Dixie Vodka 400: NASCAR DFS Premium Rankings

The NASCAR Cup Series moves to the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami this Sunday. The DFS tiered rankings is a proven tool that has helped many DFS players bag tournaments in prior years, and it has personally helped me take down first place prize pools in several instances.

I rank every driver and tier them based on price. There is no sense to compare Chase Elliot to Quin Houff, but comparing Chase Elliot to Kevin Harvick, for example, tends to make sense. The rankings will be posted first and represent the “initial pass” on my approach to the slate.

The notes represent my “second pass” and will provide more insight into how I am building lineups, what I have learned from looking around the industry, and mention any situations where I’m “hotter” or “colder” on anyone than when I set the rankings. For example, I may mention that there is a large gap in my interest level after the top three ranked drivers in a given tier. Another example would be to point out that drivers ranked 1-3 are interchangeable in terms of my interest. My suggestion is to enter multiple lineups and use the rankings and notes as a guide as you build lineups.

If you are a more serious player building 40+ lineups, I do suggest purchasing a lineup optimizer tool. These are affordable for our more advanced players and you can get them relatively cheap – especially if you are purchasing for NASCAR only. We will definitely look to partner with a third party or build one in-house for next season. If you need help selecting one, I’m here to help explain and recommend what you need. To reiterate – this is only for advanced players and you do not need this unless you have full command of the tool. In fact, it can do more harm than good if you do not know what you are doing.

NASCAR DFS Tiered Rankings – O’Reilly Auto Parts 253

Tier 1 Notes

Alright, if you watched the DFS Preview show, you could tell how torn I was on these potential dominators. After digging into the slate, specifically roster construction, I decided to give Hamlin the #1 rank. Honestly, during the week, I wanted to go underweight on Hamlin and pivot to some other guys, but the price is a pricing mistake based on the data. However, this slate is loaded with tier 2 plays so we need to create salary savings where it is possible. The punt range makes this even harder to save salary because of the poor quality.

I want to be clear though – any of these guys can be on the optimal and dominate this race. Just because Hamlin is #1, I will have plenty of lineups that feature the drivers ranked 2-6th. Larson is my dark horse GPP play so I gave him the #2, but those rankings could easily be flipped or interchanged. Blaney, Logano, and Kez should be extremely low-owned.

Tier 2 Notes

Loaded tier alert! I’m going to keep this one short and say “look at the starting positions and equipment.” Not only does this tier have the chalky, place differential options, it also has some of my favorite GPP pivots. Bowman is one of my picks to win and Dillon and Almirola are logical pivots off the chalk if you want to get off Reddick, Matt D, and Willy B on a portion of your lineups. Bell could screw me on this slate – I just can’t justify playing him with the plays around him.

Tier 3 Notes

I gave Chastain the nod over Briscoe, but they are basically the same play according to projections. Bubba makes the most sense as the pivot off these two, and I don’t have much interest in the rest of the tier. If you are playing a bunch of lineups, I would set a rule to not play more than 1 of Stenhouse, Custer, and Jones in the same lineup. If you are entering 20 or fewer lineups, you can X them out or play them in no more than 1 lineup each.

Tier 4 Notes

Talk about an ugly tier – this really sucks this week. With so many great expensive plays, it would be nice to have some better value options to save salary. Newman and Suarez make the most sense with their experience, but their starting positions limit their scoring potential. Lajoie on his new team and Alfredo are other options to consider. We could easily see the optimal lineup feature a driver down here with a mediocre to poor score, but it still makes the optimal due to pricing/roster construction.

As crazy as it sounds, Houff and McLeod make the most sense mathematically of all the super punts below 5.4k. I’m not saying to play these guys a bunch, but IF you have to play one, those would be my two. This is really only for our players that are playing 40+ lineups. Avoid this range if possible.

Platform Insights (DraftKings/FanDuel)

I’m adding this section just to point out a few things across platforms as I’m building lineups. As a reminder, place differential, laps led, and fastest laps are more important on DraftKings. FanDuel is all about finishing position so your goal should be to get as many drivers that can finish inside the top 10/top 5.

  • Big Bump to KFB over on FanDuel. He is the 5th most expensive driver at 12.2k over on FD versus the most expensive driver on DK at 11.8k.
  • Matt D is a great play for obvious reasons, but this FD price is absolutely ridiculous at 7.2k.
  • Larson 7th most expensive on FD versus 4th on DK
  • Harvick in play on both sites but stronger play on DK; 14k on FD and most expensive
  • WAYYYYYYY more likely to land on Suarez and punt options on DK than FD. Pricing is soft on FD and you rarely need to punt on FD
  • IF (Emphasis on IF) you are going to go underweight on Reddick, it makes more sense on FD. On Draftkings, Reddick is priced similar to the other place differential options. However, on FD there is a larger drop off to the other options except for Willy B.

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