MMA – Takedown – UFC 244

MMA TAKEDOWN
UFC 244
OCTOBER 31, 2019
BY MARK STINE @DFSBEERPACK

BEST CARD ALL YEAR!

Hello MMA fans! This weekend we have a 12-Fight card PPV in New York. The main GPP is a $15 buy-in and 30K goes to 1st place with a total of 150K being paid out! Let’s dig in.

Julio Arce 7,600 vs Hakeem Dawodu 8,600
Cash- Avoid
Preferred play is Dawodu. Dawodu came in to the octagon with some hype with a strong World Series of fighting run, only to suffer submission loss to Danny Henry in his debut. He has since gone on to win three straight, including a bonus-winning beat down of Yoshinori Horie in July. Seven of his professional wins have come by TKO/KO. Arce had bonus- winning performance on “Contender Series “. He followed that by wins over Dan Ige and Daniel Teymur in his first two octagon appearances, then lost split decision to Sheymon Moraes..
Pick- Hakeem Dawodu via Unanimous Decision

Layman Good $8,400 vs Chance Rencountre $7,800
Cash- Avoid

Preferred play is Rencountre. Rencountre debuted on short notice last year against Belal Muhammad losing is a Unanimous Decision. He got back in the win column with a submission win over Kyle Stewart in January and a Unanimous Decision win over top prospect Ismail Naurdiev in July. Good was Bellator MMA’s first-ever Welterweight champion. In his octagon debut he KO/TKO Andrew Graig in 2015. He was suspended for two years for Anti-Doping, since his return he is 1-2, being submitted by Maia in February.
Pick- Chance Rencountre via Unanimous Decision

Katlyn Chookagian $8,900 vs Jennifer Maia 7,300
Cash- Maia is playable.

Preferred play is Maia. Maia loss to Liz Carmouche in her octagon debut in 2018. She has gotten back on track with her decision wins over Alexia Davis and Roxanne Modafferi. Chookagian is high volume and fast paced. She won a decision over Joanne Calderwood in May. I think Maia will keep up with Chookagian pace and edge out the win.
Pick- Jennifer Maia via Split Decision

Andrei Arlovski $7,500 vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik $8,700
Cash- Rozenstruik is playable.

Preferred play is Rozenstruik. He made his UFC debut against Junior Albini as the underdog. He started slow had a rough first round, but came back and knocked out Albini with head kick and punches. Then took out Allen Crowder in just nine seconds. Arlovski continues to stay around he is 3-8 since 2017. He did upset Ben Rothwell this past July. I think Rozenstruik will be way to much for Arlovski to handle and this fight ends early.
Pick- Jairzinho Rozenstruik via 1st round KO

Brad Tavares $7,900 vs Edmen Shahbazyan $8,300
Cash- Shahbazyan is playable.

Preferred play is Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan was a knockout machine in “Contender Series“ with nothing but first- round knockouts on his resume. His debut against Darren Stewart went the distance winning a decision. He went on to a knockout of Charles Byrd and a submission of Jack Hermansson. Taveras is replacing Krzysztof Jotko on one month notice. After getting knocked out by Robert Whittaker, Taveras went on a four fight win streak. His streak ended at the hands of Israel Adesanya losing by decision.
Pick- Edmen Shahbazyan via 1st round TKO

Shane Burgos $9,300 vs Makwan Amirkhani $6,900
Cash- Avoid

Preferred play is Burgos. Burgos was on a three fight win streak until his knockout loss to Calvin Kattar in January 2018. He came back with a submission win over Kurt Holobaugh, then an decision win over Cub Swanson in May. Amedovski won his first three octagon appearances before a Split Decision loss to Arnold Allen. He taped Chris Fishgold in a bonus- winning match in June.
PICK- Shane Burgos via Unanimous Decision

Cory Anderson 7,200 vs Jimmy Walker $9,000
Cash- Walker is playable.

Preferred play is Walker. Walker is from the “Contender Series: Brazil” He has make his presents felt in the UFC by three knockouts in less than three minutes combined. Walker could struggle on the mat if Anderson can manage any form of takedown, my guess is no.
Anderson is on a three fight win streak very impressive ones actually. This should be a good fight.
Pick- Jimmy Walker via 1st round TKO

Kevin Lee 7,100 vs Gregor Gillespie $9,100
Cash- Gillespie is Playable.

Preferred play is Gillespie. Gillespie is an elite wrestler and he will look to take this fight to the mat, where Lee could be facing a grappling nightmare. Lee is an very well-rounded fighter he has been training at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, which could be enough to defeat Gillespie. He would have to be absolutely flawless to earn the victory tho.
Pick- Gregor Gillespie via 2nd round Submission

Derrick Lewis $8,000 vs Blagoy Ivanov $8,200
Cash- Ivanov is playable.

Preferred play is Ivanov. Ivanov has a big grappling edge, he has been very reluctant to use his grappling thus far. This would be the fight it would be very wise to use his grappling skills. He does not want to stand and trade with the black beast. Lewis is on a two- fight losing streak. He will look to throw with Ivanov, but if this fight hits the mat it could be a lot of trouble for Lewis. Lewis does have the power to end this fight in a hurry for sure.
Pick- Blagoy Ivanov via Unanimous Decision

Stephen Thompson $8,500 vs Vicente Luque $7,700
Cash- Luque is playable.

Preferred play is Luque. Luque is on a six fight win-streak one of the best active streaks in the Welterweight division. He is a high volume striker and is not afraid of pushing the pace and being aggressive. Thompson is on a two fight losing-streak he can be an high volume striker as well. I’m not sure wonder boy will have the what it takes to beat Luque. This should be a interesting fight.
Pick- Vicente Luque via 3rd round TKO

Kelvin Gastelum $9,200 vs Darren Till $7,000
Cash- Gastelum is playable.

Preferred play is Gastelum. Gastelum is a well rounded fighter and is hits very hard for 185lbs. He is very quick as well and Till’s chin is very questionable. Gastelum is a solid grappler and wrestler. Till is making his debut in this division not sure how well his body
adjust to 185lbs. He is a pressure fighter and wants to control the fight in the clinch on the fence. This fight will be interesting seeing how Till adjusts to this division.
Pick- Kelvin Gastelum via 2nd round TKO

Jorge Masvidal $8,800 vs Nate Diaz $7,400
Cash- fight is stackable.

Preferred play is Diaz. Diaz is an elite boxer and has an outstanding ground game. He will get you to play his game which will lead to his opponent losing. Diaz can pick his opponents apart and will usually lead to a submission. Masvidal started as a street fighter, he is a boxer and has a very underrated ground game. I think this fight will be a brawl which will favor Diaz. This should be a fun fight.
Pick- Nate Diaz via 4th round Submission

Thanks for reading! I hope this helps with your lineup building! Good luck! Let’s TAKEDOWN a GPP!
Follow me on Instagram @dfsbeerpack
Follow me on Twitter @stinewolverines

NASCAR – The Setup – AAA Texas 500

The Setup – AAA Texas 500 Race Preview
By Tyler Miller

This week, NASCAR visits Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500. This race presents a unique challenge as drivers have not raced 500 miles around a 1.5 mile track since The Coca-Cola 600 back in May (Not counting Darlington which is a 1.366 mile track). That extra 100 miles may not seem like much, but this is a significant change from all the 400 mile races at 1.5 mile tracks throughout the season. For DFS purposes, a 500 mile race at Texas means that there are more chances for miscues on pit road and mechanical failures which we saw at Texas back in March. Looking back at my advice and DFS lineups from the first Texas race, my lineup was killed by pit road mistakes from Joey Logano and an engine failure on Ryan Blaney’s team. Denny Hamlin won the race at Texas on March 31st, but Clint Bowyer scored the most DFS points finishing the race second. There is a lot to get to, including a recap of the wild race at Martinsville and a pay line break down. Let’s get to it.

Race Distance: 334 laps. Stage 1 ends on lap 85, Stage 2 ends on lap 170.
Lineup Lock 3 pm eastern Sunday
Spring Winner: Denny Hamlin (started 6th)
Spring Pole Sitter: Jimmie Johnson (finished 5th)
Last year’s winners – Kyle Busch (Spring, started 8th) – Kevin Harvick (Fall, started 3rd)
Last year’s pole sitters: Kurt Busch (Spring, finished 7th) – Ryan Blaney (Fall, finished 2nd)
Past Winners: Spring/Fall
2017: Jimmie Johnson (24th)/Kevin Harvick (3rd)
2016: Kyle Busch (15th)/Carl Edwards (9th)
2015: Jimmie Johnson (5th)/Jimmie Johnson (8th)
2014: Joey Logano (10th)/Jimmie Johnson (3rd)

Martinsville Recap:
What went right?

The 2019 Fall Martinsville race will forever be known as the race when Clint Bowyer’s crew screwed up my DFS lineup by not changing a flat tire on pit road. I’ll get over it eventually, but for now I am quite bitter. There were several things that went right though, including the Sunday morning pivot to Ryan Newman who failed inspection, started 35th and finished 10th, 5th in Fan Duel scoring. Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano were ok, finishing 7th and 11th on Fan Duel. I wrote up Martin Truex Jr. but I played Hamlin over Truex and that really hurt. Ty Dillon was ok, starting 27th and finishing 24th 2 laps down. Ross Chastain was written up initially in Victory Lane and he finished 29th, 4 spots ahead of where he started. Once drivers failed inspection I went off of Chastain which was the right move. Harvick was written up in Victory Lane and he finished 6th in Fan Duel scoring and Kurt Busch finished 2nd in Fan Duel scoring.

What went wrong?
Not playing Martin Truex Jr. obviously was a big mistake. When Newman and LaJoie failed inspection I wanted to make a pivot from Kurt Busch to Newman and from Ty Dillon to LaJoie if it meant I could pay up to use Truex over Bowyer. The salaries just didn’t add up, I was $300 over. I ended up playing Hamlin, Logano, Bowyer, Newman, and Ty Dillon for a total score of 371.2.

There really isn’t anything I could do or predict about Clint Bowyer having two flat tires and his crew deciding to only change one of them. Bowyer’s issued snowballed from there and he ended up costing me all of my entry fees except for one $1 EPE double up. In hindsight I should have made a pivot off of Bowyer to Newman instead of moving from Kurt Busch to Newman. A lineup of Hamlin, Logano, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and Ty Dillon would have scored 428.9. If I would have also made the pivot from Ty Dillon to Corey LaJoie my lineup would have been Hamlin, Logano, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and Corey LaJoie which would have scored 442.6. I don’t think there could have been a better possible lineup that didn’t use MTJ.

Side note, if you don’t have a star next to your name on Fan Duel you really need to take advantage of the EPE contests because the pay lines are much lower than the contests open to everybody. My time in EPEs are certainly numbered but some of you may be new to DFS and really need to take advantage of these contests. Below is a full breakdown of the pay lines and winning scores of every contest I entered at Martinsville so everyone can see the difference contest selection makes. This is critical for races like Martinsville when one of your drivers wrecks, you can still cash if you are playing in the right contests.

Pay lines and winning lines
I played in more contests for Martinsville than I have all season. Below are the contest names, entry fee, lowest cashing score, and winning score for contests I entered at Martinsville.

$200 Reserve Weekly FDP Loyalty Free Play: 492.9 (won $.02) 508 (won $20)
NAS $1 Double Up (EPE): 359.1 ($2) 495.4 ($2)
NAS $2 Double Up (EPE): 371.5 ($4) 425.1 ($4)
$200 NAS Double Up ($2): 406.9 ($4) 493.3 ($4)
$100 NAS Double Up ($2): 412 ($1.33) 493.9 ($4)
$250 NAS Double Up ($5): 412 ($10) 493.9 ($10)
$200 Sun NAS BIG $5 Double Up: 405.3 ($10) 493.3 ($10)
50/50 Contest ($2): 420.8 ($3.60) 493.9 ($3.60)
50/50 Contest ($1): 421.9 ($1.80) 470.4 ($1.80)
50/50 Contest ($1): 404.5 ($1.80) 493.9 ($1.80)
$450 Sun NAS Restrictor Plate ($15 Single Entry): 433.9 ($30) 459.4 ($125)
$1200 Sun NAS Left Turn ($3 Single Entry): 429.9 ($6) 496.4 ($120)
$1500 Sun NAS Pit Stop ($1 Single Entry): 421.9 ($1.58) 501.4 ($57.50)

A few thoughts. As per usual, the larger entry fee single entry contests have a lower score to win than the smaller entry fee contests. There is a huge advantage in playing EPE double ups. I was surprised to see that double ups and 50/50s have nearly the same pay line. I have been frustrated recently with how few of the 50/50 contests fill. I have been entering all of the guaranteed contests early in the week and waiting until the weekend to see which 50/50 contests are filling up and entering those. I still get several entry fees return each Sunday when the race starts for contests that don’t reach capacity. I thought this was a good opportunity, as we head towards the final three races of the season, the make sure everyone understands the importance of contest selection on Fan Duel.

What to watch for in practice/qualifying:
Is Ryan Blaney for real? Texas is a good track for Blaney. In the spring race at Texas Blaney led 45 laps before blowing an engine and finishing 37th. I have gotten Blaney wrong all season long, so I have no idea how Texas will play out for the 12 team, but he could go a long way towards proving that he is a legitimate championship contender with a strong showing this weekend.

Who fills out the championship four? Truex has punched his ticket to Homestead. I think it is likely that one of the other championship favorites follows suit by winning at Texas this weekend. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin would seem to be the favorites to make that happen. We will need to follow practice and qualifying closely to decide which high salary drivers to play on Sunday.

What about Jimmie? Jimmie Johnson finished 5th at Texas in March, 1 of only 3 top 5 finishes on the season for the 48 team. Johnson could be a solid value play if he can contend for a top 5 finish at Texas this weekend.

Or the rest of Hendrick? William Byron finished second at Martinsville. Byron ran well in the spring at Texas qualifying 2nd and finishing 6th and leading 15 laps. Chase Elliott had mechanical issues at Martinsville and is in a must win situation to make the championship 4. Alex Bowman has run well at 1.5 mile tracks in the latter half of the season. Will any or all of the Hendrick drivers be viable in DFS this weekend?

No worries about retaliation
I am not worried at all about the feud between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin or Aric Almirola and Kyle Busch. I don’t think anyone wrecks anyone at Texas, though some games could be played by blocking and messing with rival cars on and off of pit road. Any unfinished business between these drivers will be on hold until next week at Phoenix. I would have no issue playing Kyle, Joey, or Denny if they showed solid speed in practice.

Qualifying strategy I expect there to be a split decision in qualifying between trimming out a car for one lap or setting up the car to race well on Sunday. Teams will practice twice on Friday, qualify Saturday, and race on Sunday. Pay attention to which drivers who sacrifice qualifying to race well.

What Vegas thinks (via Westgate):
Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr are favored at 5-1. There are five drivers at 7-1 leaving Ryan Blaney as the longshot of playoff drivers at 12-1. Jimmie Johnson opened at 40-1 and is worth putting a dollar or two down in my humble opinion.
Kyle Busch 5-1
Martin Truex Jr 5-1
Denny Hamlin 7-1
Kevin Harvick 7-1
Chase Elliott 7-1
Joey Logano 7-1
Kyle Larson 7-1
Ryan Blaney 12-1
Brad Keselowski 12-1

Driver Ratings at Texas:
1. Jimmie Johnson 103.0
2. Kyle Busch 102.2
3. Chase Elliott 97.3
4. Kevin Harvick 95.9
5. Martin Truex Jr 94.1
6. Erik Jones 91.8
7. Kurt Busch 90.0
8. Denny Hamlin 89.2
9. Joey Logano 88.5
10. Brad Keselowski 87.8
11. Ryan Blaney 87.0
12. William Byron 85.6
13. Clint Bowyer 84.5
14. Kyle Larson 83.2
15. Jamie McMurray 78.9

Average Running Position at Texas:
1. Chase Elliott 9.549
2. Kyle Busch 11.105
3. Jimmie Johnson 11.510
4. Erik Jones 11.862
5. Martin Truex Jr 12.291
6. Kevin Harvick 12.294
7. William Byron 12.560
8. Kurt Busch 13.436
9. Denny Hamlin 14.297
10. Joey Logano 15.208
11. Clint Bowyer 15.314
12. Kyle Larson 15.487
13. Brad Keselowski 15.812
14. Ryan Blaney 17.206
15. Jamie McMurray 17.242

Laps Led

1. Jimmie Johnson 1112 (11.5% of laps run)
2. Kyle Busch 930 (10.3)
3. Brad Keselowski 639 (8.7)
4. Martin Truex Jr 605 (6.5)
5. Kevin Harvick 493 (5.1)
6. Joey Logano 438 (6.0)
7. Kurt Busch 333 (3.4)
8. Denny Hamlin 277 (3.1)
9. Ryan Blaney 233 (7.9)

2019 Spring top 10:
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Daniel Suarez
4. Erik Jones
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. William Byron
7. Aric Almirola
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Kurt Busch
10. Kyle Busch

2018 Spring top 10:
1. Kyle Busch
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Jamie McMurray
4. Erik Jones
5. Ryan Blaney
6. Joey Logano
7. Kurt Busch
8. Bubba Wallace
9. Clint Bowyer
10. William Byron

2018 Fall top 10
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Joey Logano
4. Erik Jones
5. Kyle Larson
6. Chase Elliott
7. Kurt Busch
8. Aric Almirola
9. Martin Truex Jr.
10. Austin Dillon

Only Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, and Kurt Busch have finished in the top 10 in each of the last three races at Texas.

Stay tuned for updated content following qualifying on Saturday.

NASCAR – Victory Lane – First Data 500

Victory Lane – First Data 500
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr

The starting lineup for the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway is now official. Ryan Newman, Corey LaJoie, Timmy Hill, and BJ McLeod will start at the back of the pack for failing inspection. This makes Ryan Newman DFS relevant for Sunday afternoon.

Denny Hamlin won the pole. Chase Elliott qualified second but will fall to the rear of the field due to an engine change. Elliott will keep his second place starting position, but will be at a large disadvantage at the start of the race. The other six playoff drivers are provisionally starting: Truex 3rd, Blaney 6th, Logano 10th, Busch 13th, Larson 14th, and Harvick 22nd. Lineup lock is at 3pm eastern with the green flag scheduled for 3:14 pm. Let’s get started.

Denny Hamlin ($14,500/11,000)
Denny Hamlin was the fastest qualifier Saturday at Martinsville. Hamlin will have the best pit stall and should lead dozens of laps early in the race. I would expect Hamlin to contend for the win late and payoff his salary by leading laps since there aren’t any differential points available.

Clint Bowyer ($10,500/8,900) Clint Bowyer led all the consecutive lap categories during final practice. Bowyer is not a playoff driver, but could play the role of playoff spoiler by winning the race on Sunday. Bowyer’s speeds were incredibly consistent, running a 20 flat from 5 through 20 lap average speed. No other driver ran 20 flats as an average speed past a 15 lap average. The only other drives close to Bowyer in consecutive average lap speed were Erik Jones and Aric Almirola, but their times fell off after 10 laps where Bowyer’s remained consistent through a 20 lap run. Starting 7th, I think Bowyer is a lock button for DFS on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick ($12,500/10,500) Kevin Harvick wasn’t particularly happy with his car on Saturday but he qualified 22nd and ran consecutive lap times inside the top 12 during final practice. I think Harvick can contend for a top 10, but I think there are similarly priced drivers that can lead laps and contend for the win.

Joey Logano ($12,000/10,100)
Joey Logano is $500 less than Harvick and has a much better chance to lead laps and win the race on Sunday. Logano qualified 10th and ran 4th-6th in consecutive lap times during final practice. As noted in The Setup, Penske racing has dominated at Martinsville recently and I think Joey Logano is the best chance for Penske to continue its winning ways at Martinsville this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr. ($14,000/11,400) It would be unwise to ignore Martin Truex Jr this weekend. Truex qualified 3rd and ran lap times similar to Denny Hamlin during final practice. Hamlin has a better history than Truex at Martinsville and I like him, by a small margin, over Truex this weekend as well.

Ryan Newman ($6,800/7,500)
Ryan Newman failed pre-race inspection and will start the race 35th. Newman was not particularly fast in final practice, running consecutive lap times in the mid 20s. If Newman can rally to finish 20th or better he could be a valuable asset in DFS on Sunday. Using Newman also allows us to move away from the bottom of the barrel drivers like Ross Chastain. I also think Corey LaJoie is now in play as he starts 36th.

Kurt Busch ($9,600/8,500) I really like Kurt Busch this weekend but I’m not sure if his salary will fit in my lineup. Kurt qualified 25th and ran very consistent lap times in consecutive average up to 20 laps. Kurt pops off the page with the 5th fastest 25 lap average out of the 18 cars that ran 25 consecutive laps in final practice. Kurt’s 30 lap average speed was 4th out of 10 cars that ran 30 consecutive laps. I think Kurt can contend for a top 10 finish which would make him a solid play on Sunday if his salary can fit into your lineup build.

Jimmie Johnson ($9,200/8,100) Jimmie Johnson has a strong history at Martinsville with 9 wins and 2,862 laps led. Johnson has not been as good at Martinsville recently with finishes of 15, 12, 15, 12, and 24 in his last 5 races. Johnson is starting 24th and ran consecutive laps good enough for 11th-14th during final practice. I think Johnson can contend for a top 10 finish at Martinsville, but I also think there is a decent chance that he will finish 15th or worse.

Erik Jones ($8,000/8,700) Erik Jones was 2nd and 3rd in 5 and 10 lap average speed during final practice. Starting 8th, Jones is the best contender for a top 10 finish under 10k at Martinsville. Jones did not make long runs during final practice but I think he is fast enough to run in the middle of the top 10 all day. One word of caution: Jones does not have a good history at Martinsville. His 5 career finishes are 12, 26, 17, 26, and 30. Jones has a fast car, but DFS players will need to decide if they trust him to stay out of trouble at Martinsville on Sunday.

Ty Dillon ($5,000/6,200) Ty Dillon is driver that makes everything fit together for me at Martinsville. Dillon qualified 29th, ran consecutive lap speeds of 28th and 29th in final practice, but had the 11th fastest single lap speed. In Dillon’s last two races at Martinsville he has ran every lap and finished 15th and 13th. He has kept his car clean at Martinsville in his 5 career starts, and has an overall average finish of 20th. Dillon needs to run 496 or more laps at Martinsville and finish 22nd or better to be a good DFS play on Sunday. I think that expectation is realistic and I like using Dillon in DFS at Martinsville.

My core cash lineup includes Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, and Joey Logano. Good luck to all our subscribers and be sure to check back Sunday for updates and double check all lineups before lock at 3pm.

Tyler Miller is a lifelong NASCAR enthusiast who spent five years as a producer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (2008-2013). Upon meeting his wife in Washington DC, Tyler became an Army spouse and left his career to move all over the country and help raise their two children. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Communication and Electronic Media Production from Ashland University and is currently pursuing a Masters’ of Science degree in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.

MMA Takedown – UFC Singapore

MMA TAKEDOWN
UFC Singapore
October 25th 2019
By Mark Stine @dfsbeerpack

Optimal
Ciryl Gane
Jeff Hughes
Ashley Yoder
Frank Camacho
Laureano Staropoli

Lineup 1
Sergei Pavlovich
Damian Maia
Ashley Yoder
Enrique Barzola
Jeff Hughes

Lineup 2 (Risky)
Loma LookBoonmee
Laureano Staropoli
Randa Markos
Ben Askren
Muslim Salikhov

Lineup 3
Ciryl Gane
Beneil Dariush
Muslim Salikhov
Alex white
Loma LookBoonmee

Lineup 4
Ben Askren
Jeff Hughes
Maurice Greene
Ashley Yoder
Ciryl Gane

Fill ins
Ben Askren
Rafael Flziev
Jeff Hughes
Rando Markos
Frank Camacho

Thanks for reading! Good luck! Hope we get that cash! Let’s TAKEDOWN a GPP!
Follow me on Instagram @dfsbeerpack
Follow me on Twitter @stinewolverines

NASCAR – The Setup – First Data 500

The Setup – First Data 500 Race Preview
By Tyler Miller
@rickybobby_jr

This week the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs come to Martinsville, Virginia. Martinsville Speedway is hosting the first race in the round of 8, which means this is the first opportunity for a driver to win a race and punch his ticket to the Championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final 8 drivers in the playoffs are Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Ryan Blaney. NASCAR will race at Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix, before cutting the field down to the Championship Four. Penske Racing has dominated the past two races at Martinsville, leading 801 of 1,000 laps. Joey Logano won this race a year ago and Brad Keselowski won at Martinsville in the spring. There is a lot to watch for this weekend, so let’s get started!

Race Distance: 500 laps. Stage 1 ends on lap 130, Stage 2 ends on lap 260.
Lineup Lock 3:00 pm eastern Sunday
Spring winner – Brad Keselowski (started 3rd)
Spring pole sitter – Joey Logano (finished 19th).
Last year’s winners – Clint Bowyer (Spring, started 9th) – Joey Logano (Fall, started 10th)
Last year’s pole sitters: Martin Truex Jr. (Spring, finished 4th) – Kyle Busch (Fall, finished 4th)
Prior race winners: Spring, Fall
2017: Brad Keselowski. (started 4th), Kyle Busch (started 14th)
2016: Kyle Busch (7th), Jimmie Johnson (3rd)
2015: Denny Hamlin (15th), Jeff Gordon(5th)
2014: Kurt Busch (22nd), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (23rd)

Kansas Recap:
What went right?

Kansas did not go 100% right, but it was awful close. Kevin Harvick was my top pick for cash games and he did not disappoint. He was the highest salaried driver on Fan Duel, but he returned that salary by finishing 2nd in scoring with 75.2 points. William Byron a great play, finishing the race 5th on track and 5th in Fan Duel Scoring at 73.8. Kyle Busch was right behind Byron scoring 73.2. Matt DiBenedetto and Chris Buescher were also solid plays improving their positions by 12 and 13 spots to finish with 59.7 and 62.2 points respectively.

My core cash lineup of Harvick, Kyle Busch, Byron, and Buescher worked out well. That core left me with $5,500 for my final driver. My decision for the final driver came down to Bubba Wallace and Ty Dillon. I wanted to use DiBenedetto but I was $500 short on salary and didn’t want to compromise on any of my core drivers. Bubba Wallace qualified 10th which seemed too risky for me in cash games. Ty Dillon qualified 24th and has a solid history at Kansas of finishing better than he qualified and staying out of trouble. I was not completely sold on Ty Dillon and therefore did not write him up in Victory Lane. Ty Dillon finished 1 lap down in 22nd position, scoring 47.6 points on Fan Duel. That lineup, Harvick, Busch, Byron, Buescher, and Dillon scored 332 points and cashed in every 50/50, Double up, and single entry tournament I entered. I had an outstanding week at Kansas and am looking forward to Martinsville this weekend.

What went wrong?

The Penske racing drivers did not work out. Logano finished 17th, Keselowski, 19th, and Blaney, 21st. Keselowski and Blaney qualified well but ran into issues late in the race. Logano had a solid day, but not a good enough day to justify his $13,000 salary. Since Joey Logano qualified 29th he was unlikely to kill a lineup if he was paired with Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick. A lineup of Harvick, Logano, Byron, Buescher, and DiBenedetto ($49,500 in salary) would have scored 329 points and cashed in every contest I entered.

Daniel Hemric was risky and obviously didn’t work out. Daniel Suarez ran well for most of the race but got collected in a late race crash and finished 32nd.

What to watch for in practice/qualifying:

Laps Led over Differential Martinsville is a 500 lap race which means there are 50 points available on Fan Duel for laps led (up from 267 laps or 26.7 points at Kansas). Looking through results at Martinsville most of the drivers who finish in the top 10 qualified in the top 10. There have been a few recent instances of a driver having an issue in qualifying and rallying to a solid finish (Martin Truex Jr. in this race one year ago, Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon in the spring), but for the most part we will need to target drivers who will lead laps and finish well. We will need to focus more on predicting lap leaders than differential positions, particularly for our high end drivers. Brad Keselowski led 446 laps in the spring and Joey Logano led 309 laps last fall. Those are valuable DFS points if we can select the right drivers who will lead laps on Sunday.

Top Tier Playoff Drivers We will need to increase our focus on playoff drivers who run well at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch will be at the top of our list for drivers to consider at the top end. We will need to make a lineup build decision based on using two or three of these top tier drivers. Look for two or three drivers to separate themselves from the pack during practice on Saturday.

Non-Playoff drivers In this race a year ago Brad Keselowski finished 5th as an outsider looking into the round of 8. Hamlin had also missed the round of 8 and finished 2nd at Martinsville last fall. Keselowski will likely be the highest finishing non-playoff driver, but considering others like Jimmie Johnson or Clint Bowyer may pay off.

Identifying Value We will need to identify the right value plays to make our lineups fit together. This is no different from any other week. Martinsville is a short track with 500 laps so there are plenty of opportunities for drivers to run into trouble, go multiple laps down, and ruin our DFS lineups. We will need to find the safest value available to make our lineups fit together on Sunday.

What Vegas thinks (via Westgate):

Hamlin jumped from opening 14-1 at Kansas to 4-1 at Martinsville. Kyle Busch is favored at 13-4.
Kyle Busch 13-4
Denny Hamlin 4-1
Martin Truex Jr. 5-1
Joey Logano 7-1
Chase Elliott 8-1
Brad Keselowski 8-1
Kevin Harvick 10-1
Ryan Blaney 14-1

Driver Ratings at Martinsville:
1. Jimmie Johnson 111.5
2. Denny Hamlin 106.9
3. Kyle Busch 104.4
4. Brad Keselowski 99.6
5. Kevin Harvick 94.3
6. Joey Logano 94.2
7. Clint Bowyer 91.7
8. Ryan Blaney 91.0
9. Chase Elliott 89.7
10. Ryan Newman 84.4
11. Jamie McMurray 83.3
12. Kurt Busch 80.5
13. Martin Truex Jr. 79.7
14. Kyle Larson 72.8
15. Austin Dillon 72.6

Average Running Position at Martinsville:
1. Jimmie Johnson 8.998
2. Denny Hamlin 9.315
3. Kyle Busch 10.502
4. Brad Keselowski 11.423
5. Ryan Blaney 11.472
6. Joey Logano 11.956
7. Kevin Harvick 12.740
8. Clint Bowyer 13.424
9. Chase Elliott 13.482
10. Ryan Newman 15.289
11. Kurt Busch 16.369
12. Jamie McMurray 16.402
13. Martin Truex Jr. 17.405
14. Kyle Larson 18.206
15. Daniel Suarez 18.965

Laps Led
1. Jimmie Johnson 2691 (18.5 percent of laps run)
2. Denny Hamlin 1536 (11.3)
3. Kyle Busch 1424 (10.1)
4. Brad Keselowski 883 (9.3)
5. Joey Logano 830 (7.9)
6. Clint Bowyer 572 (4.2)
7. Kevin Harvick 481 (3.3)
8. Martin Truex Jr. 262 (1.9)
9. Chase Elliott 192 (4.8)

2019 Spring Top 10
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Chase Elliott
3. Kyle Busch
4. Ryan Blaney
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Aric Almirola
10. Daniel Suarez

2018 Spring top 10:
1. Clint Bowyer
2. Kyle Busch
3. Ryan Blaney
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Kevin Harvick
6. Joey Logano
7. Alex Bowman
8. A.J. Allmendinger
9. Chase Elliott
10. Brad Keselowski

2018 Fall top 10
1. Joey Logano
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Martin Truex. Jr.
4. Kyle Busch
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Kurt Busch
7. Chase Elliott
8. Ryan Newman
9. Daniel Suarez
10. Kevin Harvick

Stay tuned for updated content following qualifying on Saturday.

NASCAR – Victory Lane – Hollywood Casino 400

Victory Lane – Hollywood Casino 400
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr

The Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway marks the final race in the round of 12 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Four drivers will be eliminated from playoff contention as Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, and William Byron are currently on the outside looking in. Daniel Hemric won the pole and Kevin Harvick did not make a qualifying attempt on Saturday making Harvick a must start in DFS. Some cars were “trimmed out” for qualifying and others were setup for higher down force, sacrificing qualifying for a better handling car during the 400 mile race. This split strategy gives us plenty of opportunity to score DFS points with fast drivers starting in the back half of the field. Since Kansas is a 1.5 mile speedway we are back to playing mostly cash games with about an 80/20 cash games/single entry split. I am writing Victory Lane as a cash games breakdown with more focus on fewer drivers as compared to last week at Talladega. Let’s get started.

Kevin Harvick ($14,500/11,000) Kevin Harvick is one of the fastest cars at Kansas but was unable to qualify because of inspection issues. Harvick is a must play in DFS from the 40th starting position. His salary handcuffs players a little bit, but there is too much upside to fade him in cash games.

Kyle Busch ($14,000/11,400) Kyle Busch might have the fastest car at Kansas this weekend. Kyle led the way in every conceivable category during final practice with the fastest 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 lap speeds. It is really hard to fit Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in the same lineup, but I think they could easily finish 1-2 in DFS scoring. Kyle would likely need to win the race and lead 100 + laps to outscore Harvick, but the potential is there for him to make that happen.

Joey Logano ($13,000/9,800) Joey Logano seems to have a fast car in longer runs. Logano ran the 16th fastest single lap speed in final practice but was 5th in 15 lap and 3rd out of 12 cars who ran 20 consecutive laps in final practice. Logano is starting 29th and should be considered in all lineups on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski ($12,000/9,600) and Ryan Blaney ($10,500/9,200) Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney ran similar speeds in practice and qualified on the second row (Blaney 3rd and Keselowski 4th) I think one of these drivers takes the lead early and leads multiple laps in the first stage. If the race at Kansas comes down to short runs at the end of the race, Keselowski is probably going to have an advantage. It seems as though their strategy is the exact opposite of Joey Logano. I would give a slight edge to Keselowski over Blaney, but Blaney saves quite a bit in salary, especially on Fan Duel. If you are trying to squeeze in Harvick and Logano with one of these two, you will probably need to use Blaney.

William Byron ($9,400/8,200) I think William Byron is a good play this weekend and may get overlooked by many DFS players. Byron is starting the race 25th and ran top 10 speeds in longer runs during final practice. I think Byron is a safe cash games play that could score a lot of differential points with a top 12 finish on Sunday.

Matt DiBenedetto ($6,000/7,600)
Matt DiBenedetto is underpriced this weekend and I really think we need to take advantage of it. DiBenedetto ran practice speeds in the mid-to-high teens, but his low salary and 27th starting position make him playable in cash games this weekend.

Daniel Suarez ($7,800/7,500) Suarez has shown speed at Kansas this weekend. Suarez was 3rd in single lap speed, and fastest in 5 lap average during the first practice on Friday. During final practice Suarez showed speeds of 13th or better in all the consecutive lap categories. For his low price point, Suarez is cash games playable as a potential sleeper for a top 10 finish. However, his 8th place starting position makes him risky in the event something happens and he finishes 20th or worse. I would proceed with caution with Daniel Suarez.

Chris Buescher ($6,600/6,700) I think Chris Buescher is another sneaky safe pick for Kansas on Sunday. Buescher has 2 top ten finishes at Kansas in his career including a 10th place finish earlier this year. His average finish is 18.1 which includes a crash in this race one year ago where he finished 34th. If you remove his 34th place finish, his average finish comes down to 15.8. If you remove the two races he ran for Front Row Motorsports and only use the non-crash finishes from his current team (JTG Daugherty Racing) his average finish comes down to 12.5 (4 races). He is starting 26th and ran 35 laps in final practice but never ran 10 consecutive laps providing little data for the speed of his car over anything more than a qualifying run. There is a little bit of risk here, but I think there is less risk than going to the bottom of the barrel and playing Reed Sorenson, Ross Chastain, or Parker Kligerman.

Daniel Hemric ($5,500/6,600) Daniel Hemric won the pole and its worth mentioning him here because he has the potential to lead some laps early and finish in the top 12. Hemric had the fastest single lap speed in final practice but his 5 and 10 lap average speeds were only 15th quick. I don’t think a top 10 finish is likely, but for his salary, leading laps and finishing top 15 would be a solid day. He is more of a GPP play than a cash play because there is substantial risk involved in playing an overachieving driver who won the pole when most of the field setup their cars to be good during the race and may run right by him as soon as the green flag drops.

The strategy for Kansas is going to be to play two drivers at the top end that will score the most points, and play three mid-tier drivers who will run all the laps and advance their position by 10-15 spots. I don’t think you can fade Kevin Harvick in cash. If you do, you are hoping for a mechanical failure or a crash and that’s more suited for a multi-entry tournament play. I like using Harvick, Kyle Busch, Byron, and Buescher. Good luck to all our subscribers this weekend!

Tyler Miller is a lifelong NASCAR enthusiast who spent five years as a producer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (2008-2013). Upon meeting his wife in Washington DC, Tyler became an Army spouse and left his career to move all over the country and help raise their two children. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Communication and Electronic Media Production from Ashland University and is currently pursuing a Masters’ of Science degree in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.

NASCAR – The Setup – Hollywood Casino 400

The Setup – Hollywood Casino 400 Race Preview
By Tyler Miller
@rickybobby_jr

This week, NASCAR visits Kansas Speedway for the Hollywood Casino 400, the second of two visits to Kansas Speedway and the final race in the round of 12 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney are locked into the Round of 8. Four drivers will be eliminated from the playoffs with Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, and William Byron currently on the outside looking in. Kevin Harvick sat on the pole and led 104 laps at Kansas in May but had an overheating issue that necessitated a green flag pit stop and ended up finishing 13th. Brad Keselowski won at Kansas in May, beating Alex Bowman by 0.205 seconds. Erik Jones finished third, Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 5. In reviewing the spring race from a DFS perspective, two things stood out. It was very difficult to pass the leader and multiple cars failed pre-race inspection. Those cars started at the rear with little notice for DFS players. The spring race was a Saturday night race and the biggest mistake I made was not pivoting to Chase Elliott who started 32nd due to failing inspection and finished 4th, scoring the most DFS points in the race.

Race Distance: 267 laps. Stage 1 ends on lap 80, Stage 2 ends on lap 160.
Lineup Lock 2:30 pm eastern Sunday
Spring winner – Brad Keselowski (started 4th)
Spring pole sitter – Kevin Harvick (finished 13th).
Last year’s winners – Kevin Harvick (Spring, started 1st) – Chase Elliott (Fall, started 13th)
Last year’s pole sitters: Kevin Harvick (Spring, finished 1st) – Joey Logano (Fall, finished 8th)
Prior race winners: Spring, Fall
2017: Martin Truex Jr. (started 3rd), Martin Truex Jr. (started 1st)
2016: Kyle Busch (6th), Kevin Harvick (11th)
2015: Jimmie Johnson (19th), Joey Logano (14th)
2014: Jeff Gordon (13th), Joey Logano (4th)

Talladega Recap:
What went right?

I love Talladega! The race was stressful but paid off in the end due to the crazy final stage of the race. I created a single lineup from drivers I mentioned in Victory Lane, and played two single entry contests with higher entry fees than I usually play. I played the $1500 NAS Checkered Flag ($33 entry) and the $500 NAS Gas Pedal ($25 entry). I cashed in both contests finishing 10th and 5th respectively with Hamlin, Elliott, Logano, Kligerman, and DiBenedetto (scoring 258.3 on Fan Duel). I was the only person who played Kligerman in either contest and if he wouldn’t have crashed on the final lap I would have seen a much larger payday.
I played Elliott and Logano with hopes of leading laps and battling for the win. Elliott led 20 laps and Logano led 16. Both cars got damage in various crashes but wound up finishing 8th and 11th respectively, 13th and 14th in Fan Duel scoring.

It wasn’t that Victory Lane properly identified the best drivers (other than Hamlin which was an obvious play). Victory Lane identified drivers that survived through the crashes and finished the race. Only Matt DiBenedetto, Brendan Gaughan, and Kurt Busch were written up and crashed out of the race early. Kligerman, Elliott, Logano, Hemric, and Preece were all solid plays. All I would have needed to do was swap DiBenedetto for Preece and I would have won the Gas Pedal and finished 3rd in the Checkered Flag (that lineup would have scored 276.5). My lineup was only 1 driver off of a single entry takedown and I had that driver written up in Victory Lane.

What went wrong?
Talladega is crazy and unpredictable and I absolutely love it. I am typically a cash game player, but for 7 races a year (2 Daytona, 2 Talladega, and the 3 road course races) I love playing in bigger tournaments for bigger money. Not identifying Blaney, Newman, and Austin Dillon were probably the biggest oversights from Talladega, but overall things worked out really well.

What to watch for in practice/qualifying:
Bowman and Elliott I am really curious to see what Hendrick Motorsports brings to Kansas this weekend. Mathematically Bowmanan and Elliott don’t need to win to advance to the round of 8, but the three cars ahead of them (Logano, Keselowski, and Harvick) are all going to run well. I think this ends up being a must win for Elliott and Bowman and I’m anxious to see if they have a car to compete for the win at the end of the race.

Will Martin Truex Jr. go back to his winning ways this weekend? Truex won the first two races in the playoffs at Las Vegas and Richmond, then finished 7th at Charlotte, 2nd at Dover, and 26th at Talladega. Truex is not in any danger of missing the next round of the playoffs but I’m curious to see how his car looks this weekend after a dismal 19th place finish at Kansas in May. It is possible the team was trying some different things back in May since they already had two wins under their belt. After his poor showing they followed it up with a win at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600, so Kansas really seems like an outlier.
What about Harvick? As I mentioned in the intro, Harvick won the pole and led 104 laps in the spring race at Kansas before having to pit under green because he ran over a windshield tear-off that caused his car to overheat. Harvick has quietly put together a really good run in the playoffs after winning the last race of the regular season at Indy, he has finished 2nd, 7th, 3rd, 4th, and 17th. Harvick will likely be a front runner throughout the day at Kansas.

Back to Back for Blaney? Ryan Blaney jumps off the stat sheet at Kansas Speedway. Blaney has the 5th best driver rating, 2nd best average running position, and has led 154 laps at Kansas Speedway in 9 career races. I’ve had a terrible time trying to predict Blaney’s good finishes this year but he could be a solid play if he is able to make the most of his Talladega momentum.

What Vegas thinks (via Westgate):
Harvick and Truex are favored at 9-2 with Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott closely behind at 11-2. My longshot pick would be Clint Bowyer who opened at 25-1.
Kevin Harvick 9-2
Martin Truex Jr. 9-2
Kyle Busch 11-2
Chase Elliott 11-2
Brad Keselowski 10-1
Joey Logano 10-1
Kyle Larson 11-1
Denny Hamlin 14-1
Ryan Blaney 20-1
Alex Bowman 20-1

Driver Ratings at Kansas:
1. Kevin Harvick 109.5
2. Jimmie Johnson 103.2
3. Martin Truex Jr. 98.6
4. Chase Elliott 94.2
5. Ryan Blaney 94.0
6. Kyle Larson 93.1
7. Brad Keselowski 91.9
8. Kyle Busch 90.8
9. Kurt Busch 88.4
10. Joey Logano 87.8
11. Denny Hamlin 86.1
12. Erik Jones 84.8
13. Clint Bowyer 80.2
14. Tyler Reddick 78.1
15. Aric Almirola 77.5

Average Running Position at Kansas:
1. Kevin Harvick 8.849
2. Ryan Blaney 10.409
3. Jimmie Johnson 10.816
4. Martin Truex Jr. 11.813
5. Brad Keselowski 13.094
6. Kyle Larson 13.150
7. Chase Elliott 13.585
8. Kyle Busch 13.641
9. Erik Jones 13.653
10. Denny Hamlin 13.837
11. Kurt Busch 14.349
12. Joey Logano 15.092
13. Tyler Reddick 15.900
14. Clint Bowyer 17.179
15. Paul Menard 17.548

Laps Led
1. Kevin Harvick 807 (13.2 percent of laps run)
2. Martin Truex Jr. 726 (12.5)
3. Jimmie Johnson 581 (9.5)
4. Joey Logano 400 (7.5)
5. Kyle Busch 328 (5.6)
6. Kurt Busch 267 (4.4)
7. Brad Keselowski 215 (4.2)
8. Ryan Blaney 154 (6.4)
9. Kyle Larson 104 (3.5)
10. Chase Elliott 93 (5.0)
11. Denny Hamlin 74 (1.3)

2019 Spring Top 10
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Alex Bowman
3. Erik Jones
4. Chase Elliott
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Kurt Busch
8. Kyle Larson
9. Tyler Reddick
10. Chris Buescher

2018 Spring top 10:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Joey Logano
4. Kyle Larson
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Paul Menard
7. Erik Jones
8. Kurt Busch
9. Aric Almirola
10. Kyle Busch

2018 Fall top 10
1. Chase Elliott
2. Kyle Busch
3. Kyle Larson
4. Erik Jones
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Joey Logano
9. Alex Bowman
10. Aric Almirola

Only Kyle Larson and Erik Jones have finished in the top 10 in each of the last 3 races at Kansas Speedway.

Stay tuned for updated content following qualifying on Saturday.

NASCAR – Victory Lane – 1000bulbs.com 500

Victory Lane – 1000Bulbs.com 500
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr

NASCAR is in Talladega for the 1000Bulbs.com 500, the second race in the round of 12 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Chase Elliott won the pole position with Hendrick Motorsports qualifying 1-2-3-4. Denny Hamlin blew an engine during qualifying and will start in the 40th position. Talladega is a superspeedway race that lends itself to big wrecks, surprise winners, and overall unpredictability. I advise playing tournaments, either multiple lineups in the large contests or single entry tournaments with larger payouts. With the higher risk that comes with racing at Talladega we need the potential for a higher reward. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s get started.

High Salary Drivers:
Denny Hamlin ($14,000/10,300) The first decision for any lineup this weekend will be what to do with Denny Hamlin. Hamlin was fastest in first practice on Friday with a speed of nearly 205 mph but blew his engine in qualifying and will start the race 40th. Overall I am down on the Toyota teams because they do not have the amount of cars to work together as compared to Chevrolet and Ford. Hamlin is the highest priced driver on Fan Duel and while I am down on the Toyota teams, the potential for massive differential points is too much to resist. I think Hamlin needs to be considered in every lineup.

Chase Elliott ($12,000/10,100) Chase Elliott won the pole and will likely be the lead car in any Chevrolet draft on Sunday. Since Elliott blew an engine at Dover, his playoff hopes ride on his ability to run well at Talladega. He doesn’t necessarily need to win the race, but winning would take away any potential drama at Kansas next weekend. I like Elliott to lead dozens of laps and contend to win the race on Sunday.

Joey Logano ($14,500/9,400) Joey Logano qualified 10th and is in a similar situation as Chase Elliott because of mechanical issues at Dover last weekend. I think this race comes down to the Chevy’s pushing Elliott versus the Ford’s pushing Logano. I like Logano to lead multiple laps and contend for the win. I also think there is enough value at the bottom end this week to play Hamlin, Elliott, and Logano together in tournament lineups. This gives you the best chances to have the driver that will lead the most laps and win the race and the best chance to score maximum differential points.

Kurt Busch ($11,200/9,000) When I look back at the April race at Talladega, there are three drivers I missed out on that would have led me to tournament wins. Kurt Busch, Ryan Preece, and Brendan Gaughan. Kurt Busch has burned me several times this year, but I think he could be a solid play at Talladega. Kurt has the second best driver rating and fourth best average running position at Talladega. I don’t know if he will get to the front to lead laps, but starting 24th, Kurt Busch should be a solid play on Sunday.

Teammates While I recommend playing Hamlin, Logano, and Elliott together, one way to be different is to play their teammates, namely, Keselowski, Bowman, and Byron. The thinking behind this is that the teammates will likely push each other and finish within one or two spots of each other. If you are building multiple lineups, using Bowman instead of Elliott, and Keselowski instead of Logano in a few of them make sense. There is also a chance that Logano pushes Keselowski to a win, or Elliott pushes Bowman.

Mid-Tier and Value Drivers
Matt DiBenedetto ($6,500/7,900)
I really like Mat DiBenedetto this weekend. His salary on Fan Duel makes him playable with the Hamlin, Logano, Elliott combo. DiBenedetto is in a Toyota, but is moving to a Ford team next year so it will be interesting to see who he drafts with during the race. DiBenedetto is starting 31st which makes him a prime candidate to advance his position 20+ places. I like the lineup build with Logano and Elliott having a chance to lead the most laps and contend for the win, and Hamlin and DiBenedetto scoring points for 20+ differential.

Parker Kligerman ($2,000/4,800) At $2,000 on Fan Duel, Kligerman is too cheap to pass up. Starting 32nd, I expect Kligerman to run in the back of the field to stay out of trouble and race in the final stage. As long as he runs every lap and improves his positio he is a good play at his salary. Kligerman won’t let laps and probably won’t finish in the top 20, but a 25th place finish for Kligerman makes him a good play since it allows a multitude of options at the top of the board.

Brendan Gaughan ($3,500/5,700) Don’t ignore Brendan Gaughan today. Gaughan only races on superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega) and finished 8th at Talladega in the spring. If Gaughan was priced the same as Kligerman I would use Gaughan over Kligerman, but it will depend on lineup build. Either way, I think Gaughan is a good option for a value play starting 28th.

Daniel Hemric ($4,500/6,400) Talladega was the one bright spot for Daniel Hemric’s rookie season. Hemric finished 5th at Talladega in the spring and could have a chance for another good day in DFS scoring on Sunday. Hemric starts 29th so anything in the top 10 would make him a valuable play. I have confidence in the RCR equipment at Talladega, but I’m less confident in Hemric’s ability to stay out of trouble and finish up front.

Ryan Preece ($4,000/6,100) I have no idea what to do with Ryan Preece. He is starting 30 so the potential is there for him to score a lot of points, but his team has been so bad lately that I’m not sure if you can trust him at all. Preece finished 3rd at Talladega in April, which won people a lot of money in DFS, but he only has 1 top 10 finish since then. If you are playing multiple lineups you will want some exposure to Preece because maybe he can repeat his performance from the spring, but I would proceed with caution.

I like using the core of Hamlin, Elliott, and Logano for the reasons mentioned above. Talladega is difficult to predict and one wreck could wipe out every driver I mentioned in this article, so proceed with caution. Enjoy the race and hopefully we will have some big payouts to talk about when it is over!

Tyler Miller is a lifelong NASCAR enthusiast who spent five years as a producer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (2008-2013). Upon meeting his wife in Washington DC, Tyler became an Army spouse and left his career to move all over the country and help raise their two children. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Communication and Electronic Media Production from Ashland University and is currently pursuing a Masters’ of Science degree in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.

MMA Takedown – UFC Fight Night 161

Optimal

Niko Price

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Michelle Waterson

Kron Gracie

Andrew Sanchez

Lineup 1

Mike Davis

Gerald Meerschaert

Kron Gracie

Marlon Vera

Matt Frevola

Lineup 2 (Risky)

Luis Pena

Eryk Anders

Mike Davis

Amanda Ribas

Tim Elliott

Lineup 3

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Niko Price

Kron Gracie

Devin Clark

Andrew Sanchez

Lineup 4

Mackenzie Dern

Niko Price

Kron Gracie

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Gerald Meerschaert

Fill ins

Marlon Vera

Niko Price

Ryan Spann

Deiveson Figueiredo

Devin Clark

Matt Frevola

Thanks for reading! Hope we get that cash! Good Luck! Let’s TAKEDOWN a GPP

Follow me on Instagram @dfsbeerpack

Follow me on Twitter @stinewolverines

NASCAR – THE SETUP – 1000BULBS.COM 500

The Setup – GEICO 500 Race Preview
By Tyler Miller
@rickybobby_jr

This week, NASCAR visits Talladega for the 1000 Bulbs.com 500. This is NASCAR’s second visit to the 2.66 mile superspeedway in Alabama. This is the second race in the round of 12 for the Monster Energy NASCAR playoffs, and the final superspeedway race of the 2019 season. We have had three solid weeks of NASCAR DFS at Richmond, Charlotte, and Dover. Now it’s time to push the chips to the center of the table and make some money playing GPPs at Talladega. I’m excited for this weekend, let’s get started!

Race Distance: 188 laps. Stage 1 ends on lap 55, Stage 2 ends on lap 110.
Lineup Lock 2:00 pm eastern Sunday
Spring winner – Chase Elliott (started 11th),
Spring pole sitter: Austin Dillon,

Prior race winners: Spring, Fall
2018: Joey Logano (started 9th), Aric Almirola (started 4th)
2017: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (1st), Brad Keselowski (6th)
2016: Brad Keselowski (7th), Joey Logano (16th)
2015: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4th), Joey Logano (10th)
2014: Denny Hamlin (34th) , Brad Keselowski (5th)

Dover Recap:
What went right?

Dover was a shining example of why contest selection is so important in NASCAR. Despite Joey Logano breaking an axel before the race even started, I cashed in about half of the single entry cash game contests I entered. Having a solid selection of drivers in Victory Lane made cashing a possibility when all seemed lost before the race even started. Kevin Harvick worked out, Martin Truex Jr was a solid play, Kyle Larson won the race, Jimmie Johnson did exactly what I thought he would do. Daniel Suarez was an ok play. He didn’t meet expectations, but he also didn’t kill anyone’s lineup. Matt DiBenedetto exceeded expectations with a 7th place finish (6th in Fan Duel Scoring).

My cash lineup ended up being Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suarez, and Matt DiBenedetto. This lineup scored 334 points on Fan Duel and cashed in about half the contests I entered. I ended up making $0.60 over my entry fees. Considering how the race started, I’m calling that a win!

What went wrong?
Obviously Joey Logano did not work out. I thought my lineups were killed when I saw him go to the garage to change an axel before he turned a single lap under green. The fact that Chase Elliott was roughly equally owned and had a much worse day (Logano scored 34.5, Elliott scored -12.7 on Fan Duel) kept my lineup competitive. The only other big miss was William Byron. Byron was the last driver written up in Victory Lane for a reason. I expressed caution and said that I didn’t’ like his starting position, but he still disappointed my lowered expectations.
I didn’t write up Denny Hamlin which was a mistake. I knew I was taking a risk by not recommending Hamlin when I knew it could be hard to pass the leader. Hamlin finished the race 5th but his 219 laps led were enough to make him the second highest scoring driver on Fan Duel. I also missed out on Alex Bowman. The history was there for Bowman; coming off a second place finish and coming to a track where he finished 2nd in the spring. I didn’t see speed in Bowman’s practice sessions which led me in a different direction.

What to watch for in practice/qualifying:

GPP only this week The style of racing at Talladega lends itself to large wrecks, surprise winners, and overall unpredictability. I will look over the practice speeds, but the best play will be drivers who historically do well at Talladega, but qualify in the middle of the pack. As I’ve explained previously, Daytona and Talladega are GPP only tracks. In my opinion, playing cash games at these two tracks is too high a risk for minimal reward. If you are going to take the risk of a driver being in “the big one”, you need the reward of a larger payout.

Alliances within manufacturers One of the reasons why we were so successful at Talladega in April was a complete omission of the top Toyota drivers. If the Chevy’s and Ford’s stick together, they have strength in numbers that make you believe this will be a race between Joey Logano and Chase Elliott because both those are the two drivers who need a win the most after issues at Dover. Toyota only has 5 full-time teams in the four JGR cars (Busch, Hamlin, Truex, Jones) and the LFR car (DiBenedetto). This weekend they will also have Parker Kligerman in a Toyota, but Kligerman will likely run his own race absent of any instructions from Toyota.

If the manufacturer alliances are in place, be thinking about which mid-tier to low end drivers that could benefit. For example, if all the Fords ran together you would assume Logano, Keselowski, or Harvick would win the race, but David Ragan or Michael McDowell might benefit from an above average finish if they are glued to the back bumper of the SHR and Penske cars. We saw this in the spring when Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric benefitted from following the Hendrick cars to the front of the field and Ryan Preece won DFS players a lot of money back in April.

What Vegas thinks (via Westgate):
Joey Logano is the favorite at 8-1. Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski are close behind at 11-1, I think Logano and Elliott are good bets for Sunday as the Fords will likely push Logano, and the Chevy’s will push Elliott with the Toyotas left far behind.

Joey Logano 8-1
Chase Elliott 10-1
Brad Keselowski 10-1
Denny Hamlin 11-1
Kyle Busch 12-1
Kevin Harvick 14-1
Alex Bowman 16-1
Clint Bowyer 16-1
Kurt Busch 16-1
Jimmie Johnson 16-1
Martin Truex Jr. 16-1
Ryan Blaney 18-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr 18-1
Aric Almirola 20-1
William Byron 20-1

Driver Ratings at Talladega:
1. Chase Elliott 93.4
2. Kurt Busch 90.5
3. Joey Logano 89.8
4. Brad Keselowski 89.0
5. Jimmie Johnson 87.1
6. Ryan Blaney 86.7
7. Daniel Hemric 85.5
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 83.5
9. Denny Hamlin 83.2
10. Kyle Busch 81.8
11. Kevin Harvick 81.0
12. William Byron 80.4
13. Aric Almirola 80.2
14. Kyle Larson 79.0
15. Martin Truex Jr. 78.3

Average Running Position at Talladega:
1. Chase Elliott 10.745
2. William Byron 13.371
3. Ryan Blaney 13.521
4. Kurt Busch 13.652
5. Joey Logano 14.345
6. Daniel Hemric 15.372
7. Daniel Suarez 15.495
8. Jimmie Johnson 15.501
9. Brad Keselowski 15.543
10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 15.705
11. Denny Hamlin 17.301
12. Kevin Harvick 17.365
13. Kyle Busch 18.044
14. Kyle Larson 18.071
15. Aric Almirola 18.095

Laps Led
1. Jimmie Johnson 322 (5.8% of laps run)
2. Joey Logano 303 (7.6)
3. Denny Hamlin 302 (5.9)
4. Brad Keselowski 271 (6.8)
5. Kyle Busch 238 (4.5)
6. Kevin Harvick 224 (4.1)
7. Kurt Busch 212 (3.8)
8. Clint Bowyer 110 (2.1)
9. Chase Elliott 106 (8.0)

2019 Spring Top 10:
1. Chase Elliott
2. Alex Bowman
3. Ryan Preece
4. Joey Logano
5. Daniel Hemric
6. Kurt Busch
7. Ryan Newman
8. Brendan Gaughan
9. Aric Almirola
10. Kyle Busch

2018 Spring top 10:
1. Joey Logano
2. Kurt Busch
3. Chase Elliott
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
6. David Ragan
7. Aric Almirola
8. Alex Bowman
9. Ryan Newman
10. Daniel Suarez

2018 Fall top 10
1. Aric Almirola
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Joey Logano
6. A.J. Allmendinger
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Erik Jones
9. Paul Menard
10. Regan Smith

Stay tuned for updated content following qualifying on Saturday.