NASCAR DFS: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway DraftKings Lineup Plays
Texas Motor Speedway is the latest stop on the NASCAR schedule, and the 1.5-mile oval wraps up a tripleheader of racing action with Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, the seventh Cup Series race of 2020 at a mile-and-a-half track.
With 334 laps on tap, dominator points need to be your No. 1 priority when assembling NASCAR DFS lineups at DraftKings, and at a track like Texas, that usually means loading up on some big names. This year, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Joey Logano all rank in the Top 5 in both laps led and driver points earned in the six races at 1.5-mile tracks.
Needless to say, I will have plenty of exposure to these drivers Sunday, and with qualifying continuing to be set by a combination of owner points and a random draw, we don't have to worry about any big names being must-own options based on place differential. This allows us to fill out our lineups with either midrange plays who have some differential upside or those who have the potential to deliver some dominator points.
Kevin Harvick ($11,300)
Harvick has been a force at the 1.5-mile tracks in 2020, leading a series-high 317 laps and leading 60-plus laps in three of the six races. He has also been the class of the field at Texas since the track was repaved, winning three of the six races. Harvick has a 2.8 average finish in those starts, leading more than 30 laps five times and more than 70 laps four times. Starting in the Top 5, he has to be considered the frontrunner to win the dominator categories Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,400)
Some unforced errors have cost the No. 19 team several strong finishes this year, but Truex has been bringing fast cars to the track, especially at the 1.5-mile tracks. In fact, he ranks second in points scored in the six races at mile-and-a-half ovals, leading more than 50 laps in three of those starts. Fresh off his strong run at Kentucky last weekend, I expect Truex to finish among the leaders in both dominator categories Sunday at Texas.
Ryan Blaney ($8,900)
Not only has Blaney been the best in the business at 1.5-mile tracks in 2020, posting a series-best 5.0 average finish, but he has been pretty stout at Texas in the past. He has finished 12th or better in five of his six starts here, finishing eighth or better in three of his starts with Team Penske. Blaney has also led at least 40 laps in two of his last three Texas starts. Starting on the front row, he could find himself out front early Sunday. I think he at least delivers a chunk of dominator points and finishes in the Top 5, and at this price, he can easily fit alongside a couple of high-priced options.
Joey Logano ($9,500)
It is all about consistency with Logano. He has led double-digit laps in five of the six races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, and since Texas was reconfigured, he has five Top 10s and a 6.7 average finish in the six races. The high probability of a Top 10 finish and some dominator points makes him an ideal option to pair with a top dominator in cash lineups.
Christopher Bell ($9,100)
Unlike recent weeks when he was one of the most expensive drivers because of his poor starting spot, Bell is set to roll off 33rd with a more reasonable price tag this weekend. He also has a 12.6 average finish in the five races at 1.5-mile tracks since NASCAR returned to action, logging three Top 10s. Bell is what of the safest plays on the board.
Tyler Reddick ($7,800)
Reddick hasn't just been solid at the mile-and-a-half tracks by rookie standards. He's been solid overall. He currently ranks 10th in the series in points scored at these tracks, posting an 11.7 average finish and logging three Top 10s. Reddick's worst finish in those starts is 18th, and rolling off 24th, he is prime position to gain 10-plus spots and push for 50 points at DraftKings.
Austin Dillon ($6,900)
I'm not the president of the Austin Dillon fan club by any means, but I can't deny his numbers at the 1.5-mile tracks this year. He has a 9.5 average finish in the six races, and he has yet to finish outside the Top 15. Dillon also notched a pair of Top 15s at Texas last year. Starting 21st, he should at least flirt with 40 fantasy points for a cheap price.
Michael McDowell ($6,600)
He is enjoying the strongest overall season of his career, and while he doesn't have a ton of upside at the 1.5-mile ovals, he has cracked the Top 25 in all five races at these tracks since the series returned to action. Starting way back in 34th, McDowell can lean on the place differential category to post a serviceable score for a cheap price.
Chase Elliott ($10,000)
Elliott hasn't produced elite numbers at Texas, but he has been stout at the mile-and-a-half ovals this year, leading at least 26 laps in five of the six races and scoring the third most points in those starts. With the speed he has shown in 2020, Elliott could be a great contrarian to Kevin Harvick or Martin Truex Jr. atop your lineups.
Jimmie Johnson ($9,000)
It has been a quiet stretch for the seven-time champ, but a trip to Texas could be just what the doctor ordered. He led 60 laps and finished in the Top 5 in the spring race last year, and he led 40 laps in the fall race and was battling for a Top 5 before a late wreck. Johnson is a little pricey for a driver who has been slumping a bit, but starting 20th, the combination of place differential points and dominator upside could produce a huge point total.
Erik Jones ($8,600)
His 21.8 average finish at the mile-and-a-half ovals in 2020 doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but Jones hasn't had the best luck this season, and he has always run well at Texas. He has five straight Top 10s here, finishing fourth three times in that span. Jones has also led laps in three of the last four Texas races, leading at least 30 laps twice. Rolling off 23rd, Jones could be a real X-factor for a lineup if he can actually put together an entire race.
Aric Almirola ($8,100)
Almirola carries plenty of risk in the place differential category after drawing the pole, but as strong as he has been lately, dominator points are a real possibility. After all, he led 128 laps at Kentucky last weekend, and he has a 4.5 average finish over the last six races. He also has three straight Top 10s at Texas, leading 62 laps in a runner-up effort last fall. Almirola offers some serious upside for a midrange price.
Clint Bowyer ($7,700)
He is still looking for a Top 10 finish at a 1.5-mile track in 2020, but Bowyer was locked in at Texas last year, following up a runner-up effort in the spring race by leading 36 laps in the fall. Starting 17th, I don't think he has enough place differential upside to have a huge ownership, but this is a cheap price tag for a sleeper Top 5 threat. I like him as a pivot to Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon.
John Hunter Nemechek ($6,000)
Yes, he crashed out at Kentucky last weekend, but Nemechek still owns a 21.8 average finish in the six races at 1.5-mile ovals, and he has three Top 20 efforts. Starting back in 28th, he could gain around 10 spots and approach 30 points. I like him as a pivot to Michael McDowell.