DraftKings NASCAR: Kobalt 400

DraftKings NASCAR: Kobalt 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Kobalt 400 
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. 
Course: Las Vegas Motor Speedway 
Format: 1.5-mile tri-oval 
Laps: 267 
Race Preview 
After last week's domination from three of the sport's biggest teams, fantasy players should have an idea of whom to target this week. We should expect the front runners from Atlanta to be contenders again this week, and Kevin Harvick will likely be the prerace favorite. The Stewart Haas Racing driver led the most laps in last week's race and led 142 laps in Las Vegas last season en route to victory. While Hendrick Motorsports took the win in Atlanta, SHR and Harvick have the muscle to take control at Las Vegas. The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates aren't far behind either. While the new rules package appears to be creating better racing, it's the usual suspects who continue to rise to the top. 
Key Stats at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 

  • Number of previous races: 18 
  • Winners from pole: 1 
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 5 
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 8 
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 4 
  • Fastest race: 154.633 mph 
Last 10 Las Vegas Winners 
2015 spring - Kevin Harvick 
2014 spring - Brad Keselowski 
2013 spring - Matt Kenseth 
2012 spring - Tony Stewart 
2011 spring - Carl Edwards 
2010 spring - Jimmie Johnson 
2009 spring - Kyle Busch 
2008 spring - Carl Edwards 
2007 spring - Jimmie Johnson 
2006 spring - Jimmie Johnson 

Last week's first race on a 1.5-mile oval in the 2016 season should give fantasy players insight into what to expect this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The low downforce aerodynamic package forced teams to nurse their tires early in fuel runs, and those who didn't were punished. Fans watched drivers wiggling in the turns as they fought to hold onto their preferred line, and the differences among driving styles produced drivers who peaked at various spots throughout a fuel run. All of that will again be on hand in Las Vegas. The teams will have learned just how far they can push their equipment, but that won't make things any easier on the drivers. Fantasy players should expect to see differing fuel strategies throughout the race with track position being an even more important factor this week. Qualifying also will be important again, though the Las Vegas banking does allow drivers to search for a preferred line as their handling changes. 

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap) 
DraftKings Tier 1 Values 
Kevin Harvick - $10,500 
Jimmie Johnson - $10,300 
Kyle Busch - $10,200 
DraftKings Tier 2 Values 
Matt Kenseth - $9,900 
Carl Edwards - $9,600 
Denny Hamlin - $9,300 
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,100 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $9,000 
DraftKings Tier 3 Values 
Kasey Kahne - $8,500 
Ryan Newman - $7,500 
Jamie McMurray - $7,300 
DraftKings Long-Shot Values 
Chase Elliott - $8,200 
Austin Dillon - $6,700 
Greg Biffle - $6,400 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,300 

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Kevin Harvick - $10,500 
Jimmie Johnson - $10,300 
Matt Kenseth - $9,900 
Paul Menard - $6,500 
Greg Biffle - $6,400 
Trevor Bayne - $5,900 

Were it not for a slower than desired restart last week, Harvick could have already recorded his first win of 2016. Instead, he's still searching for that win at Las Vegas, where he dominated in 2015. Harvick is a serious threat given the speed he showed last week. The driver who beat him to the line in Atlanta is a four-time Las Vegas winner, and is the second pick in the low-risk roster. Having two poor races doesn't mean Kenseth isn't still a top fantasy option either. He has three Las Vegas wins and three top-10s in the last three races at the track. Menard makes another appearance in the low-risk roster due to the fact that he hasn't finished worse than 12th at Las Vegas in the last five years. Greg Biffle was off song last week, and fantasy players may want to substitute another choice for him this week if practice and qualifying don't go his way, but his Las Vegas career boasts six top-10s from 12 tries. Lastly, Trevor Bayne scored a top-10 here in 2012 and could be another Roush Fenway Racing top performer this week. 
Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap) 

Kyle Busch - $10,200 
Carl Edwards - $9,600 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $9,000 
Kasey Kahne - $8,500 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,300 
Brian Vickers - $5,500 

While the higher-risk lineup doesn't feature the two favorites, it offers plenty in terms of quality and value. Kyle Busch is off to a flying start in 2016 with back-to-back top-three finishes. His teammate Carl Edwards has two Las Vegas wins on his resume with four top-fives in the last five races there. Also, fantasy players looking for value need search no further than Earnhardt. Priced at $9,000 he's arguably the best value on the board with a driver rating of 94.4 and just one finish outside of the top-10 at this track since 2008. Earnhardt's teammate Kahne showed early pace in practice and qualifying last week, and just needs to put a full-race distance together. Stenhouse's top-10 finish last week makes us continue to believe that Roush has progressed since last season, and Vickers, in one of the best cars on the grid, can't be counted out this week.

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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