The field is set for Thursday evening’s race at Bristol with Sheldon Creed and John Hunter Nemechek on the front row. Be sure to check out the Awesemo+ version of the NASCAR DFS package, which can give you access to the Fantasy Cruncher NASCAR DFS optimizer. Let’s get into the top NASCAR DFS picks, on DraftKings, for the Trucks Series’ UNOH 200.
UNOH 200 NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings
Sheldon Creed, 1st ($10,600)
John Hunter Nemechek, 2nd ($11,000)
Fresh off the news that Creed is moving up to drive for Richard Childress in the Xfinity Series next year, not to mention a win at Darlington two weeks ago, Creed finds himself starting on the pole for this evening’s event. The three-time winner in 2021, two of those victories coming at Darlington – nearly three times the size of Bristol but a similarly highly banked track like Bristol. This will be just his second pole of this year, but he was the pole sitter at Darlington and led 104 of the 147 laps that afternoon.
Momentum-wise, Creed may be the hottest driver in the series after winning the opening two playoff races and leading 246 of 307 total laps. As per the betting market, Creed ranks second at +400 just behind John Hunter Nemechek on BetMGM. Nemechek, the odds-on favorite at both BET MGM and DraftKings Sportsbook, sports an outright of +350 at both sites. In five career starts for his father’s team here at Bristol, he failed to finish outside of the top 10. Now in perhaps the best equipment in the series, the sky is the limit for Nemechek. The only concern for his DFS viability is how quickly can he maneuver around the aforementioned Creed?
At $11,000, Nemechek is going to need dominator points – in fact, the most or second-most of those to make his price work. In Nemechek’s two races at Darlington, he found his way to the lead, leading 65 laps in the spring and 39 laps two weeks ago.
Ryan Truex, 26th ($5,400)
Conceivably, Truex is the lowest down the salary rung anyone should need to go this week. After picking up steam two weeks ago at Darlington and becoming a chalky option, across the DFS industry, Truex had some early issues and found himself in a hole he could never crawl out of finishing six laps down. Hopefully this recency bias left a bad taste in DFS player’s mouths because there is no reason to not go back to Truex this week. Before Darlington, he was running on a string of four straight top-20 finishes. Expecting Truex to return to form, at this salary, another top-20 finish is going to make it tough for him to not be the punt play de jour on Thursday.
Clay Greenfield, 34th ($6,800)
Greenfield makes his second start of the 2021 season after surviving the mess that was Darlington, finishing 19th. How he rolls off the grid in the 34th position and based on his priors here at Bristol, he has one of the better place differential upsides on the table, with price considered. In his four most recent Bristol starts, his finishes have gone 23rd, 26th, 20th and 26th. One top-20 finish in four starts is not normally a driver that DFS players chase after. However, the tell here is that three of those four finishes were actual finishes and not mechanical failures or start and parks.
His three most recent starts were racing for himself, now in Spencer Davis’ equipment, there is a chance that Greenfield can actually compete for a finish in the high teens. If that occurs, Greenfield goes from a GPP play into cash territory.
Sam Mayer, 39th ($11,900)
Mayer makes his fifth start of the 2021 season for Stacy Holmes. In what can only be considered mid-tier equipment on its best days, Mayer has been able to take poor starting positions and advance his way through the field. Since finishing 37th at the Daytona Road Course, Mayer has placed this truck in the top 10 of his past three events with two of them happening on road courses. Although last year’s victory was in better equipment, it is still not farfetched to believe Mayer should move through the field once again and grab another top-10 finish. Despite this equipment downgrade, Mayer is still sitting at +1600 to win this event, tied with Austin Hill for the ninth highest odds.
Paying, by far, the most salary for Mayer may pull people away. However, DFS players either need to rely on multiple dominators or a dominator plus place differential. Mayer gives a floor, via his place differential, that is higher than most driver’s fantasy point production ceilings.
For Those Looking to Save Some Money
It is tough to isolate a real value play this week. Looking at every driver priced at, or below, $5,300 this week it is a laundry list of every driver expected to finish in the 30s. DFS players have two viable options. First, go with more balance and try to avoid this level of driver. This, in turn, means DFS players will probably only roster two dominators with no high-priced place differential options or a single dominator and one higher salaried driver like Sam Mayer.
Second, mix and match these drivers hoping for some attrition and one of these drivers decides to actually compete and picks up double-digit positions. For example, Jennifer Jo Cobb ($4,700) starts 36th. In her four career starts at Bristol she has only failed to finish once: 2017 when she was black-flagged for being too slow. In the other three starts she has finished 28th or better. If she simply just rides around for 200 laps and does not park her truck for some mechanical issue, then she can get pick up 10 spots and be worth considering as a punt play. That said, she has failed to finish seven of her 15 starts this season. The possibility of her not finishing the race is a coin-flip currently.
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