2018 NASCAR® Fantasy Driver Rankings: South Point 400

WATCH: NASCAR Price Check — South Point 400 — Fantasy Salary Review

Fantasy driver rankings for Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor 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.)

1. Kevin Harvick ($11,700) – The summer schedule might as well be an exhibition season filled with random throwaway tracks. The season resumes this week at an intermediate track in Las Vegas. The same track where Harvick scored 132.5 points in March. (6.2 fppk)

2. Kyle Busch ($12,300) – It’s a two-horse race. Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski had some exciting moments during the regular season, but that’s all they were. Kyle Busch and Harvick are the only drivers that matter for the next 10 weeks. (5.8 fppk)

3. Martin Truex, Jr. ($9,900) – Furniture Row Racing announced it was shutting down, and Truex responded by wrecking and finishing dead last. The playoffs could not have begun at a worse time. (4.4 fppk)

4. Kyle Larson ($10,700) – Las Vegas has progressive banking, but Larson is reluctant to run near the wall at Las Vegas. It’s unlikely he’ll run the risky groove during Round 1 of the playoffs. He did not run the high groove in the Chicago playoff race last season. (4.3 fppk)

5. Joey Logano ($8,800) – Believe it or not, Logano has the second-best average running position at intermediate tracks this season. He might not lead a lap in the playoffs, but consistency can earn a ticket to Homestead. (3.9 fppk)

6. Brad Keselowski ($9,600) – Wins are wins, but Darlington and Indianapolis are unique tracks. There won’t be much carry over this week other than momentum. The win might actually hurt Keselowski’s fantasy performance. He can play it safe and qualify for Homestead. (3.6 fppk)

7. Aric Almirola ($8,100) – Did anyone really believe Almirola would point his way into the playoffs this year? The No. 10 SHR car struggled mightily for years with Danica Patrick behind the wheel. Almirola can safely advance to Round 2 with top-15 finishes each week. (4.6 fppk)

8. Kurt Busch ($8,500) – A win would be nice, but Busch will advance through the first two rounds of the playoffs with steady top-10 finishes. Look for the No. 41 SHR car to play it safe over the next six races. (4.8 fppk)

9. Ryan Blaney ($9,200) – In the spring Las Vegas race, Blaney had the second-best average running position. He runs well at the intermediate tracks with progressive banking (Las Vegas and Kansas). (4.0 fppk)

10. Chase Elliott ($9,400) – One of two scenarios will unfold in the playoffs: Elliott continues his hot streak or he chokes in glorious fashion. The history of Elliott suggests the latter. During his hot streak, intermediate tracks were not a strong suit. (4.0 fppk)

11. Clint Bowyer ($9,000) – Other than a rain-shortened Michigan race, Bowyer has been just slightly above average at intermediate tracks this season. With his equipment, he should be a weekly lock for the top 10, but he’s been sloppy and the weekly setups are inconsistent. (5.2 fppk)

12. Erik Jones ($8,700) – Is Jones this season’s Ricky Stenhouse? Jones earned a golden ticket to the playoffs by randomly avoiding the thousand wrecks at Daytona (most of which were caused by Stenhouse). Jones is capable of earning a top-five, but a top-10 is more likely at Las Vegas. (4.2 fppk)

13. Denny Hamlin ($10,400) – Apparently, Hamlin felt bad about ruining fantasy lineups at Darlington and Michigan. His Indianapolis performance was nice, but it was an inconsequential race. Regardless of last week, Hamlin has been a top-10 car in the past three intermediate track races. (3.9 fppk)

14. Jimmie Johnson ($8,300) – It doesn’t matter what Johnson does, his 31 intermediate track wins solidify his spot on the NASCAR Mount Rushmore. His average running position of 20th at intermediate tracks this season is not helping his legacy, though. (3.6 fppk)

15. Ryan Newman ($7,600) – Missing the playoffs is pretty embarrassing. The 20th- to 40th-place cars are a joke. If you’re better than three average drivers, then you make the playoffs. Newman isn’t, but he’s a decent fantasy pick once every four weeks. (3.5 fppk)

16. Paul Menard ($7,400) – Rostering a driver that did not make the playoffs feels like a bad play. Statistically, it is. Menard has not been consistent, but about once a month, he unloads with a fast race car. Menard has been the 16th-best driver at intermediate tracks. (3.4 fppk)

17. Daniel Suarez ($8,000) – When asked about possibly losing his ride for next year, Suarez answered, “everything happens for a reason.” Suarez missed the playoffs this season, and the reason? He’s not that good. (3.7 fppk)

18. Austin Dillon ($6,700) – Races 2 through 26 were meaningless. Can Dillon turn it back on in the playoffs? In 2013, Johnson won the Daytona 500 and then won the championship. Dillon isn’t Jimmie Johnson. (3.7 fppk)

19. Alex Bowman ($7,700) – Congratulations to Bowman. He earned the 16th playoff spot in a league with 20 competitive drivers. Did Bernie Sanders design the NASCAR playoffs? Bowman finished 16th at Las Vegas in the spring. That won’t get it done. (4.0 fppk)

20. Regan Smith ($5,500) – Indianapolis is not the best test of man or machine in NASCAR, but a 20th-place finish coming off the bench is impressive. A 20th-place finish with zero practice laps, that’s nutty. Kasey Kahne in the No. 95 car at $5,500 would be a steal. (n/a 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.