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.

(fppk = average fantasy points per $1,000 of salary. The typical median fppk for a 2016 race was in the 3s. Plate tracks tend to be lower and short tracks tend to run higher due to the amount of laps.)

RankDriverSalary
1Kyle Busch$10,500
2Martin Truex, Jr.$10,600
3Kyle Larson$10,200
4Joey Logano$9,100
5Jamie McMurray$8,700

1. Kyle Busch ($10,500) – This is the week, or so it seems. Rowdy has been knocking on the door of a win for the last two months. This week, he kicks the door down. He’s won both of the Xfinity and the Monster Cup races in 2015 and 2016. (5.3 fppk)

2. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,600) – Everyone remembers who won the last two Indianapolis races, but does anyone remember who was right behind him? Do they remember who ran the second most fast laps at Indy last year? They remember who is a DraftKings monster this year. (6.6 fppk)

3. Kyle Larson ($10,200) – This is scary. Kyle Larson has been good at Indianapolis ever since his rookie year. This season he has turned good tracks into great tracks. Starting last doesn’t hurt him. Larson would be in play starting two laps down. (6.1 fppk)

4. Joey Logano ($9,100) – If you’re looking for hog points (fast lap points and laps led points), then look elsewhere. Logano has not out scored the field at Indy in the past, and he’s not doing it this season. If you want a top-10, then Logano is your man (four top-10s in the last four Indy races). (3.3 fppk)

5. Jamie McMurray ($8,700) – Back in 2010, McMurray won at Indianapolis. That’s a lifetime ago. He has one top-15 since that victory. This season, McMurray has his best ever Ganassi car. (3.6 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
6Dale Earnhardt, Jr.$8,200
7Kevin Harvick$9,900
8Brad Keselowski$9,300
9Paul Menard$6,300
10Chase Elliott$9,600

6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($8,200) – One of the most cherished memories in the storied history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway is Dale Earnhardt, Sr.’s 1995 victory. It would be the stuff of legends if Junior could win. He might not have the car, but he has the patient style necessary to win at Indy. (2.6 fppk)

7. Kevin Harvick ($9,900) – Indianapolis is a raw speed track and the SHR Fords just don’t have it this year. They have been competitive in their transition year, but this is not the same Kevin Harvick. Unfortunately, it’s still the old Kevin Harvick price tag. (4.3 fppk)

8. Brad Keselowski ($9,300) – There are few tracks where Brad Keselowski is ordinary, but Indy is one of them. His best career finish at Indianapolis is ninth and his average finish is 14th. His last two months have been worse than ordinary (three DNFs). (4.1 fppk)

9. Paul Menard ($6,300) – In 2011, Menard earned his lone Monster Cup win at Indianapolis. It’s not a fluke. Menard is strong at Indy. Since becoming a full-time driver at RCR, Menard has six top-15s in seven Indianapolis races. (3.7 fppk)

10. Chase Elliott ($9,600) – The young guns of NASCAR all seem to have an aptitude for the long, all throttle tracks. Indianapolis is big, but it’s a tad different than Pocono, and in a different universe than Michigan and Fontana. Elliot has finished 18th and 20th in his two races at Indy. (4.0 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
11Ryan Newman$7,400
12Matt Kenseth$9,200
13Jimmie Johnson$10,000
14Ty Dillon$6,800
15Denny Hamlin$9,500

11. Ryan Newman ($7,400) – He finished 31st last year, but he was running 16th on a late race restart when he wrecked into Carl Edwards. Heading into last season’s race, Newman had five consecutive finishes of 12th or better. It’s hard to pass Newman, and it’s a hard track to pass. (3.8 fppk)

12. Matt Kenseth ($9,200) – If you were holding out hope for Kenseth, it died last week. This is not the fully sponsored #20 car of previous years. As Kenseth’s tenure at JGR wanes, the results will likely fade accordingly. (3.2 fppk)

13. Jimmie Johnson ($10,000) – Hendrick did not bring elite cars to Indy in 2015. With only a handful of laps left, the entire team of drivers was outside of the top-10. Jimmie Johnson will need to rely on strategy. At this price, it’s better to pay for speed. (4.2 fppk)

14. Ty Dillon ($6,800) – Like his quasi-RCR teammate, Paul Menard, Dillon’s lone win was at Indianapolis (Xfinity series). In four Xfinity races at Indy, he has four top-10s. He’s not cracking the top-10, but he should finish within his normal range of 17th to 22nd. (4.6 fppk)

15. Denny Hamlin ($9,500) – The #11 car wasn’t the fastest last week. Denny Hamlin wasn’t the best driver last week. The #11 pit crew was the fastest when it mattered. It’s amazing how one quick pit stop near the end of a race can negate 270 miles of racing. (3.9 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
16Clint Bowyer$8,600
17Kurt Busch$8,300
18Ryan Blaney$8,900
19Erik Jones$8,500
20Landon Cassill$5,300

16. Clint Bowyer ($8,600) – His average Indy start is 20th, and his average finish is 14th. That would result in 36 fantasy points. He’s safe, but with his price tag, he’s not a viable option in big tournaments. (4.0 fppk)

17. Kurt Busch ($8,300) – This is a big powerful engine type of race. As long as Kurt doesn’t wreck or make a major mistake, he’s should be in line for a top-15 finish. That’s what we would expect, but at Indy, Kurt’s average finish is 19th. (2.8 fppk)

18. Ryan Blaney ($8,900) – Last year at Indy, Blaney battled all day, only to get caught in a late race restart. Half of the battle at Indy is unloading a fast car, and the #21 Wood Brothers’ Ford have unloaded fast all season. (2.9 fppk)

19. Erik Jones ($8,500) – At Indianapolis, you either have a fast car or just go home. Jones is lucky. The Furniture Row Toyotas are the best cars on the circuit. In the Xfinity series, Jones had fast cars at Indy but struggled. If he races well in Saturday’s Xfinity race, he’ll become a GPP target. (3.6 fppk)

20. Landon Cassill ($5,300) – Salaries are tight this week. If you want to roster five drivers that can finish inside the top-10, then you’ll have to save somewhere. Cassill has 16 top 30 finishes in the 18 races this season. (3.8 fppk)

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.