Get ready for an unpredictable race weekend because coming up we have the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway! It’s been since this year’s Daytona 500 in February since we had a superspeedway race, and if you remember back to that event, many DraftKings lineups were ruined early after “the big one” struck on lap 14. Yep, that was a quick one for most people.
But that’s part of the fun with these superspeedway races in DFS: pretty much any driver is on the table to be picked, and spending time looking up statistics and everything can often times be a waste of time. What’s important this weekend is the starting lineup (click here) and your strategy when building a DraftKings roster, so without further ado, LEETTTT’SSSS GOOOOO!!!!
Be Sure To Check Out My Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order For This Race (click here)
DraftKings Strategy for Talladega
Be sure to watch the video above and make sure you Click Here and Subscribe to my channel on YouTube!
Now… we’re trying to avoid this:
Seriously. It’s called “The Big One” and it’s going to happen. It may happen early in the race, it may happen late in the race, it may even happen early and late in the race, but rest assured, at one point or another, there is going to be a massive wreck triggered. And it is frustrating as hell when your DFS lineups are ruined by something like that, but unfortunately it’s a way of life at these superspeedway race tracks (Daytona and Talladega).
Now, you may be wondering then, “so how can you predict which drivers will be good picks on Sunday?” And honestly, you can’t. What you can do with your DraftKings lineup, though, is strategically pick these drivers. I tell my friends all the time when they want advice for Daytona/Talladega: I don’t care who you pick, just follow this formula:
- Top 5 starting spot: sparingly, absolute max of one
- Top 12 starting spot: one driver, maybe two
- 13th-29th starting spot: two or three drivers
- 30th-40th starting spot: remaining spots left
- And don’t forget, it’s perfectly fine to let plenty of salary cap on the table. In fact, it’s encouraged.
You may be asking, “what about dominator points?” especially since we just recently had Martinsville (500 laps) and Richmond (400 laps) races. Just try not to think about them. Fastest laps are completely spread out through the field at these superspeedway tracks, and 40 laps led can be “wiped out” by that driver losing five spots on the track. Finishing position and place differential are the most important factors to consider at these big superspeedways.
But let’s talk about finishing position and place differential for a second. Take a look at this chart below (click to make it bigger). It shows each drivers base DraftKings scored by simply taking into account their starting position (top row) and finishing position (left column).
As you can see, it rarely pays off to take the guys starting up front… A driver that starts 40th and finishes 15th scores more DraftKings points than a driver starting 11th that finishes 2nd!
Avg. DraftKings Points at Superspeedways While Using Qualifying Formula
As noted in my video (above), I looked into the three races we’ve had at superspeedways using the qualifying formula that’s become the norm. Below you can see the average DraftKings points scored by each driver, as well as how each driver scored in each race. You can click on column titles to sort by that attribute.
|John H. Nemechek||50.92||53.15||45.90||53.70||22||24||23|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||21.73||63.05||11.15||-9.00||20||31||26|
|Martin Truex Jr||14.32||-2.20||43.75||1.40||1||2||3|
Superspeedway Finishes in 2020
For those interested, here is a chart of how drivers finished in the four superspeedway races last season.
|Driver||Avg. Finish||Daytona 500||Talladega||Daytona 2||Talladega 2|
|Martin Truex Jr||20.75||32||24||4||23|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||23.00||20||2||32||38|
GPP / Tournament Picks
Kyle Larson ($9,400) – There is nothing about Kyle Larson’s superspeedway record that makes him seem like a good DFS pick this weekend…and that’s exactly why I like him. The Hendrick Chevrolets have really upped their game on the superspeedways as of late, and if we look at just Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman, they’ve combined for seven top 10 finishes here over the last six races (so twelve total starts). William Byron also ran 11th and 4th here at Talladega last season. Again, Larson’s record at this track is atrocious–two top 10s in twelve starts with an average finish of 22.2–but all of that combined has the makings of a great low-owned tournament play on Sunday.
Chris Buescher ($6,300) – Well… let’s try this again. If you were following me during the Daytona 500 this season, you know that I went pretty heavy on Chris Buescher. And, of course, he was involved in that first wreck. Womp womp. This time around, Buescher starts 21st–one spot further forward than he started at Daytona–and I’m heading right back to the well. Believe it or not, this guy is one of the better superspeedway racers in the series, although he tends to be better at Daytona, but you have to love that he has the Roush-Yates power underneath the hood. There will likely be some talk around Buescher this week to bump his ownership up a bit but that 21st-place starting spot should help keep it relatively low.
Ross Chastain ($6,100) – The $6,100 through $6,500 price range this week could be the final spot that determines a tournament takedown. We have Chastain starting 18th, Daniel Suarez ($6,200) starting 19th, and Tyler Reddick ($6,500) starting 20th. Between the three, it’s likely Chastain is going to be the lowest-owned since he starts the highest, so that’s why I like being a little overweight on him in tournaments. Plus, Chastain is pretty good at superspeedways; Ross has a respectable average finish of 21.8 here at Talladega in four starts with Premium Motorsports, and don’t forget that he ended up finishing 7th in this year’s Daytona 500. In the Xfinity Series last year, Chastain finished 6th or better in three of the four superspeedway races.
Corey LaJoie ($5,600) – Does Corey LaJoie have the potential to be a chalky pick this weekend? Yes. But with every single superspeedway race it seems like I’m surprised by his low ownership, so I’m going to keep writing him up. Here’s the thing: Corey LaJoie is great at avoiding the big wrecks and being there at the end. His record at Daytona is better than his record here at Talladega, but LaJoie still has three finishes of 16th or better here in six career starts, and has only one result worse than 28th. Over at Daytona, Corey has three top 10s in the last four races and hasn’t finished worse than 21st since 2018.
Talladega GEICO 500 DraftKings Projections
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from six different ranking systems. Also factored in are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Starting Position||Avg. Projected Finish||Dollar Per FPT|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$8,500||34.28||17||13.5||$248|
|Martin Truex Jr||$8,900||13.13||3||17.7||$678|