2018 NASCAR® FANTASY DRIVER RANKINGS: Ford EcoBoost 400

Fantasy driver rankings for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway 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.)

RankDriverSalary
1Kyle Larson$10,000
2Kyle Busch$11,800
3Kevin Harvick$12,500
4Martin Truex, Jr.$11,300
5Chase Elliott$9,700

1. Kyle Larson ($10,000) – When Larson got eliminated from the playoffs he told reporters he wasn’t going to let anyone win at Homestead this year. Larson is a legend in Xfinity and Cup Series at this high-groove track. Larson has led more than 100 laps in each of the past three Homestead races. (4.4 fppk)

2. Kyle Busch ($11,800) – He was faster than Martin Truex, Jr. in Stage 3 of the 2017 Homestead race, but when he pit cycled a few laps after Truex, he lost the lead. Busch got to Truex’s bumper at the end, but he couldn’t make the pass in the dirty air. (5.4 fppk)

3. Kevin Harvick ($12,500) – His preference is the lower groove, and he never committed to running along the wall at Homestead last year. He wanted his team to set up the car for the bottom. Truex and Busch will run the wall, Harvick’s obstinance might cost him the championship. (5.9 fppk)

4. Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,300) – He came alive midway through the Homestead race last year, but Kyle Busch had more speed. A highly questionable caution with 50 laps bailed Truex out. Without that caution, Larson smokes the field and Busch wins the championship. (4.7 fppk)

5. Chase Elliott ($9,700) – All of the dark horses died last week. Kurt and Chase gave away a ticket to championship by making egregious pit road mistakes. When all is said and done, no one will remember this season as a disappointment for Elliott. It’ll be remembered as the season when he became elite. (4.0 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
6Joey Logano$10,600
7Erik Jones$8,200
8Denny Hamlin$8,800
9Brad Keselowski$9,400
10Aric Almirola $8,400

6. Joey Logano ($10,600) – The championship is between Harvick, Busch, and Truex. Logano is just there. He can win if pit strategy and late race cautions fall at opportune times. His teammate, Brad Keselowski, suffered through the 2017 championship race with inferior equipment. He attempted to play the strategy game, but there were too few cautions. (4.4 fppk)

7. Erik Jones ($8,200) – Here’s the rule: Unless a track has been newly repaved, staying out on old tires with more than 20 laps left at the end is a bad idea. Jones attempted this maneuver and squandered what would have been his 10th top 10 in the past 15 races. (3.9 fppk)

8. Denny Hamlin ($8,800) – The good news is the 2018 season is over. The bad news is skills only decline as a driver ages. Hamlin’s near championship in 2010 feels like a lifetime ago because it was. (3.9 fppk)

9. Brad Keselowski ($9,400) – Keselowski ran up front in the first half of the race with a contrarian pit strategy, lost track positive during the Stage 2 pit stop — when he lost clean air, he lost the race and faded. (4.0 fppk)

10. Aric Almirola ($8,400) – The miracle almost happened last week. Do not take that pejoratively. Almirola earned his chance last week, but the reality is he was 60 points away from qualifying for the championship race and he needed three of the eight playoff drivers to wreck. (4.8 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
11Kurt Busch$9,200
12Ryan Blaney $8,600
13Clint Bowyer$9,000
14Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.$7,300
15Jamie McMurray$7,100

11. Kurt Busch ($9,200) – This might have been Kurt’s last chance. The 2004 Cup champ is not getting any younger. Kurt led a bunch of laps at Phoenix, rebounded from a devastating penalty and was close to clinching the final playoff spot, but hard racing at the end put him in the wall. (4.6 fppk)

12. Ryan Blaney ($8,600) – In the playoffs, Young Ryan Blaney reverted to Young Ryan Blaney. He was the best car on the track at times, and at other times, he was the worst. In the playoffs, Blaney finished inside the top 10 four times and finished outside of the top 20 three times. (3.8 fppk)

13. Clint Bowyer ($9,000) – His SHR Ford will be strong, but Bowyer is a short-track racer. At the peak of his career, he averaged a fifth-place finish at Homestead. Last year he finished 12th. Bowyer is better than that, but he’s not a top-five driver. (4.4 fppk)

14. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,300) – Larson is the preeminent dirt-tracking wall-rider, but Stenhouse belongs to this crew, as well. Stenhouse’s penchant for wrecking into the wall — as opposed to riding alongside it — separates him from Larson, but Stenhouse has an average running position of 15th in each of the past two Homestead races. (3.3 fppk)

15. Jamie McMurray ($7,100) – Homestead is McMurray’s last race. That means this is the last time that he’ll be described as a 15th-place driver. If you’re an optimist, McMurray sounds like a decent driver. A pessimist points out that 15 Cup cars are garbage. That makes McMurray 15th out of 25. (3.3 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
16Jimmie Johnson$8,000
17Ryan Newman$7,500
18Austin Dillon$7,700
19Ty Dillon$6,400
20Daniel Suarez$7,800

16. Jimmie Johnson ($8,000) – Remember playing Dale Earnhardt, Jr. when he would qualify in the 20s? That’s this year’s Jimmie Johnson. The same happened with Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon. There’s one common thread that ties them all together: beards. They all grew beards, and never recovered. (3.7 fppk)

17. Ryan Newman ($7,500) – It’s been a pleasure to see Newman run well towards the end of the season, and to listen to Dale Jr. and the NBC crew give Newman a hard time about his racing style. Regardless of the what the future brings at Roush, Newman had a solid season in fantasy NASCAR. (3.9 fppk)

18. Austin Dillon ($7,700) – The RCR cars had another good week at Phoenix. The two-car downsize finally paid off as RCR adjusted to the new Chevy body. The issue is that just as they are taking a step ahead they’re losing the veteran Ryan Newman and replacing him with a winless Xfinity driver. (4.0 fppk)

19. Ty Dillon ($6,400) – Last week, Dillon earned his 23rd top-25 finish of the season. His sophomore season started out slow, but a 66 percent top-25 rate is not bad for a small team. Dillon is a former dirt-tracker and has a top 25 average running position in each of his three Homestead Cup races. (4.0 fppk)

20. Daniel Suarez ($7,800) – This could be the last we see of Suarez. Two years ago, he won an Xfinity championship at Homestead. Now, after the worst season for a JGR driver since 2011, the No. 19 car has been given to Truex and Cole Pearn. (3.6 fppk)


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