DraftKings United States Grand Prix F1 Preview: Is It Time to Fade Max Verstappen With Price Increase?

Formula 1 is back in North America after holding its inaugural Miami Grand Prix back in May.

The United States Grand Prix has been held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas since 2012. Lewis Hamilton has won six U.S. Grand Prix and five of them have been won here at the COTA track in Austin, Texas. Hamilton and Mercedes continue to look for their first win of the season after their disappointing fifth and eighth-place finishes in Japan.

It seems as though, with just four races remaining, that the top three are all pretty set in their positions for the constructor’s trophy. Red Bull sits at the top with a 165-point lead over Ferrari, who then sits 67 points ahead of Mercedes. The remaining teams will be pushing as hard as they can to earn more budget from their finishing position in the constructor standings for the 2023 season.

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DraftKings F1 Fantasy & DFS Racing Preview

United States Grand Prix

  • Track: Circuit of the Americas
  • Location: Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
  • Length: 3.426 miles
  • Race Distance: 56 laps
  • Laps lead: 5.6 points
  • Fastest lap: 3 points
  • Past Winner: Max Verstappen (2021)
  • Betting Favorite: Max Verstappen (-225)

On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)

  • Friday, Oct. 21
    • 3 p.m.: Free Practice 1
    • 6 p.m.: Free Practice 2
  • Saturday, Oct. 22
    • 3 p.m.: Free Practice 3
    • 6 p.m.: Qualifying
  • Sunday, Oct. 23
    • 3 p.m.: Lights Out

F1 Fantasy Preview for United States Grand Prix

The first two rows in the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix finished the race in their exact starting order. Since 2012, this race has been exclusively won by a driver starting in the front row. Starting in first or second has been a major advantage at this track.

This year, the Red Bull car has been the Mercedes performance of the past and with only four races remaining, I do not see that changing. While the world is dealing with ridiculous inflation, clearly DraftKings wanted to make players feel the effect too, as their price hikes on Max Verstappen are not helping anyone. With that in mind, the prices on DraftKings continue to soar with Verstappen now sitting at $12,800 followed by the Red Bull constructor priced at $12,300.

The next highest-priced driver is Charles Leclerc at $11,200 and Hamilton at $10,200. Meanwhile, we still see a huge drop off in pricing after the top three constructor teams.

A cash game stack of Verstappen and Red Bull is going to be even more difficult this week considering their price jumps.

DraftKings United States Grand Prix F1 DFS Picks

The middle range will once again be somewhat deserted because of the rise in prices at the top. Paying up for Verstappen and the Red Bull constructor will make budgets even tighter for DFS players, especially for those hoping to fit in one other top-six driver in their lineup.

Luckily, DraftKings has lowered the prices on certain drivers, which means that going for the Red Bull stack is still in play. If players use Verstappen at captain and Red Bull at constructor, there is an average of $4,625 left per driver. The cheapest top-six driver in Texas is George Russell at $8,400 meaning that it will leave DFS players with just $10,100 for their final three drivers. Going that route only allows two different roster constructions, but both include needing to use Nicholas Latifi at $3,000.

If players decide to go another way and fade the Red Bull constructor for Ferrari or Mercedes, there will be more flexibility and it will allow players to pivot off the worst driver in F1, Latifi. Drivers such as Alex Albon, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Mick Schumacher have all seen their price drop, which makes them all viable options here in Austin.

Prior to qualifying, it looks like Verstappen should come in as heavy chalk in the captain spot considering his (-225) odds to win the race on Sunday. While cash games may force the hand of players, GPPs will be a completely different beast with the price increases.

Phillip Beneteau
Teacher, writer and avid sports fan with a passion and love for F1 racing.

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