and company are the little team that could, and he has finished 21st or better in four of the five races leading up to Kansas. He has also held his own at the 1.5-mile tracks this year, finishing 22nd at Las Vegas and 16th at Texas. After missing out on qualifying, he starts back in 37th tonight. He should approach 30 fantasy points with ease while freeing up a bunch of cap space.