The Checkered Flag – FREE Picks – Autotrader Automotive 500 – NASCAR DFS


Hi everyone! DPA’s Joe Kooinga back again to give you a breakdown for this week’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s getting down to crunch time with only three races left in the season. The stakes are pretty high with several drivers fighting for a spot in the Championship four. Again, with no practice sessions for the teams, past performance at this track becomes the best piece of info we have to go off of. Let’s take a look at my favorite plays for this week: 

Potential Dominators

Kevin Harvick | 1st |11,000 DK|14,000 FD|

This one is pretty cut and dry. Harvick has won 3 out of the last 6 races here. All 3 of the wins have actually came in this playoff race format. So you have to use him. He starts on the pole. He has the best overall rating here and he’s led laps in 6 out of the last 7 races here overall. I think fading Harvick is a GPP only play and a risky idea overall. He’s just too good here. He’s the top salary but also the top play on the board. 

Chase Elliot | 4th |10,500 DK|12,500 FD|

The numbers really don’t back up this play. Chase only has on Top 10 finish here in his last 4 trips. But this is one of the few options for dominator outside of Harvick that I would consider. He’s battling to make the championship 4 and I would imagine the team gives their best effort here in years in this spot. This is really GPP only for dominator. Harvick has the history. But if you are looking to fade and give someone else a shot in a line or two, Chase, Hamlin, or Truex are your best chances To do so, in my opinion. 

Denny Hamlin | 7th |10,800 DK|13,300 FD|

I think Hamlin makes the final 4 drivers. If I’m going to fade Harvick, this is probably one of the best options. However, Martinsville is next week and that’s one of Hamlin’s best tracks. So he knows if he doesn’t do great here at Texas, next week he will be one of the clear favorites to win. So that worries me. He doesn’t have to win this week to make the championship race, especially with a great performance next week. So don’t have too much exposure. Being contrarian to Harvick though, this is a good option. 

Martin Truex | 6th |10,200 DK|12,000 FD|

Truex excels at 1.5 mile tracks. Which Texas is. I think he will be battling for at least a Top 5 today and is one of the best options if you are not using Harvick. 

Joey Logano | 2nd |9,800 DK|13,000 FD|

I don’t think Logano is a good play today. He’s already clinched a spot in the championship race and they as a team are more concerned with that race then this week. He’s a fade for me. I’m not saying he won’t try, but they have nothing to race for in this spot. So he’s not going to be aggressive like other drivers will. Why would he? 

Place Differential

Jimmie Johnson | 26th |9,400 DK|9,800 FD|

Winding down on a historic career, Jimmie has 3 races left in his career. He starts in a really nice spot for potential place diff and I think he will do his best to finish Top 10 and try to end these last few races on a high note. He’s pretty expensive, but +10 place diff is very realistic and that probably pays off his price tag. He will be popular. Good FD value.

Erik Jones | 17th | 8,900 DK|10,700 FD|

I really like this play, Jones dominated here in xfin and has finished Top 10 6 out of his 7 races in the cup. He also has +10 place diff potential. I will have a lot of exposure.

Tyler Reddick | 19th |7,900 DK|9,200 FD|

Reddick finished 2nd here in the spring race. It fits his style well. Starting this far back he is definitely worth being in your player pool. I don’t know if he can repeat the spring performance. But he should have a chance at a Top 10 here. The price is really solid too. 

Clint Bowyer | 21st |8,700 DK|10,200 FD|

Bowyer is another driver you should have in your player pool. I like Reddick more based on price. But Bowyer is also retiring in 3 races. I think he will do his best to finish well here. Having the same or nearly the same setup as Harvick should help as well. 

Cole Custer | 16th |7,300 DK|7,600 FD|

Custer has really good results here in xfin. He’s a teammate of Harvick and the track suits him well, so I like this play a bit. I’m not completely sold, because he starts a little higher up then I’d like. But I think he should have the speed to be competitive. 

Matt Kenseth | 32nd |7,100 DK|7,200 FD|

Kenseth has not been good lately, and I fear that continues here. But starting 32nd, he’s got to be better than that. I could see him being awful here and I could see him just cracking the Top 25. So I think he’s worth a play in GPP or to add to your player pool. 

Daniel Saurez | 30th |5,500 DK|5,500 FD|

I don’t expect a ton here. But he’s cheap enough that he might be able to work as your punt in a lineup. Use with caution. 

JJ Yeley | 33rd |5,100 DK|3,000 FD|

Ok. This is being pretty bold, but Yeley was 26th here the last two races. If there’s a wreck that takes out a couple of people and Yeley’s car isn’t total garbage, there’s a slight chance he could repeat that performance. Easily paying off this price and letting you stack some pretty solid plays across the board for the rest of your line. This is very risky. But if I’m making 8-10 lines in contests, I’ll throw him in a line and cross my fingers. Again, be careful here. This is a dart throw for GPP only.