YellaWood 500: NASCAR DFS Strategy For Talladega

YO, IT’S DEGA WEEK! The YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is going to be awesome, and I’ve put together some NASCAR DFS strategy for the race.

FIRST – GO TO GGFS-CHAT IN THE DISCORD, AND JOIN THE DALEADEGA DRIVE TO SURVIVE POOL. ONLY $10, 5-ENTRY MAX, DRIVERS RANDOMLY DRAWN, PAYOUTS ALL WEEKEND! GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND!

Our second child was due last Thursday, so that dude is coming any day now, and I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to post this weekend. It’s decent timing, as DraftKings projections for a Superspeedway are essentially useless anyways, BUT… good strategy remains undefeated. I wanted to post this on the site, as I know not everyone has Twitter or joins in on the free Discord, etc., and I want as many members of the Garage Guys to have these valuable bits of information.

TALLADEGA DRAFTKINGS STRATEGY

The first thing I did was take the top-20 optimal DraftKings lineups from each of the last 6 Talladega races. The reason I took 20 lineups, is that finding the optimal lineup rarely ever occurs, if ever. If we can widen the scope a bit, perhaps we’ll have a larger sample size and a better understanding of what we’re looking for.

Exposure for the Top-20 optimal DraftKings lineups in each of the last 6 Talladega races:

Here is how often a starting position showed up inside the top-20 optimal lineups for each race:

Starting Position 1-9: 13%

Starting Position 10-19: 27%

Starting Position 20-29: 36%

Starting Position 30+: 24%

As you can see, the “stack the back” approach will work, but in moderation. I think many will look towards the last Daytona race and think you can get away with playing drivers starting 32-37. In theory that could work, especially in cash, but history tells us that you have destroyed your chances of a ceiling performance. Remember, it took rain at Daytona to wipe out almost half the field. I know the hurricane is headed towards ‘Dega this weekend, but there is no way they run again with any sort of threat of rain. Do not count on that happening, ever again. Another reason why this could limit your ceiling in DraftKings tournaments is that these drivers are typically higher owned. You are not gaining much leverage on the field by rostering them.

Now, let’s take a closer look at how often the drivers starting inside the top-10 showed up in the optimal exposures:

Starting Position 1-4: 4%

Starting Position 5-9: 9%

I would be OK fading the front two rows every single time, regardless of who is starting there. The odds of any of those four drivers winding up in a ceiling DraftKings lineup are just too slim.

I would even go as far as fading the entire Top-10, depending on how many lineups you are creating. If you are making 150 lineups, you could sprinkle a few here and there, but never more than one driver starting inside the top-10 in the same lineup.

If you look at the starting positions that showed up in all 20 optimal DraftKings lineups in their respective races, above, they were:

12, 19, 19, 20, 23, 28, 28, 30, 38, 40

No driver starting inside the top-10 was featured in all 20 of the optimal DraftKings lineups in any of the races.

The closest we see happened twice, where a driver starting 10th showed up in 80% of them, and a driver starting 9th showed up in 95% of them. So, if you absolutely must talk yourself into playing someone in the top-10, might I strongly recommend you make it one of the drivers starting in the 5th row. Do not go out of your way to do this.

In conclusion, when building DraftKings lineups this weekend, my preferred methods would be:
  1. All 6 drivers starting 20 or beyond. While of course, this can win tournaments as well, it is a must in cash games (50/50, Double Up/H2H).
  2. Sprinkle 1 driver starting 11-20. This would be for tournaments. I would recommend going underweight on obvious chalk. Ex: Blaney starting 19th. In such a volatile race, I’d rather be underweight on this and hope he gets caught in something.
  3. Sprinkle 2 drivers starting 9-20. This would be for MME, 150-max type of tournaments where you can afford to be riskier in some lineups. The same rules apply for going underweight on obvious chalk.
  4. Never care how much salary is left on the table. Set no minimum and no maximum salary restrictions.
Fun Fact: There have been an average of 40 lead changes per race, over 106 races at Talladega.

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My Pre-Practice/Qualifying Ranks

My ranks for each driver vs. the current field:
  1. Talladega Recent Form
  2. Talladega Recent Average Finish
  3. 2022 Superspeedway True Performance Ranks
  4. 2022 Average Superspeedway Finish
Here they are, sorted by how they ranked out vs the current field:

Let’s take 1 & 3, and call it, “Skill”. Let’s take 2 & 4, and call it, “Survival”.

I just wanted to see who has been racing better recently at Talladega and Superspeedways compared to their results, and vice versa.

I came up with this list:

Skill > Survival

Stenhouse +21

Bell +17

Logano +16

Byron +15

Hamlin +14

Hemric +13

Bowman +12

Larson +11

Reddick +11

Survival > Skill

Cassill +17

Cindric +16

LaJoie +14

A. Dillon +14

McDowell +12

Haley +10

Almirola +9

Chastain +9

Bubba +8

Ware +8

Now, keep in mind, this was just a fun exercise, and anything can happen at a Superspeedway. I think the best way to use this is to understand that the bigger names, that many know are good drivers at Superspeedways, will be higher owned. Regardless of their starting position, if you go underweight on these drivers, you gain a lot of leverage on the field in tournaments. You’ll notice a few names on the “Survival” list that we don’t normally see win races, but have won at Superspeedways, or finished higher than they normally do, due to the volatility of these races.

Something else you could look at, while again, keeping in mind anything can happen at a Superspeedway, is looking at who has run better at Talladega vs Daytona. Also, keep in mind that some of these drivers have a smaller sample size, but are still fun to look at as we head into the weekend.

Drivers who stood out most with better form at Talladega vs Daytona:

Erik Jones

Brad Keselowski

Cole Custer

Daniel Hemric

Aric Almirola

Chris Buescher

Ross Chastain

William Byron

Ryan Blaney

Ty Dillon

Fun Fact: There have been 106 races at Talladega. The winner has started outside the Top-20 only 8 times.

DALE IS ALIGNED WITH SOME OF MY Y0L0 BETS BELOW – SEE MORE ON THE LATEST EPISODE OF DALESCENTER

Y0L0 BETS (AT YOUR OWN RISK)

My wife is scheduled to be induced on Sunday, so either the baby comes before then, or I’m in the hospital on Sunday. Either way, my hands will be tied, and I had to decide how I wanted to play this weekend. Of course, I will be sneaking DFS lineups out there one way or another, but as far as betting, I wanted some “baby swag” longshots and will root for some hard racing and carnage on Sunday.

I present to you, baby swag/carnage bets:

2.75u invested (again, only invest what you are comfortable losing), capturing 38% of the field, all with nice returns should they get the win. Or since playoff drivers are not able to win anymore, captures over half the field! LOL.

Listen, I like the favorites here too, as you’ll see from the chart above, but I’m just trying to have fun this weekend and enjoy the race. Make sure you’re checking out Garage Guy Chase, Dale Tanhardt, & Greg Matherne’s Action Network pages for their bets this weekend.

Cheers, everyone. I look forward to seeing the Garage Guys community dominate the YellaWood500.

Have a great weekend!

Fun Fact: Dick Brickhouse won the first Talladega race in 1969. What. A. Sentence.

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GO TO GGFS-CHAT IN THE DISCORD, JOIN THE DALEADEGA DRIVE TO SURVIVE POOL. ONLY $10, 5-ENTRY MAX, DRIVERS RANDOMLY DRAWN, PAYOUTS ALL WEEKEND! GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND!

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