DraftKings NASCAR: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

DraftKings NASCAR: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Location: Hampton, Ga.
Course: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Laps: 325

Race Preview

The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season really gets rolling this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway where drivers will swap the drafting-style racing of Daytona for the more common 1.5-mile oval format. Atlanta is one of the faster circuits on the schedule and has created terrific races in recent seasons. The series visits this location just once each season now, but the high banks and quad-oval shape make it similar to tracks in Texas and Charlotte. Jimmie Johnson has been the master of this track and most other 1.5-mile ovals in recent seasons, and teams and drivers will be anxious to see how they fare under the 2017 low-downforce regulations when compared to the seven-time champion and the rest of the top teams. Daytona indicated that competition between the top teams should be close.

Key Stats at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 109
Winners from pole: 14
Winners from top-5 starters: 60
Winners from top-10 starters: 85
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 8
Fastest race: 166.633 mph

Last 10 Atlanta Winners

2016 - Jimmie Johnson
2015 - Jimmie Johnson
2014 - Kasey Kahne
2013 - Kyle Busch
2012 - Denny Hamlin
2011 - Jeff Gordon
2010 Fall - Tony Stewart
2010 Spring - Kurt Busch
2009 Fall - Kasey Kahne
2009 Spring - Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch will arrive in Atlanta extremely confident after finally scoring a Daytona 500 win after being close numerous times, but he faces a number of unknowns as the competitive balance on the type of track that makes up the bulk of the schedule has yet to play out. Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet all won at least once in the Daytona races. Johnson won in Atlanta and Charlotte last season, but Toyota and the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were among the most difficult to beat at these types of tracks. That stable of cars was also in the thick of the action at the front throughout their time at Daytona, which could indicate an advantage again this week. Speed and handling may be the keys to coming out on top this Sunday, but remaining mistake-free on pit road will be equally important. NASCAR's new stage format for the races could encourage more risks with fuel strategy as we saw in Daytona, which may jumble the finishing order.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Jimmie Johnson - $10,600
Kevin Harvick - $10,200
Brad Keselowski - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $9,800
Joey Logano - $9,700
Chase Elliott - $9,300
Kyle Larson - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Denny Hamlin - $8,900
Kurt Busch - $8,800
Matt Kenseth - $8,600
Jamie McMurray - $7,800

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Daniel Suarez - $7,900
Ryan Blaney - $7,200
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,500

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,400
Kevin Harvick - $10,200
Joey Logano - $9,700
Matt Kenseth - $8,600
Trevor Bayne - $6,000
Matt DiBenedetto - $5,100

We learned from last week's race that the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas remain a team to beat in 2016, and that's why Kyle Busch leads this week's lower-risk lineup. He has two Atlanta wins and three top-10 finishes in the last four races at the track. Harvick is another easy choice at this particular circuit. He won his first race here and has accumulated five top-10s in the last six races. Logano's Ford was exceptional at Daytona, and some of his confidence should bleed through to this week. In 10 Atlanta starts he has two top-10 finishes and hasn't finished outside of the top 15 at the track in the last four years. Kenseth is a bargain price this week; the Toyota veteran has never won at this week's track but he does have the second-highest driver rating through 18 races at 98.3. To make that point even clearer I will add that he hasn't finished lower than 12th at the track since 2006. Bayne shouldn't be a name to pop to the forefront this week, but with two top-20s from three starts here he becomes a decent play deep in most rosters. Rounding out this option is DiBenedetto. His only start at the track was last year, and he increased his finish by six positions from the start.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $10,600
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,800
Denny Hamlin - $8,900
Austin Dillon - $8,200
Ryan Blaney - $7,200
Reed Sorenson - $4,500

There isn't much risk in choosing Johnson for fantasy rosters in Atlanta. He has five total wins at the track, including the last two races. He also finishes in the top-five more than half of the time. Martin Truex Jr. is another confident selection in this roster option. Not only did he dominate at Charlotte last season, he also finished seventh in Atlanta and only failed to finish inside the top 10 once in the last five races there. Hamlin adds more Toyota power to this lineup option, with an Atlanta win in 2012 to boot. He struggled a bit here recently but brings an average Atlanta finish of 18th. Dillon and Blaney add a bit of calculated risk. Dillon has yet to score a top-10 at this track and Blaney ran 25th last year. Both were stout contenders last week, however. Both should be more competitive than they were last season. Finally, Sorenson missed the Daytona 500 with a crash in his qualifying race. There's no guarantee he will make this week's race, but with one top-five and three top-10s from 12 career Atlanta starts fantasy players may be willing to take that risk.

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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