What a wild weekend of racing that just past. Kurt Busch started the race with an abysmal 0-for-21 record at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and then promptly leaving the race a Las Vegas winner. Busch was able to take advantage of his fortunate track position and his excellent restarts to stay at the front of the field all the way to his checked flag victory. Two races, Talladega Superspeedway and the always fun Charlotte Roval remain in the second round of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series. The Yellawood 500 at Talladega Super Speedway has been dominated by Team Penske Ford’s the past six years; winning five-of-six. Brad Keselowski winning in 2014 and 2017, Joey Logano winning back to back years in 2015 and 2016, and Ryan Blaney the most current Yellawood 500 winner. Check out the highlights from last year’s crazy photo finish (https://youtu.be/t692jeW2P3Y). Look for Team Penske to have another good showing at Talladega Super Speedway. The GEICO 500, the first of two races each year at Talladega has also seen Team Penske dominate recently with Ryan Blaney winning in 2020, Joey Logano winning in 2018, and Brad Keselowski winning in 2016.
As you can probably guess I think Team Penske has another good showing at the Yellawood 500 this weekend, however my free pick for today is Aric Almirola ($10,700 FD, $8,500 DK). Since 2017 Almirola has appeared in seven races at Talladega. In those seven races he has an average finish of 4.71. The next closest with seven races under their belt is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with an average finish of 10.14. Almirola won the Yellawood 500 in 2018, including his win he has five top five finishes and has placed top ten in each race since 2017. Almirola has absolutely dominated Talladega. Considering that Almirola has an average start of 16.3 he is a potential place differential winner for this race as well. Look for Almirola to have a good number in the point differential department as he starts from the 11th spot. Aric Almirola should be a lock in lineups this week with his recent performances at Talladega.
Starting at $5 per week subscribers can expect to find high value plays that are well priced on DraftKings and FanDuel. We have DFS Potential Dominators, DFS Place Differential Options and who to avoid for the upcoming Yellawood 500.
Talladega is one of my favorite races to watch each year. Whether it is the potential for five wide racing, the multi-car accidents that stem from the slightest mistakes, or the 200 mile-per-hour speeds. Now before we get into who I think can dominate this weekend on DFS lets investigate some historical data for this track. Talladega boasts a 2.66-mile Superspeedway, one of two on the NASCAR circuit and with different teams and drivers do better at different tracks it is important to look at who has driven the best recently. I have and will talk about laps lead a fair bit as it is a major DFS category.
If we examine who has dominated Super Speedways, you will see some of the names that I will mention later. Hopefully, these statistics can help you make your decisions for your DFS team this week. First, we have Joey Logano with 337 laps lead, Ryan Blaney with 283 laps lead, then Denny Hamlin (this week’s pole driver) with 237, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with 198, and rounding out the top five Brad Keselowski with 189. Now if you have made it this far you will see that again the Team Penske drivers make short work of Superspeedways; take this as some advice and insert as many as you can into your lineup.
DFS Potential Dominators
Joey Logano: Let us dive into who could dominate this race. Joey Logano ($11,600 FD, $10,300 DK) has a stout resume at Talladega, even at his high price tag he is a guy that should be in all your lineups due to his recent success at this track. Since 2017 this Team Penske Ford Driver has led the most laps by a wide margin with 225. The next closest is his teammate Ryan Blaney ($12,000 FD, $9,100 DK) with 135 laps lead. Logano ranks sixth in laps lead in the 2020 season with 729. His performances recently at Talladega have not translated to more than his win at the GEICO 500 in 2018. However, he did win back to back years at the Yellawood 500 in 2015 and 2016. Joey Logano brings a lot of experience on this track where; apart from the GEICO 500 this year has not finished less than 11th in his last five starts. I like Logano here also for some place differential points as he starts eighth.
DFS Place Differential Options
Ryan Blaney: I struggled to not put Ryan Blaney ($12,000 FD, $9,100 DK) on this list but how could I not. Especially with his high price tag this week on FanDuel. Blaney has won the last two races at Talladega. Ryan Blaney is likely the favorite to win outside of the playoff drivers. Starting in 14th could lead to a good chunk of place differential points. Blaney comes into this race with the seventh most laps lead in the 2020 season with 659. Blaney’s car has been fueled with rocket fuel on super speedways this year, to go along with his win at Talladega in the spring he also placed second at the Daytona 500 in February. Blaney does come at a high price but he looks poised for another great showing.
Ryan Newman: Looking into who has been able to climb the field after starting lower in the field we see Ryan Newman ($7,600 FD, $6,800 DK). Ryan Newman has an average start of 19.7 at Talladega to go along with an average finish of 13.43. Newman comes in right on cue starting 19thfor the Yellawood 500. Newman since 2017 has not qualified great but when it matters, he has been able to gain track position on the field. This showed especially with his Superspeedway best nine top ten finishes since 2017. As we all know Superspeedways can be an absolute crapshoot. Look for Ryan Newman to be able to climb the field at Talladega.
DFS Picks to Avoid
Kevin Harvick: I get it, Harvick has been lightning in a bottle this year, a sure pick every week. However, Kevin Harvick ($10,500 FD, $10,100 DK) has not had that same success at Super Speedways. Since 2017 Harvick has two top five finishes at Daytona and Talladega. Harvick’s place differential from average start to finish is minus 9.9 at Talladega and minus 18.23 at Daytona. He sits comfortably at the top of the playoff leaderboard and has all but clinched his spot in the next playoff round. Taking that into consideration Harvick could come to race conservatively to ensure he finishes the race. I do not like the negative script that Harvick has had recently on Super Speedways and I will not be putting him in my lineups this week.
MY TOP-FIVE OVERALL AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
- Joey Logano ($11,600 FD, $10,300 DK)
- Aric Almirola ($10,700 FD, $8,500 DK)
- Brad Keselowski ($11,200 FD, $9,900 DK)
- Ryan Blaney ($12,000 FD, $9,100 DK)
- Denny Hamlin ($11,400 FD, $9,700 DK)
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