DraftKings NASCAR DFS Advice: Atlanta
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We’ve got another week of NASCAR DFS ahead of us, as the Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for a one-race show this weekend. It had been a crazy few weeks as the series played catch-up with five races in two weeks! Hopefully, you all enjoyed some success and took home some winnings along the way.
For this week’s race, the field was once again set by a random draw in groups of 12 based on the current point standings. So as we’ve seen, the top teams will be starting up front, with the more underfunded cars toward the back. This will limit the outlier starting positions and opportunity for place differential points, but there are still plenty of good values this week!
Drivers to Target
Brad Keselowski (#2, Team Penske)
DK Price: $8,900
Starting Position: 6th
Coming off his second victory since racing returned, Brad Keselowski will look to keep his hot streak going this Sunday in Atlanta. And if history tells us anything, he might be as good of a bet as any to bring home the victory! Not only is Keselowski the defending winner of this race, but he also has two victories in the last three races here. Keselowski will start toward the front on Sunday, but with a reasonable salary of just $8,900 — 10th among drivers in the contest — he’s my favorite play of the week.
Martin Truex, Jr. (#19, Joe Gibbs Racing)
DK Price: $9,600
Starting Position: 11th
With a price tag a bit higher than Keselowski’s, I’m not putting Truex at the top of my list this week, but I do like his value in comparison to the other top drivers. Truex is third among active drivers in average finish at Atlanta, just behind Kevin Harvick, who is $2,000 more expensive this weekend. With seven finishes inside the top-8 over his past eight races at this track, including a runner-up finish last season, I think Truex is a solid play this Sunday.
Erik Jones (#20, Joe Gibbs Racing)
DK Price: $6,600
Starting Position: 14th
Another Joe Gibbs driver that looks like a nice value this week is the youngest driver in their lineup, Erik Jones. Jones has only raced at Atlanta in the Cup Series three times in his career, but he is yet to finish outside the top-15, and he posted a seventh-place finish here last spring. Demanding just the 23rd-highest salary in this week’s contest, Jones jumps out to me as one of the better value picks of the week.
Michael McDowell (#34, Front Row Motorsports)
DK Price: $5,200
Starting Position: 36th
I was a little surprised to see Michael McDowell priced this low, not based on his recent success at the track, but his 36th-place starting position gives him nowhere to go but up. McDowell is almost a lock, in my opinion, to produce some decent points for place differential, and he’s outside the top-30 salaries in the contest. The equipment he’s in, compared to the other drivers in his price range, makes him a great option if you’re looking to spend big on some of the higher-end drivers.
Drivers to Avoid
Denny Hamlin (#11, Joe Gibbs Racing)
DK Price: $10,800
Starting Position: 10th
It’s always hard to fade Hamlin, but this week might be the week to do it. With the third-highest salary of the week, Hamlin’s recent success at Atlanta doesn’t suggest he’ll be worth that price. Ranking 15th among active drivers in average finish over the past four races here, Hamlin has just one top-10 finish during that span. Hamlin is one of the better drivers in the series and is paired with one of the top teams, but I think there is better value elsewhere.
Jimmie Johnson (#48, Hendrick Motorsports)
DK Price: $10,200
Starting Position: 15th
This one is difficult. Atlanta Motor Speedway was a track that Johnson owned in his prime, capturing a total of five wins throughout his career, including one as recently as 2016. Fading Johnson this week might be tough based on how well the Hendrick cars have been running of late, but Johnson has the fifth highest salary of the week and hasn’t finished inside the top-15 here since that victory back in 2016. The starting position could be intriguing, but he’s still just a bit too pricey for me.
Bubba Wallace (#43, Richard Petty Motorsports)
DK Price: $7,700
Starting Position: 20th
Bubba Wallace’s 10th-place finish at Bristol last week was great and provided DFS players with a solid points day. However, that success won’t necessarily translate to success at Atlanta. Wallace and his Richard Petty Motorsports team have struggled at this type of track, with just one top-20 finish over the past 10 races at 1.5-mile racetracks. With his salary for this week ranking him 16th among drivers — just $200 less than William Byron — he’s not someone I’ll be putting in my DraftKings lineup.
Ryan Newman (#6, Roush Fenway Racing)
DK Price: $7,100
Starting Position: 17th
Ryan Newman’s salary isn’t bad for this one, and since returning from injuries suffered earlier this year, Newman has finished between 14th and 17th in all but one race. However, Atlanta has not been kind to Newman as of late, and he ranks 23rd among active drivers in average finish, with only one finish inside the top-20. I’m not avoiding Newman at all costs since his price is reasonable — he’s the 20th most expensive option — but I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.
Be sure to check back in early next week for another edition of NASCAR DFS advice as the Cup Series will have another mid-week race at Martinsville on Wednesday, June 10th.