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
1Kevin Harvick$10,600
2Martin Truex Jr$9,800
3Kyle Busch$10,400
4Brad Keselowski$9,500
5Matt Kenseth$9,300

1. Kevin Harvick ($10,600) – The eloquent way to put it is Harvick’s numbers at Phoneix are stupid. He’s won five of the last six Phoenix races (he finished second in a rain-shortened race). He’s scored the most fast lap and laps led points in every one of those races. (5.7 fppk)

2. Martin Truex, Jr. ($9,800) – This car is fast everywhere. Truex has finished with the first- or second-best fantasy score in the last four short track races. Truex’s average position is inside the top 10 in the last three Phoenix races. (5.8 fppk)

3. Kyle Busch ($10,400) – His six top-fives at short tracks are the most in NASCAR this season. He has back-to-back fourth-place finishes at Phoenix. He probably won’t beat Harvick, but he can score a top-five. (5.0 fppk)

4. Brad Keselowski ($9,500) – Phoenix isn’t his best track, but that’s true for anyone not named Kevin Harvick. BK is on a short track roll. He finished fourth at Richmond, fourth at New Hampshire, fourth at Dover, and second at Martinsville. (4.5 fppk)

5. Matt Kenseth ($9,300) – At Richmond, Kenseth got caught in a late race pile up. At every other short, flat track, Kenseth has a top-10 finish. Kenseth’s average running position over his last four Phoenix races is 12th or better. (4.3 fppk)

RANKDRIVERSALARY
6Kurt Busch$8,400
7Jimmie Johnson$9,700
8Joey Logano$9,700
9Carl Edwards$9,100
10Denny Hamlin$9,900

6. Kurt Busch ($8,400) – Stewart-Haas racing is solid at Phoenix. Obviously, Harvick is good, but Kurt has four consecutive top-10s at Phoenix. If Harvick gobbles up all the fast and laps led points, then $8,400 for a top-10 is a great deal. (3.9 fppk)

7. Jimmie Johnson ($9,700) – In the last 10 Phoenix races, he only has five top-10s. From 2005-2011, Jimmie recorded 10 consecutive top-five finishes and four wins. (4.2 fppk)

8. Joey Logano ($10,200) – In the last five Phoneix races, Logano’s average running position is sixth, fourth, fifth, 10th, and third. He’s right there, but he’s not going to pass Harvick. Logano has been lacking that little extra speed needed to dominate all season. (4.1 fppk)

9. Carl Edwards ($9,100) – The short track season started out great for Edwards, but the second half of the slate has been disappointing. Edwards has already qualified for the championship. It’s likely that he’s already looking towards Miami. (4.2 fppk)

10. Denny Hamlin ($9,900) – One of these JGR drivers has to go home. Hamlin is a mere two points away from Miami. If Harvick wins, he’s only three points away. He needs a top-three finish. Hamlin finished third in the spring race. (3.9 fppk)

RANKDRIVERSALARY
11Kyle Larson$8,900
12Chase Elliott$8,700
13Alex Bowman$6,900
14Ryan Newman$7,800
15Jamie McMurray$7,900

11. Kyle Larson ($8,900) – Phoenix is not a Larson track, yet. It can be eventually. Larson’s worst finish in his five races in the desert is 21st. The other four finishes fall between 10th and 20th. (4.1 fppk)

12. Chase Elliott ($8,700) – In the 11 short track races this season, Elliott has eight top-15 finishes. In the spring, Elliot finished eighth and his average running position was eighth. (4.1 fppk)

13. Alex Bowman ($6,900) – Who can beat Harvick at Phoenix? Dale Earnhardt, Jr. He’s not racing, but his car is. Bowman has not run at Phoenix in this race package, but he did run at a short, flat track in New Hampshire twice (26th and 14th). (2.2 fppk)

14. Ryan Newman ($7,800) – The spring race ended in a blown tire, but the 12 Phoenix races before that were a different story. He wasn’t amazing at Phoenix over that span (finishes of 40th and 21st), but he was close (11th or better in the other 10 races). (3.8 fppk)

15. Jamie McMurray ($7,900) – In the last six short track races, Jame Mac has four top-10s. What happened at the other two? He blew an engine at Dover and his average running position was 10th at New Hampshire, but a late pitstop sent McMurray backwards. (3.8 fppk)

RANKDRIVERSALARY
16A.J. Allmendinger$7,400
17Danica Patrick$6,200
18Kasey Kahne$8,000
19Ryan Blaney$7,700
20Austin Dillon$8,200

16. A.J. Allmendinger ($7,400) – There’s the short, flat track narrative for The Dinger. There’s the narrative that The Dinger is having his best season ever and is clearly the best small team driver in NASCAR. Those are narratives, just look at the numbers. A.J. has 11 top-20s in his 14 Phoenix race. (3.9 fppk)

17. Danica Patrick ($6,200) – I’m here, again, to tell you that Danica is good at short, flat tracks. She’s not going to beat the big dogs, but she’ll be competitive. She’s finished inside the top 20 in the last two Phoenix races. She has six top-20s at short, flat tracks this season. (4.2 fppk)

18. Kasey Kahne ($8,000) – The often forgotten Hendrick car turned it around this summer. He’s been a great fantasy play all year, but he’s been even better over the last half of the season. Kahne has finished 13th or better in seven of the last eight short track races. (4.1 fppk)

19. Ryan Blaney ($7,700) – Short tracks were much kinder to Blaney earlier this season. In his last five short track races, Blaney has finished 30th or worse three times. However, the last time he raced at Phoenix, he took home a 10th-place finish. (3.3 fppk)

20. Austin Dillon ($8,200) – Personally, I believe that Kyle Larson’s season has been better, but Austin Dillon improved this season. He finished ninth at Phoenix, but at every other short track, he’s averaging a 15th-place finish. (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.