Round 3 of the playoffs kicks off Sunday with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
This standard 1.5-mile oval is the last of its kind on the 2022 season. That means we have plenty of data to use to evaluate driver performance for our DFS decisions.
Before we jump into my picks, don’t forget all my NASCAR projections can be found in the NASCAR Models on FantasyLabs, complete with floor, ceiling, median, and ownership projections.
Let’s not skip the best part — my Perfect% metric — a metric that tells you how often certain racers appear in the optimal lineup when running 10,000 race simulations.
Here are my NASCAR DFS picks and strategy for today’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Las Vegas DraftKings DFS Cash Game Picks
Denny Hamlin ($11,100): Hamlin was the race favorite coming into the weekend, but a mediocre practice session and a poor qualifying lap have changed that.
However, I’m not worried. Hamlin simply got high and out of the groove on a single lap. His teammate Christopher Bell made big gains from practice to qualifying, and I expect Hamlin to follow suit.
Hamlin arguably had the fastest car here earlier in the year and has been dominant at Vegas. He’ll easily move forward, and barring a problem, I expect him to be in contention for the win come lap 267.
Erik Jones ($7100): Jones had a rocket ship in practice, but he didn’t quite hit his mark in qualifying. Thanks to going in the slower qualifying session, Jones starts back in 22nd.
Based off his practice times, he should have no problem moving forward.
Jones was on pace for a top-10 finish back in the spring before blowing a tire late and crashing. Expect more of the same, and hope for no tire issues.
Las Vegas DraftKings DFS Tournament Picks
Kyle Busch ($9300): Plenty of DFS players will look toward Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and Ross Chastain for their dominator points, and rightly so. All four of these driver are playable as chalky dominator candidates.
Those four drivers were either fast in practice or start in the front two rows. Blaney actually checks both boxes.
Meanwhile, Kyle Busch starts 18th and wasn’t particularly fast in practice. However, none of the Toyotas aside from substitute rookie Ty Gibbs made a long run.
As we know from previous 1.5-mile races, especially at Kansas and Las Vegas, the Toyotas were strongest over the long run.
I expect the driver that arguably should have won the first Vegas race prior to a late caution coming out to be far too low played in DFS lineups.
Daniel Suarez ($7900): Suarez is a high-risk, high-reward play, but I really like him today.
People may look at Suarez’s 10-lap average and be misled. That’s because in practice he started out with a nine-lap run and brought the car in.
He then went back out for a 16-lap run. That means his 10 consecutive laps came when his tires were on their 10th through 19th laps instead of their first through 10th laps. That nine-lap difference is huge.
Las Vegas is now on the medium-high side of tire wear. There is definitely falloff here, so Suarez’s 10-lap time should be tossed out.
Instead, focus on his five-lap time and his solid qualifying effort. Suarez has been very fast at these intermediate tracks this year. I think Trackhouse can shift strategies with Suarez now that he’s out of the playoffs. They no longer need to be conservative with him. Instead, they can run aggressive tire pressures to get as much speed out of the car as possible.
Suarez has plenty of upside here.