DraftKings NASCAR: AAA 400 Drive for Autism

DraftKings NASCAR: AAA 400 Drive for Autism

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Location: Dover, Del.
Course: Dover International Speedway
Format: 1-mile oval
Laps: 400

Race Preview

Toyota machines won both stops at Dover International Speedway last season. That should come as good news for Joe Gibbs Racing as they continue their quest to score their first win of 2017. Matt Kenseth took the victory in this race last season, but it's Kyle Busch who appears to be the most frustrated with his lack of wins. The former champion finished second in Charlotte last week after Austin Dillon stretched his fuel to claim his first series win. Busch finished second to Martin Truex Jr. in the fall race here last season, but Truex took over the current points lead with his third-place finish last week and may have some momentum from that. The pair likely will be the favorite Toyotas heading into this week's race, but Kyle Larson will want to reclaim his spot atop the standings, too. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver suffered a difficult weekend at Charlotte, causing him to slip in the standings. Jimmie Johnson may also stake a claim as a top prospect this week, too. The defending champion has 10 career victories at the circuit, which is the most among active drivers. He lost out on the fuel race last week after leading 35 laps, but each of these drivers will have to fend off the rest of the field to conquer the Monster Mile.

Key Stats at Dover International Speedway

Number of previous races: 94
Winners from pole: 13
Winners from top-5 starters: 54
Winners from top-10 starters: 73
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
Fastest race: 132.719 mph

Last 10 Dover Winners

2016 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 spring - Matt Kenseth
2015 fall - Kevin Harvick
2015 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2014 fall - Jeff Gordon
2014 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2013 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2013 spring - Tony Stewart
2012 fall - Brad Keselowski
2012 spring - Jimmie Johnson

Qualifying will be very important this week at Dover. More than 75 percent of the races in Dover's history have been won by drivers starting inside the top 10. A mistake in qualifying and having to start at the rear of the field could be a death blow. The concrete surface is unforgiving, and four fresh tires can often overcome poor track position. This track is notable for right-front tire failures, and losing a tire in the fast turns often means the end of the afternoon. Passing is difficult, which makes mistakes on pit road very costly. Drivers and teams will need to avoid penalties to not give up hard-fought spots on track. Kevin Harvick lost this race last season due to falling back into traffic and being unable to come back. Dover can be like Daytona and Talladega, too. The tendency for drivers to be caught out by others is high. Avoiding the mistakes of others as well as their own will be key in determining who comes out on top this Sunday.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Jimmie Johnson - $10,600
Kyle Busch - $10,400
Kyle Larson - $10,300

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $9,900
Chase Elliott - $9,600
Matt Kenseth - $9,500
Denny Hamlin - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Clint Bowyer - $8,800
Ryan Blaney - $8,700
Erik Jones - $8,400
Jamie McMurray - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Kasey Kahne - $7,700
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,200
Regan Smith - $6,100
Danica Patrick - $5,900


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $10,600
Kyle Larson - $10,300
Matt Kenseth - $9,500
Kurt Busch - $8,300
Danica Patrick - $5,900
David Ragan - $5,100

Having nearly won at Charlotte last week, Johnson should be primed for one of his best circuits this Sunday. He has 10 career victories at the concrete oval and led 90 laps there in the fall. Larson has been exceptionally fast early in practice and qualifying, and he should be a top choice this week as he looks likely to lead plenty of laps and possibly grab the win. Either of these first two choices could be substituted for Kyle Busch, who has also showed strength early in the weekend and is knocking on the door of his first 2017 win. While adding Kenseth as the third choice is a bit of a risk with Toyota's underperformance so far this season, Dover is a track where he can exceed expectations. He has three wins at the track, including this race last year. Kurt Busch has quietly rattled off three top-10s in the last four races, and it looks like the team has found their groove. It's time fantasy players rely on him a bit more, and Dover is a good spot to do that considering he finished fifth here last season. The current season hasn't been good for Danica Patrick. However, that doesn't mean she hasn't been competitive at all during the races. She does not have the finishes that support choosing her regularly, but Dover could be a good spot to play her with this week's price tag. Her price is extremely low, and just finishing Sunday's race should provide good return on that investment. Rounding out the safer-lineup is David Ragan, who has never scored a top-10 at Dover, but has been a regular face in the top-20 each week this season.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,100
Brad Keselowski - $10,000
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,900
Denny Hamlin - $9,000
Regan Smith - $6,100
Matt DiBenedetto - $4,900

Harvick led 45 laps last week in Charlotte, and it is hard to believe both he and Kyle Busch have yet to score wins yet this season. That could easily change at Dover, though. Harvick is a former winner at the track and has led more than 20 laps in five of his last six visits to the circuit. Penske Racing's Keselowski didn't even have a chance to show what he was capable of last week in Charlotte due to an early DNF. If he avoids that bad luck at Dover he should be a strong play. He has four top-10 finishes in his last six races here, including two runner-ups. The only Toyota machine to win this season is Martin Truex Jr., and he also has two Dover victories. This has always been a good track for Truex, and considering he led 187 laps here in the fall it would be hard to find a reason not to choose him this time around. Hamlin picked up two top-fives in the last four races, and back-to-back top-10s at Dover get him a nod for Sunday as well. Smith will deputize for the injured Almirola again this week. He finished 22nd in Charlotte last week, and should be expected to grab a top-20 this week with a bit more experience with the team. Finally, DiBenedetto is one of the best values this week on a points-per-dollar basis. That statistic is driven by his positive finish differential at the track, where he has improved his finishing spot in three out of four starts. He also narrowly missed the elimination cutoff in qualifying and could battle in the top 20 on Sunday.

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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