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NASCAR DFS Cash and Value Picks for NASCAR COTA This Week on DraftKings and FanDuel

Phillip Bennetzen

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The field is set for Sunday’s race at Circuit of the Americas with Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez on the front row. Thus, let’s delve into the top Fantasy NASCAR picks for cash games on DraftKings and FanDuel for the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at COTA.

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By the weird, and possibly conflated, metrics that set the field after the two sets of group qualifying were over, the top four favorites for Sunday’s race all start in the teens.

  • Chase Elliott, 12th (+300)
  • Kyle Larson, 13th (+400)
  • Kyle Busch, 15th (+900)
  • Martin Truex Jr., 17th (+900)

The first inclination that cash game players may have is to play Ryan Blaney ($10,000 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel) on the pole just to soak up those early laps led points. However, each of these four drivers has access to place differential, plus should be in the mix to lead laps later on in the race. Not to mention, with so few laps led and fastest laps points available this week, siding with drivers who have access to more bankable points (i.e. place differential) should be a no-brainer, especially in cash games where NASCAR DFS players should be more concerned with floors instead of ceilings.

A.J. Allmendinger, 20th ($8,800 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel)

This name and this starting position should be all the explanation anyone needs. In terms of road racing skill/ talent, Allmendinger should be the class of this 39-driver field. The only hang-up with Allmendinger “could” be his equipment but this same equipment was behind his win at the Indy GP and top 10 finishes at the Daytona Road Course and in this race last year. Furthermore, as a part-time driver, Allmendinger doesn’t have to concern himself with stage points which should allow him to race up front for the lead while others are playing pit road games before stage breaks. In the end, Allmendinger will probably finish in the top-five, but don’t be shocked if he leads a bulk of laps in the process.

Erik Jones, 30th ($7,400 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel)

Ty Dillon, 33rd ($5,100 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel)

In Erik Jones’ first season at Richard Petty Motorsports, Jones only had one road racing finish outside of the top-20 (Watkins Glen). With the 35th fastest practice speed, slower than teammate Ty Dillon, Jones’ prospects are not looking that great for tournament lineups. However, in cash, he should be a solid source of place differential and another top-20 result. Speaking of Dillon, he is too cheap this week on both DraftKings and FanDuel, especially him qualifying in the back with the rest of the drivers with questionable equipment. For NASCAR DFS players uncomfortable with some of the names mentioned below, Dillon gives them access to a driver in perceived better equipment who did manage two top-21 road course finishes in the Gaunt Brothers 96 last season.

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Andy Lally, 39th ($5,200 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel)

After failing technical inspection, on Friday, three times – the 78 Live Fast Racing team was penalized with no qualifying time on Saturday and a pass-through penalty on the initial green flag lap. Due to this, Lally will start dead last giving him the safest floor and largest place differential potential of all the “punt” drivers. As per his pass-through penalty, average lap times take a little over two minutes at COTA so Lally shouldn’t be in any fear of getting lapped, especially with the first segment break coming at lap 15.

For cash games, Lally carries a fairly safe floor, and once he resets back with the field, he should be able to pick off the slower drivers and gain position. As per tournaments, DFS players must be cognizant that this car has been slow (green flag speed rankings) in four straight events…

If Lally is going to be an essential piece to tournament rosters, on either DraftKings or FanDuel, he’s going to need attrition to finish in the 19th through 24th positions. Without the weather playing a part (compared to last season), Fantasy NASCAR players that go over the field, in terms of ownership, on Lally are banking on a combination of mechanical failures, wrecks, and tire issues. If the race remains green and clean, it’s hard to project Lally for a finish that reaches into the 20s.

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P.S. everything above about Lally is applicable to Joey Hand (38th), just at a slightly cheaper price on DraftKings ($5,000) and without a pass-through penalty. Hand just happened to drop a much faster single-lap practice speed than Lally in Saturday’s practice session. Vehicle-wise, the Live Fast 78 is going to be pretty comparable to the Rick Ware 15 most weeks, splitting hairs between the two could simply boil down to factors out of their control.


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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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