NASCAR DFS: Federated Auto Parts Picks

NASCAR DFS: Federated Auto Parts Picks

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.


Location: Richmond, Va.
Course: Richmond International Raceway
Format: 0.75-mile oval
Laps: 400

Race Preview

Richmond hosts the final race before the 2015 Chase for the Championship commences, and drivers and teams will have to find the perfect balance for the short oval. The track is a favorite among drivers, and with good reason. It produces side-by-side racing throughout the field, and can be a challenge for teams to find the proper settings. The close nature of the racing will heighten tensions for those looking to book their spot in the Chase, and that pressure can create explosions by the time the distance is complete. A new 2015 winner would mean that four winless drivers would make the championship cut, while a repeat winner would allow five to pass through. The hopes of fighting for the 2015 title for those not already locked into the Chase all come down to this race.

Key Stats at Richmond International Raceway

Races: 118
Winners from pole: 23
Winners from top-5 starters: 66
Winners from top-10 starters: 91
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 10
Fastest race: 109.047 mph

Last 10 Richmond Winners:

2015 spring - Kurt Busch
2014 fall - Brad Keselowski
2014 spring - Joey Logano
2013 fall - Carl Edwards
2013 spring - Kevin Harvick
2012 fall - Clint Bowyer
2012 spring - Kyle Busch
2011 fall - Kevin Harvick
2011 spring - Kyle Busch
2010 fall - Denny Hamlin

Richmond is a short oval, which means drivers will spend most of the night alongside other cars and working through traffic. Turns 3 and 4 will be the focus of the setup because a good run through that section enables drivers to carry more speed down the longer front stretch, often setting up passes on cars not as agile. Brakes will have to be managed well throughout the night, and finding the right balance between not overheating them and rolling onto the throttle will make the difference between a fast car and a slow one. Restarts are king at the track, and late green-white-checkered finishes may have a hand in determining the final regular-season winner of 2015.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $11,400
Brad Keselowski - $11,200
Kyle Busch - $10,800
Joey Logano - $10,400

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Kurt Busch - $9,800
Denny Hamlin - $9,500
Jimmie Johnson - $8,900
Jeff Gordon - $8,500
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $8,400

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Ryan Newman - $7,700
Clint Bowyer - $7,500
Tony Stewart - $7,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Aric Almirola - $6,100
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $5,900
Danica Patrick - $5,800


Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,800
Denny Hamlin - $9,500
Jimmie Johnson - $8,900
Clint Bowyer - $7,500
Tony Stewart - $7,200
Aric Almirola - $6,100

The low-risk lineup for Richmond includes two Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, who both had strong showings in Darlington. Busch has the second best driver rating at Richmond at 109.8, while Hamlin is currently riding a streak of three consecutive top-5 finishes. Johnson stumbled early last week, but battled back. He didn't get the top finish he wanted, but finished third from a starting spot of 36th at Richmond earlier this season. Richmond is one of Bowyer's best tracks. His driver rating is 99.5 and he is fighting to keep his spot in the Chase. Stewart is steadily finding his legs late in the season, and Almirola finished 10th in this race last season after starting 26th.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $11,400
Kurt Busch - $9,800
Jeff Gordon - $8,500
Kyle Larson - $8,000
David Ragan - $6,400
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $5,800

Harvick tops the price list and eliminates a number of other confident selections by taking him, but doing so gives you the best Richmond driver rating at 110.9. He also has four top-5 finishes in the last four races. Busch dominated at Richmond earlier this season leading 291 of 400 laps. While Gordon doesn't have a 2015 win yet, he is in the Chase grid at the moment. His Richmond record is among the best, but his current form is not. Larson ran well last weekend at Darlington and is showing glimpses of what he promised last season. Despite not having any top-10s at Richmond his average finish at the track is 13th. Ragan is auditioning for a 2016 ride, and his one-lap speed hasn't diminished. He finished 10th at Richmond earlier this year. Lastly, Stenhouse and Roush Fenway Racing rediscovered some pace. He started inside the top 10 in the last two races, and now just needs to convert that pace to a full race distance.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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