The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Richmond on Sunday, the second visit this season to the 0.75-mile track.
The last time we were here, Denny Hamlin made a late pass for the lead to win the race. William Byron led 122 laps and finished third, while Ryan Blaney led 128 laps and finished seventh. This is a race with a lot of laps led available, as four drivers led 50-plus laps in the Spring.
Below are my NASCAR DFS lineup picks for DraftKings and FanDuel this week. This slate locks on 8/14/22 at 3:15 p.m. ET. If you have any questions or want to talk about NASCAR, you can find me on Twitter at @juscarts.
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DFS Lineup Picks – DraftKings, FanDuel
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Martin Truex Jr.
Starts Sixth – DraftKings $10,600 | FanDuel $14,000
There are a lot of laps that could be led here in this race, so I’m paying up for two good drivers for this one who start near the front and could lead a bunch of laps, then filling out my lineup beyond those guys with place differential plays.
We start with Truex, who starts sixth and finds himself in dire need of a victory if he wants to make the playoffs. And…well, it’s good for him that NASCAR is in Richmond this weekend.
Truex has won here three times, all since joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. In his last seven races here, his worst finish is fifth, and he’s led 80 or more laps in all but one of those races.
Bet on Truex. Play him in DFS. He’s coming into this race extra motivated because of his playoff situation.
Starts Second – DraftKings $10,100| FanDuel $12,000
Chastain and Kyle Larson share the front row. One of those drivers should lead a good number of lapses early. You could probably pick either and have the same chance of them being The Guy for that first stage, but I lean Chastain because he’s felt just a little faster this season.
The last time we were at Richmond, Chastain only finished 19th, but he’s run well at the other shorter tracks on the schedule, including a second at Phoenix and a fifth at Martinsville.
He also had a top-10 here last year and led four laps while driving for Chip Ganassi. That CGR team didn’t have the speed that this Trackhouse car has, yet Chastain still was competitive throughout that race.
Starts 26th – DraftKings $8,800 | FanDuel $8,800
Now we get to place differential options.
Reddick starts 26th. He’s one of a good number of fast cars that start far back, but my need for laps-led points has led me to pivot off of the high-priced PD plays like Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott and instead to chase after some guys with a little more value.
That begins with Reddick, who has been extremely fast lately. He’s finished in the top-two in two of the last three races but blew an engine last week at Michigan.
Reddick was a solid 12th last time we were at Richmond. He should have the speed to drive up into the top-10 on Sunday.
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Starts 33rd – DraftKings $7,500 | FanDuel $6,500
Cindric is mired back in 33rd. Unlike some other drivers who start deep in the field, Cindric doesn’t have a great track record here in Cup, with finishes of 28th and 20th in his two starts.
But put that aside for a second and focus instead on this idea: a Penske car starts 33rd in a race.
Context of how Cindric has performed here aside, a Penske because starting this far back and only costing you this much salary is a must-play.
It is worth noting that Cindric has been solid here in Xfinity, with a pair of second-place finishes.
Starts 32nd – DraftKings $6,800 | FanDuel $7,200
Another top team with one of its drivers mired back in the field!
Almirola rolls off 32nd. This hasn’t been a great season for this team, as they’re just 18th in points with an average finish of 17.2, but when a driver with an average finish of 17th starts 32nd, we’ve got to have some exposure to him .
This is also a solid track for Almirola, who has seven top-10s here. Considering how long Almirola drove for a middling Richard Petty Motorsports team, having a 35% top-10 rate here is pretty impressive.
Starts 34th – DraftKings $6,200 | FanDuel $5,200
Finally, we end with another Ford that struggled in qualifying. What’s going on, Ford?
McDowell is having a really solid season considering the equipment he’s driving. He’s only 26th in points because of a penalty, but his average finish this season is 16.7, the highest mark of his career.
McDowell has never had a top-10 here, and his last top-20 run at Richmond was in 2017, which was also his last lead lap finish here. Track record suggests we avoid McDowell, but his past qualifying efforts here say he can find speed at this track. If he can put together a solid race and gain 10 spots by the end, you’ll be okay with having played McDowell, but the real upside would be if he can get up to around his 2022 average finish.
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