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Fantasy NASCAR DFS: Toyota Owners 400 Picks

Practice and qualifying races were canceled due to rain for the Toyota Owners 400, so we will be starting from these positions when the green flag waves at Richmond.

As we discussed in our preview for the race, Richmond is the first real short track on the schedule featuring an entirely different type of racing and, with it, a different strategy than what we’ve used in the few weeks. In 132 races at this track, drivers who have started in the Top 5 positions have won 55 percent of the time, and a whopping 100 winners have begun in the Top 10.

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Fantasy NASCAR DFS: Toyota Owners 400 Picks

Speaking of…

The Top 10

  1. Alex Bowman (Hendrick Motorsports)
  2. Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing)
  3. William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports)
  4. Ross Chastain (Trackhouse Racing)
  5. Tyler Reddick (23XI Racing)
  6. Austin Cindric (Team Penske)
  7. Chris Buescher (RFK Racing)
  8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing)
  9. Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports)
  10. Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing)

If history here has taught us anything, then these are your best 10 bets to win the Toyota Owners 400. However, if we look at who is starting 11th and 12th, then history looks just a bit more suspect. We’ll get to that in a second.

Which Value-Priced Drivers Got a Movement Points Bump?

Here is a quick reminder of what we mean by “movement points” for fantasy NASCAR DFS:

Both DFS sites that feature NASCAR – DraftKings (DK) and FanDuel (FD) – and most season-long fantasy formats will include a scoring category called “position differential” or “place differential.” (The words are interchangeable for this purpose.) This number is figured quite simply: If Driver A qualifies to begin 10th and he ends up 18th, then he will have a position differential of -8. On DK, that will subtract eight points from your overall score; on FD, it will cost you four points. However, the opposite is true, too. If Driver B qualifies for 18th and ends up in 10th, he will gain eight points on DK and four on FD. This is what we talk about when we say “movement points” in our weekly articles.

Beyond the top drivers, your Toyota Owners 400 DFS lineups will need some cheaper options to stay under the salary cap. This is where movement points are a primary focus as a quick way to earn some positive value. Here are some that stick out to me as having value in this area:


  • Harrison Burton – QP26 | $5,300
  • Chandler Smith – QP37 | $6,100
  • Austin Dillon – QP27 | $7,200


  • Anthony Alfredo – QP35 | $3,000
  • Harrison Burton – QP26 | $3,500
  • Justin Haley – QP29 | $3,500

Which Higher-Priced Drivers Got the Same Bump?

Without looking at each site separately, the following drivers are in the upper range of salary costs for DFS contests. Still, they are veteran drivers with a good history at the track, starting from a much lower position than their anticipated finish.

  • Christopher Bell – QP21
  • Joey Logano – QP18
  • Brad Keselowski – QP24

Toyota Owners 400

As we discussed in our preview, Denny Hamlin has four wins in those previous 132 races, and he will start 11th this afternoon. He doesn’t have an easy path to the front necessarily; short tracks are notorious for making that difficult. But he cannot be overlooked when building lineups.

Next to him will be Martin Truex, Jr., starting 12th. Truex has been excellent in Richmond over the past five races and has great short-track skills. These two veteran drivers offer good value outside the Top 10 with very solid chances of finishing near the front.

Christopher Bell is easily my favorite deep starter. His average finish in Richmond is sixth, so he has the best chance to accumulate a lot of movement points on a track where those are hard to come by.

Here are two lineups I’m looking to enter into GPP contests this afternoon.


  • Christopher Bell – $10,300
  • Denny Hamlin – $10,100
  • Joey Logano – $9,400
  • Austin Dillon – $7,200
  • Austin Cindric – $6,800
  • Chandler Smith – $6,100


  • Denny Hamlin – $12,500
  • Christopher Bell – $11,500
  • Joey Logano – $9,500
  • Alex Bowman – $8,500
  • Austin Dillon – $6,500

White Flag Thoughts Before You Go

If I had to make an outright bet on the winner, I’d go with Kyle Busch, but that doesn’t make him the best DFS play.

Don’t be afraid to leave salary on the table if you have a build you like that lands well below the $50,000 cap. In cash games, it’s better not to come up with entirely weird lineups, but in GPP contests, throwing a couple of bizarre ones in can result in huge payouts. Avoiding DNFs (did not finish) is as much luck as it is a skill, but it’s important to deviate so that one driver’s early exit doesn’t sink every lineup you have.

Enjoy your race days, everyone! And, as always, good luck!

Kelly Kirby covers fantasy NASCAR, fantasy hockey, and other random things at Fantrax. For more of her work, check out her archive and follow her on Twitter at @thewonkypenguin.

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