NASCAR DFS: GEICO 500

NASCAR DFS: GEICO 500

by April 24, 2021 2 comments

Heading into that last restart at Richmond, it looked to be a two-way battle between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. However, a surprise driver in Alex Bowman would step up in a big way. Bowman would need just two laps after that final green flag in which to advance past both drivers. With this Richmond victory, he becomes the seventh of eight drivers to have already secured a win.

Like Ryan Blaney at Martinsville, Martin Truex Jr. would have a strong performance ruined by a late pit stop. Along with Hamlin and Logano, the three drivers would lead all but 37 of the 400 laps.

We leave behind the Short tracks of Virginia and head nine hours south to Talladega, Superspeedway.

Looking at the track specs for the infamous Superspeedway, it is a 2.6 mile, tri-oval track. The largest track on the NASCAR circuit, beating Daytona by .16 inches, you can expect to see numerous lead changes on Sunday. It was here in 2019 that saw 48 lead changes (including 19 drivers with at least one lap led). 

This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Talladega. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel and DraftKings. Best of luck to everyone with their lineups this weekend.

High Salary

Joey Logano (13,000 FD | 9,800 DK)

Statistically speaking, Penske has been the dominating force at Talladega over the last few years. Of the 10 Penske wins, Logano has contributed three of them (ranking him second among current drivers). While he might suffer that odd accident here, Logano has always managed to keep his cars up at the front. Keep in mind the most recent event in October, in which he would wreck out but still manage to lead the most laps.

Seated on the front row for Sunday, Logano is purely a dominator selection. When it comes to leading laps here, Logano has been virtually automatic in his last nine tries. Consider he’s led 30 or more laps in five of those attempts and at least ten or more in eight of the races. With Logano under strict orders from owner Roger Penske (to avoid a repeat of the Daytona 500). He’s going to need to stick to a team-first strategy.

Mid-Range

Aric Almirola (12,000 FD | 8,700 DK)

Arguably one of the more underrated cup drivers when it comes to performing at Talladega. October was certainly a letdown, given Almirola’s streak of eight straight top nine or better runs. However, with this superspeedway being as big of a crapshoot as it is, he was bound to suffer a misstep at some point. 

He is starting deep enough to still offer good value as a place differential target. Keep in mind Almirola started from 15th place here in June and came away with a podium result. He should at the very least hold his position among those top 14 drivers. Currently 27th in the cup series standings, Almirola is in desperate need of a kickstart. Talladega offers that golden opportunity to make up some of the ground. 

Value Play

Ryan Newman (8,700 FD | 7,600 DK)

Having run 77 plate races in his 18 seasons, Newman knows these Superspeedways like the back of his hand. As the years have rolled on, he has only continued to get better. True he’s never had a high driver rating at Dega. However, when it gets down to the crunch, you can usually count on the Rocketman to be in a position to win. In the past two seasons at the track, Newman sits tied for second in top-five finishes with four.

With a 28th place starting position, there is plenty of meat on the bone. At the very least, consider picking up a few shares. Keep in mind his odds for a top 5 finish sit at 6/1, so not a bad price if you feel confident.

Ryan Preece (8,400 FD | 6,400 DK)

Preece came out the gate in excellent shape, picking up back-to-back top-nine finishes in Daytona. Since then he’s had a rocky go of it, recording a best finish of 15th at Las Vegas. However, you could argue he has been one of the better-kept secrets as far as Talladega is concerned. Consider that in his four cup visits, Preece has finished as high as third with a worst finish of 18th.

Preece has shown to be an underrated place differential play here in the past, having never started lower than 25th. If he can continue to avoid problems at this track, Preece is a top 18 finisher this weekend. With 54 fastest laps already in the bank, Preece could also add some points that way.


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