RotoWire Partners

DraftKings NASCAR: Hollywood Casino 400

C.J. Radune

Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Hollywood Casino 400

Location: Kansas City, Kan.
Course: Kansas Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile D-shaped oval
Laps: 267

Race Preview

Last week's race at Talladega Superspeedway altered the playoff picture. Not only is Brad Keselowski through to the round of eight with his Ford-powered victory, but favorite Kyle Busch is in dangerous territory and can't afford more trouble in Kansas. Joining Busch behind the cut line are teammate Matt Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Jamie McMurray. Talladega took its toll on the field, and only a handful of playoff competitors made it through unscathed. Martin Truex Jr. preceded Keselowski in entering the next round of eliminations with his Charlotte victory, but he is also the last driver this win at this week's circuit. Keselowski finished second to Truex in that race earlier this season. Caution periods and restarts played a big part in the outcome of that race, which can sometimes be expected at this track. The D-shaped oval allows for multiple lines of racing through the turns, and drivers will have to work overtime to make sure they are finding the fastest way through the corner given their specific handling situation, which will change throughout a fuel run. Mistakes on pit road will come with a heavy cost this week with the shorter lap time, and teams will likely take gambles on pit road to gain track position in an effort to gain as many points as possible.

Key Stats at Kansas Speedway

? Number of previous races: 23
? Winners from pole: 4
? Winners from top-5 starters: 10
? Winners from top-10 starters: 13
? Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
? Fastest race: 144.122 mph

Last 10 Kansas Winners

2017 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 fall - Kevin Harvick
2016 spring - Kyle Busch
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - Jeff Gordon
2013 fall - Kevin Harvick
2013 spring - Matt Kenseth
2012 fall - Matt Kenseth

While Truex and Keselowski have less stress this week knowing they are safely in the next round of playoffs, the other 10 championship contenders will be fighting tooth and nail for every position possible. Kansas is a circuit that promotes side-by-side racing, and teams will need to hit the perfect setup quickly in order to maintain contact with the leaders. Teammate Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are two teammates that fall into the category of needing to unload and be quick right from the start of the weekend. Both and within just a handful of points of making it into the next round, but standing in their way is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson suffered his own share of problems last week, but has three Kansas wins and has been gaining momentum recently. This particular circuit can be rough on tires, but not so rough that teams won't try to be creative with pit strategy to gain track position. Those moves can pay dividends at the end of stages as drivers work to add points to their totals. Mid-race pit gambles could make the difference as to who progresses in the championship fight and who gets eliminated this week.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,800
Kyle Busch - $10,300
Brad Keselowski - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Kyle Larson - $9,800
Kevin Harvick - $9,600
Chase Elliott - $9,100
Matt Kenseth - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Ryan Blaney - $8,500
Jamie McMurray - $8,400
Kurt Busch - $8,100
Erik Jones - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Daniel Suarez - $7,400
Trevor Bayne - $7,200
Ty Dillon - $6,800
Chris Buescher - $6,700
Matt DiBenedetto - $5,600


Lower-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $9,900
Kevin Harvick - $9,600
Matt Kenseth - $9,000
Ryan Blaney - $8,500
Daniel Suarez - $7,400
Corey LaJoie - $5,500

The lower-risk lineup for Kansas does not feature either of the two championship favorites, but instead favors more roster depth. Jimmie Johnson is the top choice in this lineup by virtue of his three circuit wins and return to form with three top-10s in the last five races. Kevin Harvick has been a familiar face at the front of the pack nearly every week, and with four top-three Kansas finishes in the last four races (including a win) he is difficult to ignore for fantasy players this week especially considering his speed early this weekend. The playoffs have taken a turn for the worse for Matt Kenseth, but he is almost always fast at Kansas and has two track victories. Ryan Blaney was a standout in the spring Kansas race. The young driver heading to Penske Racing in 2018 led 83 laps from pole before finishing fourth. Given his pace thus far he is a bargain this far down the roster. Another notable performance from the spring race came from Daniel Suarez. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver finished seventh from the 15th starting position. He has also not finished outside of the top 15 since Darlington. Rounding out the pack is Corey LaJoie. This smaller-tam driver only has one Kansas start, but added 11 points to fantasy owners that selected him through his finish differential. LaJoie isn't one we would normally select, but compared with other drivers in this price range he tends to be more consistent in improving from his starting position despite not scoring as many top-25 results. Matt DiBenedetto may be another option for owners who are looking for alternatives.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - 10,800
Kyle Busch - $10,300
Kurt Busch - $8,100
Trevor Bayne - $7,200
Ty Dillon - $6,800
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,400

It won't be terribly difficult for fantasy owners to develop a lineup that includes both championship favorites this week in Kansas. A number of lower-priced drivers have excellent records at the circuit, and have been overlooked in terms of their prices. Obviously, Martin Truex Jr. won the previous race there this season, and Kyle Busch has had nothing but top-five finishes here since this race's 2014 edition. Both have demonstrated top speeds this weekend as well. Kyle's brother Kurt Busch has shown significant speed since being eliminated from the championship. He has started inside the top 10 in three of the last four races, and tends to be a regular face in the top-15 at Kansas. He led three laps in the spring race here. Trevor Bayne added his second top-five finish to this season's tally last week in Talladega, and he finished 10th at Kansas earlier this season with one lap led. While Ty Dillon has been more of a top-25 driver recently, he finished 14th at Kansas earlier this season. He had a fantastic run to 11th last week at Talladega, and could build on that finish with another top-15 this week. A.J. Allmendinger finished 30th at Kansas earlier this season because of a crash, but he does have four top-10s from 15 starts here, including back-to-back eighth-place finishes in the two prior Kansas races.

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.