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.)

1Kevin Harvick$11,100
2Joey Logano$10,500
3Dale Earnhardt, Jr.$8,500
4Jimmie Johnson$9,000
5Kyle Busch$10,100

1. Kevin Harvick ($11,100) – If Phoenix International Raceway was its own country, then Kevin Harvick would be its king (or president, if they decided to be a democracy). Harvick has scored over 100 fantasy points in six of the last seven Phoenix races. (4.5 fppk)

2. Joey Logano ($10,500) – In the last seven Phoenix races, he has six top 10s. If not for a fueling mistake, it would be a perfect seven for seven. Logano earned a top 10 on the fantasy points leaderboard in five of those seven races (the exceptions being the fueling issue race and a 12th place score). (5.2 fppk)

3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($8,500) – Only one car has dared to step in the way of Kevin Harvick’s domination at Phoneix: The 88 Car. Junior won at Phoenix in the fall 2015 race and Alex Bowman scored 110 fantasy points in the fall 2016 race. (0.8 fppk)

4. Jimmie Johnson ($9,000) – Before Kevin Harvick at Phoenix, there was Jimmie Johnson at Phoenix (five wins between 2007-2009). Don’t write him off. Last fall, Johnson scored 22.5 fast lap points at Phoenix. (2.8 fppk)

5. Kyle Busch ($10,100) – The box scores say Kyle Busch has been terrible, and so do the fantasy results. Even after two wrecks and a poorly handled car at Atlanta, it’s not the time to jump ship. Busch can bounce back at Phoenix. He’s scored top 10 fantasy points in the last three Phoenix races. (0.7 fppk)

6Brad Keselowski$10,300
7Kyle Larson$9,100
8Matt Kenseth$8,800
9Denny Hamlin$9,200
10Chase Elliott$9,700

6. Brad Keselowski ($10,300) – If you had to pick the best driver so far, it’s without a doubt, Brad Keselowski. How is he at Phoenix? Last year was an off year: a top 10 and a wreck. Before that, he was 11th or better in eight consecutive Phoenix races. (5.3 fppk)

7. Kyle Larson ($9,100) – The best average finish this season belongs to Kyle Larson (fifth). He finished third last fall at Phoenix. A week later, he almost won at Homestead, and then he almost won at Daytona. He’s finished second at Atlanta and Las Vegas. This might be his year. (5.4 fppk)

8. Matt Kenseth ($8,800) – Last fall, Kenseth did not crack the top 10 in any of the practices. Are we talking about practice? He was leading the race during an overtime restart, but he wrecked. He scored 13 fast lap points and 13.75 laps led points. Practice doesn’t mean everything. (2.3 fppk)

9. Denny Hamlin ($9,200) – Goodbye, intermediate tracks. Hello, short tracks. This is Hamlin’s wheelhouse. At the short flat tracks in 2016, Hamlin’s average finish was fifth (that’s not including a very rare wheel hop wreck at Martinsville). (1.7 fppk)

10. Chase Elliott ($9,700) – His Las Vegas practice speeds were appealing, but Keselowski and Truex looked good, too. They also had the benefit of starting on the front row. Elliott is a top 10 driver, but he’s not elite. (5.0 fppk)

11Kurt Busch$8,700
12Martin Truex, Jr.$9,400
13Paul Menard$6,200
14Ryan Blaney$8,000
15Aric Almirola$6,900

11. Kurt Busch ($8,700) – The one thing that Kurt has going for him is that he’s a safe top 10 pick. So much for that (30th at Las Vegas). Everything should return to normal this week. Kurt has a top 10 finish in each of the last five Phoenix races. (3.8 fppk)

12. Martin Truex, Jr. ($9,400) – This car is fast, but this is not a Truex track. The 78 car was great everywhere last year, but not in the desert. Truex has one top five in 22 Phoenix races. (7.5 fppk)

13. Paul Menard ($6,200) – A top 15 starting position will almost always push me off of Menard. That’s my rule. His Phoenix stats are not as impressive as his Las Vegas stats, but he’s been a top 15 driver in three of the last four Phoenix races. (4.8 fppk)

14. Ryan Blaney ($8,000) – This is a good time to be a Penske satellite operation. Out of the gate, these Fords have the best setup for the 2017 low downforce package. If not for a tire issue in Atlanta, Blaney would have three tops 10s. At Phoenix, he posted two top 10s in 2016. (6.8 fppk)

15. Aric Almirola ($6,900) – Late race restarts make or break fantasy teams. Almirola was having a decent day (average running position of 20th), but after a late race caution, Almirola finished 14th. Almirola has a top 20 finish in nine of the last 10 Phoenix races. (6.0 fppk)

16Clint Bowyer$7,700
17Erik Jones$7,500
18Ryan Newman$8,200
19AJ Allmendinger$7,000
20Kasey Kahne$8,100

16. Clint Bowyer ($7,700) – With his price tag hovering above $8,000, Bowyer is only a strong play for me if he qualifies 15th or worse. He’s a new man, and a top 15 driver, again. He’s not a top-tier lap leader, yet. (3.0 fppk)

17. Erik Jones ($7,500) – In the last two races, Jones has raced better than he’s finished. His average running position was 11th at Atlanta (14th place finish) and 10th at Las Vegas (15th place finish). It’s disappointing for the JGR/Front Row rookie, but that’s still pretty good for a rookie. (2.9 fppk)

18. Ryan Newman ($8,200) – In the last 15 Phoenix races, Newman has 11 top 15 finishes. He bounced back from the battery debacle in Atlanta with a 17th place finish in Las Vegas (average running position of 12th). (1.2 fppk)

19. AJ Allmendinger ($7,000) – The theory is that Allmendinger’s road racing background has led to his success at short flat tracks (the turns are similar). In 15 Phoenix races, Allmendinger has 12 top 20s. He finished second and 10th at Martinsville last season (short, flat track). (5.6 fppk)

20. Kasey Kahne ($8,100) – Las Vegas was a better representation of the real Kasey Kahne (12th place finish and -5 place differential points). There was a lot of good fortune involved in his fourth place Atlanta finish. Kahne is a 10th to 15th place guy. (6.5 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.