All three of NASCAR’s top series are in Las Vegas this weekend for races, and it was Kyle Busch that took home the win on Friday night in the Stratosphere 200 Truck race. He’s also entered in today’s Xfinity Series race, and obviously he’ll race the Cup Series race tomorrow, so Rowdy Busch will be going for “the sweep” at his home track. First, though, he has to get to victory lane in today’s Boyd Gaming 300.
Looking back at last weekend, DraftKings had the Cup Series drivers priced well above the regular Xfinity Series guys. This week, it’s almost a “price-out.” Yeah, you can fit the top drivers in your lineup, but it’s going to be tough: Kyle Busch is set at an insanely high $15,000 while Kyle Larson comes in at $12,600. Ryan Blaney is the only other driver above $10,000, as he’ll cost you $10,100 to draft him.
Las Vegas NXS DraftKings Strategy
Last week at Atlanta, the Xfinity race was only scheduled for 163 laps. The good news for DraftKings players is that today’s Boyd Gaming 400 is scheduled for a full 200 laps, which obviously equals more dominator points than last week–50 FPTS for laps led and probably around 85 FPTS for fastest laps. Kevin Harvick took the majority of the dominator points in last week’s race, and you can expect the Cup guys to dominate most of this week’s race as well. Thus, the strategy is pretty similar here in Vegas: get your dominator (maybe two) and then fill the rest of your lineup with Xfinity guys that have a shot at earning some good place differential FPTS while also finishing inside the top 10.
Xfinity Series Driver Targets for Las Vegas
Kyle Larson ($12,600) – Thankfully it doesn’t look like Kyle Busch ($15,000) is going to dominate this race, as Kyle Larson looks to have a better car in both short-run and long-run speed. So we get a little bit of salary cap relief there, but $12,600 is still quite a bit to fit into a DraftKings lineup. However, it’d be foolish to stay away from Kyle Larson due to his salary, because there’s a very good chance that he ends up with the most DraftKings FPTS in the Boyd Gaming 300 today. Larson tested here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Cup Series recently, and he definitely found something because he’s been super fast in his Cup Series car as well. Larson was a full tenth of a second faster than anyone in the final Xfinity practice and also had the best ten-lap average. He’s the guy to beat heading into the race for sure.
Tyler Reddick ($8,200) Tyler tweeted out that he has a good feeling about today, and I do to. Last week at Atlanta, it looked like Tyler Reddick was going to challenge for at least a top 10 finish (possibly top 5), and then his tire blew out, NASCAR didn’t throw a caution, and that was that. Still, though, the #9 Chevrolet ran up front, and that’s a good omen for today’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Yes, Reddick qualified closer to the front this weekend (he’ll start 7th) but this car has a bunch of speed in it, and Reddick comes at a pretty affordable price; after posting the 6th-fastest lap in the first Xfinity practice session of the weekend, Reddick was 3rd-fastest in the final session and had the 3rd-best ten-lap average as well.
Ryan Truex ($7,900) – After posting a solid 42 FPTS at Atlanta last weekend, Truex is actually a bit under-valued in DraftKings this weekend, as they decided to take his salary down a little bit to $7,900. When you take that into account and add in the fact that the #11 Chevrolet will roll off the grid from 17th when the Boyd Gaming 300 goes green, Ryan is pretty much a no-brainer pick here. Truex started 15th and finished 9th last weekend, and honestly it wouldn’t be too surprising if he had a similar race here in Sin City today. The #11 Chevrolet was 11th-fastest in the final Xfinity practice on Friday after posting the 12th-best lap in the first session.
Michael Annett ($7,800) – Michael Annett qualified 19th in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet for today’s Boyd Gaming 300, but he should finish much better than that when the checkered flag waves. Looking back at last season, Annett consistently finished better than he qualified in a lot of Xfinity races at 1.5-mile tracks. Additionally, the #5 Chevrolet was 7th-fastest in the final practice for the Xfinity Series on Friday. For what it’s worth, the other JR Motorsports cars look to have plenty of speed, so I’m not too concerned about Michael Annett lacking speed early on Saturday thus far.
Josh Williams ($5,600) – I don’t hate Josh Williams as a punt play this weekend. In the limited amount of Xfinity races that he participated in last season, he finished in the mid-20s more often than not, and this #90 team is coming off of a 24th-place finish with Williams last weekend at Atlanta. With today’s Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the #90 Chevrolet will roll off the grid from 29th, which is a little higher than I like, but Williams did make a 10+ lap run during the final practice on Friday, which is noteworthy from these smaller teams.
What About The Pole Sitter?
Christopher Bell ($8,700) – With the Cup Series, rolling the dice with the pole sitter is usually a big no-no unless said driver has a chance at getting a bunch of dominator points. And with the Xfinity Series races being significantly shorter than Cup races–thus less dominator FPTS up for grabs–you’d think that the pole sitter would be an even bigger no-no. However, that’s not exactly the case. If an Xfinity Series regular is good enough to win the pole over Cup Series regulars, as Christopher Bell did this weekend, then it’s pretty safe to assume that they’re going to run up front all day. Bell did that last week, and if he can do it again here today, he’s worth some exposure in DraftKings. It helps even more that Bell is priced under $8,700. Bell led just 12 laps last week but had 29 fastest laps and ended up with 57 FPTS despite starting 1st and finishing 3rd. If he can lead 25+ laps today, he’s going to be worth the play. The car should have enough speed to do that, but it’s really going to come down to how aggressive Kyle Larson is to start out the Boyd Gaming 300.
Disclaimer: I am by no means an Xfinity Series expert, and I don’t claim to be. And honestly, I wouldn’t be paying much attention to today’s race if DraftKings wasn’t offering contests. Take any thoughts here with a big grain of salt.