NASCAR XFINITY Series DFS: Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway DraftKings Preview
Sandwiched in between the Truck Series and Cup Series events at Kentucky Speedway is Friday night's XFINITY Series event. The Alsco 300 will be the sixth race of the 2019 season at a mile-and-a-half track, but even though all three series are in town, there aren't any Cup stars pulling double duty in this one.
If you have been watching the XFINITY Series this year or just playing the DFS contests at DraftKings, then you already know who is going to step up without any Cup drivers to get in the way. The "Big 3" of Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer have been piling up wins and dominator points all season, combining to win 11 of the 16 races and leading a total of 1,781 laps.
At a track like Kentucky, you will probably want some combination of two out of these three drivers to anchor almost all of your lineups this weekend. Justin Allgaier is the only other driver who has led triple-digit laps this year, and he has been a boom-or-bust option, at best. When it comes to dominators, there really isn't much reason to stray from the "Big 3" this weekend.
How you fill out the remainder of your lineups will be where the fun comes in. If any of the stronger XFINITY regulars are starting deep in the field, you have to make an effort to pair them with your dominators. This would likely mean using a punt play or two, but all the added place differential points should make it worth it, especially if you can hit on a couple of decent punt plays.
If qualifying doesn't hold any surprises, then you may need to spread out your remaining salary to build more a balanced lineup. You won't be able to afford another driver with Top 5 upside, but you should be able to find three or four drivers with a little place differential potential and Top 15 upside.
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter after the starting lineup is set with any questions about specific drivers or for any additional lineup advice. In the meantime, check out the drivers I expect to target at DraftKings for Friday night's XFINITY Series Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
Cole Custer ($11,400)
The last time the XFINITY Series visited a mile-and-a-half track, Custer clobbered a field that included Cup star Joey Logano, leading 151 of the 200 laps on his way to his fourth win of 2019. He has led laps in four of the five races at 1.5-mile ovals this year, leading 20-plus laps three times and the second-most laps overall. Custer has also cracked the Top 5 in his last two starts at Kentucky, leading double-digit laps in both of those races. Expect the dominator points to continue to pile up this weekend for one of NASCAR’s rising stars.
Tyler Reddick ($11,000)
No driver has scored more points in the five races at 1.5-mile tracks this year than Reddick. He has four Top 10s, three Top 5s and a win in those starts, and he has led laps in four of the five races, leading double-digit laps three times. Reddick has also cracked the Top 10 in all three of his starts at Kentucky, leading 66 laps in a win here in September of 2017. He seems like a lock for a strong finish and some dominator points Friday night.
Christopher Bell ($10,600)
Bell made his first XFINITY start at Kentucky last season and wasted no time parking his car in victory lane. He already has four wins under his belt this season, and he leads the series in both laps led and fastest laps run, leading a series-best 305 laps in the five races at mile-and-a-half tracks. Pencil Bell in for plenty of dominator points, and he is always a major threat to finish as the No. 1 overall scorer at DraftKings.
Difference Makers and Value Plays
Justin Allgaier ($10,300)
He has been much more inconsistent than in recent years, but when Allgaier has run well, he has been excellent. Of his eight Top 10s this year, seven have been Top 5 finishes. He also has four straight Top 10s at Kentucky, including back-to-back Top 5 finishes. Last year, he led 32 laps and finished fourth at the track. Don't forget about Allgaier when hunting for alternative dominators to the "Big 3" of the series.
Michael Annett ($9,400)
I’ve been waiting for Annett come back to earth a bit, but he’s actually been getting better at the 1.5-mile tracks. He has a 6.4 average finish in the five races this year, finishing sixth or better four times. Annett has also gained an average of 7.4 spots per race in those starts, and last time out at Chicagoland, he led 25 laps and finished third. He’s been an all-around DFS force at the mile-and-a-half ovals.
Noah Gragson ($9,200)
Gragson has been getting better as the year has gone on, and his numbers at the 1.5-mile tracks are starting to stand out. He has a 7.0 average finish in the five races, and he has three finishes of sixth or better. Gragson has also led laps in three of those five starts. He has already shown Top 5 upside, and I don’t think we’ve seen the best this rookie has to offer.
Brandon Jones ($9,000)
If you take out a couple of wrecks at Las Vegas and Texas that weren’t his fault, Jones is really having a strong season at the 1.5-mile tracks. He has finished in the Top 10 in the other three races, logging a pair of Top 5 finishes, and he has actually recorded multiple fastest laps in all five starts. Yes, he has been a boom-or-bust play, but Jones offers the high ceiling that could help you take down a big GPP contest.
Justin Haley ($8,900)
It is still crazy to think that Haley won a Cup race for a team that can’t finish inside the Top 30 on a normal week, but he’s been getting the job done at the XFINITY level all year, especially at the 1.5-mile tracks. In fact, he is the only driver who has finished in the Top 10 in all five of the races at mile-and-a-half ovals, posting a 7.4 average finish and gaining an average of 9.8 spots per race. At the very least, he should be a staple of your cash lineups Friday night.
Ryan Truex ($8,700)
Truex will get his second turn in the No. 8 JR Motorsports car this weekend, and the first time around, he delivered a runner-up effort at Phoenix. I'm not sure if he can match that result this weekend, but every driver who has been in the No. 8 machine this year has been able to challenge for Top 10s. At the very least, he should be looking at around 30 fantasy points on finishing position alone, and his ceiling is even higher.
Ryan Sieg ($8,200)
He’s been a steady performer at the mile-and-a-half tracks all year, finishing 12th or better in all five races so far. Sieg’s 9.4 average finish in those starts ranks fifth among series regulars, and he is also gaining an average of 6.4 spots per race. A lack of dominator upside at this price makes him a tougher sell for GPP lineups, but Sieg can definitely be a part of a winning cash lineup if he starts towards the middle of the pack.
Gray Gaulding ($7,800)
When you start combing through the drivers from smaller teams, Gaulding has stood out as one of the best at the mile-and-a-half tracks. His 15.4 average finish in the five races ranks 11th among series regulars, and Gaulding has finished 16th or better in four of those starts. If he qualifies outside the Top 20, you could be looking at a cheaper source of 30-plus fantasy points.
Shane Lee ($7,200)
Lee will make his fourth start of the year for H2 Motorsports this weekend, and he has been a steady mid-pack performer in his first three races, finishing 18th, 18th and 21st. If he happens to start outside the Top 25, Lee could approach 30 fantasy points for a reasonable price tag.
Stephen Leicht ($6,500)
It is all about place differential with Leicht, and while he has started 30th or worse in all five races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, he has finished in the Top 25 four times while compiling a 22.0 average finish. He has gained an average of 8.4 spots in those five starts, moving up at least three spots in each of them and gaining at least eight spots in three straight. If Leicht starts deep in the field again at Kentucky, he should be one of the safer sources of cap relief.
Landon Cassill ($6,300)
Cassill has been bouncing around between a couple of rides this year, but he will have a chance to make a little noise at Kentucky when he pilots the JD Motorsports No. 15 machine. Cassill snuck into the Top 20 at Chicagoland in his only other start for JD Motorsports machine this year, and the No. 15 team in particular has been able to challenge for Top 20s throughout the year. If he starts in the back half of the field, I'll jump on him for some cap relief.