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.
1. Denny Hamlin ($9,500) – Torn ACL? So, what? Over the last 4 races, Hamlin is averaging 76 fantasy points per race (his lowest outing was a 69). His 8 fantasy points per $1,000 of salary is the best in NASCAR over the last 4 races.
2. Joey Logano ($10,200) – It’s the same routine. Logano is a lock for the top five. He’s the safest pick for grabbing fast laps and laps led points.
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($8,700) – His salary finally crept up this week, but he’ll still outperform his salary. Junior consistently finishes in the top 10 and is a must play each week in daily fantasy NASCAR.
4. Kevin Harvick ($11,100) – He wasn’t dominate last week, but he was a top 3 car until the Jimmie Johnson incident. Harvick desperately needs a win this weekend.
5. Aric Almirola ($6,600) – This is a gift from the fantasy NASCAR gods. Almirola’s salary dropped. He’s the 2015 value play of the year. An average top 20 finish is a solid return on investment.
6. Kyle Busch ($10,800) – Rowdy dominated the race until a questionable restart by Jeff Gordon. JGR proved once again, that they have the best cars in NASCAR and Kyle is leading the way.
7. Matt Kenseth ($10,000) – If Kyle Busch is a little too expensive, Matt Kenseth is the acceptable alternative. Kenseth has put up monster numbers all summer (average finish of 3.75 – excluding Bristol and Darlington).
8. Carl Edwards ($9,300) – He’s the cheapest JGR driver and he scored a victory a couple weeks ago at Darlington. Last week, he finished 2nd at Chicagoland. Edwards does not dominate like Kenseth and Busch, but he finds his way to the front at the end.
9. Brad Keselowski ($10,600) – The #2 hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 in the last 10 races. The only dig against BK is that he’s very expensive and he’s been just a step away over the last two weeks.
10. Clint Bowyer ($7,500) – Clint has been safe. He cautiously worked his way into the Chase (13th place average finish over 7 races), and he calmly approached race #1 of the Chase with a 19th place finish (32 fantasy points). That’s all out the window after Bowyer’s post race penalty. He’s got to swing for the fences.
11. Kurt Busch ($10,700) – Kurt’s back. Is he back to his late Spring form? It’s hard to tell, but if a 3rd place finish and 80 fantasy points means anything, then he’s worth the salary.
12. Jimmie Johnson ($9,600) – Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Every time it seems like the 48 team has things figured out, it just doesn’t happen. Johnson has struggled in the summer before, but something feels off at Hendrick.
13. Ryan Newman ($7,400) – In 27 races this season, Newman has 20 races of 30 fantasy points or more. Often fantasy players stray from Newman because of a high starting position. Newman is an easy 30 points for $7,000.
14. Jeff Gordon ($8,600) – He’s on the radar. Gordon has back-to-back 50 point fantasy performances, and is averaging 40 points per race over last five races. That’s a steal in the $8,000 range.
15. Jamie McMurray ($7,900) – Jamie Mac is a mid level salary play with solid production over the last month. In the last 5 races, McMurray is averaging 38 fantasy points.
16. Martin Truex Jr. ($9,100) – He’s hit or miss. Over the next nine races, he will hit, but when will it be? It looked like Chicago was the place, but the Truex slump continued.
17. Kyle Larson ($8,200) – The kid is starting to look like the driver everyone expected. Over the last 8 races, Larson is averaging 31.5 fantasy points (that includes a -17 performance at Bristol).
18. Paul Menard ($6,500) – The Nard Dog was the man during the summer, but recently he’s not getting it done. He’s a solid 50/50 play, but Almirola is a better option. Menard is the contrarian play.
19. Kasey Kahne ($7,300) – It’s simply a name play. He’s Kasey Kahne. He races for Hendrick. His salary is really low. He hasn’t raced well this year, but he can turn it around.
20. Landon Cassill ($5,400) – He’s a punt. He’s better than a punt. This is a rock bottom price for a driver that’s running well. Cassill has been right around the 5 fantasy points per $1,000 salary threshold in the last three races (35, 19, and 26 points).