DraftKings Picks for the Geico 500

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Talladega, Alabama this week for the Geico 500. This is a great week to try your luck in a DraftKings contest and bring home some easy money. I have never seen the driver prices as cheap as they are for Sunday.

Even if you do not know anything about NASCAR, fantasy teams will have a good chance of winning their DraftKings contest this week. All of the drivers who enter the race have a realistic chance of finishing up front. Talladega comes down to being at the right place at the right time. This would be a great week to take a chance with some longshots and pair them with some of the favorites.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the only driver who finished all four of the 2015 races on the superspeedways in the top 10. Four drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.) were able to finish three of the races in the top 10. Each of these drivers would be a good choice for your contest for Sunday.

Here are the DraftKings points from the two races at Talladega Speedway in 2015:

2015 Geico 500 at Talladega





Martin Truex Jr. 70.5


Dale Earnhardt Jr.



Cole Whitt


4 J.J. Yeley


5 Josh Wise



2015 CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega





Martin Truex Jr. 76


Dale Earnhardt Jr. 61.25
3 Joey Logano



Clint Bowyer


5 Michael Waltrip


*To see the full list, visit ifantasyrace.com.

The strategy for winning your DraftKings contest should be to take the drivers who start in the back of the pack. Many of these drivers finished the race up front in 2015. I expect the same to happen this week. Remember to pair these drivers with some of the top drivers who start up front (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson)

2015 Gieco 500 Position Differential Points

Driver Starting Position Finish Position

Differential Points

Martin Truex Jr.

36th 5th 31

Josh Wise

34th 10th 24

Cole Whitt

41st 13th


J.J. Yeley 42nd 14th


Matt Dibenedetto 43rd 18th



Fantasy teams need to score as many points this week for position differential as possible. Many drivers usually lead laps at Talladega so it is unlikely that any driver will score more than 20 bonus points for leading laps Sunday. Position differential points will be the key to cashing in at Talladega.


Pick to Win

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($10,300) is the best restrictor-plate driver in the series. He won two of the four races on the superspeedways in 2015 and finished the other two in the top three. Earnhardt has been to Victory Lane at Talladega six times and finished second at the track five times. He is by far the best selection for your DraftKings contest this week. Earnhardt qualified third for the race Sunday.



Denny Hamlin ($10,000) proved in the Daytona 500 this year that he is one of the elite restrictor-plate drivers in the Sprint Cup Series. He is better at Daytona than he is at Talladega, but he did win the race in 2014 at this track. Joe Gibbs Racing has fast cars this season and Hamlin is their best driver on the superspeedways. Hamlin qualified eighth for the race this week.

Jimmie Johnson ($9,800) has won two races at Talladega in his career and he has the third-best driver ranking in the last five restrictor-plate races. Do not be surprised to see the No. 48 car pushing the No. 88 to the checkered-flag since Johnson is already locked into the Chase. Johnson qualified fifth and will be right behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sunday.

Kevin Harvick ($9,400) has been Mr. Consistent at Talladega. He has a series-best average finishing position and the third-best driver rating in the last four races at the track. The No. 4 car may not run up front for most of the race, but he will be there when the checkered-flag is waived Sunday. Harvick qualified 29th and should score many bonus points for position differential.

Martin Truex Jr. ($8,900) is one of the more underrated drivers at the superspeedways. He probably should have won the Daytona 500 this year and he will be looking to get his first restrictor-plate track win this week. Truex scored the most DraftKings points in both races at Talladega in 2015 and he should run well this year now that Furniture Row Racing has an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. Do not be surprised to see Truex in Victory Lane this week. Truex qualified 12th and he should quickly make his way to the front.


Value Picks

Ryan Blaney ($7,300) could have won this race last year. He was running up front at the end when Jimmie Johnson decided to push his teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the win instead of staying behind Blaney. He has more experience at Talladega than any other track on the circuit. The No. 21 car should be up front once again this week. Blaney qualified 19th and he should work with Joey Logano to make his way to the front.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,900) is one of the best restrictor-plate drivers in the Sprint Cup Series. He has a series-best average finishing position at Talladega. The Roush Fenway Racing cars are much better this year than they have been in the past. Stenhouse is good at avoiding trouble at the track, so the No. 17 car will have a good chance at a top-10 finish Sunday. Stenhouse qualified sixth and he has a car fast enough to stay up front this week.

Regan Smith ($5,900) has been at his best on the superspeedways in his career. Smith has finished five races in a row at the restrictor-plate tracks in the top 16. Smith finished eighth in the Daytona 500 this year. He also finished back-to-back races at Talladega in the top six (2013 Smith finished sixth and 2012 he finished fifth). He is one of the best value picks for your contest this week. Smith qualified 25th and he will have plenty of time to make his way to the front.

Cole Whitt ($5,000) since each driver who starts the race has a good chance to finish up front, Whitt should be strongly considered for your contest this week. He is the cheapest driver in the field and he scored the third-most points in DraftKings contests for this race last year. Whitt is a great pick for tournament contest this week. He qualified 36th so there is little risk in using the No. 98 car this week.


Here are my picks for DraftKings for the Geico 500…

Tournament Contest (GPP)

Driver 1: Dale Earnhardt Jr. $10,300

Driver 2: Kevin Harvick $9,400

Driver 3: Kyle Busch $9,200

Driver 4: Kurt Busch $8,800

Driver 5: Ryan Blaney $7,300

Driver 6: Cole Whitt $5,000


Casch Contest (50/50)

Driver 1: Kevin Harvick $9,400

Driver 2: Matt Kenseth $9,100

Driver 3: Kurt Busch $8,800

Driver 4: Kasey Kahne $8,000

Driver 5: Jamie McMurray $7,900

Driver 6: Paul Menard $6,800


For new players I suggest starting out with a $1, $3 or $5 Double-Up Contest. These contests are usually the easiest to win. Click here to sign up.


*Stats from Driveraverages.com and career stats from Racing-Reference.Info


If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR or check out my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page.


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