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I thought the saying was, “we’re not in Kansas anymore…”

The Hollywood Casino 400 is at Kansas Speedway this Sunday, and it’s the final/elimination race in Round 2 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs…and boy are we off to a start already. Kevin Harvick wasn’t allowed to qualifying this weekend due to inspection issues, and then we ended up with Daniel Hemric and David Ragan on the front row when qualifying was all said and done. Yes, seriously. With that being said, this is still a 1.5-mile track we’re racing at on Sunday, and we have a ton of race data from this season to get a great indication of who’s going to run well. Click here to check out my Bargains and Busts for Kansas 2, which includes average DraftKings points per race on this track type in 2019, average finish, average running position, and more.

Here are some helpful links to the qualifying results and practice speeds from this weekend.

DraftKings Strategy Breakdown for the Hollywood Casino 400

Ryan Blaney Brad Keselowski Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

I guess it might be a good thing that Talladega was last weekend, because we honestly need to take a similar approach to building DraftKings lineups for Kansas 2. Here’s the deal: we have Kevin Harvick ($11,000) starting dead last in 40th on Sunday, Joey Logano ($9,800) starting 29th, Denny Hamlin ($10,500) starting 23rd, and Kyle Busch ($11,400) starting 18th, which gives us three of the best performers on the 1.5-mile tracks this season with major place differential upside.

Now that begs this question: with so much place differential upside for big-name drivers this weekend, is there even a point to mess with the guys starting up front? I’m talking about Ryan Blaney ($9,200), Brad Keselowski ($9,600), and Kyle Larson ($9,400), who start 3rd, 4th, and 5th (respectively). One of those guys should rack up a good chunk of laps led points early, although they all three have very good race cars, so we could see those points being split. But let’s do the math here:


If Kevin Harvick finishes 5th, he’s looking at +35 DraftKings points in just place differential alone. Typically we only have one driver hit that mark when it comes to dominator points on 1.5-mile tracks, although we have seen a couple do so in a race. Still, though, it’s nowhere near a guarantee. And that’s not even taking into account the dominator points that Kevin Harvick will accumulate on Sunday, too. He leads the series in that category on this track type, by the way, with 28 per race.

So honestly I don’t mind staying away from the top 10 starting drivers this weekend. This doesn’t mean a full fade of those guys, but I’ll probably be underweight on Blaney, Keselowski, and Larson on Sunday. I’ve said before I’m not the best at predicting ownership percentages, but with their mid-$9000s price tags, I think being around 10-12% ownership with each would keep you under the field. To me, it’s smarter to take the place differential guys who can also dominate once they get up front. That includes Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,800), who starts 11th.

By the way, the average starting position of winners at 1.5-mile tracks this season is 11.1, with only Brad Keselowski (started 4th at Kansas) and Kurt Busch (started 4th at Kentucky) getting the win after starting inside the top 5.

Favorite GPP Plays for Kansas 2

Alex Bowman Greg Ives 2019 Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Chase Elliott ($10,100) and Alex Bowman ($8,600) – It’s going to be extremely easy to do so this weekend because the chalk being elsewhere, but don’t overlook the two most consistent drivers on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Chase Elliott is averaging 55.4 DraftKings points per race on this track type in 2019 while Alex Bowman is at 54.5 (4th- and 5th-best in the series), and as far as average finish goes, those two rank 2nd- and 3rd-best at 8.6 and 8.9, respectively. Further, Chase is the defending winner of this race at Kansas and also led 45 laps here in the May race despite starting way back in 32nd. Bowman ran 2nd here in May and also led 63 laps. The Hendrick Chevrolets didn’t look extremely hooked up during practice here on Friday but, trust me, these guys will be fine in the race. I love being overweight with both of these drivers as they fight for their Playoff lives on Sunday.

Parker Kligerman ($5,000) – With how qualifying ended up, this guy may end up being the chalk pick this week among the lower-priced drivers, but I’m going to hope he’s not so I don’t look stupid listing him as one of my favorite GPP plays. Anyway, Kligerman gives you a bunch of cap relief with his $5,000 salary this weekend, and to be honest, he hasn’t been too bad at the 1.5-mile tracks this season; after finishing 31st at Las Vegas earlier this year, Kligerman went on to post a 27th-place finish at Texas and a 26th-place finish at Charlotte, giving him an average result of 28.0 on this track type in 2019. He also has an average running position of 28.0. Kligerman starts 32nd here at Kansas on Sunday but should move up at least a few spots.

Kansas 2 Hollywood Casino 400 DraftKings Projections

You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.

DriverStarting PositionDraftKings SalaryAvg Proj FPTSAvg. Projected FinishProj Laps LedDollar Per FPT
Kevin Harvick40$11,00087.703.034$125
Joey Logano29$9,80067.604.812$145
Martin Truex Jr11$10,80057.703.841$187
Denny Hamlin23$10,50055.906.25$188
Chase Elliott14$10,10052.806.027$191
Kyle Busch18$11,40050.106.65$228
William Byron25$8,20043.812.60$187
Brad Keselowski4$9,60043.307.642$222
Alex Bowman16$8,60043.109.69$200
Ricky Stenhouse Jr19$7,00041.011.00$171
Kyle Larson5$9,40039.008.024$241
Kurt Busch15$9,00037.811.03$238
Aric Almirola13$7,80037.409.80$209
Erik Jones20$8,40034.814.60$241
Clint Bowyer21$8,80034.215.40$257
Ryan Blaney3$9,20034.211.639$269
Matt DiBenedetto27$7,60031.419.80$242
Paul Menard22$6,90031.217.40$221
Chris Buescher26$6,70031.219.40$215
Jimmie Johnson12$8,00028.514.45$281
Corey Lajoie31$5,90019.827.60$298
Ty Dillon24$6,20018.424.80$337
Parker Kligerman32$5,00017.229.40$291
Daniel Suarez8$7,50016.018.00$469
Ryan Newman7$7,30015.417.80$474
Ross Chastain33$5,60015.430.80$364
JJ Yeley36$5,10014.033.00$364
Ryan Preece28$6,40012.429.80$516
Landon Cassill30$5,30012.430.80$427
Garrett Smithley38$4,60011.635.20$397
Austin Dillon9$7,20011.021.00$655
Josh Bilicki37$4,70010.635.20$443
Bubba Wallace10$6,10007.623.20$803
Reed Sorenson34$4,90007.235.40$681
Joey Gase39$4,80007.038.00$686
Michael McDowell6$5,80006.022.00$967
Matt Tifft17$5,20004.628.20$1,130
Timmy Hill35$4,50002.638.20$1,731
Daniel Hemric1$6,600-02.725.211$9,999
David Ragan2$5,500-05.625.80$9,999
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.