DraftKings NASCAR: AAA Texas 500

DraftKings NASCAR: AAA Texas 500

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

AAA Texas 500

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

Race Preview

Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to book a spot among the final four drivers battling for the season championship by winning last week in Martinsville. The Hendrick Motorsports team overcame early troubles to score the win to advance. Making the situation even better for the No. 48 is the fact that the very next race is at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson has won five of the last eight races at the 1.5-mile oval, and his confidence is currently the highest it has been in the past few seasons. Two races remain for the remaining title contenders to fill the last three spots eligible to win the Sprint Cup, and Kyle Busch and Joey Logano both may have great opportunities to advance their fight this week. The two drivers split the other three Texas wins that weren't taken by Johnson, and both scored top-10 finishes last week at Martinsville.

Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 31
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

2016 spring - Kyle Busch
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

Texas Motor Speedway is a high-banked quad-oval similar in configuration to both Charlotte and Atlanta. The tracks produce high speeds and require well-balanced handling throughout each corner. Kyle Busch won at the track earlier this season, and Martin Truex Jr. dominated at Charlotte, but Johnson has been the master of these three tracks so far this season with victories at both Atlanta and Charlotte. The high-speed nature of the track benefits cars that begin leading the field from the first practice session. Teams that get the correct setup early in the weekend hold a distinct advantage as they begin to focus on how adjustments throughout a race distance can affect their performance. Drivers will move up and down the racetrack in each turn depending on grip levels, which makes passing an easier prospect than it was last week. Still, a fast car with plenty of horsepower will be difficult to track down and pass. Late-race restarts have the potential to jumble the finish as gambles to gain track position can pay dividends.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Jimmie Johnson - $10,800
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,700
Kyle Busch - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Matt Kenseth - $9,800
Joey Logano - $9,400
Chase Elliott - $9,200
Kyle Larson - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Kurt Busch - $8,600
Austin Dillon - $7,900
Tony Stewart - $7,700
Greg Biffle - $7,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Trevor Bayne - $6,700
Chris Buescher - $6,200
Casey Mears - $6,000
Brian Scott - $5,800

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,200
Joey Logano - $9,400
Chase Elliott - $9,200
Carl Edwards - $8,900
Alex Bowman - $ 7,400
Michael Annett - $4,800

Busch won at Texas earlier this season and maintained his longstanding run of top-10 finishes last week in Martinsville (excluding Talladega). For those reasons, he's a worthy top choice in a safer lineup option. Logano provides admirable support with his four top-10 finishes in the last five races along with two top-fives in the last three Texas events. Bad luck in terms of closing out a victory still plagues Elliott, but he started fourth and finished fifth at this track in his only Sprint Cup start. Fantasy players get the benefit of another Chase contender in Edwards in this option as well. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has three Texas wins on his resume and needs a top finish to reverse his slide in the standings. Bowman is gaining some traction with his substitute role in the No. 88 machine. He's destined to improve his average finish of 37th at Texas this weekend. Additionally, Annett should produce valuable points for his finish differential, which remains positive just about every week.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $10,800
Matt Kenseth - $9,800
Brad Keselowski - $9,600
Tony Stewart - $7,700
Greg Biffle - $7,000
Cole Whitt - $4,900

The higher-risk lineup for Texas allows for some drivers with great records at Texas but less consistency in 2016. It's extremely difficult to win back-to-back races in Sprint Cup, but that's what Johnson will be going for this week. He also won three of the last four Texas races, which isn't too shabby either. Kenseth may not be grabbing the headlines like his teammates, but with three top-fives in the last five races and two Texas wins he could be a threat this week. The Ford contingent in this option is led by Keselowski. Ford hasn't had as much Texas success recently versus Chevrolet and Toyota, but Keselowski finished second last week and has three top-fives in the last four Texas races. Martinsville showed that Tony Stewart is still aiming for wins as his full-time career comes to an end, and Texas is a place where he has seen plenty of success. He is a two-time winner at the track. Biffle has consistently been producing top-15 finishes recently and finished second in the Sprint Showdown in May on Charlotte's similar circuit. Finally, Whitt has five career starts at Texas with all but one producing a positive finish differential.

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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