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NASCAR Luke’s List – NASCAR DFS – 2021 GEICO 500

Hello everyone! I’m Luke, part of the brother-duo recently brought on to assist in maintaining DFS Karma’s spot as the #1 source for NASCAR DFS information, core plays, and props. Make sure you are subscribed to either one of our our NASCAR or MVP subscriptions so you can 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).

Before I get into some of my favorite plays for Sunday’s race at Talladega, I’m going to give you guys a preview, and also what lineup construction will look like for this race.

Race Preview

The NASCAR Cup Series will be heading to Talladega this weekend, so lineup construction will look very different than usual. I’ll make sure to go over all of my tips and strategies for building DFS lineups at the superspeedways because this will be crucial if you want to have a shot at taking down a gpp or increase your overall chances of cashing. In these races, all the cars run in a big pack which means one mistake from a driver could lead to a big crash and take out multiple cars. Because of this, most of the drivers in the field could potentially finish top 10 by the time the checkered flag waves. With that out of the way, here are some important strategies that we can use to build our DFS lineups this weekend.

Don’t Use All Your Salary

I know it’s hard to leave salary on the table but in these superspeedway races, you can because we mostly target the cheap drivers starting near the back. If you make a lineup and it has $5,000 left over, that’s fine! Most of the optimal lineups in these races don’t use all the salary.

Place Differential > Anything

For most races, dominators are very important, but place differential means a lot more this weekend than it does in other weeks. In these races, we usually see a decent amount of attrition, which means that the drivers starting near the back could score a ton of fantasy points if they can avoid the chaos. The hard part is figuring out which of these drivers will work.

Cash vs GPPS (Big difference)

In cash games, we want all of our drivers to be guys starting near the back because they offer more place differential and won’t kill our lines if they get caught up in a wreck. All six of your drivers should be starting 25th or lower. Our cash lineups will definitely be safe, but they’re not going to have the upside to finish near the top of a tournament because some of the drivers starting near the front will score more fantasy points than the guys in the back. You’re more likely to win if you play everyone starting from the back but if you want to have a shot at taking down a gpp, we’re going to have to take some risks in our lineups.

Favorite DraftKings DFS Plays Talladega

You can look at track history if you want, but I’m not going to let that really determine how much exposure I’ll have to a specific driver. The main things that I’ll be looking for when picking my drivers is place differential or if they can potentially win the race. I’m going to divide the field up into 3 groups with 1st-12th, 13th-25th, and 26th-40th to help show you how many drivers I recommend playing from each group and which guys I like.

Drivers Starting 1st-12th (0-2)

Joey Logano P2 (DK $9,800 FD $13,000) – Track history isn’t great, but he’s led 25+ laps in six of the last eight superspeedway races, he can get the job done if he leads and finishes near the front

Ryan Blaney P7 (DK $10,100 FD $13,500) – Winner of two of the last three Talladega races, the Fords are usually very fast at the superspeedways, and he’s a driver I could definitely see battling for the win at the end

Chase Elliott P8 (DK $10,300 FD $11,700) – He’s struggled this season, but Elliott has had a lot of success on the superspeedways, won at Talladega back in 2019

Brad Keselowski P10 (DK $10,500 FD $14,000) – People might get scared off him because of his terrible track history, but he’s one of the best driver at the superspeedways and his luck will turn around eventually

Notes: I loved the Kaulig cars in the Xfinity Series race, and I feel the same way with the Penske cars because they can work together and are always very fast at the superspeedways. The drivers starting closer to the front are riskier because they don’t offer much place differential and will kill your lineup if they wreck. If you do play some of these guys, I recommend having at max two for tournaments. None of these drivers should be played in cash games.

Drivers Starting 13th-25th (1-3)

Aric Almirola P14 (DK $8,700 FD $12,000) – Eight top 10 finishes in his last nine starts at Talladega, he’s one of the best superspeedway racers and won here back in 2018

Ricky Stenhouse Jr P17 (DK $8,500 FD $11,000) – The superspeedways are his bread and butter, and his aggressive driving style makes him a very boom or bust play. Expecting his ownership to be pretty high, so I’ll probably be underweight in gpps

Chris Buescher P21 (DK $6,300 FD $6,800) – Could see Buescher going overlooked with some of the other guys around him probably getting more ownership which makes him an interesting tournament option with PD upside

Michael McDowell P23 (DK $7,200 FD $5,500) – Won the Daytona 500 earlier this season and has always been one of the better drivers when it comes to superspeedway racing. Expecting him to be chalky because of that win at Daytona

Notes: This range is definitely interesting for tournaments because I think there will be some drivers that will have very high ownership and others that’ll get little to no ownership. If you haven’t figured it out already, I really like the Fords. They usually work very well together, and there’s a reason why they’ve won 10 of the last 13 superspeedway races.

Drivers Starting 26th-40th (2+)

Ryan Newman P28 (DK $7,600 FD $8,700) – He’s one of those drivers that’ll usually ride around in the back for the majority of the race to avoid the attrition and races at the end. Five top 10 finishes over his last seven starts at Talladega

Ryan Preece P29 (DK $6,400 FD $8,000) – Preece has had a lot of bad luck this season, but he always seems to run well in these superspeedway races. Offers a lot of PD starting from 29th and has top 5 potential

Kaz Grala P38 (DK $5,800 FD $5,000) – Grala was running great at Daytona, but his car caught fire which ended his day. He starts all the way back in 38th and offers a ton of PD. Defintely think there’s top 20 potential and top 10 upside with attrition

Harrison Burton P39 (DK $7,900 FD $3,000) – This will be his first Cup Serie start, so I’m expecting him to ride around in the back for the majority of the race and try to battle for a good finish at the end. Can’t really kill you starting from 39th, but I don’t mind being underweight if his ownership is going to be high

Notes: A lot of people know about the stack the drivers in the back strategy, so I think a lot of these guys will have very high ownership in cash games and tournaments. It’s all going to come down to which guys avoid the wrecks and are still running at the finish. You can definitely play a lot of these guys in lineups because they’re safe and have a ton of upside. All of your drivers in cash games should be guys starting near the back. Also, just because a driver wasn’t mentioned doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I just wanted to help narrow down some of my favorite drivers to target.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my free article for the Cup Series Talladega race, 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!



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