Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for the race. 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 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.)

RankDriverSalary
1Kyle Busch$10,700
2Kevin Harvick$10,500
3Jimmie Johnson$10,200
4Brad Keselowski$9,800
5Martin Truex Jr.$8,900

1. Kyle Busch ($10,700) – The 2016 low downforce package has been better for Rowdy than anyone could have imagined. He’s carrying back-to-back wins into a track where he has 17 career wins (counting all levels). (8.0 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($10,500) – Texas wasn’t the fantasy NASCAR result we’ve come to expect. Harvick ran inside the top 10 all day and brought home the 6th highest score. Bristol is a tricky beast. Harvick is good at bristol, but there are no guarantees in NASCAR’s Colosseum. (7.6 fppk)

3. Jimmie Johnson ($10,200) – If a driver loses a race he’s supposed to win, he drops in the rankings. If the driver overcomes adversity to finish 4th and already has 2 wins, as Johnson has, then you don’t drop THAT far in the rankings. (6.1 fppk)

4. Brad Keselowski ($9,800) – Sometimes a team just misses it. BK can rebound. He has the the 4th highest top 5% at Bristol (33%). (4.4 fppk)

5. Martin Truex Jr. ($8,900) – Practice is important. Truex shined during practice, and he carried that speed into the race. He led 141 laps and ran 45 fast laps. (5.2 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
6Carl Edwards$9,900
7Joey Logano$10,300
8Dale Earnhardt Jr.$9,100
9Matt Kenseth$10,000
10Kurt Busch$9,400

6. Carl Edwards ($9,900) – The top 10s are piling up. Edwards’ worst race this season was a 33 fantasy point performance (wreck at Las Vegas). At Texas, Edwards ran up front and scored substantial dominator points for the first time this season. (6.2 fppk)

7. Joey Logano ($10,300) – The letdown was less severe at Texas, but it was still a let down. It’s time prepare for the next disappointment. Logano is really good at Bristol. DFS players cannot hide from him no matter how many times he’s burnt them. Over the last 5 Bristol races, Logano has the 4th highest driver rating. He scored 122 fantasy points in last Fall’s race. (4.5 fppk)

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,100) – The 2nd place finish makes it appear that Junior almost won, but it wasn’t close. The intermediate track drought continues, but 2nd place is worth bragging about. Junior scored the 4th most fantasy points. If you throw out Daytona, Junior is averaging 61 fantasy points per race. (5.4 fppk)

9. Matt Kenseth ($10,000) – Kenseth is racing as good as anyone. Bristol is one of Kenseth’s best tracks, so he’ll look to continue his positive trend this week. (3.3 fppk)

10. Kurt Busch ($9,400) – The 41 car is running under the radar this year. Kurt scored his 5th top 10 of the year (tied for fourth). Kurt’s 5 career Bristol wins ties his brother for the most. (4.3 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
11Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$6,400
12Denny Hamlin$9,600
13Aric Almirola$6,400
14Ty Dillon$6,300
15Austin Dillon$8,200

11. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($6,400) – Bristol is a high speed, 1/2 mile bullring, where contact is inevitable. Somehow the driver with a reputation for wrecking, races his best here. Ricky’s average finish at Bristol is 11th. Brace yourself, that’s the best in NASCAR. (2.9 fppk)

12. Denny Hamlin ($9,600) – This pick has not been a good return on investment. Hamlin’s 12th place finish was his best at an intermediate track this season. Hamlin’s futility can become a thing of the the past at a short track. JGR is great at Bristol and Hamlin has the 5th highest top 10% (57%). (3.6 fppk)

13. Aric Almirola ($6,400) – There is a difference between real racing and daily fantasy. Almirola is averaging around a 20th place finish. That’s great for a driver in the $6,000 range. In terms of fantasy, he’s only averaging 25 points per race (23rd). Last year, Almirola averaged 33 fantasy points per race. That being said, all of the $6,000 value drivers have disappeared. (3.5 fppk)

14. Ty Dillon ($6,300) – 2016 DFS NASCAR Rule #2: Take the 14 car. Last week, Dillon didn’t get to drive the 14 car. He raced the 95 car for a small team, Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing, and finished inside the top 20. In 5 Xfinity races at Bristol, Ty has 5 top 10s. (4.9 fppk)

15. Austin Dillon ($8,200) – The price hike significantly hurts his value. At Martinsville, Dillon had a 9.9 fppk. His price went up, Dillon finished 19th, and his fppk dropped to 2.5. He’s a great driver, but as his price rises, he needs to score place differential points or dominator points to be a viable fantasy option. (5.0 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
16Chase Elliott$8,500
17AJ Allmendinger$6,600
18Ryan Blaney$7,000
19Paul Menard$7,100
20Ryan Newman$7,300

16. Chase Elliott ($8,500) – The rookie looks great, but, again, real racing is different from fantasy racing. Chase Elliott has limited fantasy value when he qualifies inside the top 10. (3.1 fppk)

17. AJ Allmendinger ($6,600) – It’s been a great year for Allmendinger, but he’s not going to run around the top 10 in every race. Bristol has not been one of Allmendinger’s favorite tracks (zero top 10s in 15 races). (5.4 fppk)

18. Ryan Blaney ($7,000) – The poor Texas finish was not due to driver error. The team could not get the setup right. Blaney has three straight top 10s at Bristol Xfinity races including a win in 2014, but that’s the Xfinity series. (2.7 fppk)

19. Paul Menard ($7,100) – Even if Menard didn’t get involved in a wreck at Texas, he didn’t look good. Everything should return to normal. Menard is typically a top 20 guy and he averages a top 20 at Bristol. (3.9 fppk)

20. Ryan Newman ($7,300) – Nothing changes for Newman. He’s a 10th to 20th place driver that only lights up the fantasy scoreboard through place differential. Like his RCR teammates, a top 10 qualifying spot makes him hard to roster. (3.4 fppk)