Last weekend at Loudon, the chalk lineups took most of the prize money in DraftKings. This weekend at Dover, though, there are–thankfully–a lot of good options in the NASCAR DraftKings contests. We have three playoff drivers starting outside of the top 20, with Kasey Kahne qualifying 21st, Austin Dillon 23rd, and Jamie McMurray 26th, as well as some big-name (and potential top 5-finishing) drivers starting outside of the top 10, including Chase Elliott (12th), Brad Keselowski (16th), and Jimmie Johnson (17th). And with so many options available, you have to take a look at all of the pivot possibilities.
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DraftKings Pivots for the 2017 Apache Warrior 400
Kyle Larson ($10,200) instead of Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,000) – I have Kyle Busch projected as the highest-scoring DraftKings driver at Dover this weekend, but it might have been a little surprising to see who I have projected with the 2nd-most points: Kyle Larson. Busch’s #18 Toyota was by far the best car in practice on Saturday, but when it came down to Truex or Larson as the 2nd-best, I’m going to have to go with the latter. The #42 Chevrolet was 6th-fastest in Practice #2 during the morning and then wound up 4th-fastest in Happy Hour with the 4th-best ten-lap average. And yes, Truex has led a whole bunch of laps here at Dover lately, but don’t forget that it was Larson who led a race-high 241 laps here back in June. Additionally, he led 89 laps in last year’s spring race. He wound up finishing 2nd in both events. Overally, Kyle Larson has just one finish worse than 11th here at Dover through his first seven career starts, and he’ll be looking to improve his 8.3 average finish this weekend in the Apache Warrior 400. This #42 pit crew has been super fast here in the playoffs, too, so if they can get Larson out front, he could possibly be the highest-scoring driver in DraftKings this weekend.
Landon Cassill ($5,600) instead of David Ragan ($5,200) – The #38 Ford piloted by David Ragan looked a lot better than normal on Saturday, as it wound up 17th-fastest in the first practice session and then 21st-fastest in Happy Hour. That’s bound to get the attention of plenty of DraftKings players, and considering how strained we are with cap space this weekend, Ragan’s ownership percentage should be higher than normal. Not to mention, he’s priced down at $5,200. But what if Ragan has problems? If you remember back to previous races this year, it’s not uncommon for these Front Row Motorsports cars to have problems during the race when they look a lot better than normal during practice. That’s just something to keep in mind. As far as going with Landon Cassill over David Ragan, these two are teammates, so they have similar stuff. However, Cassill starts further back (31st compared to 28th) and he’s actually been running pretty well, with four finishes of 25th or better in the last six Cup Series races overall. Ragan, on the other hand, has just three finishes inside that mark in the last ten. For the record, Matt DiBenedetto is still the top play in this price range, but Ragan/Cassill could prove to be better plays if the #32 Ford runs into problems early.
Kasey Kahne ($7,700) instead of Jamie McMurray ($8,100) – We already went over how strong Jamie McMurray’s #1 Chevrolet looks in race trim this weekend, but let’s not forget that 400 laps is a long time around “The Monster Mile,” and nothing is guaranteed in Fantasy NASCAR. Additionally, with the salary cap crunch you’re probably going to be in on Sunday, an extra $400 could make a huge difference, especially if Kasey Kahne is able to score a similar amount of FPTS as McMurray. The #5 Chevrolet qualified 21st for Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400, but honestly it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kahne in the upper teens before it’s all said and done. This #5 team had a bunch of speed at Loudon last weekend, and they’re looking pretty good here at Dover, too, ranking 5th-best in ten-lap average during Practice #2 on Saturday and then 16th-best in Happy Hour (although 4th-best among those who made their runs later in the session). Kahne finished 17th here at Dover back in June, which has been his worst finish here since 2014. In the other four races, Kasey has ended up between 4th and 12th. The other three Hendrick Motorsports cars look really fast this weekend, why wouldn’t Kasey Kahne have that speed, too?