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Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix DFS: DraftKings Daily Fantasy F1 Lineup Picks

Max Verstappen - F1 DFS lineup picks Draftkings daily fantasy Formula 1

It finally happened. Max Verstappen didn't win a race. In Australia, the defending champion—and the winner of every prior race this season—suffered a mechanical failure early, opening the door to a new face atop the podium.

And that new face wasn't just Verstappen's Red Bull teammate. Instead, it was Carlos Sainz, who piloted his Ferrari to a win, leading 57 laps to take the victory. Sainz has now won a race in three consecutive seasons. Last year, he was the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race. Will that be the case in 2024 as well?

Below you will find our Formula 1 DraftKings DFS lineup picks for the Japanese Grand Prix on 4/6/24, with the slate locking at 1:00 a.m. ET. If you have any questions or want to talk about Formula 1, you can find me on Twitter at @juscarts.

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How Does Formula 1 Fantasy Work?

Here's how the scoring and format work for F1 DFS on DraftKings. You'll pick five drivers and a constructor. One of those drivers will be your captain, who earns you 1.5 times the points but also costs 1.5 times as much as they usually cost. For the constructor, you're choosing one of the F1 teams.

So here's how the scoring works. Your driver only gets points if they finish in the top 10. Here's a chart for how that breaks down:

Finishing Spot DraftKings Points
1 25
2 18
3 15
4 12
5 10
6 8
7 6
8 4
9 2
10 1

In addition, the driver with the fastest lap of the race gets three points. You get 0.1 points per lap led, five points for beating your teammate, one point for being classified at the finish (finished 90% of the race, essentially), and points for place differential.

Finish three spots higher than your grid position and you get two points. Finish five better and you get three points. Finish 10 better to get five points. You also lose points for a negative place differential, starting at three spots.

The constructor points work the same way, with some added points if both cars do well. It's confusing, but for Formula 1 DFS to work, it probably had to be confusing. Now that we've gone over that, let's talk drivers. Here's what I've put together as a kind of base lineup.

 

Captain: Carlos Sainz Jr. ($14,700)

Starts Fourth

Carlos Sainz doesn't have a home for 2025. With Ferrari set to sign Lewis Hamilton, Sainz will be a driver in search of a new ride. The fact that he has two wins in the last two seasons when Red Bull has won every race except those two races is all the reason you need to know that he deserves a good ride next year.

Sainz remains the cheaper of the two Ferrari drivers, even though he's 2-for-2 when it comes to finishing ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc this season. With Leclerc starting this race back in eighth, Sainz has an early edge in the battle to be the top Ferrari again this week. He's a top challenger for a podium spot and should once again be positioned to pounce if something happens to one of the Red Bulls.

 

Constructor: Aston Martin ($5,400)

Aston Martin costs $5,400 and averages 13.0 DraftKings points per race. Mercedes costs $8,000 and averages 13.3 DraftKings points per race. Obviously, Red Bull/Ferrari/McLaren perform better usually, but it's hard to build a strong lineup with those in it. The gap between the top five and bottom five teams is huge this year and that's made Aston Martin a really good value.

Max Verstappen ($16,000)

Starts First

In Australia, Max Verstappen didn't win. A brake issue led to a DNF that put Verstappen last in the race order, with the defending champion turning just three laps.

But look—if Verstappen doesn't have a mechanical issue, he probably winds up winning that race. He's just so dominant right now. The last time he failed to win a race before Australia was last September in Singapore.

This race was run in September last year, with Verstappen dominating from the pole. He led 51 of the 53 laps in the race, with only Sainz and Lando Norris leading a lap each aside from him. I expect more dominance this weekend.

 

Yuki Tsunoda ($5,000)

Starts 10th

Yuki Tsunoda is coming off his best race of the season, starting eighth and finishing seventh in Australia. Sure, that was aided by Verstappen and both Mercedes cars have DNFs, but it's still an impressive result for him.

Now, the 23-year-old Japanese driver heads to his home grand prix. He has finishes of 13th and 12th here in two starts, but this RB Formula One Team keeps improving. Outside of the 10 drivers on the five best teams, I like Tsunoda's chances of finishing in the points better than anyone else's this weekend.

 

Nico Hulkenberg ($4,800)

Starts 12th

Last year, it felt like playing Haas drivers was a trap. This year, Nico Hulkenberg has turned into a really solid source of fantasy points, scoring double-digit DFS points in each of the last two races. He's also scored real life points in those races as well.

Hulkenberg has outperformed teammate Kevin Magnussen in two of the three races so far and looks to be the clear best Haas driver right now. Magnussen starts back in 18th, which improves Hulkenberg's shot at being the top Haas car again.

 

Esteban Ocon ($4,000)

Starts 15th

Alpine has struggled this season. At Bahrain, the two drivers finished 17th and 18th, with Esteban Ocon one spot ahead of Pierre Gasly. At Saudi Arabia, the team was again down the grid, with a Gasly DNF just one lap in while Ocon was 13th. Then in Australia, Ocon was 16th and Gasly was 13th.

This isn't the worst team right now—I'd give that nod to Sauber—but it's also not the Alpine we've seen in the past. Still, Ocon has finished ahead of Gasly in two of three races and has a two-spot advantage on Sunday's grid. At $4,000, there's some upside here.

NASCAR DFS News and Driver Outlooks

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The Keys to Weekly NASCAR DFS Success

NASCAR is back, and it's time for you to win big 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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