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. This information is not developed or provided by NASCAR, Inc., or its affiliates.
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($11,500) The King of Restrictor Plate Racing did exactly what he was supposed to do. Junior has been the most consistent top tier DFS driver this season. The 88 has finished in the top 5 in all five intermediate track races this year.
2. Kurt Busch ($12,200) The streak continues. Kurt has finished in the top 5 four races in a row. He has the second best average finish (9.0) and the best top 20 percentage (93%).
3. Kevin Harvick ($13,900) It’s hard to imagine Harvick not being ranked #1, but Junior and Kurt have been just as incredible at a lower price. Not much has changed for Harvick. He’s first in top 10s, top 5s, and average finish.
4. Jimmie Johnson ($13,100) Three of Johnson’s four wins this year have come at intermediate tracks. The last time Jimmie raced at an intermediate track, he was flying, but just a little too fast; he wrecked. He’s going for wins, and that’s what you want at his price.
5. Joey Logano ($11,400) – He’s nearly a lock for a top 5 each week. When you are competing with Kurt, Dale, Kevin, and Jimmie, it’s easy to be left out. Joey’s numbers are just as good the other top dogs, and he’s the lowest priced of the top 5.
6. Martin Truex Jr. ($13,000) – Is it possible for Truex to wreck for the third week in a row? A return to intermediate tracks is just what he needs. Truex is averaging a 6th place finish at 1.5 mile tracks this year.
7. Matt Kenseth ($11,300) – A road course and a plate track, those don’t weigh too heavily here. Kenseth was in the top 10 at Pocono and Michigan. In the last two intermediate track races, Kenseth finished in the top 10. He’s one of the best at 1.5 mile tracks.
8. Paul Menard ($8,800) – Not a top 10 machine, but Menard has built a home with a 30 year mortgage in between 10th and 20th. His 13 top 20s ranks 9th best. Other than some bad luck at Pocono, it’s been since April that Menard was outside of the top 20.
9. Jamie McMurray ($9,500) – Quick, who’s 6th place in points? Yeah, Jamie Mac is having a career year. The only thing he’s missing is a win. It probably won’t come this week, but expect another solid race (avg finish 13.2).
10. Kyle Busch ($10,800) – His season is still alive, but he needs more wins. When he doesn’t wreck, he’s great. He’s a great GPP play, but always risky in 50/50s. Rowdy owns Kentucky. He’s dominated this track at all three levels.
11. Brad Keselowski ($12,100) The transition away from 1.5 mile tracks was tough on Brad, but that’s over now. At intermediate track this season, Brad has finished inside the top 10 in all five. BK knows Kentucky; he’s been in every truck, xfinity, and sprint cup race at this track.
12. Kasey Kahne ($10,500) Don’t worry about Daytona. Kahne is 11th in points and is running well this year. The discount Hendrick driver will get his win soon enough. This week, teams have very limited time with the new rules package and are scrambling; advantage Hendrick.
13. Clint Bowyer ($8,600) That is a very low price for a top tier driver. Several weeks ago, Bowyer was on the verge of falling out of the rankings. Since then, Bowyer has recorded 4 top 10s in his last 5 races, and he seems like a different person at the track.
14. Ryan Newman ($9,300) On paper, Newman’s stretch of average to bad races from Dover to Michigan has made him even more overlooked than normal. If a DFS player ignores what Newman has done going back to last year’s Chase, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. He’s a top 10 contender every week. His 10 top 10s ranks 6th.
15. Denny Hamlin ($10,100) Behind Junior, Hamlin might be the best restrictor plate racer around. This week it’s an intermediate track, but no worries. Hamlin was fast at the last two intermediate track races.
16. Jeff Gordon ($10,600) – Finally, the salary matches the driver. He could be near the top 10, but a 6th place finish at a plate track isn’t enough to break a funk. It remains to be seen, but the early guess is that Gordon will not like the Kentucky rules package.
17. Kyle Larson ($9,800) – You can’t hold Daytona against him. It was just a couple years ago that he lost his engine in the Daytona stands. Larson is 3 for 3 in restrictor plate wrecks this season. The kid has been solid since Kansas.
18. Carl Edwards ($10,400) – He did win the last intermediate track race, but other than that, Carl’s done nothing. Edwards is ranked 17th in points. Without his Charlotte win, his team would be in panic mode. It’s not quite a nightmare first season with JGR; it’s more like one of those dreams where you wake up and don’t want to go right back to sleep.
19. Casey Mears ($7,500) – Forget Sonoma. Mears has looked strong over the last month. The only problem is that he’s been too strong and is qualifying too high. If Mears qualifies in the mid 20s, then load up on this value play.
20. Aric Almirola ($7,900) – The Cuban Missile rarely cracks the top 10, but he’s always inside the top 20. Only Cole Whitt has a better place differential average this season.