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. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,000) – His boom or bust days seem to be a part of the past. Stenhouse is riding a hot streak into a track type where he traditionally runs well. Ricky has finished on the lead lap in all of but one of his plate races and that is no small feat given the precarious nature of 43 car drafting packs.
2. Cole Whitt ($5,600) – Front Row Motorsports’ success at restrictor plates tracks is well known. In 2013, Front Row teammates Ragan and Gilliland finished 1 and 2. At the last three Dega races, Whitt has finished 13th, 15th, and 21st for an average of 44 fantasy points.
3. Ryan Blaney ($5,800) – The Wood Brothers are NASCAR royalty and they build solid cars week in, week out; but they make the most noise at plate races. With an unknown Trevor Bayne at the wheel, they won the Daytona 500 in 2011. With Blaney at the wheel, they finished 4th in the Spring Talladega race and might have had similar results at Daytona in July had rained not prevented Blaney from qualifying.
4. Paul Menard ($7,900) – The story is patience. At super speedways, 43 cars bunch together in a wind tunnel. One false move and it’s all over. The passive driver that struggles at intermediate tracks can excel at Talladega and Daytona. In the last 4 Talladega races, Menard has 3 top 10s. At the end of the day, daily fantasy NASCAR players must take several long shots at ‘Dega; go with experience.
5. Michael Waltrip ($5,400) – The second cheapest driver has 4 restrictor plate wins. Some will say “he’s done, he’s a has been,” but in 2013, Waltrip scored two top 5s at plate races. Restrictor plates on the engines create an even playing field. The only advantage is extreme patience. At any other track, patience is the downfall of a driver. The rare ability of a few drivers to idly wait by as the universe aligns, and slide past wrecks like the parting of the red sea is a work of art. Mikey is one of the artists.