Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.

NOTE: fppk = average fantasy points per $1,000 of salary. The typical median fppk for a 2015 race was in the 3s. Plate tracks tend to be lower and short tracks tend to run higher due to the amount of laps

Rank 1-5

RankDriverSalary
1Kyle Busch$10,300
2Kevin Harvick$10,500
3Jimmie Johnson$10,400
4Dale Earnhardt Jr.$9,600
5Brad Keselowski$9,200


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1. Kyle Busch ($10,300) – In four races, Busch has not finished worse than 4th; he hasn’t won either. Wins are overrated in fantasy NASCAR. Busch is averaging 70 fantasy points per race. (7.0 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($10,500) – The sure thing came through in the Desert. Harvick has been rockin’ n’ rollin’ all season with the fastest car and 66.8 fantasy points per race to prove it. (7.7 fppk)

3. Jimmie Johnson ($10,400) – A freak wreck during qualifying ruined his fantasy potential, but as far as racing goes, Johnson was locked in on Sunday. Most tracks are good to Johnson, but Auto Club Speedway is a little better than others. His 5 wins is the most in NASCAR. (6.2 fppk)

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,600) – We turned the clocks forward this week, but the 2016 rules package has turned the clock back to 2004. Junior looks like the young gun that won 6 races and scored 16 top 5s that season. (5.4 fppk)

5. Brad Keselowski ($9,200) – Phoenix was a forgettable day. BK’s ride wasn’t quite good enough and a blown tire killed his place differential potential. Things could turn around quickly for Keselowski at Fontana with the new rules package and a worn out racetrack. (4.0 fppk)


Rank 6-10

RankDriverSalary
6Joey Logano$10,000
7Austin Dillon$6,700
8Ryan Blaney$6,600
9Kurt Busch$9,500
10Carl Edwards$9,100

6. Joey Logano ($10,000) – If it weren’t for a fueling mistake, Logano could have been fighting for the win during the final restart. Logano is not a favorite at Fontana, but he does have two top 10s in 3 races for Team Penske at this California track. (4.8 fppk)

7. Austin Dillon ($6,700) – Every part of the the RCR 3 team has looked good this year. The car is blazing fast and Slugger Labbe is a mad scientist atop the pit box. However, the most impressive component has been Austin Dillon behind the wheel. Dillon is evolving into an elite driver. (5.9 fppk)

8. Ryan Blaney ($6,600) – Since Daytona, Blaney has run 88% of his laps inside the top 15. A win might be asking too much from the rookie. In the $6,000 range, top 15s are a steal.(4.5 fppk)

9. Kurt Busch ($9,500) – “We’re talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, we’re talking about practice.” Kurt was great in practice and no showed for the race, again. Fontana is a good track for Kurt, so he’ll more than likely have great practice speeds. Can he deliver come race time? (4.6 fppk)

10. Carl Edwards ($9,100) – If Edwards didn’t get caught in a wreck at Las Vegas, he would have four top 5s just like his teammate Kyle Busch. At Phoenix, Edwards slambanged his way to 78 fantasy points and was just inches from victory lane. (5.5 fppk)


Rank 11-15

RankDriverSalary
11Matt Kenseth$9,900
12Martin Truex Jr.$8,800
13Aric Almirola$6,800
14Denny Hamlin$8,900
15Ryan Newman$7,300

11. Matt Kenseth ($9,900) – Phoenix was an uneventful race, but for Kenseth that’s a good thing. Kenseth should be able to secure his second top 10 of the season this week. In the last 5 Fontana races, Kenseth has 3 top 10s and 4 races with a driver rating over 100. (2.3 fppk)

12. Martin Truex Jr. ($8,800) – The 78 team has slightly regressed with each passing week, but don’t give up on Truex. He’s a top 10 driver, but at the moment, he’s not a weekly favorite to win. (5.4 fppk)

13. Aric Almirola ($6,800) – Solid starting positions have killed Almirola’s fantasy game. Three top 15s are great for the Richard Petty Motorsports driver, but he’s started the last two races inside the top 15. In the first two races this season, Almirola averaged 17 place differential points. (4.9 fppk)

14. Denny Hamlin ($8,900) – After a couple down weeks following his Daytona 500 win, Hamlin bounced back with a 3rd place finish at Phoenix. Before the Denny Hamlin bandwagon leaves the station, check his Fontana stats. Over the last 7 races, he’s averaging a 25th place finish. (4.8 fppk)

15. Ryan Newman ($7,300) – Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. The tire shark got Newman at Phoenix. Of all the drivers to wreck out, Newman was the least likely. He only had two bad races all last season. We’re halfway there. (3.1 fppk)


Rank 16-20

RankDriverSalary
16Chase Elliott$8,600
17AJ Allmendinger$6,400
18Paul Menard$6,500
19Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$6,500
20Brian Vickers$5,400

16. Chase Elliott ($8,600) – There will be wrecks and there will be top 10s. Phoenix was a top 10 week. Elliot had an average running position of 8th and ran 13 fast laps last week. In two Xfinity races at Fontana, Elliot has 2 top 10s. (2.2 fppk)

17. A.J. Allmendinger ($6,400) – Starting position has rendered Allmendinger unplayable. His fantasy points ceiling is low and the possibility of negative place differential points is a nightmare. Nevertheless, A.J. has beaten the odds and recorded back-to-back top 20s. (4.7 fppk)

18. Paul Menard ($6,500) – The tire shark must’ve had a taste for RCR at Phoenix. Menard is usually a safe driver, but he cut a tire and ended early just like his teammate. Menard has three top 10s in the last 3 Fontana races. (3.5 fppk)

19. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($6,500) – Wrecky’s back. In his defense, several good drivers wrecked at Phoenix. Stenhouse finished 15th last year at Fontana, but his average running position was 26th. (2.5 fppk)

20. Brian Vickers ($5,400) – The 14 car continues to roll along. Ty Dillon raced it to a 15th place finish at Phoenix. Vickers has two Fontana races in the last 5 years, both were top 10 finishes. (1.0 fppk)