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Cap Considerations

DFS: Richmond (Fall)

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Draft Kings

Kyle Busch is an expensive driver in the Draft Kings game this week with a price tag of $10,600, but he has been almost perfect at Richmond International Raceway in the past three seasons. He missed the spring 2015 race, but has scored top-five points in three of the four events in which he was entered. He shares a similar record with Kevin Harvick—who is priced only $100 more and who has been more impressive overall this season—so the decision for which ‘stud’ to pick will come down to these two.

Jeff Gordon has not looked comfortable in the car this year. He has earned top-15s, but most weeks he has advanced only at the end of the race. He has not yet earned a top-10, which is something one wants from a driver above the midline, but that could change this week. His cap for the Federated Auto Parts 400 is $8,800 and that will not break the bank.

Chase Elliott is in a relative safe position. With Ryan Newman’s penalty, he only needs to finish one or two positions off the bottom to advance to the Chase as long as there is not another unique winner. If the lead pack is filled with a selection of the 13 drivers who have already won this season, look for the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team to take some calculated risks that could pay off in maximum points.

Kyle Larson has come on strong in recent weeks. He needed the Michigan International Speedway victory to establish himself in the Chase, but he has run well in the last six races overall. Accidents kept him from getting strong finishes twice, but that is not always predictable and should not automatically impact his handicap. Larson has not been at his best in Richmond, but this track has been kind to former open wheel drivers and it would be surprising to see him outside the top 10.

This could be a Hendrick Motorsports type of race. Kasey Kahne was the top finishing driver last week in Darlington Raceway and he has put a lot of pressure on himself to perform. It is highly unlikely that he will challenge for a win, but a top-15 is well within reach.

Joey Logano has been strong nearly everywhere, but Richmond has not been his best track in terms of fantasy points. He scored the most back in spring 2014 and had one other top-five day the following year, but his last two fall races were outside that mark, which makes him questionable at his salary cap. This spring, he earned only 30.5 points that placed him 15th on the Draft Kings grid.

Lineup set while writing this article: Kyle Larson ($9,000), Jeff Gordon ($8,800), Kurt Busch ($8,600), Chase Elliott ($8,400), Kasey Kahne ($7,600), and Ryan Blaney ($7,200).

RaceDayScore

Salary caps at RaceDayScore are always interesting. Half of the drivers this week sit at or above the midline and that does not leave very much room for dark horse values below that mark. It also means there are some questionable drivers above that level. This week, shakes of the head belong to AJ Allmendinger ($10,300) and Tony Stewart ($10,500) who has scored fantasy points in the 30s in the past three weeks.

At $12,100 a player would have to offset Kevin Harvick with a Matt DiBenedetto, Michael McDowell, or Cole Whitt. That is a difficult decision. Kyle Busch is $700 cheaper in this game at $11,400 and that creates a few more opportunities below the midline. Busch gets the nod between these two.

Chris Buescher has become prohibitively expensive in the Draft Kings game, but he has not yet caught up to his potential in RaceDayScore. With a modest cap of $8,100 he allows for that movement at the top needed to take Busch or Brad Keselowski. And if a player is willing to take a risk on two drivers in the $8,000 range, former dominator Denny Hamlin can be added for a price tag of $10,900.

As in the other Daily Fantasy game, Larson has been impressive in this contest. Four of his last six outings ended in top-five points with the two races in which he stumbled being explained by accidents at Bristol Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International.

If Hamlin is not to one’s liking, Jamie McMurray is comparable in recent weeks this season with a price of $10,800. Five of his last eight races in this contest have ended in top-10 points’ days for RaceDayScore with a third-best being earned in the last short track race at Bristol.

Lineup set while writing this article: Kyle Busch ($11,400), Denny Hamlin ($10,900), Chase Elliott ($10,700), Kyle Larson ($10,700), Chris Buescher ($8,100), and Matt DiBenedetto ($7,900). 

 

Driver

Avg. Fin Last 6 Races

Avg. Points Draft Kings

Avg. Points RaceDayScore

Denny Hamlin

4.67

46.83

40.37

Kevin Harvick

8.33

69.17

43.53

Brad Keselowski

11.17

42.67

33.53

Kyle Larson

11.33

47.13

35.72

Joey Logano

11.83

36.67

32.07

Jamie McMurray

13.00

33.08

31.75

Austin Dillon

14.17

31.08

29.82

Kyle Busch

14.17

53.04

34.02

Matt Kenseth

14.17

29.50

27.97

Kasey Kahne

14.50

35.67

32.25

Chase Elliott

14.67

33.29

27.83

Carl Edwards

15.00

23.71

23.95

Jeff Gordon

15.80

32.30

29.50

Martin Truex Jr.

16.17

31.50

25.45

Chris Buescher

17.00

33.67

30.28

AJ Allmendinger

17.17

27.21

26.68

Jimmie Johnson

17.50

26.54

24.53

Tony Stewart

17.83

20.92

23.17

Ryan Newman

18.67

28.75

21.17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

19.17

29.67

26.58

Ryan Blaney

19.67

21.00

21.58

Kurt Busch

20.17

17.79

20.47

Casey Mears

21.50

27.83

24.33

Paul Menard

22.17

20.67

21.00

Danica Patrick

22.33

26.63

23.85

Trevor Bayne

22.33

24.33

22.83

Regan Smith

22.67

31.29

26.10

Michael McDowell

23.33

23.83

22.17

Clint Bowyer

26.33

21.58

18.83

Brian Scott

26.83

21.96

19.50

Aric Almirola

27.00

16.75

16.75

Landon Cassill

27.00

23.17

20.08

Greg Biffle

27.67

14.96

15.00

David Ragan

28.83

18.83

16.42

Matt DiBenedetto

29.50

16.83

15.25

Alex Bowman

30.00

-7.50

2.00

Michael Annett

31.00

19.60

16.30

Cole Whitt

32.17

13.17

12.50

Josh Wise

32.60

17.90

14.60

Reed Sorenson

33.40

15.80

13.20

Jeffrey Earnhardt

34.67

13.33

11.33

Alex Kennedy

36.00

8.00

8.00

Jeb Burton

36.00

9.00

8.50

 

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Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.