DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR picks: Charlotte playoff race

I’m playing DraftKings this season and will be posting my picks here each week. Disclosure: If you want to play and sign up using this link, DraftKings will give my website a commission.

Last race’s results: Played $4 Brake Pad contest. Finished 850th of 1,200. Won $0.

Season results: $93 wagered, $104.50 won in 24 contests.

This week’s contest: $4 Brake Pad contest (single entry).

Charlotte strategy: Without reliable practice results to use for the race (both practices were washed out on Saturday), I’m relying heavily on position differential to get points. So that’s where most of these picks come from.

Charlotte picks:

— Martin Truex Jr. ($10,900): Picking Truex here this week works two different ways. First of all, he’s the best car every week and gives you a great chance to have fast laps and laps led. Second, he had an uncharacteristically mediocre qualifying spot — 17th — which offers an opportunity for easy place differential points.

— Joey Logano ($9,600): The decision here came down to Logano or Jimmie Johnson ($10,000). I couldn’t afford both. So I picked Logano because he’s $400 cheaper and has a slightly worse starting spot (28th compared to 25th for Johnson).

— Jamie McMurray ($8,800): Making this pick solely based on place differential opportunities compared to similar drivers at this price. McMurray qualified 18th and I figure he might get a top 10, so that’s worth the cost.

— Erik Jones ($7,900): Jones seems like the biggest no-brainer pick of the bunch this week, since he didn’t make a qualifying lap and will start 38th with one of the fastest cars.

— Ty Dillon ($6,700): This pick is just to make my lineup work. I looked for the cheapest driver who starts the furthest back with the most reasonable chance to gain spots. So that fell to Dillon, who starts 27th and is capable of a top-20 (his average finish this season is 20.9).

— Michael McDowell ($5,900): McDowell probably starts too high to make this a smart pick (16th), but the price is tough to beat. And compared to other drivers at this price range, it seems like the safest pick.