The first of two Cup Dover races this weekend is coming up on Saturday afternoon. The race is scheduled to be 311 laps/miles in length, which means we’re looking at 77.75 FPTS for laps led and likely around 140 FPTS for fastest laps in DraftKings. So, like I mentioned in my Projections article, it’s imperative to nail the dominators in your lineup. We usually see two in a race at Dover, although I think we could see three here on Saturday.
Looking at similar tracks, there’s no great direct comparisons, but Goodyear is using the same left side tire as the Fontana, Darlington, and Homestead races this season, so that’s noteworthy. You can also throw in Bristol as a comparison, but there’s still quite a few differences there, especially since Bristol is half the length of Dover. Finally, the package being used at Dover this season does compare well to the 2017 and 2018 races here, so it’s a good idea analyze those.
I would recommend checking out my DraftKings Projections article for Dover Saturday in addition to this driver-by-driver breakdown. Click here to get to the Projections article.
If you throw my Projections for Dover Saturday into an optimizer and let it make 100 lineups with no restrictions, these are the core drivers that it uses most of the time:
- Chase Elliott (100%)
- Denny Hamlin (100%)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (98%)
- Tyler Reddick (68%)
If you take out the back marker cars (every driver priced $5,400 and lower), the optimizer uses these drivers the most often:
- Chase Elliott (99%)
- Denny Hamlin (98%)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (60%)
- Tyler Reddick (57%)
- Ryan Preece (43%)
Driver-by-Driver Breakdown for the Drydene 311 (Saturday) at Dover
- Chase Elliott ($10,000) – 81.1 projected FPTS
– I wrote up Chase Elliott in my Projections article. Click here to read that. WORD OF CAUTION: I bet on Chase Elliott to win Saturday’s race. This has been a major jinx for drivers all season long, including Kevin Harvick at the Daytona Road Course last week.
- Denny Hamlin ($10,200) – 84.0 projected FPTS
– I wrote up Denny Hamlin in my Projections article. Click here to read that.
- Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,000) – 80.0 projected FPTS
– Truex is a contender for the win on Saturday. He’s finished 4th or better in six of the last seven Dover races, and he’s coming into this race weekend with five straight 3rd-place finishes. Looking at the four races here from 2017-2018, Truex averaged 32.3 fastest laps per race and had the best average running position (5.4).
- Clint Bowyer ($7,800) – 27.1 projected FPTS
– I don’t mind Bowyer as a sneaky play in general Fantasy NASCAR leagues, but in DraftKings I’m not a huge fan simply because he starts so high. With that being said, Clint did finish 2nd at Bristol this year, which is somewhat comparable to Dover. He also finished 2nd here at “The Monster Mile” back in 2018. I still likely won’t have much exposure here, though.
- Joey Logano ($9,400) – 42.5 projected FPTS
– Logano could be a top 5 contender on Saturday but I’m not loving his price point in DraftKings. He will need to dominate part of this race to make it into top lineups since he starts 5th and is priced at $9,400. Unfortunately, I just don’t see that happening. Joey has led a total of 22 laps in 22 career starts at Dover and has just four top 5 finishes.
- Jimmie Johnson ($8,000) – 33.6 projected FPTS
– Johnson is likely to be a pretty popular sleeper pick on Saturday… so I guess that doesn’t really make him much of a sleeper, does it? I’m interested to see what his ownership percentage ends up being. Anyway, JJ is an ELEVEN-TIME winner at Dover and has finished 9th or better in five of his last seven starts here, including finishes of 1st and 3rd in 2017 despite only leading a combined 12 laps in those two races. At Bristol in May, the #48 Chevrolet crossed the finish line in 3rd, for what it’s worth.
- Brad Keselowski ($9,700) – 46.8 projected FPTS
– In Single Entry contests, I love Keselowski, and in GPPs/tournaments I like being overweight on him. Kez has three straight finishes outside of the top 10 here at Dover but at the same time he’s led 39+ laps in three of the last five races here as well. BK also won at Bristol this year, which could be considered comparable to Dover. On this left side tire this year, Keselowski has the 2nd-best average finish (8.0).
- William Byron ($8,200) – 25.8 projected FPTS
– Byron would be an option for me if he started in the teens or was priced in the $7,000 range, but neither of that is the case. Does he have top 10 potential on Saturday? Yes. Is he a good DraftKings pick? Not really.
- Kurt Busch ($8,300) – 33.5 projected FPTS
– Kurt will likely finish around where he starts on Saturday. Is that worth the $8,300 price tag? Probably not. It’s hard to see him dominating. He’s led 11 laps total in his last 16 starts at this track.
- Kevin Harvick ($11,400) – 61.3 projected FPTS
– Harvick is a fantasy stud at Dover and has finished 6th or better in the last four races here. Also, during the 2017 and 2018 races here, he averaged 72.3 fastest laps per race, which was more than double than 2nd-best Truex at 32.3 per race. My projections obviously love Elliott/Hamlin/Truex as the dominators on Saturday, but I’ll still have lineups pairing Harvick with one of them.
- Alex Bowman ($8,500) – 44.5 projected FPTS
– Bowman ended up sweeping the top 3 in both Dover races last season, so that fact is probably going to bump his ownership a bit on Saturday. I’m just not a fan of how this #88 Chevrolet continues to fade in the second half of races. Bowman had an 8th-place finish at Kansas last month but that’s his only result inside that mark in the last eight races, and he hasn’t had a top 5 since Darlington back in May. At $8,500, it’d take a top 5 finish for Bowman to make it into the top lineups.
- Chris Buescher ($6,000) – 11.3 projected FPTS
– There’s not much upside here. Buescher starts too high on Saturday to even be an option in my book. He hasn’t finished better than 20th at Dover since the 2016 season.
- Erik Jones ($9,200) – 41.7 projected FPTS
– I know this will probably not surprise you very much, but I love being overweight on Erik Jones on Saturday. He’s finished 15th, 6th, and 4th in his last three races at Dover, and on this left side tire this season he has three top 10s in the four races. Jones has also ranked between 8th and 11th in Green Flag Speed in those four races.
- Matt DiBenedetto ($7,400) – 36.0 projected FPTS
– As usual, there’s sleeper potential here. DiBenedetto finished 7th here at Dover last fall and could do the same thing this weekend. That’d be great value for a guy priced at $7,400. In terms of races ran on this left side tire this season, Matty D hasn’t finished worse than 14th and even had a 9th-place result at Darlington-2.
- Michael McDowell ($6,300) – 18.7 projected FPTS
– I’d be more open to taking the chance with McDowell if he was priced about $1,000 less, but at $6,300 it’s just hard to do that. There’s no doubt that the 15th-place starting spot will be very beneficial in McDowell potentially staying on the lead lap Saturday, but a 20th-place finish would be a good day for this #34 team. That wouldn’t be a good day for DraftKings players, though.
- Tyler Reddick ($7,100) – 45.2 projected FPTS
– I wrote up Tyler Reddick in my Projections article. Click here to read that.
- Aric Almirola ($8,900) – 45.8 projected FPTS
– I don’t love the salary that DraftKings put on Aric Almirola this weekend. In all likelihood, it’s going to take a top 5 finish for that him to make it into the top lineups, but if you’re just trying to cash, AA is a safe option. Aric hasn’t had a top 10 at Dover since 2015 but with how this team is running he definitely has that potential this weekend. It’s worth noting that Almirola has an average finish of 8th on this left side tire this year.
- Christopher Bell ($7,600) – 25.5 projected FPTS
– My play in this mid-$7,000 price range is still Reddick or DiBenedetto, but I don’t mind sprinkling Bell in here and there. He has won two of his last four starts here at Dover in the Xfinity Series and on this left side tire this season Christopher has walked away with an 11th-place finish at Darlington and an 8th at Homestead.
- Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($6,200) – 22.5 projected FPTS
– Stenhouse could definitely win someone a lot of money on Saturday, as he’s a great value play with his DraftKings salary. He starts a little higher than I’d like but that should keep his ownership down. I definitely like being overweight here. Looking at Dover, Stenhouse has eleven top 20s in fifteen career starts, and he finished 9th and 15th in the two races here in 2018.
- Ryan Blaney ($11,800) – 49.2 projected FPTS
– I have more reasons I don’t like Blaney for Saturday than reasons I do, but starting back in 20th makes him a viable option just for the place differential. Blaney has two 8th-place finishes here at Dover in eight starts along with a bunch of bad finishes. His average result at “The Monster Mile” is 21.3, but YRB’s better than that. With a salary of $11,800, though, he’s going to need a top 5 finish and dominator points unless we get a mid-range-priced dominator (which isn’t likely). I’ll be underweight for sure.
- Cole Custer ($7,300) – 25.7 projected FPTS
– Like Christopher Bell, Cole Custer is also a Dover winner in the Xfinity Series. There’s definitely options here to sprinkle in Custer in lineups as well but I wouldn’t recommend going too heavy. He’s just not consistent or trustworthy. Looking at this season, Cole has just six top 15 finishes in the 23 races, and he’s going to need to flirt with the top 10 to end up in top lineups on Saturday.
- Kyle Busch ($10,600) – 60.1 projected FPTS
– I wrote up Kyle Busch in my Projections article. Click here to read that.
- Ryan Newman ($6,800) – 27.5 projected FPTS
– I’m not crazy excited about Newman on Saturday but I’ll have some exposure. He finished 15th and 14th in the two Darlington races this year, and we’re running the same left side tire this weekend. He also finished 15th at Bristol. Here at Dover, Newman has ended up in the teens in seven of the last ten races.
- Bubba Wallace ($6,600) – 26.0 projected FPTS
– Here’s what I’m going to do with Bubba Wallace for Saturday: I’m going to take my Ryan Newman lineups, copy them, and switch out Newman for Wallace. They both have similar potential to me. Last year at Dover, Bubba had his best finish so far (20th) but this #43 team is running better now than it has since Almirola was in the car.
- Ty Dillon ($5,500) – 19.3 projected FPTS
– The salary for Ty Dillon is what makes him a viable option on Saturday in DraftKings. If he can do what he does best–not wreck, stay on the lead lap or just one lap down–Ty could end up inside the top 20 when it’s all said and done. He ended up 19th in both Darlington races this year.
- Matt Kenseth ($7,000) – 29.2 projected FPTS
– It’s worth pivoting off of Reddick for some lineups and subbing in Kenseth. In all likelihood, the #42 Chevrolet will end up in the teens on Saturday, which is decent value for Kenseth at his price, but if he can sneak in a top 10 finish–like he did at Darlington this year–he can be a great low-owned driver that’ll win you some money.
- Ryan Preece ($5,700) – 23.3 projected FPTS
– I wrote up Ryan Preece in my Projections article. Click here to read that.
- Daniel Suarez ($5,800) – 13.7 projected FPTS
– A mid-20s finish is likely from Suarez on Saturday. Not a great option but viable if you want to pivot off of Preece or Ty Dillon.
- Corey LaJoie ($5,000) – 14.7 projected FPTS
– I wrote up Corey LaJoie in my Projections article. Click here to read that.
- Brennan Poole ($4,600) – 10.2 projected FPTS
– Full fade.
- John Hunter Nemechek ($6,500) – 23.5 projected FPTS
– This #38 team is hitting a bit of a rough patch lately, with four finishes of 35th or worse in the last seven races (and three in the last four). Still, Nemechek should finish between 22nd and 27th if nothing goes wrong on Saturday, and at $6,500 he’s worth exposure, definitely in cash lineups and in GPPs/tournaments as well.
- Austin Dillon ($8,700) – 40.8 projected FPTS
– A pretty obvious cash lineup option. Austin Dillon should be good for a top 20 finish on Saturday, and I could see him ending up in the high teens depending on how the race plays out and if he gets a lucky break. In GPPs/tournaments, I always like being underweight on chalk place differential drivers like this, especially those with a higher salary. All it takes is one hit of the wall and a lot of lineup will be ruined on Saturday, as Austin won’t grab many dominator FPTS.
- Timmy Hill ($4,900) – 05.0 projected FPTS
– Full fade. He’s coming off his 3rd-best finish of the year, and it was only a 29th.
- JJ Yeley ($4,800) – 18.3 projected FPTS
– If you’re going to take a risk with any super low-dollar driver, Yeley is worth it. He’s finished between 22nd and 29th in five of the last six races overall.
- Quin Houff ($4,500) – 13.5 projected FPTS
– Full fade.
- Reed Sorenson ($5,300) – 15.0 projected FPTS
– Full fade.
- Josh Bilicki ($4,700) – 15.2 projected FPTS
– Full fade.
- Joey Gase ($5,400) – 14.5 projected FPTS
– Full fade.
- Garrett Smithley ($5,200) – 15.7 projected FPTS
– Full fade.
- BJ McLeod ($5,100) – 07.7 projected FPTS
– Full fade.