WATCH: NASCAR Price Check — Folds of Honor QuikTrip 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.)

RANKDRIVERSALARY
1Kevin Harvick$12,200
2Kyle Busch $10,500
3Joey Logano$11,700
4Brad Keselowski $11,100
5Martin Truex, Jr.$9,500

1. Kevin Harvick ($12,200) – No one knows what will happen with the new package at Atlanta, but we do know what has happened. Harvick’s ability to patiently hug the bottom groove and methodically take over Atlanta races is well documented. He scored 132 fantasy points at Atlanta last year. (5.9 fppk)

2. Kyle Busch ($10,500) – Welcome to a brave new world. NASCAR had leveled the playing field be reducing the horsepower in the Cup cars. Is this the end for Kyle? It’s anything but. Now, the Cup cars are lot like the Trucks, and Kyle Busch is the Greek God of truck racing. (5.3 fppk)

3. Joey Logano ($11,700) – It’s clear that Kevin Harvick is the King of Atlanta. Upon closer inspection of the stats, Logano and his Penske Teammate, Brad Keselowski, are next in line to inherit the throne. (4.5 fppk)

4. Brad Keselowski ($11,100) – Over the last four years, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick’s finishes at Atlanta are nearly identical. Both have a win, a 2nd place finish, and a 9th place finish. These two drivers have clearly mastered the unique worn out race track in Atlanta. (4.0 fppk)

5. Martin Truex, Jr. ($9,500)NASCAR’s switch to a 550 horsepower engine is a major change, but the rules were already headed in this direction. Over the last several years, NASCAR has limited engine power, and at the same time, Truex became a superstar. (4.7 fppk)


RANKDRIVERSALARY
6Ryan Blaney$8,900
7Aric Almirola$8,700
8Clint Bowyer$9,100
9Kurt Busch$8,500
10Chase Elliott$9,700

6. Ryan Blaney ($8,900) – He’s the dark horse this week. Blaney tested the new tire at Atlanta last fall. He’s had fast restrictor plate cars in the past. Finally, he’s one of the best drivers on restarts, and that may be the only way to pass in this new low horsepower package. (3.8 fppk)

7. Aric Almirola ($8,700) – The good news is that Almirola is finally in a good car and he’s a championship contender. The bad news is that everyone is in a good car due to the drastic rules change. (4.8 fppk)

8. Clint Bowyer ($9,100) – Similar to his SHR teammate, Almirola, 2018 was a rebirth. Unfortunately, the window may have closed. Bowyer will still be a contender at the short tracks, but his SHR car may not have much of an advantage at the intermediate tracks. (4.5 fppk)

9. Kurt Busch ($8,500) – The shift to Chip Ganassi Racing hurts, but not that much. Any edge that he lost by leaving SHR is alleviated by the new rules package. This race could be all about who gets through the gears the quickest, and Kurt is best restarter in NASCAR. (4.5 fppk)

10. Chase Elliott ($9,700) – In three Atlanta races, Elliott has three top 10 finishes. This is considered him hometrack, but that narrative doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Elliott closed the 2018 season proving that he belonged among the elite. (4.0 fppk)


RANKDRIVERSALARY
11Denny Hamlin$10,000
12Kyle Larson$9,300
13Erik Jones$8,100
14Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.$7,500
15Matt DiBenedetto$7,600

11. Denny Hamlin ($10,000) – After winning the 2017 Daytona 500, Hamlin went on to sleep walk through the rest of the season. Much of his mediocrity in recent years stems from weak intermediate track cars. With the new package, Hamlin may have one more playoff run left in him. (3.9 fppk)

12. Kyle Larson ($9,300) – Imagine you spent your life studying a foreign language, then Google creates an earpiece that translates languages for anyone. Larson developed an aggressive talent at intermediate tracks that is suddenly obsolete. (4.4 fppk)

13. Erik Jones ($8,100) – This is only Jones’ second year at the Cup level with JGR. It’s hard to quantify if Jones benefited from his rookie season in the now defunct Furniture Row 77 car. Jones could be on the cusp of a breakout season. (3.8 fppk)

14. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,500) – For all intents and purposes, this is a restrictor plate race. Stenhouse has struggled with inferior equipment at every track outside of the plate races. He overcompensates by pushing his car to the edge and often wrecking. Those days are over. (2.9 fppk)

15. Matt DiBenedetto ($7,600) – What in the world? Matt DiBenedetto costs $7,600 at an intermediate track. DraftKings knows what’s up. The #95 car has a technical alliance with JGR, and DiBenedetto is the most underrated driver in NASCAR. ( fppk)


RANKDRIVERSALARY
16Austin Dillon$7,700
17Ryan Newman$6,900
18Bubba Wallace$6,600
19Daniel Suarez$7,900
20Jimmie Johnson$8,300

16. Austin Dillon ($7,700) – In competitive equipment, Dillon won a Truck championship and an Xfinity championship. With the new package, Austin Dillon is back in the game. Wins may come down to the willingness of a driver to take out the leader, and Austin Dillon is unapologetic in his approach to winning. (4.0 fppk)

17. Ryan Newman ($6,900) – Whether he’s a crafty veteran or a crusty veteran does not matter. Newman is old enough to have raced in the IROC series, and the new package looks a lot like an IROC race. (3.5 fppk)

18. Bubba Wallace ($6,600)NASCAR tested the new rules package at Las Vegas in January. In one of the testing sessions, Bubba was unpassable. That’s right, Bubba Wallace held off Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. (2.7 fppk)

19. Daniel Suarez ($7,900) – It’s hard to find a driver that has lost fantasy NASCAR players more money. Of course, Stenhouse is up there, but if you picked Stenhouse, then you had it coming. Suarez gets an undeserved second chance with SHR, and it’s in a very fast race car nonetheless. (3.5 fppk)

20. Jimmie Johnson ($8,300) – All signs point to Jimmie Johnson being finished, but it’s not over yet. In 2018, his sponsor quit, his crew chief quit, and he quit. Now, he’s racing on a budget for the first time ever. This is the perfect time for a giant rules change that levels the playing field between disparately funded teams. (3.7 fppk)


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