NASCAR DFS: Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas Speedway DraftKings Lineup Plays

Brian Polking

Next up on NASCAR's revised schedule is a trip to Kansas Speedway for Thursday night's Super Start Batteries 400. The race is actually the third in a row at a mile-and-a-half oval, so the formula for building winning lineups at DraftKings should be similar to what we saw at Kentucky and Texas the last couple of weeks.

We are probably going to have one driver lead 100-plus laps, but after that, you can probably find a handful of drivers, probably guys from the top teams, who will grab some worthwhile dominator points. In the 267-lapr race at Kentucky, five drivers led double-digit laps. Eight drivers accomplished the feat in the 334-lap race at Texas. Look for at least a handful of drivers to accomplish the feat in Thursday night's 400-miler.

With that in mind, I think you need to be willing to forfeit some place differential upside in favor of drivers with the potential to run up front and deliver some dominator points. You can take advantage of the better options starting in the middle of the pack for cash lineups, but if you plan on taking down a big tournament, you need to be prepared to roster some high-risk, high-reward options who are starting towards the front.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($11,500)

Nobody has led more laps at 1.5-mile tracks this year than Harvick, and now that he will start from the pole, I only see him adding to that total. After all, he leads all drivers with a 6.7 average finish in the last 10 races at Kansas, leading double-digit laps in eight of those starts and leading 70-plus laps in three of the last four races here. A dominant performance could be on tap.

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,600)

He's had speed at the mile-and-a-half ovals all year, and Truex is no stranger to strong runs at Kansas. He has finished sixth or better in five of the last six races here, winning twice and leading double-digit laps four times. Truex drew a Top 5 starting spot for Thursday's race, putting him in prime position to pile up dominator points.

Ryan Blaney ($9,900)

This price tag is surprisingly affordable for a driver who has been the best in the business at 1.5-mile tracks. Blaney's 5.3 average finish in the seven races is the best in the series, and his 261 laps led rank second. Rolling off fourth, he should contend for the win and deliver plenty of dominator points.

Cash Plays

Joey Logano ($9,300)

Logano continues to be the model of consistency at the 1.5-mile tracks this season. He has led double-digit laps in six of the seven races thus far, leading 20-plus laps five times. He also ranks third in point scored at the mile-and-a-half ovals. With Logan set to start on the front row, another chunk of dominator points and a solid finish seem likely.

Tyler Reddick ($8,300)

The rookie has made plenty of noise at the 1.5-mile ovals, posting a 10.3 average finish and four Top 10s in the seven races. Reddick has also gained an average of 9.6 spots per race in those starts. Set to start 23rd, he is positioned to finish between 40 and 50 points. Reddick is a must-own cash play for me.

Aric Almirola ($8,700)

His price tag has creeped up a bit, but Almirola has shown in recent weeks that he has some real dominator potential. He led 128 laps at Kentucky and 35 laps at Texas, and he has a series-best 5.3 average finish over the seven races. Rolling off third, he could easily grab some laps led and fastest laps points on his way to another strong finish.

Christopher Bell ($8,100)

While he doesn't have an obnoxious amount of place differential points at his disposal like he has in recent weeks, Bell still has room to pad his score from the 22nd starting spot, and he is much more affordable. He has a 14.0 average finish in the last five races at 1.5-mile tracks, finishing 21st or better in all five starts and logging three Top 10s. Bell has the safe-floor, high-upside combo you want in a cash play.

Clint Bowyer ($7,500)

He's been rounding into form at the 1.5-mile ovals, reeling off three straight Top 15s heading into Thursday's race. Bowyer also has five Top 15s in his six Kansas starts in the No. 14, finishing fifth and eighth last year. Throw in the fact that he is starting 19th, and Bowyer should at least provide a solid point total for a price tag that can be comfortably fit into a balanced lineup.

Ty Dillon ($6,500)

Dillon's numbers at mile-and-a-half ovals and at Kansas point to a Top 25 effort, maybe a Top 20 if things break in his favor. That isn't a high ceiling, but since he starts way back in 36th, he doesn't need a great finish to post a useful score. With so many place differential points available, Dillon should be a safe way to free up cap space.

GPP Specials

Chase Elliott ($11,000)

Elliott seems to have slipped just in the speed department compared to early in the year, but he has still scored the second most points at 1.5-mile tracks in 2020. He has also been great at Kansas recently, posting a 4.6 average finish in the last five races. He has led 40-plus laps in two of the last three races here, winning the fall race in 2018. I'd make sure to have a little exposure to Elliott Thursday.

Denny Hamlin ($10,200)

He has been a little more inconsistent than some of the other top drivers, but Hamlin has shown a higher ceiling than any driver not named Kevin Harvick. He also crushed the field at Kansas last fall, leading 153 laps on his way to the win. With four wins under his belt in 2020, you will want to throw Hamlin in a lineup or two Thursday night.

Erik Jones ($9,000)

The finishes haven't been there for Jones at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, but he has shown more speed than his finishes suggest. He also has four straight finishes of seventh or better at Kansas, picking up a pair of Top 5s. From the 21st starting spot, Jones has the ceiling to be a major X-factor for a lineup. The risk could be worth the reward.

Jimmie Johnson ($8,900)

Johnson has been scuffling a bit recently, but we have seen Top 10 upside out of him at the 1.5-mile tracks this year, and he cracked the Top 10 in both Kansas races a year ago. Starting 20th, Johnson could easily eclipse 40 fantasy points if he can recapture the Kansas magic. Keep him in mind as a pivot to Tyler Reddick.

Austin Dillon ($7,200)

Starting 16th, Dillon doesn't have the place differential upside to be an obvious play, but his record at 1.5-mile tracks this year speaks for itself. Yes, he stole the win at Texas last weekend, but he has cracked the Top 15 in all seven races, posting an 8.3 average finish. With legitimate Top 10 potential, there's still plenty of value here. Dillon could be an under-owned alternative to Tyler Reddick or Clint Bowyer.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,000)

You will never want to have too much exposure to Stenhouse, but for all the wrecks and bad finishes, he does have some upside. This year has been no exception, and he has logged a pair of Top 5s at 1.5-mile ovals. From the 25th spot, he has enough differential points available to post a big score if he happens to have a good run. He's a high-risk, high-reward pivot to Ty Dillon.

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