Loading scores...
Joey Logano
Getty Images
Cap Considerations

Draft Kings: 1000Bulbs.com 500

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 11, 2019, 5:23 pm ET

Once qualification is in the books, feel free to take any of the top-20 in points who happen to start outside the top 20 for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Place-differential points end up being such an incredibly big part of the total that factor cannot be overlooked. In this spring’s race, more than half a dozen drivers scored more than 10 points for advancing through the field.

Of course, it can be difficult to predict who is going to stay out of trouble. The drivers who qualify in the back of the pack are just as likely to get swept into a 'Big One' crash as those at the front or middle. Look for the confluence of solid record and modest qualification to maximize the place-differential points.

It will be virtually impossible to win this week without setting multiple lineups in a contest – so long as Draft Kings allows this practice. The drivers listed below are our best guesses this week for who is going to perform best and each of them should be on at least one or a few lineups.


Group A: Most Expensive (>=$10,000)

Denny Hamlin ($10,300)
Hamlin finished 36th this spring in the Geico 500. He was 14th in that event last year and 11th in 2017. For some reason he has been much better in the fall, however. Last year Hamlin finished fourth in the 1000Bulbs.com 500, which was his third consecutive top-six finish in this race. It is difficult to know why he would be better in one event compare to the other, but stats are tricky on the Big Tracks and it may not matter why – only what he has accomplished.

Group B: (Between $9,800 and $8,600)

Joey Logano ($9,400)
Streaks are hard to come by on plate tracks and they are worth noting. At Talladega, Logano has a current four-race streak of top-fives that includes a victory in spring. Logano also has wins in fall 2015 and 2016. Logano needs a good run and fantasy owners can hope that encourages him to stay out of trouble this week. If he gets to the checkers undamaged, he should be able to extend his streak.  

Kurt Busch ($8,800)
Busch is not only one of the cheaper drivers at this level, he has one of the best records on the aero-restricted superspeedways. Dating back to the fall 2014 Geico 500, he has been outside the top 10 on three times in 10 races; two of these were top-15s. Busch has earned the sixth-most Draft Kings points (39.25) over the past five races and always seems to hold a steady wheel on this track.

Group C: (Between $8,400 and $7,500)

Aric Almirola ($7,600)
If Logano’s four consecutive top-fives is impressive, how much more so is Almirola with his six-race streak of top-10s? The best drivers in the field have difficulty staying out of trouble and to do that for more than two complete seasons deserves notice. Almirola needed to win this race last year and did just that. He swept the top five in 2017, so he is going to be a popular pick this weekend.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,500)
Stenhouse has scored seven top-10s at Talladega in 12 starts for an average of .583; five of these (.417) were top-fives. These are not stats buried in the past. Stenhouse has four top-fives in his last six Talladega attempts with a victory in spring 2017. This is one of his last, best opportunities to showcase his talent. The downside of that is he can occasionally drive over his head in these circumstances. Two of his last four races on this track ended 25th or worse.

Group D: (Between $7,100 and $5,800)

Ty Dillon ($6,800)
Consistency counts on every track type. That is even truer on the aero-restricted superspeedways. Dillon has finished between 11th and 17th in his four attempts as a full time driver at Talladega. In 2016, he finished sixth in a car that was started by Tony Stewart, but in which he raced the entire event. Dillon lacks the same consistency on the sister track of Daytona, but he has been even stronger in recent events with a three-race streak of top-10s on that course.

Ryan Newman ($7,300)
Talladega and Daytona are different tracks in terms of grip level and width, but many of the same skills are required on both. Newman has earned seven top-10s and a 14th in his last nine attempts on the two tracks. For all of his brash attitude and the difficulty in passing him, Newman does not make many mistakes in the draft. This means two things: 1) He is rarely the driver who triggers a 'Big One' crash and 2) He has a tendency to identify trouble before it happens.

Group E: (Less than or equal to $5,900)

Brendan Gaughan ($5,700)
Gaughan has been a superspeedway specialist since 2017. In that span of 11 starts, he has earned a pair of top-10s – including an eighth this spring. He finished seventh at Daytona in July, 2017 and has a handful of top-15s to his credit. The biggest thing he has to his credit is that Gaughan has finished worse than he started only one time in his last 11 plate attempts. At Talladega specifically, he has earned an average of 13 place diff points per race since 2017.

The top-10 points’ earners from this spring were: Ryan Preece (70.5), Chase Elliott (69.75), Brendan Gaughan (61.75), Ryan Newman ( 60.5), Corey LaJoie (60), Joey Logano (55.25), Alex Bowman (51.75), Kyle Busch (51.5), Kurt Busch (50.5), and Reed Sorenson (46.5).

Greatest Place-differential Points: Ryan Preece (27), Corey LaJoie (25), Brendan Gaughan (21), Reed Sorenson (19), and Ryan Newman (17)

NASCAR Fantasy Live Preview

 

Last 45 Days

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Martin Truex Jr.

8.50

375.75

62.63

$10,700

          5.85

A

Kevin Harvick

5.67

361.25

60.21

$10,500

          5.73

A

Denny Hamlin

12.67

293.25

48.88

$10,300

          4.75

A

Kyle Busch

16.83

310.00

51.67

$10,900

          4.74

A

Chase Elliott

14.33

231.00

38.50

$10,100

          3.81

A

 

Kyle Larson

11.67

317.50

52.92

$9,800

          5.40

B

Joey Logano

14.83

245.00

40.83

$9,400

          4.34

B

Brad Keselowski

11.33

245.75

40.96

$9,600

          4.27

B

William Byron

15.17

217.75

36.29

$8,600

          4.22

B

Clint Bowyer

14.33

200.00

33.33

$9,200

          3.62

B

Ryan Blaney

15.67

194.50

32.42

$9,000

          3.60

B

Kurt Busch

22.17

147.75

24.63

$8,800

          2.80

B

 

Matt DiBenedetto

11.17

246.25

41.04

$7,900

          5.20

C

Alex Bowman

14.50

227.50

37.92

$8,400

          4.51

C

Aric Almirola

20.17

160.25

26.71

$7,600

          3.51

C

Daniel Suarez

19.83

149.50

24.92

$7,700

          3.24

C

Jimmie Johnson

18.50

158.50

26.42

$8,200

          3.22

C

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24.00

113.50

18.92

$7,500

          2.52

C

Erik Jones

29.83

62.25

10.38

$8,100

          1.28

C

 

Bubba Wallace

13.50

231.00

38.50

$6,200

          6.21

D

Ty Dillon

13.00

211.75

35.29

$6,800

          5.19

D

Ryan Newman

16.33

203.50

33.92

$7,300

          4.65

D

Paul Menard

16.33

194.75

32.46

$7,000

          4.64

D

Austin Dillon

15.67

196.00

32.67

$7,100

          4.60

D

Ryan Preece

25.33

123.00

20.50

$6,100

          3.36

D

Chris Buescher

23.67

124.75

20.79

$6,600

          3.15

D

Daniel Hemric

30.33

38.50

6.42

$6,400

          1.00

D

 

Ross Chastain

24.50

130.75

21.79

$5,600

          3.89

E

Matt Tifft

23.33

122.50

20.42

$5,300

          3.85

E

Parker Kligerman

22.50

36.00

18.00

$4,800

          3.75

E

David Ragan

26.50

106.50

17.75

$5,400

          3.29

E

Michael McDowell

24.17

115.50

19.25

$5,900

          3.26

E

Corey LaJoie

26.33

104.50

17.42

$5,500

          3.17

E

Landon Cassill

25.17

97.50

16.25

$5,200

          3.13

E

Austin Theriault

31.00

12.00

12.00

$4,600

          2.61

E

Reed Sorenson

30.17

75.00

12.50

$4,900

          2.55

E

Spencer Boyd

33.00

11.00

11.00

$4,500

          2.44

E

Joey Gase

32.00

22.50

11.25

$5,100

          2.21

E

Brendan Gaughan

 

 

 

$5,700

             -  

E

Blake Jones

 

 

 

$4,700

             -  

E

 

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.