The NASCAR Cup Series is off to Austin, Texas this weekend and the Circuit of the Americas road course. This is a 20-turn race track and, from what we saw during the brief practice session here on Saturday, the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix on Sunday could end up being a very interesting race. One thing that could give DFS players fits on Sunday is the penalty for not making it through the esses correctly, which is a pass through the pits. That will ruin a driver’s day very quickly and force them to need a caution. Obviously that’s not something us fantasy players can control, we just have to hope it doesn’t effect our guys!
DraftKings Fantasy Strategy for Circuit of the Americas
- This is the first road course race of the season with the NextGen car, and from what we saw during the brief practice session on Saturday, the drivers are still figuring out this race car and how it handles on this type of track. I think we’ll see a lot of drivers gaining knowledge and speed during the race on Sunday, especially those that weren’t super fast on Saturday.
- This is a very short race at only 68 laps. That means we’re looking at just 17 DraftKings FPTS for laps led on Sunday and probably around 22.5 DraftKings FPTS for fastest laps. In other words, don’t be overly concerned about dominator points! Putting together the best lineup this weekend will likely come down to place differential and finish points as opposed to dominator points.
- We know which drivers were the best at road courses with the old cars, but this NextGen car will likely even the playing field here on Sunday. What does that mean from a DFS perspective? A lot of players are going to still have the old mentality of which drivers are “sure things” at road courses. Don’t be afraid to be a little outside of the box on Sunday with your lineups with small pivots.
Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections
The optimal DraftKings lineup for COTA on Sunday according to my Projections is:
- Kyle Larson
- William Byron
- AJ Allmendinger
- Ross Chastain
- Kevin Harvick
- Joey Hand
DraftKings NASCAR Picks for the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix
William Byron ($9,300) – The Hendrick fleet as a whole struggled a bit during practice on Saturday, but got faster as the day went on–especially Alex Bowman, whose team seemed to hit on something eventually. Why is this important? Because I don’t think that you shouldn’t be overly concerned by William Byron’s 27th-fastest lap in practice or the fact that he qualified back in 24th. We have 68 laps around this 20-turn race track on Sunday, and I find it difficult to believe that Byron won’t find his way toward the front eventually. Willy B has showed promise at road courses in the past and he has 8 top 11 finishes in his 15 career Cup Series starts at this track type. Byron is one of my favorite driver plays on this slate this weekend.
AJ Allmendinger ($8,800) – He’s going to be a very popular DFS play this weekend since he starts back in 20th, but AJ Allmendinger at a road course is a match made in heaven. Add in the fact that both Kaulig Racing Chevrolets showed good speed on Saturday during practice and qualifying, and you can’t really go wrong here. Now obviously there’s a strategy play here to go underweight on Allmendinger because he’s going to be so high-owned this weekend, but unless he wrecks, AJ should be a solid top 10 car, if not top 5. Looking at the road course races last season, Allmendinger won that crazy Indy Road Course race after finishing 7th at the Daytona Road Course and 5th here at COTA earlier in the year.
Ross Chastain ($8,200) – Driver #3 of this week’s core is Ross Chastain. I say it every week, but I’ll say it again: these Trackhouse cars have brought the speed to start out the 2022 season, and that was definitely apparent on Sunday with how fast Daniel Suarez was in practice. His teammate, Ross Chastain, just missed out on making the Fast Five during his qualifying round, though, and because of that will have to start back in 16th on Sunday. Chastain is going to be fast in the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix, though, just like he’s been all season long. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he challenged for the win. Last year on road courses, Ross finished 4th here at COTA and also 7th at both Sonoma and Road America. He has legitimate top 10 potential on Sunday with a good chance at a top 5 as well.
Stacking Dennys Podcast with Jordan & RotoDoc
COTA EchoPark Texas Grand Prix 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.
|Driver||DK Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Proj Own||Starting Position||Avg. Projected Finish||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||$9,700||43.50||26.36%||17||10.3||$223|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$6,900||22.00||20.67%||28||23.7||$314|