As we head into Talladega Race Week, we will have to look at drivers’ stats and history from this course and other similar courses as we build our lineup this week. This week we are going to focus on finding value by looking at previous top contenders at Talladega the past couple of years. There are quite a few value drivers that you can insert into your lineup. Let’s now take a deep dive into who I think you can insert into your lineup for the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Past Winners/Track Knowledge
It’s time for the NASCARs Cup Series to take their best shot winning at Talladega Superspeedway. The Cup Series raced at Talladega earlier this year where Brad Keselowski left victorious. This will be a 500.58-mile race where the drivers will be tasked with completing 188 laps around the Super Speedway. Talladega Superspeedway is a 2.66-mile Speedway, with an asphalt surface. This raceway is home to 4 turns that will push drivers to the limit. It’s time for the “Big-One”. The best part about Talladega is you never quite know who the track is going to make wreck next. Be ready for high speeds and extra exciting racing. With Talladega being a tricky track with a history there is a lot of data to sift through as we build out winning lineup.
Below is a lineup that we believe can provide the best value for the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on 10/03/2021 (DraftKings Values)
|Driver #1||Justin Haley||$ 9,400|
|Driver #2||Aric Almirola||$ 9,200|
A-List Premium Price Drivers
Justin Haley ($9,400 DK, $7,700 FD)
I was a little surprised when I saw Justin Haley’s value this week, especially on Fan Duel. I mean he has only won all his career races at Daytona and Talladega. And yes, he isn’t a full time Cup Series Driver, but the guy has dominated recently at Superspeedways. On Superspeedways, he is a different driver. Just remember that Haley won at Daytona in the Cup Series in 2019. Haley did not have a great showing earlier this year at Daytona but before that he had won three straight Superspeedways races in 2020, Talladega, Daytona, then Talladega again in the Xfinity Series. Maybe some things only come in threes, but how can you ignore that in his career in both of Cup Series and Xfinity Series his five wins have come at Daytona and Talladega. Haley is likely to be in contention to win this race but at the end of the day if he can improve his position from 38th, you’re in a good spot.
Aric Almirola ($9,200 DK, $10,800 FD)
I have always thought that Aric Almirola is one of the unluckiest drivers in the series. If Almirola can avoid disaster and finish this race, he will be in a very good place DFS wise. Almirola has had a pretty good year in 2021 where he has one win at New Hampshire, two top five finishes and three top 10 finishes. Almirola has been excellent at Talladega the last three years where he has an average finish of 10.86, one win, three top five finishes, five top 10 finishes, and all but one has been top 20 finishes, in seven races. Almirola is going to start this race in the 20th position which, if he can get into the top 10, will provide a lot of point differential points. You know he will be driving a fast Stewart Haas racing car for this race. No reason he cannot crack the top 10 this weekend. And if he does this is excellent value.
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B-List Value Drivers
Brad Keselowski ($8,600 DK, $10,000 FD)
As one of my favorite drivers for this race, Brad Keselowski is poised to add another win to his resume this year. In 33 races this year Keselowski has one win, seven top five finishes, 13 top 10 finishes, and has led 316 laps. The strange thing this year for Keselowski is he is having a career bad year in the average finish department as his average finish this year has been 13.70. Now for some drivers that would be a career best, but Keselowski is a good driver. Compared to his 2020 average finish of 10.08 and four wins, 2021 so far has been good but not great. I think Keselowski can “turn” it around this weekend and win his second race at Talladega this year after winning the first. And with that being said, I am surprised that Keselowski is not worth more this week, with the resume he has at Talladega where he has six career wins, the most by far among active drivers. Good for us I guess as we get a phenomenal driver at good value. I really like Keselowski this weekend, I think he is in for a top five or better performance.
Kyle Larson ($8,400 DK, $11,000 FD)
As the regular season champion and best driver this year, Larson comes into this raced poised to win, or if he doesn’t win have a strong showing. In the last three years Larson has raced at Talladega five times, which is less than most drivers and you know what he hasn’t been great. Larson is on a completely different trajectory this year though. Larson has been better than ever before in 2021. You know he is going to be hungry for his second playoff win this year after winning five in the regular season. From a career standpoint, he has raced here 13 times where he has two top 10 finishes and has led 10 laps. Not great again, but Larson has been the hottest driver of late and he is excellent value this week.
Ryan Newman ($7,500 DK)
Here is another driver who seems to excel at Superspeedways. Ryan Newman is last year’s big story from the Daytona 500. In the Daytona 500 last year Ryan Newman was right in the mix on the final two laps and had the lead before contact with Ryan Blaney put an end to Newman’s day. In his career, Newman has been among the best to drive at Talladega where he has seven top-five finishes, 16 top 10 finishes, and has led 91 laps. I like Newman this week and at his $ 7,500 price as he provides significant value. A pick like Newman this week gives you the flexibility to get some bigger names into your lineup. Plus, as a bonus you can feel comfortable with a driver starting 25th. Where you can only, for the most part go up.
C-List Sleeper Pick Drivers
Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($6,000 DK, $10,300 FD)
Now here is a driver who excels at Talladega, I would even go on to say that Talladega is by far Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s best track. In 16 career races Stenhouse has one win, six top-five finishes, nine top 10 finishes, 11 top 20 finishes and has led 94 laps. You cannot really go wrong with picking a guy who has finished in the top 10 in 60 percent of his races at a track. Recently, in the last three years Stenhouse has been just as successful. He has three top-five finishes and four top 10 finishes. Stenhouse starts in an excellent spot this weekend from a DFS perspective as he starts 21st. Stenhouse will be able to compete for excellent point differential points and even potentially for another top-five finish.
Now go win your matchup and let us know how you did.
Or if I picked every driver that will be in that lap 41 crash, I encourage you to let me hear it.
Either way come find us on Twitter (@FantasyDFSX).
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