Who’s ready for some Formula 1 DFS? That’s right — DraftKings has added Formula 1, which means RotoBaller is responding by adding some Formula 1 pieces.
Last week, the Formula 1 season got off to an interesting start. Charles Leclerc won at Bahrain, leading 55 of the 57 laps, while defending champion Max Verstappen had fuel pump issues late and didn’t finish the race.
Below are some drivers to consider for DFS purposes this week. 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?
If you’re familiar with using DraftKings for NASCAR, this Formula 1 format is going to feel really, really different from what you’re used to. It’s a lot closer to the NFL single-game showdown slates than it is to anything on the NASCAR side.
So, here’s how the scoring and format work. 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|
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 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. And bare with me, as this whole F1 fantasy thing is new to all of us.
Captain/Constructor Stack Pick: Sergio Perez/Red Bull Racing ($13,800, $9,800)
So, we messed up last week by going value on the constructor. We probably want to go the opposite direction and go for a potential race winner here and stack that with a captain pick from that team.
In fact, the data supports that idea:
Stacking a captain and a constructor was a really, really effective strategy last week. And while that could definitely change over time, I think until we get more data, we should largely aim for this strategy.
But we also don’t want to be too chalky with the strategy. A Leclerc/Ferrari or a Hamilton/Mercedes stack will both be very popular. So will a Verstappen/Red Bull stack.
My angle here is to go with something different: Perez and Red Bull.
Perez was running well last week before a fuel pump issue that also impacted his teammate Verstappen. I don’t anticipate that same issue happening this week.
Perez is having a good weekend. He was only seventh in the first practice, but was fourth in the second, third in the third, and then won the pole in qualifying.
In the first race here last year, Lewis Hamilton won from the pole, leading 18 laps. Being on the pole with the possibility to lead early laps and win the race feels like a big DFS advantage.
Lewis Hamilton ($10,200)
Hamilton showed an uncharacteristic lack of speed in qualifying as he missed the final session and starts 14th on Sunday.
But he is the only driver to have won a Formula 1 race here. And he was fifth in Practice 2. And his Mercedes teammate George Russell qualified sixth.
I’m not sure Hamilton has enough to contend for the win in this race. But last year, two drivers who started outside of the top 10 here managed to finish in the top 10, including Daniel Ricciardo going from 11th to fifth. Hamilton could definitely finish around fifth. There’s even a chance he could get the max place differential points that are available. I feel like I’ll usually fade some of these high-priced drivers, but Hamilton is intriguing this week. He could be a total bust at this salary if he can’t move forward on the grid on Sunday, but I think people might end up fading him too much.
Esteban Ocon ($5,600)
Feel like I’m going to be playing a lot of Alpine F1 Team drivers this year, which I’m fine with. Getting a solid finish is going to be very important when it comes to fantasy, so if a solid driver like Ocon is starting fifth, then I’ll be all in on him. He’s finished in the points in five consecutive races and was eighth or better in each practice session. Ocon is one of my core plays this weekend.
Fernando Alonso ($6,200)
I’m also intrigued by Ocon’s teammate, Fernando Alonso, though not quite as much. He’s pricier than Ocon and has been slower all weekend, but he’s gotten quicker as the weekend has gone along, finishing ninth in Practice 3 and then seventh in qualifying.
Like Ocon, Alonso is someone who should finish around where he starts, with a little less upside but also arguably a higher floor, since Ocon could lose more in terms of place differential points.
Daniel Ricciardo ($4,200)
Ricciardo is about $3,000 cheaper this week than last week, which is good because he wasn’t a good play at his price point last year even though I’d hoped he would be.
It might be tough for Ricciardo to have a good race based on how he’s looked this year, but he’s a nice deep-value guy. I have finished fifth in this race last year and finished eighth in points. Last week was a bad sign for his 2022 hopes of him, but I’m not ready to give up on the idea of Ricciardo as someone who can sneak into the top 10 and score some points.
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