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NASCAR Fantasy Rankings: DFS Picks on DraftKings for NASCAR Cup Series Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club

Pearce Dietrich gives his picks and ranks his top drivers for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club, which locks at 3:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings.

The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday. The order is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.

The DraftKings NASCAR Cup Series Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club (Fontana) slate locks at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $500K ENGINEER [$100K TO 1ST] (CUP)

1. Kyle Larson ($10,800) — Young Money has won two of the last five Auto Club (Fontana) races. In the last three low-downforce races at Fontana, he was two wins and a runner-up finish.

2. Tyler Reddick ($9,100) — Fontana is a giant dirt track with a fast groove right on the wall. Reddick scored 40 hog points (fast lap and laps led points) in last season’s race at Auto Club Speedway before blowing a tire while leading.

3. Ross Chastain ($9,900) — DFS NASCAR is all about predicting the driver that will lead the most laps. Chastain tied Kyle Larson in 2022 for the highest percentage of laps led at intermediate tracks (11%).

4. Denny Hamlin ($10,600) — Predicting a lap leader can be difficult. Cautions and pit stops play a significant and unpredictable role. However, before a driver can benefit from cautions and pit stops, they must be within striking distance — running inside the top five. Hamlin turned the second-most laps inside the top five last season at intermediate tracks (40%).

5. William Byron ($8,900) — Finishing position is not the most difficult statistic to predict. Hog points are much more difficult to project. The first step is removing half of the field, the second step and third step is narrowing the field further. One criteria is top-5 laps. Byron ran the highest percentage of laps inside the top five in the 2022 intermediate track races (41%).

For NASCAR insight and quick DFS help, follow Pearce Dietrich (@Race4thePrize) on Twitter.

6. Chase Elliott ($10,500) — No one thinks of Chase Elliott as a rim rider but everyone thinks of him as a wheel man. He hit the wall and spun out in the 2022 race, but he rebounded to nearly win the Fontana race. Ultimately, his teammate and the race winner, Kyle Larson, wrecked him — accidentally?

7. Ryan Blaney ($10,100) — He corded a tire while leading the final laps of the 2020 race and had to pit. That was in the high-downforce package, so it might not mean much. In the three races prior, two were low-downforce races, Blaney finished fifth, eighth and ninth. He knows his way around this two-mile track.

8. Joey Logano ($9,700) — The reigning champ has never won a Cup Series race at Fontana. He has three Xfinity Series wins at Auto Club and a top-5 finish in five of the last six Cup Series races at the two-mile track in California.

9. Bubba Wallace ($8,700) — The 23XI Toyotas — a loose JGR affiliate — were strong in the two Kansas races last season. Kansas has progressive banking and a fast groove near the wall. Bubba won the fall Kansas race.

10. Martin Truex, Jr. ($9,300) — During the high-horsepower, low-downforce days, no one was better than Truex at the intermediate tracks. Some of the horsepower returned and some of the downforce disappeared in 2022, but Truex did not completely return to form. He was close, but not close enough for the public. Truex could go under owned on Sunday.

11. Kyle Busch ($10,300) — JGR had overheating issues last season at Fontana and Busch had other issues all race long (spins and speeding). Before that eventful race, he finished first, second and third at Fontana from 2018 to 2020.

12. Christopher Bell ($9,500) — This should be a track where Christopher Bell excels given his dirt-track background. His dirt-racing experience has carried over on the short tracks, but not so much the intermediates. He hasn’t struggled but he has not been dominate either.

13. Aric Almirola ($6,500) — This might not seem like an Almirola track, if there is such a thing, but it is. Almirola has a top-10 finish in each of the last three Auto Club races. This is a unique track with a challenging surface. Track history is a notable factor this weekend.

14. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,100) — Ride the hot hand. Stenhouse has momentum on his side. He can gamble with the win in the bank. This track and the racing packing generate cautions that can equalize the field. Finally, he’s a dirt tracker.

15. Noah Gragson ($6,200) — Legacy Motorsports Club (formerly Petty-GMS Racing) was strong at the rim-riding tracks last season. Erik Jones ($7,700) recorded the second-most fast laps at Fontana in 2022. Gragson is no stranger to riding the wall.

Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $500K ENGINEER [$100K TO 1ST] (CUP)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.