DraftKings NASCAR: 1000Bulbs.com 500
DraftKings NASCAR: 1000Bulbs.com 500

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

1000Bulbs.com 500

Location: Talladega, Ala.

Course: Talladega Superspeedway

Format: 2.66-mile tri-oval

Laps: 188

Race Preview

Kyle Larson punched his ticket to the round of 12 by winning his first race of the season last week at Dover. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver is now the first of that organization to advance beyond the second round of playoff eliminations. Several playoff contenders suffered severe setback early in that race, too. Joey Logano was off track and in the garage for significant repairs before the green flag, and Chase Elliott promptly followed with less than 10 laps on the board. Ryan Blaney's hopes also hit a major snag when issues for him forced him out of the running with about 100 laps remaining in the race. Still, Larson proved early on that he would be a contender taking third in the first stage and second in the second stage. He then pulled the remaining pieces together to come out on top and now breathes easily as the unknowns of a race at Talladega Superspeedway looms. Joe Gibbs Racing, the early dominator in the playoffs, has now failed to win either of the last two races and Talladega is far from a certainty for them, just as it is with any other contender.  

Key Stats at Talladega Superspeedway

• Number of previous races: 100

• Winners from pole: 13

• Winners from top-5 starters: 55

• Winners from top-10 starters: 71

• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 8

• Fastest race: 188.354 mph

Previous 10 Talladega Winners

2019 spring - Chase Elliott

2018 fall - Aric Almirola

2018 spring - Joey Logano

2017 fall - Brad Keselowski

2017 spring - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2016 fall - Joey Logano

2016 spring - Brad Keselowski

2015 fall - Joey Logano

2015 spring - Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2014 fall - Brad Keselowski

Chase Elliott won the Cup series race at Talladega earlier this season, the first race at the track with this year's full rules package applied to the machines. He led 45 of the 188 laps in that race that featured just three cautions for crashes, two of which came in the final 10 laps. Elliott was fourth in the opening stage and won the second stage that afternoon. While Talladega can be very unpredictable, winners typically start near the front. More than half of the races at the track have been won by a driver starting in the top five while just shy of 75% have been won by someone starting in the top 10. The name of the game at this track is horsepower and aerodynamics. Passing at the front can be a challenge even with the new rules package designed to promote movement throughout the field, and that means that being out front could be the safest place all afternoon. Side-by-side racing in a pack will be the order of the day and working with spotters to find gaps and make passes could make the difference. Flawless execution on pit road is also a necessity to remain in contention. Ford-powered cars led half of the distance in the spring race earlier this season but it was Elliott's Chevrolet that entered Victory Lane. Four of the top-five finishers started 11th or better, including Elliott.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,700

Kevin Harvick - $10,500

Denny Hamlin - $10,300

Chase Elliott - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kyle Larson - $9,800

Brad Keselowski - $9,600

Joey Logano - $9,400

Clint Bowyer - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Kurt Busch - $8,800

William Byron - $8,600

Alex Bowman - $8,400

Erik Jones - $8,100

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Aric Almirola - $7,600

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,500

Austin Dillon - $7,100

Daniel Hemric - $6,400

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Chase Elliott - $10,100

Brad Keselowski - $9,600

Alex Bowman - $8,400

Aric Almirola - $7,600

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,500

Chris Buescher - $6,600

Elliott was brought right back to earth with a 38th-place Dover finish one week after winning in Charlotte. This week could be the tonic he needs, though. He enters Talladega as the most recent winner at the track with an average start there of 5.1 from seven tries. There is no disputing Brad Keselowski's ability to post top results at Talladega, too. He is a five-time winner at the track and has led laps in each of the last seven races there. Alex Bowman has consecutive top-three finishes exiting Dover. Hendrick Motorsports has fielded some of the fastest cars on superspeedways this season. Being the Talladega runner up from the spring race combined with those factors could make an ideal combination for fantasy rosters this week. Aric Almirola has been hanging around the top 15 for finishes in recent weeks but he as been a top-10 driver at Talladega the last six visits. He led 27 laps at the track in the spring. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also makes a compelling option for fantasy owners this week. He has won multiple races on superspeedways including Talladega in 2017. He led 16 laps in the spring before crashing. Chris Buescher takes the final spot in the lineup with a best Talladega finish of 11th in 2018. He crashed out of the spring race earlier this season but finished in the top 20 in three of the last five.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,500

Clint Bowyer - $9,200

Ryan Blaney - $9,000

Kurt Busch - $8,800

Daniel Hemric - $6,400

Ryan Preece - $6,100

Talladega has been hit or miss for Kevin Harvick in recent years, but he did win at the circuit in 2010. He started from pole and finished fourth in the spring race last year and led 58 total laps in the last three races. Teammate Clint Bowyer could also be an intriguing selection this week. He has two Talladega wins and finished second in this race last season. While Ryan Blaney hasn't reached the heights of his teammates yet this season, this week could be one where he excels. He led laps in three of the last four Talladega races and was 15th in the spring. Kurt Busch remains one of the best drivers in the draft and should be a strong consideration for rosters this week, too. While he has never won at Talladega, he did lead 108 laps in this race last season after starting on pole. Daniel Hemric and Ryan Preece both make good deep options for fantasy lineups this week. Both only have one prior Talladega start in the Cup series but both finished in the top five. Making things even more impressive was Preece's drive from the 30th starting position to third in the spring.

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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