Formula 1 is down in Mexico City for the Mexico Grand Prix as the F1 season has just three races left on the calendar. Mercedes has been shot out of a cannon this weekend, and they look hungry to contend here on Sunday. The duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton will start in second and third after their best team qualifying of the year. Hamilton has now started in third place in three of the last four races and showed last week that this car is very close to contending for a checkered flag. Russell has started on the front row twice this year where he turned in two third-place finishes.
Max Verstappen once again took pole position. with a great final lap in qualifying beating Russell by 0.304 of a second. It is his sixth pole position of the year, and he has won four of the five previous races where he started on pole.
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Is Mercedes actually for real? Have they finally unlocked their car with just three races remaining? Those are just a couple of the key questions to look at this weekend when building DFS lineups. The duo of Russell – Hamilton will be side-by-side the two Red Bulls on the starting grid on Sunday. They are the third-most expensive constructor but are starting to offer the upside expected of them. If both Mercedes cars can finish on the podium on Sunday, they will be a lock for the optimal lineup. The Mercedes constructor is also a great cash game play for their price compared to using Red Bull as$2,500 more.
Red Bull ($12,600)
Max Verstappen continued his torrid pace this season with a wonderful final lap in qualifying to take pole position on Sunday. The Red Bull car is the best on the track and will be tied for the best starting positions with Mercedes. If Sergio Perez is able to get on to the podium, the Red Bull constructor will be hard to beat. In GPPs, Red Bull seems to be the spend up play to differentiate, but it will also leave less roster flexibility with the rest of the lineup. It is hard to imagine playing Perez in captain with Red Bull simply because players would expect Verstappen to win and Perez to place on the podium for this constructor to be optimal.
The ultimate GPP play this weekend will be Ferrari as they had the worst qualifying of the top three. The duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc will be starting in fifth and seventh, respectively. They will have plenty of work to do to get past both Mercedes to finish and Perez this weekend making them a much lower-owned option than the other two.
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Max Verstappen ($13,000 DraftKings; First)
Wash, rinse, repeat. This has been the magic formula for DFS players this season. Verstappen has been unstoppable and looks to continue is incredible run here in Mexico. Verstappen is a cash game lock because of his winning odds and track record, but anything can happen in GPPs. If people are fading Verstappen and fearing an accident or something like that, Perez would make an ideal GPP play for the upside and bonus.
George Russell ($8,600 DraftKings; Second) & Lewis Hamilton ($10,000 DraftKings; Third)
This will be the make-or-break spot for DFS lineups this weekend. Will Russell contend and beat Hamilton or did the former drivers champion save some late season magic to win his first Grand Prix of the year. Russell seems like the better cash game play because of the cheaper price and better starting position, while Hamilton has the skill and upside, while being $1,400 more and starting one spot behind his teammate.
Carlos Sainz ($9,400 DraftKings; Fifth)
The big roster decision will be whether to roster Sainz or to use more Mercedes drivers. Sainz comes in as the fifth priced driver and will be starting from fifth position on Sunday. He has Grand Prix winning upside and does start ahead of his teammate Leclerc. Sainz and Leclerc are more geared for GPPs, while Sainz should come in as the higher-owned driver with Leclerc qualifying in seventh. It is hard to imagine Sainz being needed at captain, but he definitely has the upside at this track.
Yuki Tsunoda ($3,200 DraftKings; 13th)
The young AlphaTauri driver has been fast on the track this weekend putting up a top-two time in Free Practice 2 and then posting a top-10 time in Free Practice 3. Tsunoda displayed a strong performance last week in Austin finishing 10th after starting the race in 19th. Tsunoda’s price somehow dropped $600 from last week and is going to be a key cog in lineups as he is even starting ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly.
Alex Albon ($4,200 DraftKings; 17th)
While some may prefer seeing Alex Albon starting higher up on the grid, it is still ideal for lineups to have him starting further back like he is here in Mexico. Albon is always a massive favorite to beat his teammate, as F1 DFS players now do not have to worry as much about losing points by getting passed. Albon is a great cash game play with his higher floor, but still does offer upside for GPPs. Albon grades out as the top value play in the Stokastic tools.
Mick Schumacher ($3,600 DraftKings; 15th)
The young German has been the better Haas driver so far this weekend putting up better times in both Free Practice 2 and Free Practice 3. Mick Schumacher then did well to get out of Q1 and out-qualified teammate Kevin Magnussen on Saturday. With Magnussen starting back in 19th place, Schumacher will be given the slight edge in position and is also $1,000 cheaper. Having one of the Haas drivers in cash is always a smart consideration.
Guanyu Zhou ($3,400 DraftKings; 12th)
Guanyu Zhou is a difficult driver to rate. He has had glimpses of great driving in his rookie season, but his DraftKings score is usually dictated on whether or not his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finishes the race. Zhou does have a nice starting position which gives him the upside of finishing top 10, but Bottas has had a strong weekend here in Mexico and even out-qualified Leclerc to start in sixth. Zhou is more of a GPP play because he will need to get lucky to be optimal.
Cash game lineups almost make themselves at this point with only so many driver options and wanting to fit in two of the top six drivers with one of the top three constructors. Starting with Verstappen – Russell – Mercedes, it allows some decent roster flexibility while still having a high floor and upside.
GPPs are another beast. Fading Verstappen is never easy and would not be suggested in single-entry tournaments, but anything can happen in a race. Going balanced is possible, but usually the same starting goals of having two top-six drivers and a top-three constructor offers the highest ceiling. The biggest question for GPP players this week will be whether or not they believe Ferrari can come from behind to win this race.
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