NASCAR DFS: Geico 500by Dale Money April 23, 2022 0 comments
We leave the dirt track in Bristol behind and head to Talladega, Alabama for the Geico 500, and the second of two Superspeedways. Looking at the track specs for Talladega Speedway, it is a 2.66-mile, tri-oval track. After two consecutive weeks of night races, NASCAR returns to its usual afternoon format. In the same fashion as the Daytona 500, teams will compete in a single-car qualifying run with one lap, and the top-10 cars in the opening round of qualifying will advance to the final round for a shot at the Busch Light Pole.
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With Kyle Busch‘s win at Bristol last weekend, there have been eight different winners in nine races. Despite that much diversity, we still haven’t seen a true surprise winner. Talladega, on the other hand, may offer that potential lottery ticket. It is not common for relative unknowns to win at the Superspeedway, but it does happen. Michael McDowell and David Ragan have cashed in for owners on the Superspeedways in the past. Ragan won his two career cup races at Daytona and Talladega. Furthermore, when picking drivers who start the race in the top five positions, you need to be careful. This weekend, make sure to have a range of driver combinations locked in. The big one will strike, and you’ll want to be ready.
This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Talladega, Alabama. 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.
Ryan Blaney (14,000 FD | 10,500 DK)
Last weekend Blaney treated owners to a solid fantasy day, bypassing 20 cars to finish fifth place. While he is still missing out on that first season win, he’s been strong nonetheless. Additionally, his average running position of 9.048 leads all drivers in the Series. The Superspeedway is Blaney’s most successful type of track, accounting for three of his seven Cup victories. Last year, Blaney finished seventh and 15th, which is serviceable for a track as dangerous as Dega. However, he was certainly looking for more. Blaney failed to extend his streak of two straight years with a win at Talladega. Next to Keselowski, there isn’t a better driver for this specific race track. Expect him to be challenging for a win by the end of this race.
Chase Elliott (12,500 FD | 9,900 DK)
The days of the Earnhardt’s dominating Talladega are long gone. So while the Chevy’s are no longer the dominant manufacturer, Elliott has been able to hold his own. Only three drivers have managed to lead more than 100 laps over the last six visits (Elliott being one of them). The other two are the two Penske Ford drivers, Blaney and Joey Logano.
It’s been a couple of years since Elliott came out of Talladega with his first and only track win. It came after an assist from Hendricks teammate Alex Bowman. He should have the drafting help needed to get him to the front when it means the most. Especially given how the Hendrick’s Chevy’s have been producing. He has never failed to qualify inside of the top 11 at Talladega, so expect him to be starting up near the front of the pack
Brad Keselowski (12,000 FD | 8,900 DK)
Keselowski has won six races here, more than any other active driver. There has only been one person in the history of the Cup who has won more than that: Dale Earnhardt Sr. Of those five wins, five came with Penske, but who cares. With the Ford Mustangs as support, Keselowski certainly has a chance to win a seventh Talladega race. You can expect Keselowski, and teammate Chris Buescher to work together most of the day. The two drivers swept the preliminary races leading up to the Daytona 500. Though he’ll be a chalk play, that shouldn’t matter. It’s a wise choice to select him, especially in the mid-range.
Michael McDowell (6,000 FD | 6,800 DK)
McDowell had been in a freefall since finishing seventh at the Daytona 500, and he needed to stop the bleeding. Now he has a good chance of extending his success for at least another week. McDowell is a seasoned drafter, but some of his most impressive results on the Superspeedway have come at Daytona. However, that certainly doesn’t negate his past achievements at Talladega. It was, in fact, during last season’s spring race where he cashed in on a third-place finish. Moreover, it was his best career result at Talladega. McDowell is always an interesting value play at the restrictor-plate events. He is one of the few drivers at his price level who can give himself a legitimate shot at winning every time on a Superspeedway.
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