Formula 1 DFS: United States Grand Prix Preview, Best DraftKings Fantasy Picks (October 23)

Formula 1 is back in North America after their inaugural race in Miami earlier this spring.

The Circuit of the Americas has been on the F1 schedule since 2012 and is a massive fan spectacle in the United States. You can expect lots of celebrity appearances on the grid prior to lights out on Sunday.

At this point in the season we can safely assume that most cars have peaked in terms of unlocking performance, while others might even just be using these data for next year’s car. The starting grid is almost as bland as it has been all year, considering both of the Ferraris were able to out-qualify Max Verstappen on Saturday.

However, what might be boring for fans is interesting for DFS. There were multiple grid penalties to drivers after qualifying so this starting grid has important implications for DFS lineups on Sunday.


Charles Leclerc was given a 10 place grid penalty for using additional power unit elements.

Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso and Guanyu Zhou were all penalized five grid places for use of additional power unit elements.

Instead of having a beautifully colored Ferrari – Red Bull – Mercedes first three rows, we will now see the two Mercedes cars slid up to Row 2 behind Carlos Sainz and Verstappen.

Inflation has hit DraftKings as they have priced up the top driver Max Verstappen, to $12,800, while the Red Bull constructor also got a price hike to $12,300. Kevin Magnussen was a value play discussed here in the past but he saw his price rise $1,000, from $3,800 at the Japanese Grand Prix to $4,800 this week.

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The Stokastic team of experts and data analysts has already been in the lab creating a proprietary model and has F1 DFS projections available for this week’s race. Using those F1 Fantasy projections, Stokastic has you covered with all of the best DraftKings F1DFS picks for the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

F1 DFS Picks: DraftKings F1 Fantasy Racing Advice

Best F1 DFS Constructor Picks:

Mercedes ($10,300)

Mercedes will once again need a miracle to win the race, but they do have a chance on Sunday after Perez and Leclerc were both given grid penalties. Starting in third and fourth place behind Verstappen and Sainz who will be battling to every corner on the first lap, the Mercedes drivers can still be aggressive and possibly even make an over-take on this track. It certainly has plenty of room for passing. There’s plenty of reason to have some hesitation on this play because of their limited upside, but considering Mercedes is the third priced constructor but will have the best starting position by a few spots, it’s worth the play.

Red Bull ($12,300)

Death, taxes and Red Bull winning races. This team has been on another level this year after Verstappen won the drivers championship last season and they have proved their dominance on the track in 2022. While Perez did get a penalty and will be starting a little ways back, the penalties were an overall positive for this team who will now get Verstappen to start on the front row with Leclerc starting half way back in the pack. It would not be surprising to see both Red Bull cars get on the podium here, especially if Perez can stay out of trouble in the early going.

The ultimate GPP play this week will be Ferrari as Leclerc’s starting position is definitely scary. This team is still capable of having a double podium here, but it will need a superb race from both Sainz and Leclerc, who will be starting in 12th place.

Best F1 DFS Driver Picks

Carlos Sainz ($9,200 DraftKings; First)

The focus when building lineups is to have exposure to two of the top six drivers and one of the top three constructors as this combination has the highest floor for cash games and produces the highest ceiling combinations for GPPs. This week, Sainz has been driving fabulously. He has put in top four times in all three practice sessions and had the fastest lap when it mattered in qualifying. Sainz will also have an 11 grid advantage on his teammate after Leclerc’s penalty. Sainz’s price allows DFS players to use Verstappen in the driver slot and still have the choice of any constructor.

Max Verstappen ($12,400 DraftKings; Second)

What is there not to like about Verstappen? He seems to be able to beat anyone and everyone on the track. Verstappen got a little lucky to be starting in second because of Leclerc’s penalty, but there was still a strong chance that Verstappen could have eventually passed both Ferraris. If players are set on using Verstappen at captain and Red Bull in the constructor, the highest priced option will be George Russell. Swapping to Mercedes allows players to slot Sainz into the driver slot and still have $11,300 for the rest of the team.

Lewis Hamilton ($10,200 DraftKings; Third)

There is no way in the world that Mercedes is just going to pack it in and start thinking about next season. This team was dominant for the past seven years and while the balance of power in the cars this year has proved to be too much for Mercedes to handle, there is no doubt that they will do whatever they can on Sunday. Expect Hamilton and Russell to be using slightly different strategies, but also expect fireworks from this team. Mercedes not winning a race in 2022 would be a massive hit to the team after their past run in F1.

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Lando Norris ($7,200 DraftKings; Sixth) & Valtteri Bottas ($5,200 DraftKings; Seventh)

The mid range does not get the love it deserves in these segments, usually because of their capped upside. This week, the mid-range will get a boost with the starting grid changes. The main options for players to use will be a mix of Verstappen and Sainz or one of the Mercedes drivers, especially in cash games, but GPPs are always another beast. Norris and Bottas are worth a mention here for the simple fact that anything can happen on race day. These drivers are the best of the mid-pack plays and do offer some value for the multi-entry group.

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Alex Albon ($4,000 DraftKings; Eighth)

Rinse and repeat. Alex Albon is blonde again and he is back in the top 10. Yes, he did get there because of grid penalties, but his 11th overall place in qualifying is a nice sight to see. He is almost a sure-lock to beat his team mate as long as nothing happens to the car. He will be heavily owned in cash games after his price has come down from the $4,400 it had been in the previous two races. The one issue with Albon this week is that he does now offer a downside since he could easily lose the max points for places lost.

Lance Stroll ($4,400 DraftKings; Fifth)

The same could be said for Lance Stroll who continues to out-qualify team mate Sebastian Vettel. Aside from his awful qualifying in Japan two weeks ago, Stroll had out-qualified Vettel in three of their past four races. Stroll has had a good showing in free practice sessions this week and this car seems to be much more powerful in racing conditions. Stroll is the safest value play with upside here this week at the United States Grand Prix.

For cash games, the starting point feels like Sainz or Verstappen at captain and as a flex and then using Mercedes at constructor from there for the savings. Starting with Sainz in captain and Verstappen in the driver and Mercedes in constructor leaves $13,100 for the last three drivers. While using Verstappen at captain with Sainz in the driver and Mercedes in the constructor leaves $11,300 for the last three spots.

GPPs are much more wide-open. Getting a little different, such as being more balanced, could pay dividends. Red Bull and Ferrari still have the highest upside even if they do not have the best starting positions. Their cars are far more superior to the rest of the grid and we could easily see Leclerc and Perez fighting for podium positions half-way through this race. Stroll grades out as one of the better value plays between $4,000 and $7,200. Guanyu Zhou and Mick Schumacher round off the list as the two best options under $3,900 on Sunday.

Sign up HERE for our F1 DFS Projections package from the No. 1 daily fantasy player in the world, Alex Baker.

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

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