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Cook Out Southern 500 DFS: DraftKings, FanDuel Daily Fantasy NASCAR Lineup Picks

It's playoff time in the NASCAR Cup Series. 16 drivers are still alive in the race for the title. Last week's exciting ending at Daytona saw Austin Dillon earn the final playoff spot, knocking Martin Truex Jr. out in the process.

This is the second visit to Darlington this season. In May, Joey Logano led 107 laps on his way to victory lane. That was an eventful race, as just 23 drivers managed to finish, with 20 on the lead lap. Will this race be as chaotic as the spring one?

Below are my NASCAR DFS lineup picks for DraftKings and FanDuel this week. This slate locks on 9/4/22 at 6:17 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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Kyle Larson

Starts 7th - DraftKings $11,400 | FanDuel $13,000

This is my pick to win Sunday's race.

Larson's never won a Cup Series race here at Darlington, but he's come close. His average finish at this track is 8.9 and he's led over 100 laps three times. He led 30 laps in the May race here, but had an engine failure and finished 36th.

That 36th ended a streak of three consecutive second-place finishes here for Larson. In fact, in his nine races here, he's finished second or third five times.

I hate to say a driver is "due" for a win somewhere, but with how Larson has run here in the past, he's going to win Darlington at some point.



Chase Elliott

Starts 23rd - DraftKings $10,700| FanDuel $14,000

Elliott has some really nice place differential upside on Sunday, as he'll roll off the grid in 23rd. He's the second-lowest starting playoff driver.

This isn't Elliott's best track, but he does have top 10s in two of his last three Darlington starts, including a fifth in the race here in May.

Elliott has only led laps in three of his starts here, but he has flashed the potential to dominate here once, when he led 114 laps in 2020 before troubles led to a 20th place finish.

Expect Elliott to gain a good number of spots here. I don't think he's going to be in the battle for the win, but he'll start the playoffs with a strong result.


Kevin Harvick

Starts 18th - DraftKings $8,500 | FanDuel $8,800

For awhile there, the Ford cars didn't have a lot of speed, but things have started to shift over the last month or so. Harvick salvaged a disappointing season with a pair of wins late in the regular season and is now in contention for the title.

He starts 18th on Sunday, a spot that offers some good place differential opportunities for a driver who has been really good at Darlington.

Harvick has won here three times, but the wins are less notable than this fact: since joining Stewart Haas Racing in 2014, Kevin Harvick has run 12 races here. His worst finish was ninth. He has 10 top fives in that span.


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Daniel Suarez

Starts 36th - DraftKings $8,900 | FanDuel $8,200

Here's the PD Chalk Play of the race. We have a playoff driver starting 36th.

Suarez will serve a pass-through penalty to start the race. But there will be plenty of time for a caution to get Suarez back on the lead lap and once that happens, he should be positioned well to move up quickly past non-playoff cars who are unlikely to race him hard.

I want to temper expectations some on Suarez, though. He's got just one top 10 here, which came in May. He's got just three top 20s here ever. This car he's in is the best one he's driven at Darlington since 2019, so I don't expect him to finish 25th or anything, but Suarez might top out around 17th or so. Still, that's some good PD gains in that scenario, and if things get chaotic like they were in May, he could wind up higher.


Harrison Burton

Starts 28th - DraftKings $5,700 | FanDuel $4,500

Harrison Burton had a shaky start to his Cup Series career, but he's been running better lately.

The results haven't necessarily been there, but Burton has has an average running position of 20th or better five times in the last 10 races. In the first 16 races of the season, he had an average running position that good just twice per Racing Reference.

Burton was 14th here in the first race of the season. That was his best finish during the first 13 races of the year.


Cole Custer

Starts 30th - DraftKings $5,500 | FanDuel $5,000

It's been a tough year for Cole Custer. His average finish this season is 20.9 and his struggles have prompted a lot of talk about whether or not SHR might move him back down to Xfinity or outsource him to a team like Rick Ware Racing.

But Custer's finding a little something lately.

Over the last five races, Custer has three top 20s, led by a ninth at Indy. Of course, those three top 20s were either at road courses or superspeedways, so it'll be interesting to see if any momentum carries over to a more "normal" track like Darlington.

Custer's crashed out in two of his last three starts here, but he was 12th and 11th in the last two races he finished at this track, so there's definitely some upside, especially considering that in this race last year, he started 31st and finished 11th, a gain of 20 spots.

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