The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continue this afternoon with the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. This track is your standard “cookie cutter” 1.5-mile venue, and we already have one 2022 race completed here (back in May), where Kurt Busch led 116 of the 267 laps en route to the win, and with Toyota taking 5 of the top 6 finishing spots. If you’re looking for comparable tracks to consider this weekend, Las Vegas is your best option, and I think you can also throw in Michigan, Dover, and Charlotte data from this year.

Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections

The optimal DraftKings lineup for Kansas on Sunday according to my Projections is:

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Tyler Reddick
  • William Byron
  • Erik Jones
  • Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
  • Justin Haley

I will note that the 2nd-highest projected lineup is: Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Justin Haley.

The 3rd-highest projected lineup is the chalky one: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Todd Gilliland.

DraftKings NASCAR Cash Core Picks for the Kansas Hollywood Casino 400

Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Tyler Reddick ($9,800) – It’s hard not to play Tyler Reddick with your cash lineups today. He’s on the pole and had a blazing fast car in practice, ranking 1st in 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-lap averages. At Kansas, the high racing groove comes into play during the race, and that’s where Reddick thrives. He’s shown promise at this track in the past–including the first race here this season, where he led 24 laps and had 17 fastest laps before finishing 30th after hitting the wall. In tournaments, I think there’s definitely a strategy play in being underweight on Reddick simply because there are so many people in the industry talking about him for this race, but for cash lines, I think you need to play him.

Aric Almirola ($6,500) – No need to go into too much detail here. Almirola starts dead last in 36th on Sunday and has nowhere to go but up. This team had some sort of mystery issue in practice on Saturday, but you have to think they’ll get it figured out. At his low salary of just $6,500, Almirola really only needs to finish in the high teens to hit value here. Earlier this year at Kansas, this #10 Ford looked to have top 10 speed but lost a cylinder and ended up finishing 26th.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($6,300) – Same story here with Stenhouse. He got into the wall during practice this weekend and will start from 35th, one spot ahead of dead last. Don’t let that worry you, though: Ricky did that same thing here at Kansas in the first race this year and still finished 8th after starting 36th. At similar tracks this year, Stenhouse ended up 21st at Las Vegas (but was running 8th with nine laps to go and was then hit with a pit penalty), finished 2nd at Dover, and also came home 7th at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600. For what it’s worth, if you take my projections and run an optimizer for 150 lineups this weekend, Stenhouse shows up in 100% of them, while Almirola only comes up 43.3% of the time (we’ll get to a pivot here soon).

DraftKings NASCAR Tournament Picks for the Kansas Hollywood Casino 400

Alex Bowman in 48 Ally Chevrolet racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway 2021
Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

William Byron ($9,100) and Alex Bowman ($8,200) – I’ve been on these two guys since very early on in the week, and what’d they go out and do on Saturday? Bowman qualified 3rd while Byron qualified 9th. That second row starting spot for Bowman the Showman is definitely going to keep his DraftKings ownership low on Sunday, and there’s a good chance Byron could go under-owned as well because of the place differential plays of Ryan Blaney ($8,900) and Kevin Harvick ($8,700) priced right beneath him. The Hendrick Chevrolets had speed in practice on Saturday, though, particularly Kyle Larson ($10,700) and Bowman, who were both inside the top 4 when it came to both 10-lap and 20-lap average. The other Hendrick cars of Byron and Chase Elliott ($10,500) didn’t look as fast, but that doesn’t worry me. Remember the Las Vegas race earlier this year when I hit Bowman at 22-to-1 odds to win? The same thing I said that week is relevant here: when half of the Hendrick fleet is fast in practice, all four will be good in the race.

Erik Jones ($7,800) – One driver that is absolutely popping in my projections this weekend is last weekend’s winner at Darlington, Erik Jones. He’s priced at that uncomfortable $7,800 in DraftKings and didn’t really stand out in practice, which is going to keep DFS players off of him. With that being said, at comparable tracks this year, Jones has been solid; at Michigan, Jones ranked 8th in Green Flag Speed and finished 8th as well, and at Las Vegas earlier this season he ranked 12th in Green Flag Speed despite crashing late. For what it’s worth, Jones was running 7th at Las Vegas before he wrecked with 9 laps to go. This spring at Kansas, he had wheel problems after finishing 8th in Stage #1 and ended up 32nd.

Justin Haley ($5,500) – The chalk is going to be Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and if you know me I absolutely love pivoting off of major chalk plays in DFS. Personally, I prefer getting off of Almirola this week as opposed to Stenhouse, but you could pivot off of either of them down to Justin Haley here at a major discount. Haley and this #31 team are just consistent at finishing, typically ending up in the 17th to 23rd-place finishing range. At similar tracks this year, Haley came home 17th at Michigan, was 21st-fastest in Green Flag Speed in the first Kansas race, finished 17th at Las Vegas, and ran 11th at Dover.

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Kansas NASCAR 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.

DriverDK SalaryAvg Proj FPTSProj OwnStarting PositionAvg. Projected FinishDollar Per FPT
Denny Hamlin$11,10063.7228.59%2506.7$174
Kyle Busch$10,90062.8826.06%2004.8$173
Tyler Reddick$9,80058.8833.85%108.2$166
Chase Elliott$10,50053.3727.20%2209.3$197
Kyle Larson$10,70052.2530.28%705.5$205
Martin Truex Jr$10,30049.0318.14%1205.8$210
Ross Chastain$10,00046.7320.32%505.5$214
Christopher Bell$9,60045.6218.80%406.8$210
William Byron$9,10045.1318.45%909.3$202
Ryan Blaney$8,90044.3023.99%1710.7$201
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$6,30041.6240.44%3517.0$151
Erik Jones$7,80039.9016.41%2414.0$195
Alex Bowman$8,20036.6018.43%309.0$224
Kevin Harvick$8,70033.6822.06%1412.0$258
Ty Gibbs$7,20032.2320.46%1614.0$223
Joey Logano$9,30032.0017.67%212.5$291
Daniel Suarez$8,40030.8718.68%1516.0$272
Aric Almirola$6,50029.6741.25%3623.5$219
Bubba Wallace$8,00029.3513.89%612.3$273
Brad Keselowski$7,00024.6721.24%2621.7$284
Justin Haley$5,50023.5020.82%2722.2$234
Austin Dillon$7,70023.307.33%1117.5$330
Chase Briscoe$7,30022.176.75%1317.2$329
Noah Gragson$6,10021.178.74%2824.2$288
Cole Custer$6,00020.6720.15%2925.2$290
Chris Buescher$6,90019.079.28%1017.2$362
Austin Cindric$7,50018.475.42%819.5$406
Michael McDowell$6,70016.508.17%2324.2$406
Todd Gilliland$5,40015.1713.65%3229.2$356
Ty Dillon$5,80014.676.13%2124.7$395
Corey Lajoie$5,30011.504.44%1925.2$461
Harrison Burton$5,70010.505.10%1825.7$543
Landon Cassill$5,20007.670.94%3132.5$678
JJ Yeley$4,90006.832.21%3333.2$717
BJ McLeod$5,00006.501.94%3434.3$769
Cody Ware$5,10005.000.83%3032.8$1,020
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.