Coming out of the first off weekend of the 2019 season, the NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to action at Texas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile oval will host Saturday's My Bariatric Solutions 300, and with the race part of a tripleheader of action at the track, it is no surprise to see a couple of Cup drivers making an appearance.
Brad Keselowski will pilot a second Team Penske entry and join Kyle Busch in the field. Owning both drivers in the same lineup will be impossible, but you will want plenty of exposure to both when building your rosters. When it comes to piling up the always important dominator points, both drivers are among the safest bets.
Assembling a lineup around either of the Cup stars will be tricky, but the good news is that several of the better series regulars have seen their prices drop a bit for this weekend's race. You can still build a lineup with several drivers in quality rides while owning one of the studs.
Of course, qualifying could throw us a curveball if any of the top XFINITY drivers happen to start in the back. If this happens, I may pair that driver with either Busch or Keselowski, hoping to gain a bunch of exposure to both the dominator and place differential categories.
Reach out to me for updated picks and lineup combinations after the field is set. Until then, check out my favorite options at DraftKings for the XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch ($15,000)
Busch is back in the XFINITY field this weekend, and in his first three starts, he has two wins and a second-place finish. He has also led at least 98 laps in all three of those races. Busch has been dominant at Texas over the years, winning eight of his 20 XFINITY starts and leading more than 100 laps 10 times. Don't worry about the price tag. There's a good chance he will be worth every penny.
Brad Keselowski ($14,400)
He will make his first XFINITY start of 2019 Saturday, but you can expect Keselowski to make an immediate impact. He won three of his five XFINITY starts last year, and he has finished third or better in his last six starts at Texas, winning twice and leading 30-plus laps five times.
Difference Makers and Value Plays
Christopher Bell ($11,300)
Bell finished sixth in his first Texas start at the XFINITY level, and he led 10 laps and was the runner-up in his second try. He actually crashed in the fall race here last year, but not before he led 35 laps. Bell won the first race at a 1.5-mile oval this year at Atlanta in dominating fashion, and he nearly outdueled Kyle Busch at Las Vegas. Even with two studs in the field, Bell could pile up the dominator points this weekend.
Tyler Reddick ($10,700)
On the heels of last year's title, Reddick has left no doubt that he is one of the premier XFINITY regulars with his performance so far this season. He also led 54 laps and finished second at Texas last fall. He has a 7.0 average finish and three Top 5s after five races, and he has led laps in four of the five. Put Reddick high on the list of alternatives to the two Cup stars.
Cole Custer ($9,900)
He's been the steadiest performer at mile-and-a-half tracks for more than two years now, and it has been business as usual for Custer in 2019. He led a couple of laps and finished second at Atlanta, and he led 47 laps and finished in the Top 10 at Las Vegas. Custer has also finished in the Top 5 in all four of his career starts at Texas, winning the fall race last year. For less than $10,000, he could be the bargain of the weekend.
Brandon Jones ($9,300)
Had he not been taken out in the closing laps at Las Vegas, Jones would own Top 5 finishes in both races at 1.5-mile ovals this year. Regardless, it is clear that he has taken his performance to another level in 2019, and his Top 5 upside should have him on your radar heading into qualifying.
Noah Gragson ($8,700)
He hasn't exactly taken the XFINITY Series by storm, but Gragson has been solid to start his first full-time season. He finished ninth at Atlanta and third at Las Vegas, so you know you are getting a Top 10 driver with Top 5 upside. That's not a bad combination to have on your roster, especially if Gragson happens to have some place differential points available.
Ryan Sieg ($8,100)
Sieg has been a Top 10 threat all year, but he's also been able to deliver some place differential points at the 1.5-mile ovals. He gained seven spots and finished 11th at Atlanta, and he gained 12 spots and finished sixth at Las Vegas. If Sieg starts outside the Top 15 again this weekend, he should be a great mid-priced play for a balanced cash lineup.
Kaz Grala ($7,600)
Not only will he be back in the XFINITY Series this weekend, but he will be behind the wheel of a Richard Childress Racing ride. Grala was able to run in the Top 15 last year despite having mediocre equipment, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him challenge for a Top 10 this weekend. There is a lot of potential here for less than $8,000.
Chase Briscoe ($7,400)
Briscoe has been a place differential monster at the 1.5-mile tracks, cracking the Top 15 at both Atlanta and Las Vegas and gaining an average of 16.5 spots per race. He finished 11th in his Texas debut last year while driving for Roush Fenway Racing, and now that he has Stewart-Haas Racing equipment, his ceiling should be even higher. If his trend of qualifying outside the Top 20 continues, Briscoe will become a must-own option in cash lineups. At this price, he's looking like a steal.
Justin Haley ($7,200)
He is one of just three drivers who have cracked the Top 10 in both races at mile-and-a-half tracks this year, and for some reason, his price tag has dropped quite a bit this week. The one problem has been that he has qualified just outside the Top 10 in both of the races at 1.5-mile tracks. If Haley happens to start toward the middle of the pack or worse, he will quickly become an appealing mid-priced play. Keep an eye on him.
Jeb Burton ($5,800)
I'm not expecting Burton to challenge for the win or anything this weekend, but I cannot believe this price tag. He is driving the JR Motorsports No. 8 Saturday, and everyone who has been in this ride has run in the Top 10. Heck, Ryan Truex finished second at Phoenix for this team. Even if he qualifies well, Burton should be a great value.
Mike Harmon ($5,200)
Punt plays can come in handy for the XFINITY races, and while Harmon is barely a Top 30 driver, he usually makes the most of the place differential category. He has gained an average of 6.2 spots per race this year, gaining 10 spots in each of the last two races. Harmon has started 35th or worse in all five races this year. If the pattern continues, he could deliver 20ish fantasy points for next to nothing.