2018 NASCAR® FANTASY DRIVER RANKINGS: Can-Am 500 at Phoenix

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 ($11,600) – In the spring race, he made his green-flag stop one lap too late. The time he lost on old ties cost him the race. Busch hated his car in practice, but he took a chance by switching to Hamlin’s set up the night before the race, and he ended up with a lightning-fast race car. (5.3 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($12,300) – He is the Phoenix legend, and no other driver has comparable numbers. The problem is that this race is meaningless for the No. 4 team. Why focus on an exhibition race? Next week at Homestead is the real prize. (5.9 fppk)

3. Chase Elliott ($9,900) – He finished second at Phoenix last fall and followed with a third place finish in the spring of 2018. The first Phoenix race was a disappointment. Elliott was a favorite, but he was eaten up by better cars. This could be due to the new at the time Chevy Camaro body. (4.0 fppk)

4. Joey Logano ($9,600) – This car has real speed. His crew chief decided to take a chance when the playoffs began by making big set up changes. Logano scored the second most fantasy points last week in a meaningless race. He’s in play this week. (4.6 fppk)

5. Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,00) – As long as he doesn’t crash, then he’ll make it to the championship. Of course, this assumes that one of the playoff bubble drivers does not win. Truex has never been great at Phoenix. He’s never won and has the worst average finish among the remaining playoff drivers. (4.7 fppk)

6. Denny Hamlin ($8,600) – Short flat tracks are Hamlin’s strength. Dale Jr. argues that Phoenix is an intermediate track, but Steve Letarte disagrees based on the braking package. The truth lies somewhere in between, but regardless of the debate, Hamlin has five top 10s in the last six Phoenix races. (3.9 fppk)

7. Clint Bowyer ($8,900) – In Bowyer’s best season of his career, he was competing for a championship with Michael Waltrip Racing, but a questionable wreck at Phoenix ended his run. This has been his second best season, and again, Phoenix will make or break him. (4.6 fppk)

8. Brad Keselowski ($9,300) – Last week was classic Brad Keselowski. Over the last two years, the car and the driver have not been elite, so the No. 2 car plays games on pit road. Keselowski took two tires and led some meaningless laps in clean air, but nobody, not even himself, thought he was going to win. (3.9 fppk)

9. Kyle Larson ($10,400) – He had a great starting spot in the spring, and he liked his car in practice. Larson was very optimistic in pre-race interviews heading into the race. He led laps to begin, but then the car just didn’t have it. He dropped through the field and spun out at one point in the race. (4.3 fppk)

10. Aric Almirola ($8,100) – This has been a well deserved season for Aric Almirola and the No. 10 car that suffered during the Danica era. Unfortunately, the sand is about to run out. A win is not inconceivable because Almirola did run well at New Hampshire, but it’s a long shot. (4.7 fppk)

11. Kurt Busch ($8,700) – If Kyle Busch or Martin Truex wreck, then Kurt can point his way into the championship. Do not expect Kurt to push for the win, he can make up the 20 point difference through stages. We should see the usual 2018 Kurt this weekend. (4.6 fppk)

12. Ryan Blaney ($9,100) – Phoenix has not been a great track for Blaney. There are specific tracks where he routinely excels, and others where he demonstrates elite speed. Phoenix is neither. (4.0 fppk)

13. Erik Jones ($8,300) – In the last five races, Jones has four top 10 finishes (3 top 5s). In the last three Phoenix races, Jones has three top 10 finishes. He could be a championship favorite in 2019. (3.9 fppk)

14. Jamie McMurray ($7,500) – Despite early season struggles, McMurray has returned to this 10th to 15th place self. His average running position over the last six Phoenix races is 11th place. (3.2 fppk)

15. Jimmie Johnson ($8,400) – What kind of organization is NASCAR running? At Texas, NASCAR incorrectly sent Jimmie Johnson to the back of the field and ruined his chances. How is it possible that NASCAR officials do not know the inspection rules? (3.7 fppk)

16. Ryan Newman ($7,100) – His last win, and probably his last win, was at Phoenix. Newman stayed out during a late caution and assumed the lead. Newman was Newman and dared drivers to pass him by promising to Kamikazee any takers. (3.8 fppk)

17. Austin Dillon ($7,900) – Another season has come to an end, and Dillon has not improved much because his RCR cars have not improved much. It’s becoming clear that Austin Dillon will assume the role of Jamie McMurray when he retires. (4.0 fppk)

18. Daniel Suarez ($7,800) – Supposedly, Joe Gibbs has a plan for Suarez, but that plan could be kicking him out on the street. Arris has been loyal to Suarez and a permanent sponsorship guarantees a ride, but Arris is being bought out. Suarez earned a top 10 at Martinsville if you’re interested in actual racing narratives. (3.7 fppk)

19. Ty Dillon ($5,600) – In the last 15 races, Ty Dillon has earned 11 top 25 finishes. That’s the driver he was before Germain Racing foolishly replaced his crew chief at the beginning of the season. Dillon has finished 16th or better in 3 of his 4 Phoenix starts. (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.