2018 NASCAR® Fantasy Driver Rankings: Coke Zero Sugar 400

WATCH: NASCAR Price Check — Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona


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. Joey Logano ($10,700) – The Team Penske Fords are known for their plate track expertise. Logano won at Talladega and finished 4th at Daytona. Last year, Logano finished 6th at Daytona and 4th at Talladega. (4.2 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($10,100) – A sure thing does not exist at a plate track. Harvick is a sure thing at short tracks, intermediate tracks, and road courses. He’s not a sure thing at Daytona. He symbolizes plate racing. Harvick finished 31st in the Daytona 500 and 4th at Talladega. (6.5 fppk)

3. Kurt Busch ($8,800) – The Daytona 500 is his only plate track win, but he’s pretty adept at the plate tracks. Kurt Busch has the fourth best plate track average finish. He earns a top 10 finish 52% of this time at plate tracks. That’s the best in NASCAR. (4.3 fppk)

4. Denny Hamlin ($10,300) – He’s often considered the best plate racer. His numbers are good, but not the best. His 2 wins, 12 top 5s, and 17 top 10s are good, but none rank No. 1. His 12% DNF rate is the best. He’s good at avoiding wrecks, and what else matters at Daytona? (4.5 fppk)

5. Clint Bowyer ($8,300) – In the last 8 Daytona Races, he has 6 top 15 finishes. Bowyer wrecked in his first three races at Talladega. In the next 10 Talladega races, he earned 9 top 15 finishes. He’s wrecked in the last two Talladega races. That’s plate racing. (5.8 fppk)

6. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($9,000) – By now, everyone should know that Stenhouse is a great plate racer. This is the 12th time that Stenhouse has been featured in the DraftKings’ playbook daily fantasy NASCAR rankings. Forget his history of wrecks. He has the best average finish at plate tracks. (3.5 fppk)

7. Brad Keselowski ($11,000) – He’s won a plate race every year for the last four years. This season, he’s earned two DNFs at the plate tracks. His car has been exceptional in both plate races, but he’s been in the wrong place at the wrong time. (4.0 fppk)

8. Aric Almirola ($8,700) – His numbers in 17 of the 18 plate races going back to 2014 are impressive (he missed a race in 2017 due to injury). Almirola has earned 14 top 20 finishes over that span. He has four straight top 10s at Talladega. (5.2 fppk)

9. Paul Menard ($7,400) – Drivers go through hot and cold streaks at plate races. Menard is on a hot streak. He has 5 top 15 finishes in the last 6 plate races. In his last three Daytona races, Menard has finished 6th, 3rd, and 5th. (3.5 fppk)

10. Austin Dillon ($7,800) – The Daytona 500 winner finished 35th at Talladega. That’s fantasy NASCAR at restrictor plate tracks. Dillon has a top 20 finish in 8 of his 9 Daytona races as a full-time Cup driver. His median finish at Daytona is 9th. (3.3 fppk)

11. Ryan Blaney ($9,200) – Young Ryan Blaney led the single file convoy in the Daytona 500 late in the race. When two lines formed near the end, Blaney got collected in a wreck. He managed to finish 7th. (3.7 fppk)

12. Kyle Larson ($9,400) – His career is a plate racing sandwich. He struggled at the plate tracks to begin his career. Between 2016 and 2017 he earned 6 top 15 finishes. This year, he’s finished 19th and 40th at the plate tracks. (4.4 fppk)

13. Martin Truex, Jr. ($9,600) – The hot streak ends here. Truex won 2 of the 3 June races. The plate tracks have been unkind to the #78 team. Truex has one top 15 finish in the last 8 plate races, but he had 6 top 15 finishes in the 8 plate races before that. (4.6 fppk)

14. Kyle Busch ($10,000) – Daytona is Kyle Busch’s third worst race track. His average finish is 18.7. Those numbers sound terrible in a vacuum, but in comparison to other drivers, it’s not that bad. He has the 10th best average finish at Daytona. (6.6 fppk)

15. Ryan Newman ($7,100) – Talladega has been a slightly better track for Newman, but it doesn’t really matter. Daytona and Talladega are very similar. Newman has a top 10 finish in his last 4 plate races, and 4 top 10s in his last 6 Daytona races. (2.9 fppk)

16. Jamie McMurray ($8,000) – In his first 15 Daytona races, McMurray had 10 finishes outside of the top 25. He also had two wins. In his last 16 Daytona races, and 7 finishes outside of the top 25. (3.0 fppk)

17. Alex Bowman ($7,600) – The #88 team has a pretty good history at plate tracks. A lot of credit should go to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., but in every race, his team built him a winning race car. In Bowman’s two plate races in the #88 car, he has an 8th and 17th place finish. (4.3 fppk)

18. Jimmie Johnson ($8,500) – Anyone can win at Daytona. Usually, that statement is used to support the extreme underdogs, not a seven time champion. Johnson is mired in the longest winless streak of his career. He is an underdog. (4.1 fppk)

19. Kasey Kahne ($6,200) – In 2017, Kahne was one of the best plate racers. He finished 18th, 7th, 8th, and 5th. This year, he’s finished 34th and 17th. Is this the beginning of a downward swing, or just a bump in the middle of a hot streak? (3.7 fppk)

20. Bubba Wallace ($6,400) – If your drivers finish the race, then you should be happy. Bubba has raced in three Cup level plate races, and he has three top 20 finishes. He finished 2nd in the Daytona 500. (2.6 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.