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. The information is not developed or provided by NASCAR, Inc., or its affiliates.
1. Kevin Harvick ($11,100) – The latest results do not support being ranked #1, but that fact is that Harvick is the best driver and he has the best car. In the Chase, when NASCAR returns to intermediate tracks, look for Harvick to rise to the top.
2. Joey Logano ($10,200) – He runs up front every race. He can’t win every race or lead every lap, but Logano has been the most consistent dominant driver. Even if Logano is not a home run pick, he will not kill your team with negative place differential points.
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($8,300) – With his points to price ratio, he must be on every daily fantasy NASCAR team going forward. It’s a lock that $8000 will score 50 points with Junior.
4. Denny Hamlin ($9,400) – DFS players must pick Fast Lap and Lap Leaders. These stats come from the front, and Hamlin’s worst finish over the last month is 6th.
5. Aric Almirola ($7,000) – How did the Cuban Missile respond to being ranked inside the top 5? He finished inside the top 5 at Richmond and had a monster fantasy day day. Almirola scored 11 pts per $1000 of salary (5 pts per $1000 is good).
6. Matt Kenseth ($10,300) – The 20 car had a monster night at Richmond. Over the last two months, Kenseth has two monster race (188 pts and 120 pts), 4 great race (58.5 pt avg), a decent race of 36 pts, and two duds.
7. Brad Keselowski ($10,400) – Richmond was supposed to be BK’s week, but it didn’t happen because Matt Kenseth had a rocket. BK’s salary dropped this week and Chicago is one of his best tracks (wins in 2014 and 2012).
8. Kyle Busch ($10,600) – Rowdy ran well at Richmond, but no one was passing Matt Kenseth last Saturday night. Kyle will be one of the six or so drivers that are a part of laps led discussion each week. Like Logano, Rowdy has not hurt DFS player with negative place differential points.
9. Carl Edwards ($9,600) – An 11th place finish following a win is a bit disappointing, but Edwards is averaging a 7.5 finish over the last 9 races. The rest of the season is filled with intermediate track races and Edwards in one of the best 1.5 mile track drivers (average finish of 13th ranks 2nd).
10. Ryan Newman ($7,700) – Old reliable wasn’t very reliable last weekend. His poor finish was a result of cautious driving heading into the NASCAR playoffs. Newman and Bowyer have been the same play all year: place differential picks when they qualify in the 20s.
11. Jimmie Johnson ($9,200) – The theory is that once Johnson gets into the Chase and returns to intermediate tracks (average finish of 11th ranks #1), then it’s over. Johnson does have 4 wins this year, but a summer swoon for Jimmie is new phenomenon. Chicago will answer a lot of questions.
12. Clint Bowyer ($7,900) – Congratulations you’re in the Chase, Clint Bowyer, but for how long? Bowyer is what he is, and that’s a middle tier, place differential driver that has been average at intermediate tracks (21st average finish).
13. Jamie McMurray ($8,000) – The #1 car is a top 15 car every week, but solid qualifying runs by Jamie Mac have always been a thorn in the side of DFS players. Last week, McMurray obliged the community with a poor qualifying effort and the result was 52 fantasy points for $8,200.
14. Kurt Busch ($10,000) – He’s started up front and had fast cars the last two weeks, but he has nothing to show for it. Kurt has one of the highest salaries and is not producing in any scoring category.
15. Martin Truex Jr. ($8,900) – For the people out there that are waiting for Truex Jr. to turn it on, keep waiting. Something isn’t right with this team. At Richmond Truex was top 10 in practice, but an early race wreck led to a 32nd place finish.
16. Paul Menard ($7,300) – After three below average races in a row (24th, 26th, and 26th), Menard looks like damaged goods. It can be argued that Menard was driving extremely cautious in order to make the Chase. However, one does not simply flip a switch and become a top 10 driver.
17. Jeff Gordon ($8,400) – He’s not leading laps and when he starts up front he’s not a play. However, when Gordon starts in the 20s, he’s a great place differential play.
18. Sam Hornish Jr. ($6,200) – He finished 28th, but Hornish was the 6th highest fantasy performer with 58 points. Richard Petty Motorsports finished summer strong and Sam’s 78 fast laps at Richmond are a sign of things to come.
19. Kasey Kahne ($8,000) – June was the last time Kahne finished inside the top 10 and that was a road course. It’s possible that missing the Chase will relieve some pressure, but the #5 team still has problems.
20. Kyle Larson ($8,400) – He’s either good or he’s bad. In the last 7 races, Larson has a 41st place finish and 6 races of 13th or better. The kid is always a risk of negative place differential points, but he’s a threat to lead laps too.