Welcome to my NASCAR DFS Breakdown for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway! 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. 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 Talladega this weekend which will be the second superspeedway race of the season. We usually see a lot of crashes here as the drivers are all racing together in one big pack. This means that one mistake made by a driver could take out half of the field. Stacking the back has become a popular strategy at the superspeedways over the years because of how valuable place differential is for DFS. Also, the drivers starting in the back are less likely to hurt your lineup than a guy starting inside the top 10. In cash games and small field GPPs, we shouldn’t be playing anyone starting inside the top 25. In large field GPPs though, we’re going to have to play some guys starting closer to the front. Usually, I’ll play 0-1 drivers starting inside the top 10, 1-2 drivers starting 11th-20th, 2-3 through 21st-30th, and 2-4 starting 31st-40th. Finally, don’t be afraid to leave salary on the table! A lot of the best plays won’t be the expensive guys so leaving salary is a great way to get a unique lineup. With all of that out of the way, here are some of the drivers that I’ll be targeting for Sunday’s race.
Ryan Blaney (DK $10,500 FD $14,000)
Blaney has been one of the best drivers at the superspeedways with three wins, five top 5’s, seven top 10’s, and an average finish of 9.4 over his last ten starts. He offers a lot of place differential starting 22nd, so I expect his ownership to be very high for good reason. His recent form can’t be any better with finishes of 7th or better in five of his last six races. Blaney is a driver I love in all formats and will be one of my highest owned drivers on the slate. Don’t be surprised if he comes home with the checkered flag on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin (DK $9,100 FD $13,000)
I know Hamlin has been awful this season, but we can’t ignore how good he’s been on the superspeedways. The Joe Gibbs Racing cars looked strong in qualifying, so maybe they’ll have the speed to compete with the Chevy’s and the Fords. He doesn’t offer much place differential starting 7th, but he has the potential to dominate and win. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get lower ownership here because he’s been continuing to burn DFS players all season. If that’s the case, Hamlin looks like a strong tournament play that I’ll be overweight on.
Brad Keselowski (DK $8,900 FD $12,000)
Keselowski has won six times at Talladega over his Cup Series career and desperately needs a win to make the playoffs. He’s always a factor at the superspeedways because of his ability to create runs and make big blocks. His only top ten this season was at Daytona, so this is his chance to shine. He offers some place differential starting 15th and is definitely a driver that’s capable of winning this race. I wouldn’t play him in cash games, but he looks like one of the stronger options starting closer to the front for GPPs.
Aric Almirola (DK $7,500 FD $7,300)
Almirola’s recent superspeedway data might scare people, but he’s really good at these tracks and won at Talladega in 2018. The Fords clearly have an advantage as one of their cars has won 10 of the last 13 races here. Why do you think a lot of the drivers I’m writing about are Fords? Almirola offers plenty of place differential starting 23rd and a lot of upside here. I know salary doesn’t matter, but I expect drivers like Stenhouse and Cindric to be higher owned in his price range. He’s a driver that tends to put himself in a position to win a lot which is great for his overall ceiling.
Chris Buescher (DK $6,900 FD $7,000)
Buescher is another driver that always seems to put himself in a position to win in these races. I expect him to be a very popular play as his superspeedway data is solid and the place differential upside he has starting 30th. It’s hard to fade him in cash games but for GPPs, I think it makes sense to be underweight on him because he’s just as likely to wreck as some of the other drivers that’ll be lower owned than him. There are so many good plays starting deep in the field which makes it very easy to get different.
Cole Custer (DK $5,600 FD $5,500)
Custer is not having the greatest season so far, but he is coming off of a 13th place finish at the Bristol Dirt Race. I know he’s starting deep, but I still think he’ll be lower owned with some of the other drivers around him starting further back. His last two finishes at Talladega are 10th and 13th, but that doesn’t guarantee anything about where he’ll finish this time around. If you’re making multiple lineups, it’s all about mixing and matching these drivers starting in the back and keeping exposures in check. I like Custer though and will probably be overweight on him here.
NASCAR Talladega Quick Picks:
Winner: Denny Hamlin
Favorite Play: Ryan Blaney
Favorite Low Owned Play: Ross Chastain
Fade: Austin Cindric (Expect high ownership, I’ll be underweight)
Guy I’m playing you shouldn’t: Erik Jones
I hope you guys enjoyed reading my free article for Talladega 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!