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Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin Start NASCAR Team

Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin Start NASCAR Team

NASCAR DFS: South Point 400 at Las Vegas DraftKings Lineup Plays

SI Fantasy NASCAR analyst Brian Polking goes through his top DFS plays on DraftKings for this week's South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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We are back at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the second race of the year at the mile-and-a-half oval. Granted, a lot has changed since the Cup Series first visited the track back in February, and the atmosphere alone is going to much different since Sunday's South Point 400 opens up the second round of the playoffs.

That being said, my strategy for building NASCAR DFS lineups on DraftKings for the race won't be much different than my strategy for any other 1.5-mile track. You need to anchor your lineups with a couple of drivers who can secure a chunk of dominator points. From there, I like to find mid-priced options who are capable of running in the Top 10 and potentially chipping in some fastest lap points or leading smaller stretches.

Looking at the February race at Vegas, four drivers led at least 30 laps, and three drivers led 50-plus. At Kansas, the most recent race at a1.5-mile track, six drivers led at least 27 laps with three leading 40-plus. The dominator points should be able to carry multiple drivers to solid point totals.

The qualifying formula NASCAR implemented later in the year has created more opportunities for place differential points, and in cash contests, it isn't a bad idea to take advantage of the handful of solid options starting deeper in the field. However, I think you need to focus on drivers with more upside if you want to take down the bigger contests this weekend.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($11,700)

He led a race-high 92 laps at Las Vegas in February, and no driver has led more laps at the 1.5-mile tracks this year than Harvick. He has led double-digit laps in the last five races at Las Vegas, leading 40-plus laps in three straight starts here. With Harvick starting from the pole, he is the best bet to lead the most laps again this weekend and finish as the top scorer at DraftKings.

Joey Logano ($10,300)

Logano won at Las Vegas in February, and he has won two of the last three races at the track as part of a nine-race streak of Top 10s here. He has led at least 25 laps eight times in that stretch, leading 40-plus laps seven times. Logano has also led double-digit laps in seven of the eight races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, leading 20-plus laps six times. Starting in the Top 5, he should be a lock for a strong finish and some dominator points.

Ryan Blaney ($9,100)

He had a miserable opening round of the playoffs, but a trip to Las Vegas should be just what the doctor ordered for Blaney. No driver has scored more points at the mile-and-a-half ovals this year, and he has led the second-most laps in those eight races. Starting 15th, Blaney has double-digit place differential points available on top of his dominator upside. He should be a steal at this price.

Cash Plays

Brad Keselowski ($11,400)

While he hasn't piled up as many dominator points as some of the other big names at Las Vegas, you won't find a driver with a higher floor. Keselowski has 10 straight Top 10s here, winning three times and compiling a 3.6 average finish. He is also the only driver who has finished in the top 10 in all eight races at 1.5-mile tracks this year. Starting 12th, he even has some place differential points to exploit. Keselowski is the total package and an ideal building block for cash lineups.

Martin Truex Jr. ($10,600)

He won at Las Vegas last fall, and he has been fast at the 1.5-mile tracks all year, ranking third in points scored in the eight races. Truex had a tire issue in the February race here, but he finished in the Top 3 in both stages and was one of the frontrunners for the win. Starting 11th, he also has more differential upside than most of the legitimate dominator threats.

William Byron ($9,400)

Byron has been trending in the right direction at the 1.5-mile tracks, finishing 11th or better in three of the four races leading up to Vegas. He also had a strong car here in February, logging 12 stage points and ranking second in fastest laps run and green flag speed. No longer part of the playoffs, his bad finish at Bristol last weekend has him starting 28th Sunday. He has a high floor and plenty of upside. He is a no-brainer cash option.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,800)

Consistency isn't his strong suit, but rolling off 33rd, the upside far outweighs the risk with Stenhouse this weekend. He just needs a mid-pack finish to produce a solid score, and we have seen Stenhouse deliver the occasional strong performance, including a Top 5 effort at Las Vegas in February. With the place differential category heavily in his favor, Stenhouse is a perfect fit for cash lineups.

Ryan Newman ($7,400)

Newman hasn't had a banner year at the 1.5-mile tracks, but he has four finishes between 13th and 17th in the eight races to go along with a 20.8 average finish. He starts 27th, so a mid-pack finish is all he will need to post a decent score. Newman should be a safe, affordable addition to cash lineups.

Tyler Reddick ($6,900)

His place differential upside is limited, but this is a bargain price for a driver who has been one of the best at 1.5-mile ovals. Reddick has a 10.6 average finish in the eight races, and he has cracked the Top 5 in two of the last four. He starts 14th, but since he is likely to challenge for a Top 10, Reddick will deliver value on finishing position alone.

GPP Specials

Kyle Busch ($10,000)

Busch has struggled to deliver dominator points throughout the year, but his best performance at a 1.5-mile track came in the most recent race when he led 52 laps and recorded 37 fastest laps at Kansas. From the front row, he will have an opportunity to jump out front early and start piling up points. He is worth having in a lineup or two, and Busch could be a great pivot to Kevin Harvick.

Chase Elliott ($9,700)

A tire issue knocked him out of the February race at Las Vegas, but Elliott probably had the best car in that race. He swept the first two stages, leading 70 laps and leading all drivers in fastest laps run. Starting third, Elliott could be out front early Sunday night. If you are fading Harvick, Elliott is my top contrarian dominator. 786868569414

Aric Almirola ($8,300)

After a lackluster start at the 1.5-mile tracks, Almirola found his groove midway through the regular season. He has reeled off four straight Top 10s, posting a 7.2 average finish in that stretch. More importantly, he has shown some dominator upside, leading 128 laps and Kentucky and 35 laps at Texas. Set to start in the Top 5, Almirola could a mid-priced steal.

Christopher Bell ($7,100)

It has been a boom-or-bust season for Bell at the 1.5-mile tracks, but he has managed three Top 10s in the eight races. Starting 26th, Bell could be an X-factor for a lineup if he reaches his ceiling. Use him as a pivot to Ryan Newman.

Corey LaJoie ($5,500)

He doesn't have the best equipment, but LaJoie has held his own at the mile-and-a-half ovals. He has a 22.4 average finish in the eight races, finishing 23rd or better five times. Rolling off outside the Top 30, LaJoie has potential as a punt play.

We are back at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the second race of the year at the mile-and-a-half oval. Granted, a lot has changed since the Cup Series first visited the track back in February, and the atmosphere alone is going to much different since Sunday's South Point 400 opens up the second round of the playoffs.

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