The 2022 Camping World Truck Series continues its march toward the dog days of summer as they will run a race every weekend through June with their playoffs starting at the end of July. John Hunter Nemechek logged his first win of the season last week at Darlington in a rather dominant effort. It was his first Truck Series win since last June so it was nice seeing him get the monkey off his back. This week the NASCAR Cup Series and Truck Series will head to Kansas Speedway for some quality racing on the multi-groove 1.5-mile intermediate track. For the Cup Series in particular, this track should produce some entertaining racing especially with the new NextGen Car. Joey Logano scored his first win of the season last week at Darlington. He arguably had the best car last week, but in driving through William Byron he essentially put a target on his back. Can Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, or Ross Chastain bounce back from last week’s disappointing results to take the checkered flag? Matt and I will have you covered with this week’s top NASCAR DFS picks for both series and be sure to check out the latest NASCAR DFS Podcast as well as the NASCAR DFS Preview for this weekend’s action in Kansas. Let’s dig into what we can expect from Saturday night’s race under the lights!
This Playbook is being written Friday evening, long before we get trucks on the track. The trucks will run practice and qualifying around Noon ET on Saturday, so we do have a large enough gap until 8:00pm that night to dissect the practice results and starting lineup to get our lineups set. I’ll be in Discord from Noon ET all the way up until green flag. Stages will be broken into 30-30-74 lap segments, so we probably have about 85-90 dominator points available to us depending on cautions.
Speaking of cautions it really boils down to your definition of what constitutes “a lot” because here are how the cautions have broken down over the last five Truck races at Kansas:
- 2021: Five cautions for 25 laps
- 2020 (First Race): Four cautions for 19 laps
- 2020 (Second Race): Nine cautions for 38 laps
- 2019: Six cautions for 29 laps
- 2018: Four cautions for 21 laps
In my opinion, that’s not terrible, and we can already expect at least two cautions following stage breaks. The nice part about Kansas Speedway is that this isn’t a track where tire wear is an issue. The surface doesn’t chew up tires as much as Darlington, Homestead, or Auto Club. So we can really just pull data from the relatively safer cookie cutter intermediate tracks. So I’m banking on a relatively clean race, but as always we’ve seen plenty of chaos in this series over the years. Nothing ever goes according to plan.
I do subscribe to the theory that this is a two-dominator approach for this weekend’s race. Last year’s Truck Series race saw Kyle Busch get the win with 59 laps led and 48 fastest laps while John Hunter Nemechek still collected 16 laps led and 21 fastest laps. Sheldon Creed even led 41 laps as well. In the first race of the 2020 doubleheader, there were four drivers that led double-digit laps and four drivers had at least 14 fastest laps. The second race of the doubleheader had five drivers lead double-digit laps and four with double-digit fastest laps. The only race in the last four years that was truly dominated by one driver was in 2018 when Noah Gragson won from the pole leading 128 laps (in a 167-lap race) with 61 fastest laps. This race is obviously shorter. Since this race moved to 134 laps in 2020, we have seen at least one driver lead at least 50 laps, but nobody has led over 70. That could certainly change this weekend, but I think it’s important to try and get two-to-three drivers that can collect dominator points and finish well.
Before we dive into the driver pool, I just want to remind you all this is being written before practice and qualifying. There will be updates in RED following both sessions and I’m always up for discussions in the Discord on drivers that I may get more exposure to following P&Q and drivers who I’m downgrading.
John Hunter Nemechek ($11,300) It’s chalky, but so what? He won last week after not finishing last season well and he hadn’t recorded a win in the first handful of races this year. But he crushed it last week at Darlington. Now he’s on another track that still suits him quite well. He dominated Texas last year in a winning effort, and he also won at Charlotte and the first Vegas race in 2021. We’re entering a stretch of tracks that JHN prefers and it wouldn’t be surprising if he racked up multiple wins this month. In terms of exposure, I may aim to match the field. You basically need an identical performance to what he did last week. He started on the pole and won the race leading 69 laps with 32 fastest laps. And that gave him about 7X value. Which is great, but again, you need that kind of performance again from him if he qualifies toward the front. Update: He's on the pole so basically everything I mentioned in his write-up still applies. I'm matching the field in terms of exposure or hoping to be underweight.
Zane Smith ($10,600) For what it’s worth, I didn’t want to write up both Smith and Rhodes. I just didn’t want to frontload the Playbook with all the most expensive drivers. No matter where they start I’ll have exposure to both. But I’m leaning Smith slightly because of his consistency this year. In all seven races this year he’s finished in the top ten, but the only true “intermediate” track they’ve run was Vegas where he still finished second. It’s a tough price tag to eat but he’s regularly running up front. The same consistency can be said for Rhodes who is the defending champion in the series. He’s finished top five in all but two races this year. I’ll be playing both, but likely a little heavier on Zane. Practice and Qualifying could change that, however. Update: Zane Smith qualified P4 but Ben Rhodes qualified P15. Both have dominator potential but Rhodes is more appealing for the PD and I'll shift my own exposure SLIGHTLY in favor of Rhodes.
Grant Enfinger ($9,900) Another tough price tag to swallow as it’s hard to find value for dominators this week. But Enfinger is just solid and has plenty of experience. He has five top eight finishes at Kansas in his last six races and he’s run well at other 1.5-mile tracks. He may likely only find his way into my GPP lineups, but another driver to consider in this range will be Carson Hocevar who is $200 cheaper. It’s a steep price jump on Hocevar and one that most people may not want to invest in. But he’s been fast and always feels like he’s on the cusp of getting his first win. Update: Enfinger didn't seem pleased with his ride following practice and qualifying. But he's starting P21 so he's good for Cash and will be chalky on all slates overall. Carson Hocevar starts P16 and is very much in play as well.
Christian Eckes ($9,400) I’m not as fond of this price tag for Eckes as I was last week. DraftKings jacked his price up by over $1,000 this week so he’s not much of a discount anymore. But the track history is good and I really like how well he was running prior to some contact on pit road that he had to pit (again) to repair. In his last three races here he’s finished 4th, 6th, and 2nd. He has a runner-up at Texas, plus a win and three other top tens at Vegas. The salary increase likely lowers ownership, but I’ll go back to this well if he’s once again starting outside the top ten similar to last week. Update: I love that Rhodes and Enfinger also qualified poorly, it takes the attention off Eckes and I am ready to be heaviest on him out of the three drivers.
Riley Herbst ($9,000) It feels like Herbst should probably be a little more expensive, but no biggie. As much crap as we give him, he’s been incredibly consistent this year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He’s finished in the top ten in five straight races including top five finishes if four of 11 races this year. Give credit when it’s due, he’s adjusted and doing better this year with SHR. He’ll step into the 17-truck for DGR this week which is still a decent ride. I don’t think he’s a massive candidate to win, but there’s top five potential with this car if this is a clean race. Update: He qualified P7 which is perfectly fine. He does need a top five finish but most of the field will pay up for Rhodes, Enfinger, Eckes for Cash games. Herbst is preferred just for GPP's.
Stewart Friesen ($8,800) Let’s touch on a couple veterans drivers, shall we? From a DFS perspective, Friesen hasn’t had a “busted” race yet. His worst finish this year was 16th at Daytona. Other than that he’s finished 13th or better, but in some of those races he was priced relatively high so he wasn’t necessarily a great DFS play and he typically qualifies well. But there’s a good floor here especially since he’s priced under $9,000. Aside from Vegas, he doesn’t have a great track record at intermediate tracks but he’s capable of pulling out a top five or a top ten finish. But in six Kansas races he only has one top ten. But if we’re trusting him to stay relatively clean then we can go here with a manageable price tag. He likely won’t lead many laps but he pays off the price tag with a top five and some PD. Update: Bubba Wallace stepped in for practice and qualified the truck in the top five. Unfortunately, with Friesen running the race that mean a driver change forces Friesen to the rear and he'll be scored from P5 which makes him a VERY difficult DFS play.
Matt Crafton ($8,400) I know we don’t view Matt Crafton in the same light as we did a few years ago, but he’s about the average price tag on DraftKings and he’s a former Truck Series champion. If he goes out and gets one or two wins a year that’s great, but even that seems like a lofty expectation at this point. But he’s still in great equipment with Thorsport and on top of that he’s coming in with the momentum that his disqualification from Darlington was overturned so he got those points back. He has three straight top ten finishes coming into this race with at least 40 DraftKings points in each race over that span. But if we look at track history, in his last 11 races at Kansas he has three wins, two runner-up finishes, and four other top tens. In general, he’s a reliable veteran who is becoming more of a gatekeeper in this series, but still a good play at the price tag. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a cheaper pivot, you can give Tyler Ankrum a look. He’s quietly had a decent year with a new team. Update: He's starting P10 which relegates him mostly to GPP's, but he's relatively safe if he runs clean. He returns value with a top six finish, but I'd honestly be happy with a top ten at this price tag. Ankrum is also in play starting P20.
Tanner Gray ($7,400) Gray wrecked out of last week’s race in what was, overall, a very difficult weekend to predict Darlington across all three Series. With that said, I really like his upside on intermediate tracks. He grabbed a top ten at Kentucky two years ago, he has four finishes in the top 12 at Vegas including a pair of top fives, a pair of top tens at Texas, and three top 20 finishes at Kansas including a top five. Gray is a driver that has 40+ point upside for DFS and he’s a driver I love building around in GPP’s most weeks. I’ll aim to be heavier than the field given his upside this week, I just hope he isn’t too much of a chalky option. Update: Gray qualified inside the top ten. Unfortunately, that's a little too high so you basically need him to finish there in GPP's to return value. I expect he'll be fast but this is not a great starting spot for him.
Colby Howard ($6,900) If he’s offering PD I’ll gladly look at Howard this week. He’s an $800 discount compared to his teammate, Derek Kraus, and Howard has arguably been the better DFS play of late. He’s slowly been performing with each race, but how much stock do you really want to put in Bristol Dirt and a Darlington race that had a ton of variance? I still like the play if there’s minimal carnage, which I don’t think is too bold of a read on a low tire-wear track like Kansas. Update: He's starting P11. GPP only.
Hailie Deegan ($6,700) It’s been a tough year for Deegan, both on and off the track. I’m a little bothered by the fact DraftKings isn’t dropping her price, but I think most DFS players are pivoting off her because the results haven’t been there. Fortunately, she has plenty of time to turn that around and it could start at Kansas. This is the track she made her Truck Series debut on a few years back and in two races here she’s finished 13th and 16th while also finishing 13th at Charlotte too. It’s a very small sample size, but maybe a low tire-wear intermediate track can help her get a solid finish this week. Update: Deegan is starting inside the top 20 so she's more of a GPP play this week.
Tate Fogleman ($6,200) The value plays could change up depending on where everyone qualifies. So once we know that I’ll add some updates. But based on track history and resumes I don’t hate Fogleman. But he tends to bust whenever he’s an obviously value play for PD, just look at last week and you’ll see what I mean. At Vegas he has five top 20 finishes in as many races. At Kansas he’s finished 36th, 17th, 17th, and 22nd in four races. But he’s certainly had some stinkers at old Atlanta, Texas, and Charlotte though. So again, we’ll check back in when we know where he’s starting. Update: Fogleman had a mechanical issue and didn't run a qualifying lap. PLAY. AT. YOUR. OWN. RISK. Ryan Larkin summed it up perfectly…
Spencer Boyd/Matt Mills ($5,200/$5,100) I’m going to pair these two together since 1. They’re incredibly close in price, and 2. They’re both going to be in the same equipment. As a cheap value play, Boyd has been pretty reliable in all formats in 2022 with the exception of Martinsville. He isn’t lighting it up in terms of finishes, but in this range you’ll take 20 points and find other drivers to break the slate. At Kansas, he has finished of 35th, 22nd, 18th, 23rd, 17th, and 20th dating back to 2017. I’d be happy with another top 25 finish from him. In Mills’ case he’s certainly cooled off from the decent start to his season, but he has had good runs in the Xfinity Series, but he’s in the same equipment as Boyd and should garner lower ownership since more casual players will flock to Boyd’s results as a value play. Update: Both Boyd and Mill are starting outside the top 25, but inside the top 30. They're still arguably the same play this week but I feel like mostly folks will be heavier on Boyd so I am pivoting to Mills, but that's just me.
Tyler Hill ($5,000) It’s a very limited sample size with Tyler Hill, but he does like these low tire wear intermediate tracks. It’s been two years since he raced at Kansas but in the 2020 double header he finished 14th and 16th after starting outside the top 25 in both races. He has a pair of top 20 finishes at Texas while gaining five spots of PD in both races as well. He even finished 11th at Kentucky in 2019, and he boasts a pair of top 20’s at Vegas. All this is to say that he can get there. And if he does then he’s returning value. He’s a borderline Cash play depending on where he qualifies. However, he’s not a lock. He ran eight races in 2021 and didn’t finish three of them so there’s still risk. I might relegate my exposure to just GPP’s. Update: Opinion largely remains the same on Tyler Hill. Starting outside the top 30 and I'm just hoping for a top 25 finish in the Happy Hour lineups I play him in.
The Example Lineups will be posted in Discord around 7:00pm ET.
Fantasy Alarm is the home of all things Fantasy Sports. Bringing you the best Fantasy Football, Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Basketball content all year long. Be sure to also check out the best fantasy promo codes on offer today!