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. ($6,400) – It’s hard to pass on a top 20 driver in the $6,000 range. Phoenix happens to be one of Stenhouse’s best tracks (4th highest average finish). In his five Phoenix races, Stenhouse’s worst finish is 18th. The closest comparable flat track is New Hampshire and Stenhouse finished 17th and 13th at the Magic Mile this season.
2. A.J. Allmendinger ($6,200) – Flat tracks favor driver skill over machine. Historically, drivers with a road racing backgrounds have performed well at flat tracks. Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcos Ambrose, and Allmendinger have always raced well because the low banked turns are similar to the turns of a road course. Allmendinger has impressive numbers at road courses, Martinsville, New Hampshire, and Phoenix. In 14 races in the desert, Allmendinger averages a 17th place finish.
3. Aric Almirola ($6,300) – The old stand by. DFS players can’t go wrong with Almirola. He’s solid in 50/50s and occasionally has a breakout day. Week after week, Almirola is pretty much a lock for 30 fantasy points. At Phoenix, Almirola has a streak of 7 consecutive top 20 finishes.
4. Greg Biffle ($6,700) – Don’t worry about the first Phoenix race. Biffle suffered from a loose wheel late in the race that ruined his finishing position. He was running near 15th for most of the race before the incident. Biffle has been solid at Phoenix over his career. His average finish of 15th at Phoenix is the 9th best in NASCAR. Roush-Fenway has shown improvements over the last two months and Biffle is averaging an 18th place finish over that span.
5. Justin Allgaier ($5,900) – The HScott Motorsports driver ran really well in the Phoenix Spring race. He finished 18th and that’s where he ran all day. It wasn’t flukey, pit stop trickery that got Allgaier up front. Among the small team drivers, Allgaier has been the best this season. If he qualifies near the the teens, Cole Whitt might be the better option, but pre-qualifying the play is Allgaier.