2018 NASCAR® Fantasy Driver Rankings: AAA Texas 500

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.)

1. Kyle Busch ($12,200) – He won the spring Texas race and the Charlotte oval race. Clearly, Busch is a good driver at intermediate tracks, but it appears that he has the best setup for this specific type of intermediate track. (5.4 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($11,700) – In the spring, Harvick was winning everywhere. He should have won at Texas, but his pit crew earned a penalty on lap 237. Harvick didn’t win, but he scored the second most points. (5.7 fppk)

3. Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,100) – Is he motivated? Truex’s post race interview sounded hungry, but if he really wanted to win, then why not dump Joey Logano? Now, Truex needs to win, even after driving from last to second at Martinsville. (4.7 fppk)

4. Ryan Blaney ($8,700) – After his fluke win at Charlotte, Blaney has disappeared. Kansas is a great track for Blaney, but he pushed the car too far and ruined it. Texas is a great track for Blaney. The playoff pressure is off, so maybe he relaxes and scores some fast lap points. (3.9 fppk)

5. Chase Elliott ($9,700) – Elliott has won the last two intermediate track races (Dover and Kansas), but that’s why NASCAR stats can be misleading. The stat page should have an asterisk that says, “Harvick choked on pit road, and gave the win away.” (4.0 fppk)

6. Kyle Larson ($10,000) – In the spring race, Larson was fast, but the track was treacherous. The cold weather increased the grip on the single groove and the cars were flying around the track. At those speeds, a tiny error was doomsday. Larson did not finish the race. (4.3 fppk)

7. Brad Keselowski ($9,500) – Last week, Keselowski had the opportunity to bump Logano out of the way and win the race. Instead, Keselowski choose the high road, and did not move his teammate. It makes you wonder what would have happened, if the roles were reversed. (3.9 fppk)

8. Joey Logano ($10,500) – Logano does not need to win. Last year, after Kyle Busch qualified for the championship at Martinsville, he said he wasn’t concerned with Texas and was focusing on the championship. Busch proceeded to wreck himself on the first lap. (4.6 fppk)

9. Aric Almirola ($8,100) – Over his entire career, Almirola has two wins. Both are at plate tracks. Almirola needs a win to qualify for the championship, and NASCAR is done with plate races for the year. (4.7 fppk)

10. Denny Hamlin ($9,100) – Keselowski didn’t move Logano last week. Truex didn’t move Logano last week. If Hamlin was in second behind Logano, not only would have he moved him, he would have sent him into the third row. Just ask Chase Elliott. (4.0 fppk)

11. Kurt Busch ($8,900) – It does not appear that steady top 10s or even top 5s are going to get the job done. Logano’s win at Martinsville sealed the deal. Kurt Busch needs to win at Texas or Phoenix in order to make it to the championship race. (4.6 fppk)

12. Jamie McMurray ($7,100) – In the spring, McMurray ended his bad luck streak with a third place finish at Texas. Photos revealed that McMurray manipulated his windshield, but NASCAR ignored it. In the next intermediate track race, his teammate was penalized for window manipulation. (3.2 fppk)

13. Clint Bowyer ($9,300) – Technically, Bowyer has a win at an intermediate oval. Michigan is longer than Texas, but it’s a one groove race track just like Texas. The problem is that Bowyer’s Michigan win was a fluke. It was a rain shortened race. (4.7 fppk)

14. William Byron ($5,800) – A sub $6,000 price for a Hendrick car is unheard of. DFS players should draft Byron out of principle alone. There is also the small fact that Byron loved his Texas race setup, and drove from 33rd to 10th in the spring race. (2.7 fppk)

15. Erik Jones ($8,300) – His top 10 streak ended last week, but Martinsville is not his track. Jones is in a great position this week. He has a good car and he doesn’t have to worry about playoff pressure. In the spring Texas race, Jones led 64 laps. (3.8 fppk)

16. Jimmie Johnson ($8,500) – Charlotte and Texas were similar tracks. A couple years ago, Texas repaved and changed the banking in turns one and two. Guess who won the first race after the repave? The guy that has the most Charlotte and Texas wins. Maybe, the tracks are still similar. (3.6 fppk)

17. Ryan Newman ($7,500) – A lot of cars wrecked in the first Texas race. It was a strange event. Since the repave, Texas is typically a parade more than a race, but mother nature spiced things up. The weather looks normal, so expect Newman to block the one groove. (3.8 fppk)

18. Austin Dillon ($7,700) – The RCR Chevys have been pretty solid over the last half of the season. Dillon has a 15th place car and can hang onto the lead lap. With a little luck, he can sneak away with a top 10, if the cautions fall at the right time. (3.9 fppk)

19. Daniel Suarez ($7,300) – This is the end of year two in the #19 JGR car. Suarez was rushed up to the Cup level too soon, but he should at least be a weekly top 15 driver. He has his best shot at the intermediate tracks where his JGR car is a huge advantage. (3.8 fppk)

20. Ty Dillon ($5,600) – The #13 team is starting to look like the #13 team from last year. Dillon is a 20th to 22nd place driver. On a good day, he’s inside the top 20. He may not work in GPPs, but he’s been safe in cash games. (3.9 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.