It’s time for the true NASCAR DFS degenerates to stand up, as we’re entering NFL season and that always sees the player pools constrict on DraftKings. As usual, though, I’ll be providing my best possible analysis and data interpretation for these Cup races all the way through the Phoenix finale, so thanks in advance for sticking around (and also thanks for making last week’s article the most viewed DraftKings post EVER on the site).

Kyle Larson has to start from the rear tonight but will still be scored from the 1st starting spot. I would recommend not playing him if you were going to.

This weekend is the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway, which is a 0.75-mile flat track. These shorter flat tracks always tend to be very predictable, and we don’t see many teams have issues during the race (especially nothing like what we saw at Darlington last Sunday). Before we get to this article, as usual, make sure you check out my FanDuel write-up for this weekend’s race (click here) since there’s so much crossover between these two DFS sites. Now let’s goooo!!!!

Enjoy the FREE content that this site offers each week? Consider donating to support by clicking here. Also, be sure to check out the Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order for this race by clicking here!

Speed Report & Loop Data Driver Averages

Martin Truex, Jr. with Auto Owners Sherry Strong paint scheme at Indianapolis Road Course (brickyard) 2021
Photo Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

I’m focusing on short, flat track data this weekend along with 750hp package data. The three short, flat tracks on the schedule are Phoenix, Richmond, and New Hampshire, and we’ve raced at all three this year already. I’ve also included a chart that goes back to include the races at those tracks during the 2020 season. When it comes to 750hp package this season, those races have been at the following tracks (excluding the road course): Darlington (two races), Phoenix, Martinsville, Dover, Richmond, Nashville, and New Hampshire.

  • Starts
  • Finish
  • ARP = average running position
  • DR = driver rating
  • FL = fastest laps (total)
  • LL = laps led (total)
  • T15 = laps ran inside top 15 (total)
  • Total Laps = laps completed (total)

2021 Driver Averages At Short, Flat Tracks

Driver
Starts
Finish
ARP
DR
FL
LL
T15
Total Laps
Joey Logano303.007.9116.6741928251005
Denny Hamlin305.005.0118.71512419221005
Christopher Bell305.007.6104.94109841005
Martin Truex Jr306.009.3108.81271717161005
Aric Almirola306.011.396.322257651005
Brad Keselowski307.006.2112.461979761005
Alex Bowman307.711.991.329108011005
Ryan Blaney308.707.3105.548998641005
Kyle Larson310.713.888.66715391003
Matt DiBenedetto311.311.585.211208531005
Chase Elliott311.711.191.124537231004
Kevin Harvick312.006.5105.866669741002
William Byron312.010.888.11508301004
Ross Chastain314.015.077.2234591004
Kurt Busch314.713.479.52827281004
Ricky Stenhouse Jr314.715.776.12114471004
Austin Dillon314.716.573.6515151004
Daniel Suarez319.020.859.9101591003
Erik Jones319.320.461.5001421002
Tyler Reddick320.714.772.6605211001
Cole Custer322.720.063.170298999
Bubba Wallace322.720.860.71141911001
Kyle Busch323.313.273.2167541719
Chase Briscoe323.721.857.4001041001
Corey LaJoie323.723.052.9012991001
Chris Buescher324.024.354.14038999
Michael McDowell325.025.348.220321000
Ryan Preece325.725.649.2707999
Ryan Newman327.325.650.0005998
Justin Haley329.727.237.3006604
BJ McLeod330.729.838.8007990
Anthony Alfredo333.332.234.7000767
Quin Houff333.733.532.2000882
Garrett Smithley334.033.930.2001972
James Davison334.034.128.8000733
Cody Ware334.334.731.1301771
Josh Bilicki335.334.629.4000922

2020-2021 Driver Averages At Short, Flat Tracks

Driver
Starts
Finish
ARP
DR
FL
LL
T15
Total Laps
Joey Logano702.905.8119.818942221172334
Brad Keselowski705.104.8123.123657122672334
Denny Hamlin707.608.2107.226337819002333
Aric Almirola707.710.595.5483419362333
Kevin Harvick708.107.2109.520018021572331
Chase Elliott708.108.8105.015131019542333
Kyle Larson409.012.991.36738131319
Martin Truex Jr709.309.2102.916318218442300
Alex Bowman711.012.485.4421015992333
Matt DiBenedetto711.111.988.4302117772333
William Byron712.412.485.526016912331
Kurt Busch713.112.381.0372118482332
Christopher Bell714.113.585.380013962330
Ryan Blaney715.410.988.46810514472081
Ross Chastain416.315.774.0235481320
Austin Dillon716.415.774.4825910982145
Ricky Stenhouse Jr717.918.469.55626432329
Cole Custer718.116.971.933011042325
Kyle Busch718.310.780.0501114791762
Tyler Reddick719.315.474.524012202277
Bubba Wallace721.622.358.71742702325
Erik Jones722.019.563.31105832324
Chris Buescher722.623.953.851622323
Michael McDowell722.624.851.6100762325
Daniel Suarez723.425.150.1501752320
Ryan Preece723.624.553.2801572313
Chase Briscoe323.721.857.4001041001
Ryan Newman625.023.253.440812006
Corey LaJoie728.325.348.612121272190
Justin Haley329.727.237.3006604
BJ McLeod330.729.838.8007990
Anthony Alfredo333.332.234.7000767
James Davison633.734.130.33031718
Quin Houff734.034.130.90011923
Garrett Smithley634.234.129.92031709
Cody Ware334.334.731.1301771
Josh Bilicki435.335.128.90001218

2021 Driver Averages w/ 750hp Package

Driver
Starts
Finish
ARP
DR
FL
LL
T15
Total Laps
Kyle Larson805.507.8113.944068423562863
Joey Logano806.407.9106.29719825752864
Denny Hamlin806.604.6118.229867027032864
Martin Truex Jr808.309.4105.726745621942863
Kevin Harvick808.407.8102.81089625662862
William Byron810.609.795.2693023082696
Christopher Bell810.811.790.7832221032859
Chase Elliott811.409.296.61126623932824
Ross Chastain811.815.281.3401814152862
Austin Dillon813.815.775.620115372862
Alex Bowman814.513.984.311410818512743
Ryan Blaney814.608.093.510927322492617
Ricky Stenhouse Jr815.316.874.06619852859
Brad Keselowski815.612.088.39910119772746
Kurt Busch815.913.079.9801818952675
Tyler Reddick815.913.578.928218042859
Aric Almirola816.514.177.9422614932475
Matt DiBenedetto817.116.970.2122013772853
Daniel Suarez817.619.965.53907242746
Kyle Busch819.514.977.8652615502330
Chris Buescher819.618.465.51719852636
Bubba Wallace819.819.263.021276752856
Ryan Newman820.320.660.1507472852
Cole Custer821.821.161.62805852615
Erik Jones822.520.857.02023422656
Corey LaJoie823.423.254.21124142725
Chase Briscoe824.422.257.7055602712
Ryan Preece825.123.656.04103462634
Michael McDowell826.524.947.41701212400
Anthony Alfredo827.828.241.280372604
Justin Haley730.428.238.660421718
BJ McLeod830.630.937.820132741
Josh Bilicki831.432.931.50072698
Quin Houff831.632.331.80022404
Garrett Smithley532.032.832.500151653
James Davison732.033.828.91011945
Cody Ware732.733.232.33152045

DraftKings Strategy & Dominators for Richmond

  • Richmond is a 0.75-mile flat track. It compares extremely well to Phoenix Raceway as well as New Hampshire Motor Speedway. We have a ton of data that we can use between these three tracks, but if you need any tiebreaker tracks, you can look into the Martinsville and Nashville races. Please note, though: it’s definitely better to put more emphasis on the three main short flats.
  • NASCAR is running the 750hp package this weekend. Other trackss where this package has been ran this season (excluding road courses) are: Phoenix, Martinsville, both Darlington races, Dover, Nashville, New Hampshire, and the first Richmond race.
  • We’re likely looking at a two dominator race on Saturday night here at Richmond. Earlier this year, Hamlin led 207 laps while Truex led 107 laps, and in last year’s Richmond event we saw Brad Keselowski lead 192 laps while three other drivers led around 50 laps (Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano). I would recommend targeting a two or three dominator build for DraftKings lineups.
  • There are 400 laps scheduled for the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday night, which means we’re looking at 100 DraftKings FPTS up for grabs for laps led. We really don’t see many caution flags here at Richmond either, so don’t be surprised if we get 155+ DraftKings FPTS for fastest laps.

Dominators

These are the potential dominators for this weekend’s race at Richmond, and are listed in the order of likelihood according to my projections:

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Martin Truex, Jr.
  • Kyle Larson
  • Joey Logano
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Kyle Busch

Some “surprise” dominators that could happen on Saturday night include: Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, and Alex Bowman.

Driver-by-Driver Breakdown Video

Now for the video breakdown! Be sure to go here and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already.

Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections

The optimal DraftKings lineup for Richmond Saturday night according to my Projections is:

  • Joey Logano
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Martin Truex, Jr.
  • Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
  • Bubba Wallace
  • Corey LaJoie

Confidence Rating = 8.1/10. You’re getting the three most elite drivers in the series at these short flat tracks, along with a great place differential play in Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and a high floor option with Bubba Wallace with a low-20s likely Corey LaJoie. I can’t complain about this lineup. The projections also don’t mind punting this week with the back marker cars, as the 4th-highest projected lineup is: Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., Brad Keselowski, Matt DiBenedetto, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and JJ Yeley. One interesting note is the 3rd-highest projected lineup also includes a punt: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Josh Bilicki…

GPP / Tournament Picks

Ryan Blaney and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. racing at Talladega 2020
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk | Getty Images

Kevin Harvick ($9,100) – Brad Keselowski is priced $200 above Kevin Harvick this weekend and is probably going to get a good share of ownership considering his record on the short, flat tracks as well as his record here at Richmond specifically. But when it comes to tournaments, I really don’t mind pivoting off of Keselowski to Harvick (or even going with both of them). Since the start of 2017, only Martin Truex, Jr., Brad Keselowski, and Denny Hamlin have more fastest laps than Harvick here at Richmond, and on the short, flat tracks this season, the #4 Ford ranks 5th-best in that statistical category, just one fastest lap less than Kyle Larson. I think Harvick can legitimately challenge for a top 5 here on Saturday night (my algorithm agrees) and with some dominator points, he could definitely end up in the optimal lineup at $9,100.

Aric Almirola ($7,500) – Short, flat tracks are where Aric Almirola excels, and when my algorithm has him predicted to finish 10th (like it does this weekend), especially this season, you have to give him some consideration. Looking at the short, flat tracks this year, Almirola won at New Hampshire, finished 6th here at Richmond, and was 11th at Phoenix despite some in-race issues. Last season, AA finished 7th or 8th in three of the four and 13th in the other. Starting 9th on Saturday night makes Almirola a pretty risky DFS play, but the upside is definitely there. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if AA has a great race this weekend, but it’s probably going to if and when it happens.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($6,700) – Something happening once or twice over a four year period is a coincidence. Something happening in five of the last six Richmond races is a trend, and when it comes to Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. grabbing fastest laps at this track, it’s a trend. As mentioned in the video (above), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. seems to always get some dominator points here at Richmond, as he’s grabbed 18 or more fastest laps in five of the last six races. Additionally, since the start of 2017, Stenhouse is averaging more fastest laps than Joey Logano and almost as many as Kyle f’n Busch. This weekend, Ricky starts 23rd but has mid-teens finishing potential. He’s finished 18th or better in five of the last seven races on short, flat tracks, and in each of the last five here at Richmond specifically. Finally, Stenhouse is running that badass NOS Energy paint scheme this weekend, which I love.

Stacking Dennys Podcast with Jordan & RotoDoc

Cash Core Drivers

Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick racing at Darlington May 2020
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,200) – The top three drivers heading into Saturday night (according to my algorithm and really all of the data) are Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex, Jr. When it comes to building DFS lineups, I think you’re going to need two of the three, and with Truex being the cheapest, that makes him a cash play for me. Plus the fact that he’s led 100+ laps in seven of the last nine Richmond races–absolutely ridiculous. Truex starts 3rd this weekend and it should come down to him and Denny Hamlin on who leads the most laps, especially early. I like Truex at night at his best track.

Brad Keselowski ($9,300) – You just can’t beat this price of $9,300 when it comes to Brad Keselowski, especially with him starting 7th. Yeah, there’s not a ton of place differential upside, but there’s still a bit of room there to move up. Over the last two years on short, flat tracks, Keselowski has the best average running position (4.8) and the 2nd-best average finish (5.1), and he’s also been good for 30+ fastest laps in five of those seven races (with the other two ending up at 14 and 11 fastest laps). Additionally, Keselowski has led at least 16 laps in every single short, flat track race over the last two years, and went over 50 laps led in four of the seven. He’s a very strong play for the price this weekend, that’s for sure.

Matt DiBenedetto ($8,100) – Matt DiBenedetto at short, flat tracks has been fantasy gold for NASCAR players over the last two years, as he has the 10th-best average running position (11.9) and average finish (11.1). This year, Matty D’s numbers are pretty much identical, with an average running position of 11.5 (which is 11th-best) and an average finish of 11.3 (which is 10th-best). He starts back in 28th for Saturday night’s race at Richmond, so with even just a “normal” race we’re looking at 40+ DraftKings FPTS out of DiBenedetto this weekend.

Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond DraftKings Driver 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.

DriverDraftKings SalaryAvg Proj FPTSProj OwnershipStarting PositionCeiling Proj FPTSAvg. Projected FinishDollar Per FPT
Martin Truex Jr$10,20091.7243.93%3135.2503.5$111
Denny Hamlin$10,40088.9737.28%2132.3502.7$117
Joey Logano$10,70071.8529.75%687.6002.7$149
Brad Keselowski$9,30056.4030.46%779.8005.7$165
Kevin Harvick$9,10055.3216.54%567.1005.5$165
Chase Elliott$11,20051.0520.23%1360.5006.7$219
Kyle Busch$11,50050.2218.62%1582.8009.5$229
Kyle Larson$11,00044.2815.04%1100.2508.0$248
Christopher Bell$9,60043.9315.22%1066.0510.0$219
Matt DiBenedetto$8,10043.8034.42%2853.8015.0$185
William Byron$9,90043.2217.43%1456.1510.3$229
Aric Almirola$7,50040.4313.88%954.8509.8$185
Ryan Blaney$8,60039.0013.06%858.8511.0$221
Alex Bowman$8,90038.8517.59%1255.3011.5$229
Austin Dillon$8,40038.5522.25%1956.4514.0$218
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$6,70037.6324.76%2350.4017.3$178
Ross Chastain$7,20032.2518.95%1756.5015.5$223
Tyler Reddick$7,90030.658.02%1141.8513.7$258
Kurt Busch$7,70030.378.94%450.5011.7$254
Bubba Wallace$6,30027.7018.69%2734.0522.2$227
Erik Jones$6,60026.0019.62%3131.9023.5$254
Cole Custer$7,30022.0212.86%2135.3520.8$332
Daniel Suarez$6,90021.5017.53%2232.8021.7$321
Ryan Newman$6,00021.1219.32%2438.3522.0$284
Chase Briscoe$6,50020.8315.57%2624.0023.7$312
Corey Lajoie$5,50015.6720.88%2528.9026.3$351
Chris Buescher$7,00015.407.43%1821.9022.8$455
JJ Yeley$5,30014.007.29%3719.4532.0$379
Anthony Alfredo$5,60012.6713.15%3022.0029.8$442
Ryan Preece$5,80011.458.38%2025.4526.2$507
Justin Haley$5,20010.504.53%2917.0029.8$495
BJ McLeod$4,60009.172.04%3211.0032.0$502
Cody Ware$5,00008.674.24%3613.0034.3$577
Quin Houff$4,90008.003.92%3510.0034.2$613
Michael McDowell$6,10007.1711.79%1623.0026.0$851
Joey Gase$4,70003.001.97%3407.0036.2$1,567
Josh Bilicki$4,50002.834.41%3306.0035.5$1,588
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.