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NASCAR DFS Picks, Projections for Texas

NASCAR heads to Texas Motor Speedway for race two of the penultimate round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. As usual, I’ll give you my NASCAR DFS picks, fades, and projections. Also, the NASCAR DFS Multi-Lineup OptimizerSim Scores, and Splits apps are updated for your NASCAR DFS needs.

I’ll record RotoViz Live late tonight, so get your questions in using #RVLive to me on Twitter.

If you’re new to daily fantasy NASCAR, or simply need a refresher, check out the large oval section of my track types article. Brush up on your general GPP strategy and game theory if you want to have a shot at taking down first place. If you’re more of a cash game player, check out how to target high floor drivers, and remember to find any potential race dominators.

Let’s get to the NASCAR DFS picks and projections for Texas!


The model projections assume that the driver finishes the race – hence why you don’t see any average finishing positions worse than about 31st. The Pts column shows the average projected DraftKings points for races when the driver finishes the race.

Ryan Blaney110.8246.4820.6345.29870038.8%
Clint Bowyer211.1823.3311.2935.11930014.1%
Kevin Harvick37.7948.5531.2859.211170049.9%
Aric Almirola412.0618.8111.4634.31810016.1%
Brad Keselowski59.5825.5519.646.02950014.6%
Denny Hamlin612.1611.8710.0833.69910011.6%
Kurt Busch712.9420.6920.2840.43890015.0%
Joey Logano812.0620.8616.0641.121050012.9%
William Byron920.660.981.8712.8658008.5%
Kyle Busch107.7529.5727.8159.791220030.6%
Paul Menard1119.673.641.917.51790011.5%
Erik Jones1214.142.998.9232.92830017.2%
Martin Truex Jr1310.420.3227.1854.871110022.7%
Ryan Newman1420.43.812.1319.2175009.9%
Trevor Bayne1521.530.180.7516.3666008.7%
Chase Elliott1610.668.5615.5248.59970012.4%
Ricky Stenhouse Jr1718.796.764.7127.46700019.8%
Alex Bowman1821.310.273.4621.19760010.3%
Daniel Suarez1920.164.864.6426.21730033.8%
Jamie McMurray2021.23.021.2622.99710011.0%
Chris Buescher2121.60.170.9222.3620016.0%
Kyle Larson229.3917.4923.8663.521000032.9%
Jimmie Johnson2316.463.792.8836.46850024.2%
Ty Dillon2422.470.10.4823.33560010.1%
AJ Allmendinger2519.513.981.2231.58690025.0%
Austin Dillon2620.523.541.0630.38770012.4%
David Ragan2722.280.120.7426.84640012.8%
Regan Smith2822.262.650.7528.52680014.2%
Michael McDowell2922.10.190.9529.33550020.1%
Bubba Wallace3021.940.580.8130.66600018.3%
Matt DiBenedetto3125.410.040.1924.2853008.6%
Landon Cassill3226.260.030.3323.6551003.9%
Ross Chastain3328.890.030.1319.348003.2%
Parker Kligerman3426.910.070.0824.2354006.3%
JJ Yeley3531.650.020.0315.7252002.7%
Corey Lajoie3631.670.020.0316.6947009.3%
Reed Sorenson3731.060.020.0618.9150002.8%
Kyle Weatherman3831.380.020.0219.2649002.4%
Joey Gase3932.710.020.0817.6246002.7%
David Starr4033.630.020.0916.7844002.5%

Now on to the NASCAR DFS picks for Sunday!


Kevin Harvick ($11,700) — Harvick simply has the dominant car this weekend, topping the 10-lap chart in opening practice and … Harvick has the most laps led at Texas Motor Speedway since its 2017 reconfiguration, and also has the best driver rating and best laps led percent (33.5 percent) at 1.5-mile tracks this year when removing incidents. Harvick starts third, so

Kyle Larson ($10,000) — Larson has only finished one race at the newly-configured Texas Motor Speedway, but in that race he started 32nd and finished second. Overall, Larson has 8.5 percent fastest laps at Texas since 2017, which equates to 28 fastest laps, or 14 DK points. At all the 1.5-milers this year, Larson has the fourth-best driver rating when removing major incidents for each driver. Larson was fast in Saturday morning practice, posting the fourth-best 10-lap time, and backed it up in final practice with the sixth-best 10-lap time.

Michael McDowell ($5500)  — If you’re going to fit expensive drivers, you’ll need some salary relief. I like McDowell for that relief this weekend. McDowell is averaging 29.4 DK points per incident-free race at 1.5-milers, with a 26th place average starting spot in those races. This weekend he’ll start 29th, giving him even more floor and more place differential potential. Additionally, McDowell has an average finish of 19.3 at Texas since the reconfiguration. The Sim Scores give McDowell an upside of 17th, a median of 24th, and the model gives him an average of 22.1, making him the best cheap value on the slate.


Kyle Busch ($12,200) — With 334 laps scheduled, dominators will be of utmost importance. If Harvick isn’t the dominant car on Sunday, it’s likely Kyle Busch will be. Harvick and Busch were 1-2 in five, 10, and 15 consecutive laps in final practice (Harvick fastest over five and 10, Busch fastest over 15), and Busch was second to Harvick in 10-lap average in opening practice. Busch has the fourth most laps led at Texas since the reconfiguration, and comes in second to Harvick in driver rating and laps led at 1.5-milers in 2018 when removing DNFs. Kyle Busch also gets the benefit of some place differential by starting 10th, although that hurts his early laps led upside. Still, with 334 laps, he’s a likely dominator.

Ryan Blaney ($8700) — I actually think there’s a chance Blaney goes under-owned this weekend, because people expect Harvick and Kyle Busch to dominate, Larson is a place differential play, and there are other solid plays like Joey LoganoChase Elliott, Brad KeselowskiKurt BuschJimmie Johnson, and Erik Jones in the 8-10.5k range. My model gives Blaney an average projection of 5.2x value, while the Sim Scores give him a median projection of 5.9x value. Blaney actually beat Harvick on the opening start of the first 2017 Texas race, despite Harvick starting on pole and Blaney starting second. That paved the way for Blaney to lead 148 laps that day. This time he gets to control the initial start, and has Clint Bowyer on his outside. Per, Blaney easily outpaces Bowyer in all restart metrics, and even has a superior record to Harvick on restarts from the preferred groove. Blaney has a better short run car, but his long run car isn’t terrible. I expect him to lead at least the first 20-30 laps, and probably more as pit stops cycle through, with his premium pit stall selection.

A.J. Allmendinger ($6900) — Let’s compare Allmendinger and Dillon at the recently repaved 1.5-milers of Kentucky and Texas, and throw in this weekend’s salary, practice times, Sim Scores, and model average finish.

Driver Fin Start DRtg ARP QPPct DK Sal P2 P3 SimUp SimMed ModelAvg
Allmendinger 21.5 21.5 60.5 21.2 16.4 22.75 6900 20 23 16 21.5 19.51
A. Dillon 21.8 19.5 60 23.8 20.2 20.69 7700 24 21 16 22 20.52

By these numbers, Allmendinger is a slam dunk over Dillon. If we remove Kentucky, it actually becomes even more favorable for Allmendinger. Yet somehow I still think people will gravitate toward Dillon. Give me Allmendinger as the Dillon pivot. He’s also a solid Stenhouse pivot. Yes, Stenhouse has superior numbers to Allmendinger at all 1.5-milers and at Texas, but Stenhouse is prone to mistakes and should go highly owned. That leaves the door for someone like Allmendinger to make the winning lineup, should Stenhouse have issues.


William Byron ($5800) — Man, Byron’s price is so tempting, but he qualified so far forward and has shown zero speed in the two post-qualiyfing practice sessions. Look for Byron to put up a large negative place differential, rendering his super-cheap price tag worthless.

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