NASCAR XFINITY DFS: 2019 Production Alliance Group 300 Preview

Brian Polking

The NASCAR XFINITY Series stays out West this weekend for Saturday’s Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway. The third and final race of the West Coast swing will be another companion event with the Cup Series, and for the third week in a row, Kyle Busch is in the field.

Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t ignore the Kyle Busch factor if you plan on making any money at DraftKings this weekend. We’ve seen the last couple of weeks at Las Vegas and Phoenix that Busch needs to be rostered no matter the price tag. He is able to dominate races to such an extent that you just can’t make up the points, even with a lineup that is much more balanced from top to bottom.

The one exception may be if several of the top XFINITY regulars start way in the back of the pack, but even then, I’m still building plenty of lineups anchored by Busch and several punt plays. As usual, I will have a couple of lineups where I fade Busch just to hedge my bets, but I suspect I’ll be building most of my lineups around the all-time leader in XFINITY wins again this weekend.

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @BPolking after qualifying with any additional lineup questions and for updated driver recommendations. Until then, here is a closer look at the driver's I expect to target in Saturday's Production Alliance Group 300.

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Must-Own Drivers

Kyle Busch ($15,000)

He will go for his third straight win in the XFINITY Series this weekend, and looking at his numbers at Auto Club, you have to like his chances. In 18 starts here, Busch has collected 12 Top 3 finishes, including six wins. He has also led laps in his last 15 starts at ACS, leading 50-plus in three of his last four. We’ve seen the last two weeks that price tag doesn’t really matter. You need to find a way to fit his salary into your lineups if you want to win.

Christopher Bell ($12,500)

Bell is on another level compared to the XFINITY regulars right now, and even with Kyle Busch in the field the last two weeks, he managed to lead laps at Las Vegas and Phoenix and was giving Kyle all he could handle. I expect more of the same this weekend, making Bell your best bet for dominator points outside of Busch.

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Value Plays

Tyler Reddick ($10,700)

Reddick continues to be the best XFINITY regular not named Christopher Bell. He picked up a third-place finish at Phoenix last weekend, and he’s been a threat for the win in every race this year. More importantly, he showed at Las Vegas that he can lead a chunk of laps, even with someone like Kyle Busch in the field. If you want to fade Busch this weekend, Reddick is on the short list of pivots.

Ryan Preece ($9,900)

He will make his second start in the JR Motorsports No. 8 this weekend, and the first time around, Preece finished seventh at Atlanta. He picked up a ninth-place finish at Auto Club last year while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, and at the very least, he should deliver another Top 10 run this weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him contend for a Top 5.

Brandon Jones ($9,300)

Jones probably had his worst overall performance of the year last weekend at Phoenix, and he still ended up with a seventh-place finish. His newfound Top 5 upside has become intriguing, especially if he starts outside the Top 10. Jones can be a real X-factor for a lineup as a No. 2 or No. 3 driver to pair with a dominator option.

Chase Briscoe ($8,500)

You have to like the pattern Briscoe has been showing this season, at least if you play NASCAR DFS. He has shown Top 10 speed at every track this year, but he hasn’t been qualifying all that well. Over the last three races, he has a 9.7 average finish to go along with an average differential of +13.0. If he qualifies in the middle of the pack this weekend, another 40-plus point should be on tap.

Justin Haley ($8,200)

Haley has been solid for Kaulig Racing this year, finishing 12th or better in all three races since Daytona. The problem is that he has been qualifying and finishing in roughly the same position every week, and this is too much to pay for just a 30-point performance. That being said, Haley’s value will jump significantly if he qualifies deeper in the field, so he is still one of the mid-priced drivers I’d keep an eye on this weekend.

Ryan Sieg ($8,000)

Purchasing equipment from Richard Childress Racing has brought out the best in Sieg. He has finished 11th or better in all four races this year, posting a 7.8 average finish and gaining an average of 7.0 spots per race. He’s worth a look in cash lineups if he starts anywhere outside the Top 10, and if he starts in the back half of the field, he becomes really tough to pass up at this price.

Michael Annett ($7,800)

I’m still a little shocked by Annett’s performance so far in 2019. It’s one thing to win at Daytona. It’s another to be a weekly Top 10 driver week in and week out. Annett has finished 12th or better in all four races this year, logging three Top 10s and posting a 6.5 average finish. If he starts outside the Top 15, he becomes a great lower-priced option for cash games.

Gray Gaulding ($7,200)

Since crashing out at Daytona to start the year, Gaulding has finished 16th, 12th and 16th in the last three races. He has gained at least 19 spots in two of those starts, and if Gauilding starts in the back half of the field Saturday, he should be good for a 30-plus points at DraftKings. Keep him in mind for cash lineups.

B.J. McLeod ($7,000)

McLeod has been churning out Top 25 finishes this year, notching a 21.7 average finish over the last three races while gaining an average of 6.0 spots per race. His ceiling is limited, but he’s a cheap option with a legitimate shot at 25-plus points if he qualifies around the 30th spot.

Sleeper Special

Brandon Brown ($6,500)

He’s opened the year with four straight finishes of 18th or better, posting a 15.8 average finish overall. Brown will be making his first XFINITY start at Auto Club this weekend, but he should still remain a safe bet for a Top 20 finish. If he has some differential upside after qualifying, take advantage.

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