2018 NASCAR® Fantasy Driver Rankings: First Data 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 ($11,900) – Bristol is always the short track that comes to mind when debating Kyle Busch’s best track, but Martinsville deserves to be in that conversation. Over the last four years, Busch averaged 100 fantasy points per race at Martinsville. (5.3 fppk)

2. Denny Hamlin ($8,500) – Richmond is closer to his home in Virginia, but Martinsville has always been one of his best tracks. Hamlin has five Martinsville wins. In the spring race, Hamlin scored 75 fantasy points. (3.8 fppk)

3. Clint Bowyer ($9,800) – In the spring Martinsville race, Bowyer was fast in practice and went on to win the race. He also scored the most fantasy points. Two of the next three races are short, flat, Bowyer tracks. (4.8 fppk)

4. Brad Keselowski ($10,200) – What a strange season. Keselowski went from no chance at a championship to suddenly becoming a favorite. Several weeks later, he was eliminated from the playoffs. It will be interesting to watch Keselowski as he races for wins only each week. (3.8 fppk)

5. Kevin Harvick ($12,500) – He won on at New Hampshire (short, flat track) and scored the third most fantasy points in that race (80.5 points). In the spring Martinsville race, Harvick earned 16.5 fast lap points, but he did not lead a lap. (5.8 fppk)

6. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,700) – The intermediate tracks have not been the strength that they were for Truex in 2017. Other teams have simply made larger setup gains. Truex is still a pretty good short track racer. He has a top 10 DFS score in 3 of the last 4 Martinsville races. (4.6 fppk)

7. Ryan Blaney ($8,900) – Last season, Blaney was very good at the short tracks, but he did not have the results to back it up. He did not win at Martinsville this year, but he led 145 laps in the spring race. (4.0 fppk)

8. Joey Logano ($9,500) – Chase Elliot, Aric Almirola, and Kurt Busch have carried the dark horse title this year. It’s Joey’s turn. He’s earned a top 10 finish in 8 of the last 10 races. His 23 top 10s ranks third just two behind the leaders Harvick and Busch. (4.2 fppk)

9. Kurt Busch ($9,000) – The top three scores at New Hampshire were all SHR Fords. Clint Bowyer was the only exception because he wrecked on lap 258. Round two of the playoffs was not Kurt’s finest hour, but he survived. (4.5 fppk)

10. A.J. Allmendinger ($6,200) – His inferior equipment will not hold him back, and he benefits from his road racing experience on tracks with flat corner and heavy braking. Allmendinger has finished 11th or better in 5 of the last 6 Martinsville races. (3.75 fppk)

11. Aric Almirola ($8,300) – Before the Talladega win, Almirola had several almost wins at short tracks. He almost won at Dover and New Hampshire. The New Hampshire race is interesting because it’s similar to Martinsville, and he scored the second most points in that race. (4.8 fppk)

12. Chase Elliott ($9,200) – For those scoring at home, Elliot has won at a road course, a short track, and an intermediate track. Each win was the result of the likely race winner (Kyle Busch at The Glen and Harvick at Dover and Kansas) making a late race mistake on pit road. (4.0 fppk)

13. Kyle Larson ($11,500) – There aren’t many tracks that Kyle Larson has not figured out, but Martinsville is one of those tracks. Larson readily admits that this short, flat track is one of his worst tracks. (4.5 fppk)

14. Jimmie Johnson ($8,100) – Most people know that this isn’t the same Jimmie Johnson. Hendrick Motorsports has funneled money and resources to Chase Elliott’s #9 car. It’s unlikely that Jimmie will win his 10th Martinsville race this weekend. (3.5 fppk)

15. Jamie McMurray ($7,300) – Daily Fantasy NASCAR is a monster. The season stretches on forever, and players must remember ancient races. Do you remember McMurray in the spring Martinsville race? He was a great play starting 26th, but he had horrible luck in the spring races and it continued. He finished 26th. (3.2 fppk)

16. Ryan Newman ($7,100) – When Ryan Newman drove a real car he was great at qualifying at Martinsville. That doesn’t say much, but there never is much to say about Ryan Newman. Somehow I have written a paragraph about him every week for four years. (3.7 fppk)

17. Michael McDowell ($5,500) – There is a theory that road course racers are well suited for Martinsville. This tight short track has heavy braking zones and flat corners just like a road course. In the last 5 Martinsville races, McDowell is averaging a 22nd place finish. (3.4 fppk)

18. Austin Dillon ($7,400) – At Martinsville, Dillon has a knack for qualifying poorly which makes him a great DFS play. This year he actually qualified 12th, but he went on to wreck and commit three pit road penalties. One penalty is game over at Martinsville. (3.9 fppk)

19. Erik Jones ($8,700) – This style of race track does not suit Eric Jones’ style. His average finish at Martinsville in his three races is 18th. He finished 16th at New Hampshire in July. (3.9 fppk)

20. Alex Bowman ($7,900) – Whenever a driver says, “I’m just happy to be in the playoffs,” that’s an immediate fade. Bowman’s happy-to-be-here attitude is reflected in his poor performances over the last month. (3.8 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.