This week’s STP 500 is an intriguing race from a DraftKings player’s perspective because of how races here at Martinsville Speedway typically play out. It’s not super common for great cars to qualify mid-pack, which is how you can earn a lot of points with your DraftKings picks. This weekend, however, there were quite a few drivers that have great records at Martinsville that didn’t qualify as well as expected. Now it’s time to see which ones will be the best picks on Sunday so we can try and win some money in these daily fantasy sports games.
The purpose of this post is to find the best DraftKings picks in terms of value–and by value we mean maximum points per dollar. We pretty much know what we’re getting with the “big dogs” (meaning the highest priced drivers), so we need to really examine those in the middle of the price list.
Ultimate Value DraftKings Picks for the Martinsville STP 500
Martin Truex, Jr. ($8,400) – Here’s the guy that should be on most DraftKings rosters this weekend. Martin Truex, Jr. had one of the best cars in Happy Hour on Saturday (3rd-best ten-lap average) and he starts 16th for Sunday’s big race, the STP 500. When you pair that with the fact that he is the lowest-priced driver among the high- and mid-priced DraftKings players, you have a perfect combination. Overall, Truex is 12th in terms of price but he could easily be one of the top 5 scoring drivers here on Saturday. He finished 6th in both Martinsville races last season and has a car that is more than capable of that this weekend as well. Plus, the Furniture Row Racing organization has its new alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, who has been dominant here over the years. There’s a little risk in taking Truex this week because this team has had a hard time finishing races, but at the same points it’s hard passing him up at that price.
Kyle Larson ($7,400) – Well here’s a name we haven’t mentioned in a while. Kyle Larson impressed everyone in Happy Hour on Saturday by posting some of the best times of anyone on the track. He ranked 2nd in ten-lap average during that session and during the broadcast it was pointed out that he had the best 20- and 30-lap averages. Now, being fast in practice and being fast during the race are two totally different things, but it helps when you’re 1-for-1 heading into the race day. Now, picking Kyle Larson is nowhere near a sure thing this weekend, and it’s actually quite risky. Not only does he have the tendency to underperform in about half of the races he enters, but Larson’s record here at Martinsville is less than stellar to say the least; in four career starts at “The Paperclip,” Larson has never finished better than 19th. With that being said, he has improved from his first run here at Martinsville and you never know when this kid is going to surprise you with a top 5 run. Larson starts 17th on Sunday and at his price point, it might be worth the gamble.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($9,000) – To be honest, there just aren’t many mid-tier drivers that are great picks this week. Martinsville is a track that really takes a lot of talent to put a whole race together, and it’s the expensive DraftKings drivers that are the ones that have the most. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is relatively expensive this week, but not as high priced as some of the other drivers. The reason he will be such a good pick, however, is because he starts 21st and looks to have a top 5 car. Junior tweeted after Happy Hour that he was happy with his race car, and when he says he’s happy with it, he’s got a pretty good shot at a top 5 finish. Earnhardt has three top 5 finishes in the last four races at “The Paperclip” and started in the mid-20s in all of those races as well. He should get DraftKings team owners plenty of points in place differential this week, and he costs significantly less than Jimmie Johnson ($10,400), who starts 24th.
Aric Almirola ($6,700) – Almirola is a nice sleeper option here at Martinsville and is really one of the few mid-to-lower-priced drivers in DraftKings that is an attractive option heading into Sunday. For example, Austin Dillon ($6,700) has looked mediocre at best all weekend long, plus his car literally caught on fire Saturday. Paul Menard ($6,500) starts up front so there’s no point in taking him, and the same goes for Ryan Newman ($7,300). You could take a chance with Clint Bowyer ($7,200) but he has been junk all season. Meanwhile, Almirola starts 20th for Sunday’s STP 500 and finished 12th and 8th in the last two spring Martinsville races. If he can stay on the lead lap, a top 15 is well within reach for Aric this weekend.