Welcome back races fans. After a wild and crazy playoff-opening race at Las Vegas, the Monster Energy Cup Series head to Richmond Raceway for race #2 on Saturday night under the lights. The track is a .75-mile D-shaped oval short track that has just 14 degrees of banking. It can be a challenging track to pass if you are not aggressive as there are is usually only one lane to get around.
For fantasy, qualifying is very important as outside of Kyle Busch winning from 32nd last year, the winner in the previous seven races has come from a Top 5 starting position. Dominator points will also be huge this week with 400 laps in the race. Over the last six races, there has been at least one driver to led 100 or more laps and there has also been three or more drivers to lead 50 or more laps in three straight and four of the last five here.
In this article, I will be looking at some of the top per-qualifying targets in each price range. The two practices and qualifying will take place on Friday so make sure to check out my DFS NASCAR Cheatsheet where I have updates on those sessions and also list my final targets. You can also jump into the RotoPros Slack Chat if you have any questions. Let's get into the picks.
Top Tier Targets
Kyle Busch(DK - $11,800 FD - $13,800)
Busch didn’t have the best day at Las Vegas in the playoff opener but still came in 7th and now goes back to one of his best tracks. He won the race here in Spring coming from the 32nd starting spot which was his 5th career win at Richmond. Not only that but he also leads all drivers with five short track wins going back to the start of the 2016 season. He is my top driver to build around this week in all formats.
Denny Hamlin(DK - $9,600 FD - $13,000)
Whether you are looking to go stars and scrubs or go a more balanced approach, Denny Hamlin has to be at the top of your list. He returns to Richmond after a third place finish in the Spring which was his sixth straight finish of 6th or better including a win in the night race in 2016. He doesn’t enter with the best form and sits dead last in the playoff standings but no better place to get back on track than here at Richmond. Fire him up in all formats.
Mid Tier Targets
Joey Logano(DK - $8,700 FD - $12,700)
Looking at the short track ranks on my cheatsheet, no driver has been more consistent than Joey Logano who, despite no wins, sports a 8.1 average finish since the start of the 2016 season. That includes three straight Top 5 finishes here at Richmond including a win in the Spring last year. To top it off, he also comes into this week with some nice form having finished Top 5 in three of his last four races including a 4th place finish in last weeks playoff opener in Las Vegas. It’s a closer decision on FanDuel but Logano seems to cheap on DraftKings and is a great play in all formats.
Daniel Suarez(DK - $7,500 FD - $9,200)
Suarez is the first non-playoff driver I am targeting this week and he will look to finish strong as he will be likely looking for a new ride in 2019. The good news is that he is coming off his first Top 10 in over a month and now returns to Richmond where he has finished Top 10 in back to back races. It will all depend on his qualifying position but Suarez looks to be a solid play in all format this week.
Austin Dillon(DK - $6,900 FD - $8,600)
Dillon sits 10th in the standings and is on the good side of the cut line after one race in the playoffs after an 11th place finish at Las Vegas. He now returns to Richmond where he has some decent track history considering. Over the last five races, he has averaged a starting position outside the Top 20 but has finished 21st or better in all five races with two Top 15 finishes. If he once again fails to qualify inside the Top 20, he becomes a tremendous value in all formats.