What a fucking shitshow. In addition to DraftKings absolutely massacring the NASCAR contests this weekend–yes, I know it’s NFL week 1, but they killed them even worse than last year despite higher demand–NASCAR itself decided to go with a ridiculous on-track schedule, particularly same-day qualifying (that concluded less than 3 hours before lock). The only thing dumber than all of this is Rick Allen. The threat of rain moving the start time up was only the cherry on top, although as of this post, DraftKings hasn’t moved up the lock time (thankfully). So, below you’ll find a condensed version of my typical DraftKings post, simply because of the time crunch as well as my need to enter my own lineups.

Here are some helpful links to the qualifying results and practice speeds from this weekend.

DraftKings Strategy Breakdown for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at The Brickyard

Kyle Larson Brad Keselowski Garage Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

There’s a reason that Indianapolis gets compared to Pocono quite often in the Fantasy NASCAR world. First, both are huge race tracks that aren’t the “restrictor plate” variety (or whatever they’re calling it now), and they’re both relatively flat.

Additionally, from a DFS perspective, you kind of have to take a different approach when building your lineups. Essentially, with only 160 laps scheduled for today, dominator points aren’t quite as important as they are at the smaller tracks.

Really what you need to do is simplify this and focus on finishing position and place differential. Obviously if there is a clear-cut favorite starting at or near the front that has a car that could dominate, you need to go with them, but my first sentence of this paragraph remains true. That’s what I’ve found to be successful at Indianapolis, anyway, and over the last three Brickyard DraftKings slates I’ve been able to walk away with almost $6,000 in profit thanks to that strategy.

As far as the super low-dollar guys, they typically don’t fit into the top lineup here at Indianapolis. When I say “super low-dollar” I’m talking about guys like Chastain, Cassill, etc. Instead you need to focus on that next tier up to solidify your lineup; for example, Daniel Hemric ($6,200) was in the optimal lineup in both Pocono races this season thanks to finishes of 13th and 7th in those two races. And I’ll let you know this: the #8 Chevrolet looks pretty sporty this weekend at Indianapolis, too.

Indianapolis Brickyard 400 DraftKings Projections

You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.

DriverStarting PositionDraftKings SalaryAvg Proj FPTSAvg. Projected FinishProj Laps LedDollar Per FPT
Denny Hamlin33$11,40065.405.80$174
Kyle Larson19$10,30054.405.27$190
Erik Jones14$9,40054.004.011$174
Kyle Busch7$12,00053.302.625$225
Kevin Harvick1$10,00052.303.454$191
William Byron29$7,80050.711.42$154
Martin Truex Jr27$10,70050.011.04$214
Brad Keselowski6$9,80045.304.618$216
Chase Elliott24$9,00040.014.00$225
Daniel Suarez20$7,50036.813.60$204
Kurt Busch8$9,20036.409.211$253
Matt DiBenedetto26$7,30035.217.40$207
Ryan Newman22$8,20034.815.60$236
Clint Bowyer3$8,30033.308.09$250
Joey Logano4$9,60031.509.06$305
Jimmie Johnson5$8,00027.811.68$288
Alex Bowman13$7,60027.814.60$273
Chris Buescher16$7,10025.617.20$277
Ryan Blaney9$8,50023.414.80$363
Aric Almirola10$8,70021.616.20$403
Daniel Hemric11$6,20020.617.20$301
Ty Dillon25$6,40019.824.60$323
Ross Chastain34$5,70019.229.40$297
JJ Yeley40$4,90019.232.40$255
Austin Dillon18$6,60018.421.80$359
Ricky Stenhouse Jr12$6,90018.019.00$383
Ryan Sieg36$5,20017.631.20$295
Matt Tifft28$5,50016.827.60$327
Bubba Wallace15$6,10016.221.40$377
Ryan Preece23$6,00016.225.40$370
Paul Menard2$6,80016.115.65$424
Parker Kligerman32$5,30015.630.20$340
Garrett Smithley38$4,70014.833.60$318
Michael McDowell21$5,80014.625.20$397
BJ McLeod35$4,60014.632.20$315
Corey Lajoie30$5,60014.030.00$400
Landon Cassill31$5,10013.830.60$370
Reed Sorenson37$4,80013.833.60$348
Josh Bilicki39$4,50012.235.40$369
David Ragan17$5,90007.826.60$756
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.