NASCAR DFS: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400by Dale Money April 8, 2022 0 comments
Tomorrow, the NASCAR world will be in Martinsville, Virginia for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400, the first night race of the season. They will stay in Virginia one more week to continue short-track racing after finishing last Sunday’s race at Richmond. Looking at the track specs for Martinsville Speedway, it is a half-mile, oval track. The most successful driver in this track’s history, Richard Petty, won 15 races.
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The strategy for DFS owners is going to be much the same as last weekend. In addition to being quite similar in size, Martinsville will run the same number of laps as the Toyota Owners 400. Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman dominated the late fall race, as both drivers scored 128.90 and 98.90 fantasy points, respectively, on DraftKings. So, expect some Hendricks cars to make some noise this weekend. Denny Hamlin surprised everyone with his win at Richmond last weekend. While the win should certainly be a big boost to his confidence, Hamlin’s overall performance this season so far has been a letdown. Five of his victories have come at Martinsville, the most of any current driver. However, it’s been 14 visits since he won his last one.
This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Saturday’s Cup Series event in Martinsville, VA. The selections are broken down between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel (FD) and DraftKings (DK). Best of luck to everyone with lineups this weekend.
Chase Elliott (13,500 FD | 11,200 DK)
Martinsville may arguably be Elliott’s most important track. In 2020, Elliott’s got the win here to get into the championship four. The year he won his first cup championship. It’s unclear why he hasn’t put up the numbers at Richmond the way he has done at Martinsville. In two of the last three races at Martinsville, Elliott has led more than 230 laps. A collision in the October race caused him to spin out, costing him the victory, despite leading 289 laps, a career-high. Elliott is still on the lookout for his first win after not bringing home the bacon at the Circuit of the Americas two weeks ago. Dependent on where he starts, Elliott will be a strong candidate to gain quick points through laps led and fastest lap.
Ryan Blaney (13,000 FD | 10,900 DK)
Blaney would take full advantage of his starting position at Richmond, securing the lead on lap one. For the first 128 laps, Blaney controlled the race. He would eventually fade as other drivers would begin to take over. Despite finishing seventh, he would score the third-most points on DraftKings, rewarding owners that put their faith in him. Now he sits tied for first in the point standings next to pal Elliott.
A runner-up on back-to-back tries at Martinsville in 2020, Blaney has been on the cusp. Of course, you’re wondering what he can offer you as a dominator ? He led a track best 157 laps in last season’s April race. He can pull off a second straight dominant performance, and if not, Elliott could knock him off that perch on the top of the leaderboard.
Ross Chastain (9,000 FD | 8,800 DK)
When Chastain came through with his first career cup win two weeks ago, he tried to build on it. He performed well in the first two stages, finishing third in both. Ultimately, his handling would be his downfall. That late fumble won’t affect Chastain when he competes at Martinsville. Throughout the early part of the season, he hasn’t shown any signs of inconsistency.
While he’s not had a great track record here in the past as a Cup driver, you should feel confident he can turn that luck around. Let’s remember he did finish fifth at Martinsville in his only visit in the Xfinity. A qualifying position in that top 15 would be great. Consider that of the last five races in which he’s started from 16th or deeper, Chastain has a worst finish of third on three of those attempts.
Brad Keselowski (8,000 FD | 7,900 DK)
At Richmond, we predicted Keselowski would finish in the top 12, but he finished a serviceable 13th instead. The finishing position was as close to a top 12 result as he could manage after a back and forth day. Like Richmond, Martinsville has always been good to Keselowski. His fall rally failed to land the Dent Wizard Ford into the Championship Four. He would finish third that day, his fourth top-three in the last six Martinsville races. In my opinion, he will be able to deliver a second run that will satisfy owners who need him to fill a bookend spot on their roster. Could he crack the top 10 this Saturday night? Absolutely.
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