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Fantasy NASCAR Victory Lane Review: GEICO 500 at Talladega

Every week following the most recent NASCAR Cup Series race, we will review the  previous event for top takeaways, featuring the projections and predictions of the RotoBaller staff. Anchored by the 2023 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Racing Writer of the Year and well-established NASCAR DFS wizard Jordan McAbee, the RotoBaller NASCAR Season Pass includes everything you need to climb the tournament ladders, prevail in cash games, and put down winning wagers every week.

I will look back at Jordan’s pre-race forecasts and also loop in the analysis of our other top NASCAR analysts in a post-race breakdown of what was learned and can be utilized successfully going forward on DraftKings and FanDuel. Recent trends will be identified and we will highlight where Jordan and the NASCAR team succeeded in their predictive endeavors.

For access to the full suite of content from Jordan and the crew and our deluxe garage of tools that can help you win big in both DFS and NASCAR betting, strap in with the RotoBaller NASCAR Season Pass. Included in the setup are our lineup optimizer, research station, cheat sheets, VIP chats, and much more. Enter promo code KING at checkout for an additional discount.

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GEICO 500: The Post-Race DFS Inspection

Tyler Reddick Wins in Another Wild Talladega Ending

Chaos usually reigns at Talladega Superspeedway, especially late in races. This past Sunday’s event was no different, as a wreck on the final lap allowed Tyler Reddick to slither through a melee and claim his first victory of the season.

While the RotoBaller NASCAR Season Pass is very useful for helping you craft the best DFS lineups, success in betting is part of the package, too. Talladega always is a challenging venue for bettors, yet RotoBaller lead NASCAR writer Jordan McAbee recommended Reddick as one of his featured wagering options in his weekly rundown of Cup Series betting picks.

Picks are added and adjusted after qualifying, and the No. 45 was a highlighted target to finish as the top Toyota at Talladega. No other Toyota driver placed in the top 10 at TS, while Reddick delivered for those who had taken on the wager at +850.

McAbee had also included a tip on procuring an even higher payout on DraftKings in his post-qualifying scouting report.

“Use the 50% profit boost to get it to +1275 odds. I now have three Toyotas out of the eight total in the field, all at double-digit odds. Risking 0.65u total, so big upside here with relatively little risk.”

Reddick won for the first time at Talladega and scored his first top-five finish in nine starts at the site. The next race on the Cup Series schedule is at Dover, where the 23XI Racing driver has never registered a top-five showing in five starts.

Alfredo Supplies a Favorable Finish

Unpredictability will usually play havoc with the most well-planned DFS lineups at Talladega, but placing clever wagers can pay off when targeting individual drivers. Bettors who took the tip to ride with Anthony Alfredo at TS were able to strut to the pay window, as the No. 62 driver placed sixth.

In one of his two Sunday winning wagering strokes, McAbee confirmed that he was going with Alfredo at +1400 on Bet365 to finish in the top 10. Using the profit boost put the odds at +1820.

“Last season, Austin Hill drove this car to a 14th-place finish at Daytona, while Noah Gragson piloted it to a fifth-place result at Daytona in 2022. Alfredo's personal record at Talladega is impressive, as he has finished 12th and 10th in his two starts, although those were both with Front Row Motorsports in 2021. Still, anything can happen at Talladega, and 14-to-1 is too long for a car that showed better-than-expected speed in qualifying (Alfredo will start 24th).

The top-10 finish for Alfredo was just his second in 40 career Cup starts. He also finished third at Talladega in the Xfinity Series race on Saturday after taking the pole. This is Alfredo’s first season in the Cup Series with Beard Motorsports, which will only run select races on the schedule.

Planning for the Madness

In the pre-race lineup picks article, it was stressed that “cranking up the randomness” was a recommended approach to setting DFS lineups at Talladega. Driver points projections were less important than trying to determine ownership projections or using the RotoBaller NASCAR DFS optimizer as a basis for forecasting who might be rostered less. Place Differential is always a focus, and finding lesser-rostered drivers with some upside in that regard was a recommended path to some success.

“Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Ross Chastain are all big-name drivers starting outside of the top 30 that will be super-high owned due to their Place Differential potential. So why not go underweight on them in case they wreck? Noah Gragson, Carson Hocevar, and Corey LaJoie all have similar Place Differential upside but will be vastly less owned than the other three, making them great pivot options.”

Stenhouse managed to finish fourth, but Gragson actually placed one spot ahead of him after starting in 36th, illustrating how this strategy at a superspeedway can pay off. Hocevar started 35th and finished 17th. Sure, Chastain finished 13th, but you received even better PD production from two of the lesser-priced drivers targeted in the pre-race picks article.

Fading the top of the field was another recommended approach, as going light on the top five on the starting grid was the preferred route to take. Michael McDowell, Austin Cindric, Todd Gilliland, Kyle Busch, and Austin Dillon qualified as the top five. Gilliand, who placed eighth, was the only one to finish in the top 20. McDowell was pushing for the win on the final lap, but wrecked, which is always a strong late possibility at TS or Daytona.

The lineup strategies employed this past week should be kept in mind for races later in the season at Daytona, Atlanta, and Talladega again. The latter two events are scheduled during the playoffs.

 

Social Media Spotlight

More on Tyler Reddick, plus the great start to the season for William Byron.

Loop Data Reviews for Talladega:

 

Forecast of the Week

“This year he has been shockingly slow with a speed percentile of 30.83, which is slower than he was in any of his previous full-time seasons. However, if there is any track where he could turn it around, Talladega might be it. Stenhouse has become the millennial version of Michael Waltrip, a driver whose seasons live or die based on his drafting performances. All three of his NASCAR Cup wins have come on drafting tracks, and his Daytona 500 win did come in the Next Gen car.”

“Stenhouse has made an on-track pass for the lead in seven of the fourteen Next Gen drafting races but didn't do so in either race this season. Regardless, he contends often enough that he is probably undervalued by oddsmakers, likely making him a solid dark horse for the GEICO 500.” – RotoBaller NASCAR driver updates writer Sean Wrona on Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who started 33rd and finished fourth.

 

Around the Track

-After he finished fifth at Texas, Daniel Suarez may have seemed like a nifty pick for Talladega, but Wrona preached caution. Suarez’s 2024 win at Atlanta was not a good result to work from, he said. – “His win masks the fact that Suarez is actually underachieving. His speed percentile this year sits at 43.32 which is actually the slowest of his career except for the year he drove for Gaunt Brothers Racing.” – Suarez finished 27th.

-In another frantic Talladega finish, 19-year-old rookie Jesse Love won the Xfinity Series race on Saturday. It was the first career victory for Love, who was a recommended target of RotoBaller Xfinity featured writer Justin Carter. – This is Love's first Xfinity race here, but he won at this track in ARCA last season. This year, he's been fast at this kind of track, leading 34 laps at Daytona and 157 at Atlanta.”

NASCAR DFS News and Driver Outlooks

More Fantasy NASCAR Analysis



The Keys to Weekly NASCAR DFS Success

NASCAR is back, and it's time for you to win more with RotoBaller!
Our DFS NASCAR Premium Package features several heavy hitters and proven winners.

Jordan McAbee anchors the team with his exclusive NASCAR picks, DFS projections and algorithm-predicted finishing order! In 2022 DFS contests, Jordan had a +33.92% profit margin good for +$10,467.06 profit and qualified for the Fantasy Racing World Championship.

Four-time NASCAR Racing Writer of the Year finalist and fantasy industry legend Scott "The King" Engel is also in the crew, bringing you his weekly strategies and lineup picks. Set your winning DFS lineups with our award-winning team.

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