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NASCAR Fantasy Rankings: DFS Picks on DraftKings for NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega

Pearce Dietrich gives his picks and ranks his top drivers for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega, which locks at 3 p.m. ET on DraftKings.

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

The DraftKings NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega slate locks at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $400K ENGINEER [$100K TO 1ST] (CUP)

1. Ryan Blaney ($10,300) — Over the last 33 super-speedway races (Talladega, Daytona and Atlanta), Blaney’s average finish is 15th. That’s that the best in the Cup Series. Over that span, he has a win at Daytona and two at Talladega.

2. Denny Hamlin ($9,900) — When it comes to Talladega, Hamlin has the second-best average finish over the last 15 races. When it comes to plate racing, or super-speedway racing, Hamlin has the second-best average finish over the last 33 races.

3. Aric Almirola ($7,400) — His legendary hot streak at Talladega will boost his plate-track stats for years. From 2016 to 2020, Almirola earned eight consecutive top-10 finishes. That streak includes a win in 2018. That’s remarkable and the reason why Almirola has the best average finish at this super speedway since 2015.

4. Austin Cindric ($7,000) — Technically, his average finish of 15th at the plate tracks qualifies as the best. That’s over a much smaller sample size than his peers, but he does have a Daytona 500 win and a Daytona Xfinity Series win. Also, Penske is pretty good at super speedways.

5. Joey Logano ($10,400) — Atlanta may not be the best example of pack racing but it’s pretty close. Logano won the spring race at Atlanta. He’s won multiple times at Daytona and Talladega with plenty of top-5 finishes (11 in the last 30 races).

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6. Chase Elliott ($10,100) — In his first race since returning from injury, Elliott earned a top-10 finish at Martinsville. He’s good to go. Elliott has two wins in the last eight races at Talladega.

7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($8,100) — Not only is Stenhouse the 2023 Daytona 500 winner and a three-time super-speedway winner, but he’s one of the most consistent top finishers when it comes to pack racing. His 23% top-5 finish rate is the third-best over the last 33 plate track races.

8. Bubba Wallace ($8,700) — To finish first, first one must finish. Bubba Wallace has the best survival rate in super-speedway races. In his 25 races at the plate tracks (Talladega, Daytona and Atlanta), Wallace has earned a top-20 finish in 21 races (84%).

9. Ross Chastain ($9,400) — He won the spring race at Talladega in 2022, and he finished second in both Atlanta races last season. Chastain won an Xfinity Series plate-track race with Kaulig Racing in 2019.

10. Erik Jones ($6,700) — Legacy Motor Club has struggled this season. After their win at Darlington last fall, this appeared to be a small team on the rise. That has not been the case. Talladega is a great opportunity to get back on track. Jones has earned a top-10 finish in each of the last three races at Talladega and five of the last six.

11. Michael McDowell ($6,800) — Small teams focus their resources on winnable races. Front Row Motorsports has always gone all-in at Talladega at Daytona. David Ragan won at Talladega a decade ago. Cole Whitt was always strong at the plate tracks. McDowell may be the best. He won the Daytona 500 and has three top-5 finishes in the last seven Talladega races.

12. Kyle Larson ($9,600) — There is one box left to check. Larson has won everywhere in the Cup Series except at a plate track. Martinsville was his worst track, and he crossed that race off last week. Larson has won a plate race in the Xfinity Series (Daytona 2018), but he has not won a Cup Series plate race.

13. Austin Dillon ($7,200) — Richard Childress is a notorious scab. He raced at Talladega when the stars boycotted the race in 1969 due to safety concerns. The earnings from his 23rd-place finish led to RCR. That led to his grandson collecting two Daytona Cup Series wins and a Daytona Xfinity Series win.

14. Justin Haley ($6,400) — Kaulig Racing knows plate tracks. They have yet to win a super-speedway race in the Cup Series, but they have plenty of Xfinity Series trophies. Haley owns most of those trophies. He also has a Cup Series win at Daytona for Spire Motorsports.

15. Ty Gibbs ($6,600) — Friends matter at plate tracks and the JGR-23XII Toyota family sticks together. Gibbs finished ninth at Atlanta earlier this season. One of his seven Xfinity Series wins in 2022 was at the plate track in Atlanta.

Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $400K 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.