Geico 500: NASCAR DFS Cup Series Targets and Best Bets at Talladega
It has already been a great weekend of NASCAR DFS at Talladega, as I was able to place pretty well in some GPPs for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race that was won by Noah Gragson. A majority of the race was led by Austin Hill, my pick to win at +1200 on DraftKings Sportsbook. A late-race tangle however would remove him from contention with just a handful of laps remaining. We were however able to cash in with a top 10 for Ryan Seig at +350 as he would wind up finishing P5.
Now, we’re looking to slingshot Saturday’s momentum into Sunday for the Geico 500.
The strategy for NASCAR DFS at superspeedways is a formula that hasn’t changed for some time. Dega is a 2.66-mile oval — the largest oval on the NASCAR schedule. Because of that, that are much fewer laps even though the race is still 500 miles. With fewer laps, that are fewer laps to lead, and therefore few bonus points are available for the dominators. Instead, we will be looking to score a majority of our NASCAR DFS bonus points on DraftKings via place differential.
Place differential is just a fancy way of saying where a driver finishes the race vs where they started. For this reason, we will be looking to find guys starting mid-pack and beyond, as the passing here happens quickly and often.
Starting positions of the past four optimal lineups @TALLADEGA
— RaceSheetsDFS (Phill) (@RaceSheetsDFS) April 22, 2022
I will also mention, that it is not necessary to use all of you’re allotted money when doing roster construction. In fact, for GPPs, I recommend that you don’t as it’s a really good way to set yourself apart from the field.
Salary used in the past four optimals @TALLADEGA
FD $49,800 👀
— RaceSheetsDFS (Phill) (@RaceSheetsDFS) April 22, 2022
NASCAR DFS Targets on DraftKings
#12 Ryan Blaney – $10,500
The logic in picking Ryan Blaney is simple — he’s likely the second-best active plate racer in the field on Sunday. Possibly even No. 1. Over the last six races here, Blaney has won twice, has three top-10s, five top-20s, and has led 123 laps. Making things even sweeter is the fact that he starts 22nd, giving us the aforementioned place differential bonus points too.
Don’t overthink it. Blaney will be clack, but you don’t want to be left on the outside looking in. Especially in cash builds.
#22 Joey Logano – $10,300
We’re staying with the Team Penske camp and Ford for our second driver, Joey Logano. Logano boasts a stout driver rating of 100.5 over his career in Alabama, second only amongst active drivers to his former teammate, Brad Keselowski. The Fords have been perhaps the strongest of the three major manufacturers in NASCAR to start 2022, and I expect that trend to continue this afternoon.
Joey has led more laps than any other driver in Sunday’s race over the previous six trips here at 150 total, has finished inside the top 5 twice and the top 20 four times. I look for him and Blaney to hook up early and work together throughout the race.
Logano will roll off the grid from P13.
#6 Brad Keselowski – $8,900
As we just said, of all active driers in the Geico 500, Brad Keselowski possesses the highest driver rating with a 102.7, and he even got his first career win in the Cup Series here, driving for James Finch in the infamous race where Carl Edwards was sent into the outside catch fence. Through the first chunk of the 2022 NASCAR schedule, there was no doubt that Brad K and the newly formed RFK Racing were experiencing growing pains despite winning one of the Duel races at Daytona to kickoff 2022.
Slowly, however, results have begun to improve. Keselowski has five straight finishes of 17th or better, all while being without crew chief Matt McCall while he serves his suspension for the team’s L-2 level penalty at Atlanta. Also included in that penalty, was the loss of 100 driver points and 10 playoff points, very much putting this new team in the hole as they look to make the playoffs in their inaugural season together.
Only two drivers swept the top ten last year at Talladega!
Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.
— Ryan (@ifantasyrace) April 19, 2022
The best way to do that now is a win at Dega, and Brad certainly knows how to get the job done here. Over his last six attempts, he has one win, two top-5s, and has led 52 total laps. He will start today’s race from the 15th position and should be a factor before the first stage comes to a close as he looks to make it four straight top-5s here.
#43 Erik Jones – $6,600
This one is pretty simple for me. Petty-GMS has shown speed in 2022, and driver Erik Jones has finished inside the top 10 in four of his last five appearances here. He’s also led 25 laps during that span too. He starts P16, right around a lot of our other NASCAR DFS targets, so the hope is they can move into the top 10 together.
#41 Cole Custer – $5,600
The previous month has been very average for Stewart-Haas Racing driver Cole Custer. His best finish is 13th, coming last week at Bristol, with the rest of his finishes coming in the twenties. Because of this, Custer is very affordable at $5.6k, giving us a nice salary relief driver for roster construction. He too has Ford horsepower and should be able to build on his current streak of top-13 finishes here today.
Nate’s Best Bets on DraftKings Sportsbook
#6 Brad Keselowski to Win (+1400)
We’ve already said all that we need to when it comes to Brad K at Talladega. He and his team need a win. What better place to do it?
#43 Erik Jones for a Top 3 (+1200)
A top 3 might be tough, vs shooting a bit lower for a top 5. We’re going to roll the dice though and get a little more bang for our buck.
To hear the FULL SHOW, click my pinned tweet, and don’t forget to follow me on the @ActionApp (link in bio).
Like & RT 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/9skKX1lJKt
— Derek J. Yoder (@Picks_By_Blaze) April 22, 2022
Good luck on Sunday afternoon! Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @Nate_FFL and @TeamRiseOrFall for continued NASCAR DFS coverage and advice, as well as any late-breaking news prior to the green flag at Talladega. Also, be sure to check out all the other great NASCAR DFS content at TeamRiseOrFall.com!