Food City Dirt Race DFS Gems

·7 min read

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The strategy for carburetor-restricted superspeedways has long been to spread your money throughout the field. The NextGen car changes nothing in this regard. How the drivers react behind the wheel may be marginally different in 2022 compared to previous versions of the car, but it will take a while to see if that creates any kind of reliable, predictive model.

The addition of Atlanta Motor Speedway to the list of carburetor-restricted superspeedways may also change the formula slightly, but since the QuikTrip 500 came early in the season as fresh faces were just starting to smile, it is also an unknown.

None of that is new when we turn our attention to this track type. There is a great degree of uncertainty at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway that must be accounted for in your game strategy. We typically try to build our lineup from the middle out by selecting a couple of drivers below the average cost-per-driver of $8,333, then look for a solid dark horse before turning attention to the Group A or more expensive Group B drivers.

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

Ryan Blaney ($10,500)
We like this trend by DraftKings of minimizing the >$10k drivers in weeks of high uncertainty. This week's mark of three opens up some options for the levels below, but it really doesn't change how one needs to approach their lineup. Blaney's Daytona 2 win last year and Talladega wins in 2019/2020 makes him incredibly attractive if you can manage the cap well enough. If you build from the top down, go ahead and anchor him despite the fact he is the most expensive driver this week.

Joey Logano ($10,300)
We really wouldn't recommend Logano or Kyle Larson this week for the same reason: They are crash prone in plate races. The driver of the No. 22 gets a slight nod because he tends to crash later in the race and should earn a few more points along the way. Still, putting Logano on the roster shaves off $400 per driver for the remaining five and there are several spots further down the order where you can get stuck with a less promising pick while there is a strong candidate two or three positions above.

Group B: (Between $9,900 and $8,000)

Brad Keselowski ($8,900)
Keselowski won last spring's Talladega race and earned 56.5 points. He was second in the fall and bagged another 50.7. In a group that has erratic results, that would be enough to make him this week's top pick in this range, but he also has a couple of top-10 ranked performances in his last three Daytona races and that elevates him to the position of "must-have."

Bubba Wallace ($8,100)
While nothing in and of itself is predictive on a plate track, little things add up. Wallace's win last fall in the YellaWood 500 made him the most productive driver of the race with 65.2 points. That sits in the middle of a three-race streak in which he was one of the top three points' earners and all three of his most recent attempts were above 60. Better still, he is just under the average cost-per-driver mark and doesn't impact your strategy.

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Group C: (Between $7,900 and $6,500)

Chris Buescher ($6,900)
Along with his teammate Keselowski, Buescher was one of the most impressive drivers in this year's Speedweeks. He departed from the Daytona 500 early and scored only the 27th-most points (15.5), but since joining RFK Racing in 2020, he has been ranked among the top 10 in DraftKings points seven times in 11 races. Those numbers just sound lucky.

Austin Cindric ($7,900)
There is not a lot of data for Cindric, but what's there is impressive. His Daytona 500 win this year earned the fourth-most points and he was fifth-best at Atlanta, netting about 55 points on average. If he were more expensive, his lack of experience would diminish those numbers to a greater degree, but since he is in that sweet spot for players who build from the middle out, he fits a niche and should be on a majority of rosters.

Group D: (Less than or equal to $6,500)

Justin Haley ($5,800)
If you build from the bottom up on carburetor-restricted superspeedways, Haley will make a big impact. Selecting him raises the cost per driver for the remainder of you roster by more than $500 and that gives you a lot of wiggle room. But it's not just his price tag that makes him attractive. Five of his nine attempts on this track type ended in top-10 points, including in last fall's YellaWood 500 when he ranked 10th (43.8).

Ty Dillon ($6,100)
Dillon is another bargain basement driver with a better-than .500 average of top-10 points results on plate tracks since 2019. Six of his 11 races in that span produced significant points and he's always been in this same general price range. In fact, he was the top points' getter in Talladega 2 of 2020 and was third-best earlier that year. He has the second-best points-per-thousand ratio at this level in the past 45 days, so he has not lost anything with his current team – relative to his competition at least.

The top-10 points’ earners from the 2021 YellaWood 500 were: 1. Bubba Wallace (65.15), 2. Chris Buescher (58.2), 3. Kurt Busch (55.85), 4. Anthony Alfredo (55.15), 5. Erik Jones (52.45), 6. Brad Keselowski (50.7), 7. Christopher Bell (49.9), 8. Joey Logano (48.7), 9. Cole Custer (47.65), 10. Justin Haley (43.8).

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Last 45 Days

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Group A

Ryan Blaney

8.83

346.90

57.82

$10,500

33.04

A

Joey Logano

16.67

196.75

32.79

$10,300

19.10

A

Kyle Larson

22.17

123.05

20.51

$10,100

12.18

A

Group B

William Byron

9.33

396.30

66.05

$9,600

41.28

A

Chase Elliott

6.83

338.45

56.41

$9,900

34.19

B

Martin Truex Jr.

13.33

227.10

37.85

$8,300

27.36

B

Alex Bowman

11.00

251.55

41.93

$9,200

27.34

B

Chase Briscoe

16.33

221.00

36.83

$8,800

25.11

B

Tyler Reddick

13.83

238.60

39.77

$9,700

24.60

B

Brad Keselowski

14.00

203.15

33.86

$8,900

22.83

B

Christopher Bell

16.67

189.50

31.58

$8,400

22.56

B

Kevin Harvick

17.33

186.95

31.16

$8,600

21.74

B

Kyle Busch

16.50

174.25

29.04

$9,400

18.54

B

Bubba Wallace

22.83

115.50

19.25

$8,100

14.26

B

Denny Hamlin

23.33

117.25

19.54

$9,100

12.88

B

Group C

Ross Chastain

10.83

298.00

49.67

$7,700

38.70

C

Daniel Suarez

14.17

213.55

35.59

$7,000

30.51

C

Chris Buescher

16.00

202.35

33.73

$6,900

29.33

C

Erik Jones

20.00

159.00

26.50

$6,600

24.09

C

Austin Dillon

18.50

170.65

28.44

$7,200

23.70

C

Michael McDowell

19.33

152.90

25.48

$6,800

22.49

C

Harrison Burton

21.33

133.05

22.18

$6,500

20.47

C

Aric Almirola

21.00

142.65

23.78

$7,500

19.02

C

Kurt Busch

21.83

132.90

22.15

$7,400

17.96

C

Austin Cindric

19.17

133.65

22.28

$7,900

16.92

C

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

26.83

72.50

12.08

$7,600

9.54

C

Group D

Justin Haley

20.17

150.50

25.08

$5,800

25.95

D

Ty Dillon

19.17

145.60

24.27

$6,100

23.87

D

Corey LaJoie

23.67

115.50

19.25

$5,200

22.21

D

Todd Gilliland

21.17

133.50

22.25

$6,200

21.53

D

Cody Ware

26.17

96.15

16.03

$4,700

20.46

D

BJ McLeod

27.25

61.10

15.28

$4,600

13.28

D

Cole Custer

26.67

68.90

11.48

$5,600

12.30

D

Greg Biffle

23.50

48.05

24.03

$4,800

10.01

D

David Ragan

11.00

46.95

46.95

$5,900

7.96

D

JJ Yeley

29.33

26.90

8.97

$5,000

5.38

D

Landon Cassill

30.50

13.45

6.73

$4,900

2.74

D

Noah Gragson

28.50

13.90

6.95

$5,400

2.57

D

Daniel Hemric

$6,300

-

D

2022 Daytona 500 [Daytona 1]
QuikTrip 500 [Atlanta 1]
2021 Geico 500 [Talladega 1]