There are actually quite a few drivers that are viable options in DraftKings this weekend, and depending on how you look at it, that can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Remember, you can click here to see my Plays and Fades for Chicagoland. With so many good options available, that means that there are going to be quite a few decisions to make when forming your final lineups, so let’s take a look at some of the alternative driver options for Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400, specifically drivers that will probably go under-owned in GPPs.
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DraftKings Pivots for the 2017 Tales of the Turtles 400
Brad Keselowski ($9,400) instead of Matt Kenseth ($9,300) – I have Brad Keselowski projected to score more points than Matt Kenseth on Sunday but there’s still a pretty good chance that Kenseth will be higher owned than Keselowski in GPPs considering the #20 Toyota will roll off the grid from 10th while the #2 Ford will start from 5th. So while this may seem like an obvious pivot for some people, it’s still a topic that needs to be discussed. Matt Kenseth is a very solid Fantasy NASCAR pick here on Sunday, but his potential in DraftKings is limited. The fact of the matter is that Kenseth doesn’t put up many dominator points, and that’s especially true at these 1.5-mile tracks this season; in the six races at this track length in 2017, Kenseth is averaging a finish of 10.2 (4th-best in the series) but just 6 fastest laps per race (and zero laps led). Keselowski, on the other hand, is averaging a finish of 15.3 on the 1.5-mile tracks but is putting up an average of 24 fastest laps and 19 laps led per race. Speed-wise, Keselowski was faster than Kenseth in both practice sessions here on Saturday in both overall speed and ten-lap average.
Ryan Blaney ($8,700) instead of Erik Jones ($8,400) – There’s going to be quite a few people with Erik Jones on their roster this weekend, and for good reason: the #77 Toyota has finished 6th or better in each of the last four races and hasn’t ended up worse than 10th since the Indianapolis race in late July. Additionally, Erik Jones spun during the second round of qualifying and will be credited with a 24th-place starting spot for DraftKings scoring purposes. In reality, though, Jones will probably actually start at the back of the field on Sunday, as it would make the most sense for the #77 team to put new tires on the car to start the race. In addition to overcoming those hurdles, Erik Jones has been good but not great on the 1.5-mile tracks this year; in six races at that track length in 2017, Jones has averaged a finish of 14.3 while posting an average of 2.5 fastest laps per race and 0.3 laps led. Ryan Blaney, on the other hand, has an average finish of 12.5 at the 1.5-mile tracks and is, on average, posting 20.7 fastest laps and 38.5 laps led at this track length in 2017.
Paul Menard ($6,800) instead of Trevor Bayne ($7,100) and/or Ty Dillon ($6,900) – The two playoff Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets–the #31 of Ryan Newman and the #3 of Austin Dillon–look very sporty this weekend, and while their teammate, Paul Menard, was nowhere near as impressive during the practice sessions on Saturday, that doesn’t mean he won’t have speed in the actual race. Admittedly, Paul hasn’t been very good at the 1.5-mile race tracks this season, but this #27 team has been performing a lot better over the last couple of months than they were in the first part of the season; Menard has finished between 16th and 19th in five of the last seven Cup Series events and he’s also had positive place differential in all of those races. This weekend, Menard starts way back in 28th, so if he can crack the top 20, DraftKings owners are looking at a 32+ FPTS day out of him. For what it’s worth, Menard has finished between 15th and 22nd in each of the last six races here at Chicagoland. He’s a bit pricey this weekend but that should keep his ownership percentage down.