The field is set for Friday evening’s race at Bristol with Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier on the front row. Let’s delve into the top NASCAR DFS plays on DraftKings for the Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway with some help from Awesemo’s NASCAR DFS projections.
Food City 300 NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings
Noah Gragson, 1st ($10,200)
Justin Allgaier, 2nd ($10,800)
Coming off two straight victories (Darlington and Richmond), Gragson has seemingly caught lightning in a bottle, turning a season of disappointments into a potential championship run. Despite this run of momentum, and also having previously won at Bristol in the spring of 2020, BetMGM only has Gragson as a +1200 favorite to win, giving better odds to the winless Daniel Hemric. Regardless, while Gragson’s prospects to win may be lower than deemed necessary, his DFS prospects are high. With the pole position, Gragson should be in a prime position to lead early. This will be Gragson’s first pole of the season, so what he does will be a matter of putting space between himself and Allgaier. As per Gragson’s brief history at Bristol, he has three top-10 finishes, including that previously mentioned win in the spring of 2020.
Allgaier, Friday night’s odds-on favorite (+300), starts alongside Gragson on the front row. Allgaier’s history at Bristol runs quite a bit deeper than Gragson, however, with four top-eight finishes in the last three years. When looking back at his career in totality, Allgaier has finished in the top eight in his past six fall Bristol events. Allgaier always seems to find a second gear to kick into once the stretch down the playoffs begins, and nothing different should be expected in this regular-season finale. Allgaier should be at the top of everyone’s dominator boards, with four straight races leading 126 or more laps. Allgaier’s 598 laps led since 2017 are by far the most at Bristol, with Brandon Jones coming in a distant second at 131 laps led.
With 300 laps on the itinerary for Friday night, rostering dominators will be of utmost importance. Lineups should start with either of Gragson or Allgaier, if not both.
Brandon Brown, 11th ($7,400)
Michael Annett, 15th ($8,300)
Bristol will close out the regular season for the Xfinity Series, which should impact DFS players the same way they adjusted lineups at Daytona for the close of the Cup regular season. Instead of finishing top 30 in points, a full-time Xfinity driver must have a win and be in the top 20 to make the playoffs. Considering that the probability of winning a race at Bristol is considerably lower than Daytona, it limits who DFS players should take shots on in tournaments. Considering equipment and talent, that leaves a shortlist of Brown, who starts 11th, and Annett in the 15th position. Between the two, Annett is by far the superior choice, with his J.R. Motorsports equipment, versus Brown in his family-run car. However, Brown may be the better Bristol driver in the short term. Brown comes back to Bristol with three straight top-12 finishes, while Annett had three straight top-10 finishes here before back-to-back crashes in the 2020 races here.
Either way, these are leap-of-faith plays at the high end of expectations. At the lower end, these are just drivers reserved for tournaments who could push their way into the top 10 and grab some fastest laps in the process.
Sam Mayer, 22nd ($9,900)
Mayer’s unofficial maiden voyage into the Xfinity Series has been anything but smooth sailing. In a part-time season, following up the short-term success of Josh Berry in the same vehicle, Mayer has wrecked in three events and failed to finish a fourth at Darlington due to brakes. Furthermore, at Michigan he was an afterthought, finishing the race in 33rd, 25 laps down. Yet in the races he has finished, he has generally been around 10th place. This includes last week when he took over the No. 99 for B.J. McLeod and finished 12th.
When Mayer finishes the event, he does exactly what is expected of an 18-year-old. This week, at a track like Bristol, that might raise concern considering how easy it is to get caught up in a wreck. However, Mayer will come into Friday following three races in the Trucks Series at Bristol, including his victory in 2020. Hopefully, with track history on his side besides prior ARCA experience, Mayer can push for his first top-10 finish since Atlanta.
Ty Dillon, 31st ($9,000)
After filling in for Brett Moffitt the past few weeks, Dillon slides into the second Our Motorsports car. In his four previous starts for Chris Our, he has failed to finish worse than 13th, something he was not close to doing earlier this year when he drove the No. 54 for Joe Gibbs. In any case, the analysis is simple: Dillon is a top-10 driver in top-15 equipment and should be a shoo-in for double-ups and head-to-head games. In 10 career Xfinity starts for Richard Childress, Dillon had eight top-10 finishes, running all but 15 laps (2855 of 2870).
B.J. McLeod, 37th ($7,200)
McLeod is once again doing driver duty for someone other than himself. Last week he took over the No. 90 for Mario Gosselin and drove from 39th to 22nd, spending a chunk of the race hovering near the teens. This week he is behind the wheel of the No. 15 for J.D. Motorsports — the car most may remember Colby Howard being in for the majority of this season. With Howard behind the wheel, the No. 15 was a 25th through 30th-place car. However, with McLeod in the car this week, the No. 15 should be pushing for a finish at or near 20th. Considering McLeod’s starting position, that type of place differential puts him firmly in play for both tournaments and in cash games.
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