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Gas-N-Go NASCAR DFS Picks for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on DraftKings + FanDuel

Phillip Bennetzen

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NASCAR DFS Picks DraftKings FanDUel Hollywood Casino 400 today tonight this week fantasy projections rankings ownership optimizer picks lineup optimal free expert racing tips Kyle Larson Kansas Motor Speedway

The field is set for Sunday’s race at Kansas with Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney on the front row. Using the Awesemo NASCAR DFS projections, we’ll break down some of the top plays that are popping in the lineup optimizer. Let’s dive into some of the top cash, tournament and dominator NASCAR DFS picks for Hollywood Casino 400 DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.

Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel

Kyle Larson, 1st ($11,700 DraftKings, $14,500 FanDuel) Cash, GPP (Dominator)

Whatever questions there were about Larson’s viability at a track (Texas) he had some struggles with, were answered early on as it was evident that Larson had the best car in the field. After leading 75% of that race and winning in triumphant fashion, now Larson returns to Kansas — a track he led 132 laps at in the Spring and should have won if not for a myriad of cautions towards the end. The corollary this season has been finding tracks that Larson excelled at, while still driving the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi. With four top-10 finishes in his previous six starts at Kansas, while with CGR, Kansas was well in Larson’s wheelhouse and that manifested in the spring.

That said, don’t be fooled by that 19th-place finish earlier this year, Larson had the fastest car that day — a running theme for the No. 5 team at intermediate tracks this season. However, a late tussle with Blaney with just two laps remaining took a good day and turned it into a poor finish, as a compacted field drove past Larson. Oddly, in a season that has seen Larson accumulate more than half of his career victories with eight in total just this year, he has been robbed of two more — here in the spring and the first Pocono race when he was one final turn from winning before his tire cut down.

For what it’s worth, don’t overthink Larson this week and his motivation for this race now that he’s locked into the championship. He’s going to show up to Kansas with the fastest car, more likely than not, and his talent should take this car and make it a winner once again — currently ranking first with a gigantic top-two dominator percentage. In fact, he could be more motivated to go out and win this race because a win from him could impact the playoff standings and help hurt the championship chances of a top contender, like putting Martin Truex Jr. in an even bigger deficit.

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Chase Elliott, 5th ($10,000 DraftKings, $12,500 FanDuel) Cash, GPP (Dominator)

After watching Joe Gibbs pull a “no-show” as the laps at Texas waned on, save for the one JGR driver still not in the playoffs, it’s hard to envision that scenario really changing for this week. Yes, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin both led laps, but William Byron outpaced both, and in fact, more than doubled their combined tally. While it might ultimately be the downfall of both Hendrick drivers remaining in the playoffs, speed has definitely been a priority for Hendrick Motorsports this season. Last weekend at Texas, Larson topped the chart in average green flag speed ranks while Byron was third, and down the board in ninth was Chase Elliott. After overcoming an initial pre-race penalty, and starting in the rear, Elliott raced his way back into the top 10 and finished seventh on the day.

Texas was the fifth-straight intermediate track race that Elliott had placed in the top 10. A corresponding theme to this weekend at the somewhat similar Kansas, a track Elliott has won at before (fall 2018) and accumulated four other top-10 finishes. In fact, Elliott’s worst finish since 2018 is just 12th, giving him the best average finish (sixth) of all drivers in Sunday’s field.

This race is going to be full of narratives and another one to spin is the chance that Hendrick focuses the bulk of resources on setting up Elliott’s car for victory as Kansas should provide an easier path to victory for the No. 5 team than, say, Martinsville next weekend.

Ross Chastain, 24th ($8,200 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel) Cash, GPP

Part of last weekend’s Larson-Texas corollary was questioning the viability of Chastain. If Larson struggled to lay down consistent finishes at Texas, what made Chastain any more capable to do so in the same equipment. That story played itself out as the overpriced Chastain failed to pick up any steam and ended his day in 28th. Chastain’s down day in Texas marked his fourth-straight finish of 20th or worse at intermediate tracks. However, that water is under the bridge, as Chastain and the No. 42 crew return to a track that Larson had positive results at. Earlier this Spring this corollary played out as Chastain started 24th and ended his day in 14th.

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Momentum-wise, Chastain has been on a downward trend to end the season but he should rebound this weekend at a venue he last showed up with the 15th-fastest car that afternoon. Furthermore, after consecutive weeks of being overpriced on DraftKings, Chastain has finally dipped down into respectable territory, especially in tournaments where Chastain is pegging at sub-10% ownership.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 28th ($7,000 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel) Cash, GPP | Ryan Newman, 31st ($7,300 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel) Cash, GPP

For those who played Stenhouse and Newman, often together in cash games, there is legitimately no reason not to return to either driver this weekend. Both were victims of Bubba Wallaces erratic wreck, early in last Sunday’s race, and found themselves out of the event before it ever really began.

For Stenhouse, he had a disappointing 34th-place finish back in the spring at Kansas, but he has found the top 20 in five of his past seven visits here. Furthermore, before last weekend’s wreck at Texas, Stenhouse had managed to finish 17th or better in five of the season’s intermediate track races. As per Newman, his Kansas numbers aren’t nearly as good as his Texas numbers but he should still be a safe bet for a top-20 finish. Also don’t forget, Newman still has no announced plans for next season and a strong finish to this season could go a long way in securing him a ride for 2022.

Parker Kligerman, 40th ($7,500 DraftKings) Fade Candidate

Making his first Cup start of the 2021 season, Parker Kligerman takes over the helm of the Gaunt Brothers No. 96. Initially, this news sparked a glimmer of joy once the initial entry list was released. However, upon further review, playing Kligerman looks like a trap waiting to snatch up people in its wake. To begin with, this game gets played every time someone from outside of the Cup Series makes a spot start. It happened at Bristol Dirt. It happens in nearly every road race with someone not named AJ Allmendinger. DFS players blindly assume that someone with a notable name like Kligerman (based on his Trucks results) can surely be the difference in a lower-tier car finally outperforming its statistical average or presumption. Fast forward to the end of the race and the driver finishes precisely where any other driver would have performed in it.

This, in turn, brings up the secondary issue. This car is not fast and hasn’t been fast going back to last season. For the year, the No. 96 has made seven starts at superspeedways and road courses — just twice this car ranked top 25 in average green flag speed and those two instances were at Talladega and Daytona — obviously where anyone can be fast. If this onion gets peeled back to last year when Daniel Suarez was driving the car, it routinely ranked in the 30s, at intermediate tracks, in average green flag speed. Just once did the car crack the top 30, a 27th-place ranked average at Las Vegas.

This all to say, don’t chase the place differential carrot, especially at this absurd salary on DraftKings. If this is just another typical intermediate track race, 2020 Suarez is a good estimate of what to expect from Kligerman. He should be able to move up nine or 10 positions but advance no further because his car is slower compared to the next tier of drivers and equipment. At a current projection in the mid-20s, Kligerman is going to fall short of hitting 5x value.


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Phill Bennetzen is a father, husband, and Catholic as well as a self-professed annoying fitness guy. Phill heads up NASCAR content at Awesemo.com. You can contact Phill by emailing [email protected].

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