Welcome to my NASCAR DFS Breakdown for Circuit of the Americas! In this article, I will preview the race, lineup construction, and offer some of my favorite drivers to target for Sunday’s race! You can find all of our Core Plays throughout the NASCAR Premium Package, or you can click here to join our free Discord! By signing up, you’ll get access to our Final Thoughts, all our Core Plays for DraftKings, FanDuel, and SuperDraft, as well as our Prop Plays for MonkeyKnifeFight and PrizePicks! Remember, our NASCAR Premium content extends to ALL series (Trucks, Xfinity, Cup).
Race Preview/Lineup Construction
The Cup Series will be heading to Circuit of the Americas this weekend in Austin, Texas. They raced here last season but rain played a significant role, so I wouldn’t look at that race too deeply. COTA has 20 turns and takes about 135 seconds to run a lap, so lapping shouldn’t be an issue here. With only 68 laps, there aren’t many dominator points available which means place differential will be very important. Drivers starting further back in the field will have a higher ceiling than the guys starting closer to the front. In terms of lineup construction, it should be very easy because there’s plenty of value plays we can use to afford multiple top tier drivers. This looks like a great slate to play multiple lineups as there’s a lot of drivers that project out well. I know you guys are here for the picks, so let’s get into some of my favorite plays for Sunday’s race.
Chase Elliott (DK $10,500 FD $14,000)
Elliott won at COTA last season and has won five of the last ten road course races. He’s the best driver at these tracks and also offers some place differential starting 12th which gives him more upside. He’s the favorite to win this race and should be a very popular play on DraftKings and FanDuel. For cash games, I don’t see any reason to get away from Chase given his consistency in these races. In tournaments, I don’t mind being underweight because I think the new car evens the playing field and gives him more competition.
Austin Cindric (DK $9,500 FD $11,000)
Cindric’s finishes at the road courses last season weren’t great, but he ran well in all three races and was able to lead a few laps as well. He was dominant at these tracks in the Xfinity Series where he won mulitple races and would always lead a decent amount of laps. He’s priced between Truex and Byron on DraftKings which could definitely lower his ownership in tournaments. If that’s the case, then I’ll definitely be overweight on him for GPPs. COTA is a very tactical track, and I think this will help a guy like Cindric run well here and contend for the win.
AJ Allmendinger (DK $8,800 FD $10,800)
Allmendinger won the Xfinity Series race at COTA on Saturday in a dominating fashion. We all know that AJ is a great road course driver, so it’s hard not to like him here with all the place differential he offers starting from 20th. For cash games, this is a guy I would consider a lock for those contests. In tournaments, I’m probably going to have around 50% Allemendinger. There are definitely some viable pivots in his price range, but he’s clearly the best play in the mid tier.
Ross Chastain (DK $8,200 FD $9,200)
Chastain has had an amazing start to the season and has finishes of 2nd, 2nd, and 3rd over his last three races. He drove the #92 car for DGM in the Xfinity race and looked really good as he was able to compete with AJ in weaker equipment before he got wrecked at the end. I would assume he’ll end up being very popular because he’s been winning a lot of people money lately. He offers a decent amount of place differential starting 16th and should be a threat for a top 5 here. Considering what he’s done lately, Ross is still underpriced and looks like a great tournament play this weekend.
Michael McDowell (DK $6,200 FD $7,500)
McDowell’s recent results haven’t been great, but he’s still underpriced given his strong road course data. Over the last ten races, he has three top 10’s, five top 20’s, and an average finish of 19.4. One of those top 10’s came at COTA last season where he finished 7th in the rain. Starting in 27th, he’s another driver that offers a lot of place differential and should be able to compete for a top 20. The thing I love about him is that his ceiling is higher than anyone around him and also has a high floor as well. I’m sure McDowell will be popular, but he’s a great value driver to target here.
Joey Hand (DK $5,000 FD $2,000)
Hand is known as a road course ringer and was 14th in practice which is a great sign for a smaller team like Rick Ware Racing. The only reason he’s starting this far back is because he didn’t run a lap in qualifying. He offers a lot of place differential starting 38th and doesn’t have to do much to hit 5x value. I know Joey will still probably be lower owned than he should because people won’t recognize the name. I think he’s playable in all formats, and I’m going to be overweight as it allows me to do a lot with the rest of my lineup.
NASCAR COTA Quick Picks:
Winner: Chase Elliott
Favorite Play: AJ Allmendinger
Favorite Low Owned Play: Kurt Busch
Fade: Ryan Blaney
Guy I’m playing you shouldn’t: Joey Logano
I hope you guys enjoyed reading my free article for COTA and I wish you the best of luck in your DFS contests! Make sure to follow me on Twitter if you haven’t already @DFS_NASCAR_Zone, so you can see when I post NASCAR DFS content or ask any questions! I’ll be live streaming on the DFS Karma YouTube channel, so make sure to come in there and ask your questions as well! If you want access to our final thoughts, core plays, prop plays, and betting card, make sure to sign up for the NASCAR Core Plays Package! Good luck and let’s see those winning screenshots!