DraftKings NASCAR: 1000Bulbs.com 500
DraftKings NASCAR: 1000Bulbs.com 500

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

1000Bulbs.com 500

Location: Talladega, Ala.
Course: Talladega Superspeedway
Format: 2.66-mile tri-oval
Laps: 188

Race Preview

Just two weeks after the road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway drivers find themselves facing the next wildcard on the tricky course to Homestead. Talladega Superspeedway is known for its high speeds and unpredictable crashes that can easily end any innocent bystander's day. Chase Elliott will feel freer than most since he secured his spot in the next playoff round with his victory last week at Dover International Speedway. No matter how well the playoff contenders prepare for this weekend it could all come crashing down on Sunday. The field should be on pins and needles, but will do all they can to earn as many points as possible to put them in the best position ahead of the final race of this playoff round at Kansas. Joey Logano won Talladega's spring race, and Penske Racing has been the best at the track recently. The organization won six of the last eight races at Talladega, and has one of the best restrictor-plate packages in the garage. Austin Dillon and Erik Jones are the other two winners on restrictor-plate circuits this season, and both have already been eliminated from championship contention.

Key Stats at Talladega

Number of previous races: 98
Winners from pole: 13
Winners from top-5 starters: 54
Winners from top-10 starters: 70
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 8
Fastest race: 188.354 mph

Last 10 Talladega Winners

2018 spring - Joey Logano
2017 fall - Brad Keselowski
2017 spring - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2016 fall - Joey Logano
2016 spring - Brad Keselowski
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2014 fall - Brad Keselowski
2014 spring - Denny Hamlin
2013 fall - Jamie McMurray

Talladega Superspeedway means high speeds and drafting. Teams will work to make sure their drivers have the most power under the hood, and have the ability to link up with partners on track to make passes. Fantasy players will remember that passes for the lead at both Talladega and Daytona have not been plentiful with the current package. That characteristic means rosters should target drivers likely to get in the lead because chances are good that they'll stay there for many laps. While Talladega can be very uncertain there are drivers that tend to have better results at the track than others. Practice sessions and careful observation of what cars are fastest in the draft will be key elements of selecting the best lineup for Sunday's race. Starting position isn't as important this weekend, which can also allow fantasy players to target drivers who struggle in qualifying if they had a fast car in practice. Still, avoiding the accidents and being error free on pit road will be just as important in determining Sunday's outcome.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Brad Keselowski - $11,100
Joey Logano - $10,700
Chase Elliott - $10,300
Kevin Harvick - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Kurt Busch - $9,800
Ryan Blaney - $9,600
Clint Bowyer - $9,200
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Aric Almirola - $8,800
Martin Truex Jr. - $8,400
Erik Jones - $8,300
Kyle Larson - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Austin Dillon - $7,600
Jamie McMurray - $7,200
Bubba Wallace - $6,900
David Ragan - $5,700

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Brad Keselowski - $11,100
Kurt Busch - $9,800
Aric Almirola - $8,800
Jamie McMurray - $7,200
Trevor Bayne - $6,600
Chris Buescher - $6,400

Trips to Talladega allow fantasy owners to get more creative with their lineups than most other circuits on the schedule. Brad Keselowski may not be the first choice on many tracks this season, but he is a logical one now. His five wins on the track are more than any other current driver, and his recent surge in performance bodes well for his chances on Sunday. Kurt Busch is also one of the top fantasy choices at Talladega despite having just one superspeedway victory to his credit. He was the runner up again at Talladega earlier this year, which was his fifth top-10 at the circuit in the last six races. Stewart-Haas Racing is represented in this option via Aric Almirola. He came agonizingly close to a victory last week at Dover, is a superspeedway winner, and has finished eighth or better in the last four Talladega races. The first Chevrolet in the lineup is Jamie McMurray. McMurray hasn't won at this circuit since 2013, but typically runs up front in the draft. Trevor Bayne and Chris Buescher are both value options on the resirctor-plate circuits. Both tend to finish better than other circuits. Both drivers finished in the top 15 here in the spring, which is a big return given their prices this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Joey Logano - $10,700
Kevin Harvick - $10,100
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,000
Jimmie Johnson - $8,200
Ty Dillon - $6,700
David Ragan - $5,700

The selection of Joey Logano to head the higher-risk lineup this week is relatively self explanatory given Penske's recent domination at the track. Logano won here in the spring and has led laps in every race at the track since the fall of 2015. Kevin Harvick's price this week could be the lowest it will be for fantasy owners for the remainder of the season. He started from pole here in the spring and finished fourth, which makes this price a value for any driver let alone Harvick. Talladega is one of the two venues fantasy players expect to get the most out of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., too. He won here last season and was fifth in the spring race this season. Jimmie Johnson's big news this week was that his partnership with Chad Knaus would conclude at the end of the season, and what would be better than adding a third Talladega win to their record together? Ty Dillon and David Ragan should also punch above their weight this week. Ragan has three consecutive top-10s at this track heading into this race, and Dillon has not finished lower than 15th in his three starts here. Those statistics more than justify the risk for fantasy owners to include them in rosters this weekend.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
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