Daily Fantasy NASCAR Track Preview: Federated Auto Parts 400

Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders at Richmond is mighty similar to last week's race in Darlington. What does that mean for our roster-building process in NASCAR DFS?

Everything we did last week in NASCAR DFS? It's time to run it back once again.

In Darlington, our mindset was that we needed to prioritize lap-leaders and get at least two playoff drivers in each lineup. The three-playoff-driver approach didn't pay off because of all the calamity the playoff contenders ran into, but if you didn't have both Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin, you were praying to min-cash.

This week, all the key factors are back in play for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders at Richmond.

1. It's a 400-lap race. That's 40.0 FanDuel points for laps led. You need to gobble 'em up.

2. The 16 playoff drivers will once again occupy the top 16 spots. This means our potential lap-leaders are already located at the front of the field.

3. Those playoff drivers -- not shockingly! -- are the highest-rated drivers in my model. The top 13 drivers in projected average running position are in the playoffs. Only one non-playoff driver -- Ross Chastain -- grades out in the top 16 in that category.

4. Guys like Chastain will give us place-differential juice for our value plays.

It's a carbon copy of what we had last week in Darlington. That means we're going to attack this thing the exact same way.

For me, that's going to mean going back to the three-playoff-driver build. I know it didn't work last week, but Richmond isn't as high-variance of a track as Darlington. Additionally, that's the build that wound up being the perfect lineup for last year's playoff race here, which used the same method to set the starting order.

Perfect LineupSalaryStartLaps Led
Martin Truex Jr.$13,000 14th0
Brad Keselowski$12,500 9th192
Austin Dillon$9,000 3rd55
Tyler Reddick$8,200 22nd0
Matt Kenseth$7,000 19th0

There are some mid-range drivers this week who fit in the Austin Dillon mold of last year where they could run up front, lead laps, and finish well. That means I can jam in three playoff drivers without skipping over fun guys like Chastain. That seems to be the optimal build once again.

As far as the value plays, we'll likely have to be okay settling for drivers in the middle of the pack rather than all the way in the back. The only driver in the top 20 in projected average running position who is starting outside the top 25 is Matt DiBenedetto, and he's not a screaming bargain at $7,800. At some point, we'll have to drift closer to the front of the non-playoff drivers and be good with those options. As last year's perfect lineup shows, that's more than fine from a tournament perspective, even if it does make us a smidge uncomfortable.

It may be boring to have the same roster construction as last week, but there's a reason we're doing this. It makes sense in theory, and it played out as such in this race last year. We're going to have a similar approach next week at Bristol, so we might as well log some more practice and hope we win some cash in the process.