Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. These are the drivers in the lowest tier of salaries that have the opportunity to score 30 to 40 DFS points.
1. Ryan Blaney ($7,000) – Before qualifying happens, here’s the dilemma – Blaney will qualify inside the top 15 (his average starting position is 14th). His ownership should dip due to the lack of potential place differential points, but at $7,000, Blaney only needs 35 points to match his salary. In his last two intermediate track races, Blaney finished inside the top 15 (33 and 41 fantasy points). He didn’t luck out either, he was fast all weekend. Blaney is not without risk; he’s blown several engines this season.
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,400) – Martinsville didn’t work out for Ricky and that wasn’t a big surprise considering his track history. Texas will be the real indicator of whether Stenhouse has turned the corner on his young career. In the NASCAR rankings articles, I have made it clear that Stenhouse is on the best run of his life. He’s in the top 20 every week. At intermediate tracks over his hot streak, Stenhouse has fantasy scores of 37, 44, and 37 points. Stenhouse finished well at the Spring Texas race, but that was very fortunate given that he ran outside of the top 15 for 93% of the race.
3. Brian Scott ($5,500) – Similar to Blaney, Brian Scott has run well at 1.5 mile tracks this season. When Scott makes his few Sprint Cup appearances it’s with the 33 car built by RCR (not the 33 driven by Alex Kennedy). In Scott’s three intermediate track races, he has finishes of 13th, 22nd, and 12th. At Kansas several weeks ago, Scott looked strong all weekend (average position of 17th). At his price, finishing position points are enough to reach value.
4. Aric Almirola ($6,700) – He’s a safe value play. Almirola is more of a 50/50 lineup guy, but on occasion, Almirola puts up monster fantasy numbers (Dover and Richmond). The Cuban Missile averages 34 fantasy points per race, so he’s almost a guarantee to hit value. It goes without saying that Almirola has not dominated Texas, but his average finish of 20th is reflective of what he does at intermediate tracks. You can pencil him in somewhere between 15-20.
5. Greg Biffle ($6,600) – His salary jumped up from last week’s insulting sub $6,000 price, but he’s still cheap. The Roush Fords are ending the season strong with top 20 and top 10 cars. Biffle ranks as the 10th best driver at intermediate tracks and it seems that Roush has finally built the car to match Biffle’s abilities. At Texas, The Bif has 2 wins and the 5th highest top 5%.