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
1Martin Truex Jr.$10,400
2Kevin Harvick$10,600
3Kyle Busch$10,200
4Brad Keselowski$9,800
5Kurt Busch$9,400

1. Martin Truex Jr. ($10,400) – Let’s go back in time to the last intermediate track race. Truex almost hit 200 points. In the two 1.5 mile races before that, he topped 90 fantasy points. (5.8 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($10,600) – With the new track in Kentucky, there are a lot of question marks this weekend. If uncertainty rules the day, then it’s best to roll with the leader in fantasy points per race (68 points). Harvick was the fastest on each day of Kentucky testing in June. (6.5 fppk)

3. Kyle Busch ($10,200) – There was an early summer slump for Rowdy, but it wasn’t at intermediate tracks (2 wins, 4 top 5s in 5 races). Kyle won at Kentucky and scored the most fantasy points in last season’s low downforce experiment. (4.8 fppk)

4. Brad Keselowski ($9,800) – It can be argued that Brad is better at Kentucky than Kyle (BK has 2 Sprint Cup wins and 3 Xfinity wins). Brad didn’t win at Kentucky last year, but he scored the second most fantasy points. (5.0 fppk)

5. Kurt Busch ($9.400) – You know the story. Kurt doesn’t dominate races, but he’s a lock for the top 10. Only Kurt and his teammate, Kevin Harvick, have top 10s at every intermediate track race this season. (4.7 fppk)

RankDriverSalary
6Jimmie Johnson$10,000
7Joey Logano$10,100
8Dale Earnhardt Jr.$9,200
9Denny Hamlin$8,500
10Austin Dillon$7,900

6. Jimmie Johnson ($10,000) – Kentucky has a new track surface. The banking has increased in turns 1 and 2. Goodyear’s tire for the testing session failed, so teams will be running an untested Michigan tire. What team is the best at adapting to the unknown? The Lowe’s 48 Chevy. (4.0 fppk)

7. Joey Logano ($10,100) – The new wave of drivers have a lot of experience at Kentucky. From 2008-2010, Logano won the Xfinity Kentucky race every year. He finished 2nd last year and has 3 straight top 10s at Kentucky. (4.1 fppk)

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,200) – As part of the old guard, Junior does not have a lot of experience at Kentucky. It’s a so-so track for him, but the changes to the track may eliminate the disadvantage of his inexperience. (4.0 fppk)

9. Denny Hamlin ($8,500) – This has been a weird season full of highs and lows. Hamlin won the Daytona 500 and then he strangely lost to Tony Stewart on the last turn of Sonoma. It’s been unpredictable, but Hamlin did run inside the top 5 for 600 miles at Charlotte. (2.8 fppk)

10. Austin Dillon ($7,900) – The #3 car has the 8th best finish at intermediate tracks this season (11th). His 38 points per race average at 1.5 mile tracks is impressive, but as his price tag increases, it’s hard to roster Dillon knowing that he only scores finishing position points. This week, he’s back to being relatively affordable. (3.9 fppk)

RankDriverSalary
11Matt Kenseth$8,700
12Ryan Blaney$7,400
13Chase Elliott$9,000
14Carl Edwards$9,600
15Ty Dillon$6,400

11. Matt Kenseth ($8,700) – The overlooked story this week is that NASCAR removed fans from the cars. The rumor in the garage was that JGR manipulated the fans to get more downforce. This is the first week we will see the impact of fan removal. Will Kenseth score his 3rd consecutive top 10 at an intermediate track? (3.7 fppk)

12. Ryan Blaney ($7,400) – Kentucky is one of the few places it’s good to be a rookie. Blaney has plenty of Xfinity and truck series experience in the Blue Grass State (2 wins). (3.8 fppk)

13. Chase Elliott ($9,000) – Don’t treat him like a rookie. Unless you’re considering his Xfinity experience at Kentucky, then he’s a rookie. Elliot has 11 top 10s this year (4 at intermediate tracks), that’s not a rookie. (4.5 fppk)

14. Carl Edwards ($9,600) – Outside of Kyle Busch, JGR’s finishes at intermediate tracks have been disappointing (average finish of 14th among the other three drivers). Edwards and JGR dominated Kentucky last year, but they were a step ahead with the low downforce package. That advantage has vanished. (5.5 fppk)

15. Ty Dillon ($6,400) – The other Dillon is back in the #95 car. Remember, this is not Tony Stewart’s ride. Don’t fret, this is basically an RCR car. Ty is averaging a 21st place finish this year and he finished 17th and 20th in the 1.5 mile races (Tony Stewart’s Car). (4.5 fppk)

RankDriverSalary
16Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$6,800
17Greg Biffle$6,600
18Jamie McMurray$7,300
19Kasey Kahne$8,100
20AJ Allmendinger$7,100

16. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($6,800) – It’s been a while since Stenhouse made the rankings. His worst intermediate track race finish this season is 16th, but he only averages 26 points per race. Normally this a hard pill to swallow. This week, Kentucky uncertainty makes Stenhouse a reliable friend. (3.3 ppk)

17. Greg Biffle ($6,600) – All we need from The Bif is five times value. Biffle has finished inside the top 20 in the last two Kentucky races, and that’s all we’ll need Saturday night. He has 3 top 20s in 5 intermediate track races this season. (3.0 fppk)

18. Jamie McMurray ($7,300) – This is the cheapest Jamie Mac has been all year. A top 15 will return value as long as Mac doesn’t start inside the top 10. McMurray’s average finish is 19th at intermediate tracks this year. A lot hinges on his starting position. (3.8 fppk)

19. Kasey Kahne ($8,100) – It’s easy to overlook Kahne based on his performance over the last two years. From 2011- 2014, Kahne was a top 15 car at Kentucky (average finish of 8.5). Last year his average running position was 16th at Kentucky, but his car faded at the end. Kahne took part in the June test session at Kentucky. (3.4 fppk)

20. AJ Allmendinger ($7,100)JTG Daugherty Racing has turned some heads this year. The Dinger is tied for the 15th best average finish (the highest among single car teams). He’s in a good spot having participated in the Kentucky tests in June. (4.5 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.