DraftKings NASCAR: Duck Commander 500

DraftKings NASCAR: Duck Commander 500

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Duck Commander 500

Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Course: Texas Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad oval
Laps: 334

Race Preview

Saturday night's Duck Commander 500 is not only the first night race of the 2016 Sprint Cup season, but it's also the first race where a circuit with a similar configuration (Atlanta Motor Speedway) has been run already this season. Jimmie Johnson won that race, and it was one to remember due to the edge-of-your-seat racing the low-downforce rules package produced. Last week's winner, Kyle Busch will come to Texas on a high after scoring his first win of the season (and his first at Martinsville) after being unquestionably competitive in the early races to date. Johnson is the current man atop the hill at Texas, however. The No. 48 won each of the last three races at this track, has six total Texas victories and won at Atlanta earlier this season.

Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 30
Winners from pole: 3
Winners from top-5 starters: 19
Winners from top-10 starters: 24
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 4
Fastest race: 160.577 mph

Last 10 Texas Winners

2015 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2015 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2014 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2014 spring - Joey Logano
2013 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2013 spring - Kyle Busch
2012 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2012 spring - Greg Biffle
2011 fall - Tony Stewart
2011 spring - Matt Kenseth

The 24 degrees of banking in the turns at Texas enable drivers to move up and down the track as their cars change throughout the race. The high line may be preferred by some, but grip and traffic can encourage drivers to move up or down the banking throughout the race. This characteristic is similar to Atlanta and Charlotte Motor Speedway where we see some of the fastest lap speeds anywhere on the schedule. The low-downforce rules forced drivers to be more mindful of tire wear in Atlanta, and that created passing throughout the field without producing many caution periods. Therefore, fantasy owners should expect some long green-flag runs Saturday night where fast cars are able to pull ahead of the field. Everyone will work to make their tires last as long as possible, but fresh tires could be a key to winning this weekend. Fantasy owners would be wise to have their rosters in mind early, but be prepared to adjust after practice and qualifying.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Jimmie Johnson - $10,400
Kyle Busch - $10,100
Joey Logano - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $9,800
Matt Kenseth - $9,700
Brad Keselowski - $9,600
Carl Edwards - $9,400

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $8,700
Kurt Busch - $8,400
Austin Dillon - $7,800
Jamie McMurray - $7,400

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Aric Almirola - $6,600
Greg Biffle - $6,500
Brian Vickers - $6,400
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,200


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $10,400
Joey Logano - $10,000
Brad Keselowski - $9,600
Ryan Blaney - $6,700
Brian Vickers - $6,400
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,200

There is little surprise that Johnson heads the safe lineup option this week despite Kevin Harvick having the most premium price in the field. Harvick's statistics simply don't match Johnson's six track wins and driver rating of 108. The Penske teammates take up the second and third slots by being fairly priced and by placing second and third in the last five Texas races under the DraftKings scoring scheme behind Johnson. Blaney has two Texas starts to his credit with a best finish of 42nd, but he only finished lower than 25th once so far this season and that is good for a fourth selection. This weekend could be the last for Vickers in the No. 14 car, so he has extra for which to drive. He last drove this race in 2014 when he finished fourth. He finished 16th in the 2014 fall race. Finally, Allmendinger had a breakout performance last week in Martinsville. That high should buoy him in Texas where he has two career top-10s and is a regular face in the top 20.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,500
Kyle Busch - $10,100
Matt Kenseth - $9,700
Jamie McMurray - $7,400
Greg Biffle - $6,500
Chris Buescher - $5,800

The high-risk lineup option for Texas takes small gambles on a few selections, not including Harvick. The 2014 Sprint Cup champion led more than 100 laps in Atlanta earlier this season and has finished in the top three in the last three Texas races. Kyle Busch got his maiden Martinsville win last weekend, won this race in 2013 and finished in the top five in four of the last five Texas races. His teammate Matt Kenseth led 47 laps in Atlanta this year and is a two-time Texas victor. A small gamble comes with McMurray. He started from the front row in Atlanta, but finished only 21st. He finished outside the top 20 again last week but has three consecutive top-10 Texas finishes heading into this weeks event. A larger gamble comes with Biffle. He hasn't lived up to the improvements made at Roush Fenway Racing yet this season, but Texas was a strong race in a terrible car for him last year. Biffle is a two-time winner at Texas and could use a confidence building outing this week. Lastly, Buescher makes the roster by improving 10 spots from his starting position in his only Sprint Cup visit to the track. He finished 30th in that race but performed decently in Atlanta and can offer finish differential points to fantasy players Saturday night.

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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