WATCH: NASCAR Price Check – Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard


Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.

(fppk = average fantasy points per $1,000 of salary.)

1. Kyle Busch ($12,000) – Indianapolis is easily the worst race track on the circuit. NASCAR is often lampooned for monotonous left turns, but this joke is exacerbated when the stock cars run at the Indy car track. While the single-file parade is a hard pass for most fans, it’s been great for Kyle Busch up front. He averages the most points per race at Indy (59 fp). (5.9 fppk)

2. Brad Keselowski ($9,800) – Last year, Keselwoski stole a win at Darlington. A late race caution gifted Keselowski the lead. The very next race at Indianapolis, a couple of lappers wrecked and created a shootout finish. Keselowski restarted on the inside line on the second row and was the only car with fresh tires. It’s better to be lucky than good. (4.5 fppk)

3. Kurt Busch ($9,200) – The No. 1 car for Chip Ganassi was irrelevant for years. Kurt Busch was well on his way to irrelevancy after being dropped by SHR last season. Against all odds, this team is a dark horse championship contender and just needs some pit road magic to earn another win this weekend. (4.4 fppk)

4. Kyle Larson ($10,300) – This package has ruined Larson’s career, but not his season. Larson probably won’t win a race this season, but he can win the championship because of NASCAR’s goofy playoff system. Larson has a top-10 finish in eight of the past 10 races. (4.2 fppk)

5. Kevin Harvick ($10,000) – It’s not 2018 anymore. The sooner DFS players realized this, the more money they saved. Harvick has a couple wins this season, but his wins are flukes in comparison to his 2018 victories. (4.0 fppk)


6. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,700) – In 2017, Truex and Kyle Busch had the best cars, and they wrecked each other on the front row late in the race. Last year, the entire weekend was washed out and this prevented Truex’s team from diagnosing a mechanical failure that ended his race early. (5.1 fppk)

7. Denny Hamlin ($11,400) – Keselowski stole the 2018 Indianapolis win from Hamlin. The No. 11 car was not the best on that day, but it played the strategy right and had a comfortable lead with a handful of laps left until a couple of lappers brought out a caution and reset the field. (4.7 fppk)

8. Joey Logano ($9,600) – Remember when Logano was good? The 2018 champion looked like he might repeat earlier this season, but that’s no longer the case. Logano has not earned a top-10 finish since the middle of July at New Hampshire. (4.3 fppk)

9. Chase Elliott ($9,000) – The closest race in comparison to Indianapolis is the first Pocono race. It was one-groove lap-turning at its best. In that forgettable flat-track affair, Elliott finished fourth. That’s alliteration, folks! (4.3 fppk)

10. Erik Jones ($9,400) – Everyone took note he was the hottest driver in NASCAR, and he immediately cooled off. When everyone forgot about Jones, he immediately won one of the most hyped, but unwatched races of the year (the race ended at 2 a.m. Monday), so does the attention and pressure cool him off again, or is there any attention to begin with? (4.5 fppk)


11. Clint Bowyer ($8,300) – In the 2018 race, Bowyer was a contender, but that was 2018. Last season, Bowyer was very fast and the Ford Fusions were the best cars in the field at the high-speed tracks. (3.2 fppk)

12. Ryan Blaney ($8,500) – The new racing package was supposed to level the playing field and allow the young stars to win races. Blaney and his cool hair would make NASCAR relevant, and the France family would be able to sell NASCAR for billions of dollars. None of this happened. (4.1 fppk)

13. Chris Buescher ($7,100) – His stat line is impressive. His worst finish in the past four months is 18th. Over those 14 races, his average finish is 14th. For perspective, the best average finish over that span is ninth (Kyle Busch). (4.6 fppk)

14. Paul Menard ($6,800) – Did you know Menard won a Cup race at Indianapolis? Of course you did because the media brings it up every year at this time. Indianapolis is such a boring track for stock cars that there is nothing to talk about, so Menard’s victory is mentioned ad nauseum. (4.1 fppk)

15. Alex Bowman ($7,600) – The old Bowman has returned. In a couple of years, no one will believe he won a race or finished second three weeks in a row in the spring of 2019. They will believe his average finish was 16th during the summer of 2019. (4.5 fppk)


16. Jimmie Johnson ($8,000) – It would not be surprising to see Ryan Newman and Daniel Suarez ruin each other’s chances at earning at the meaningless final playoff spot. That chaos would open the door for Johnson to sneak into a playoff field that admits 75% of the decent drivers. (3.5 fppk)

17. William Byron ($7,800) – At least the Byron fans did not have to stay up late last week. Byron started on the pole at Darlington and proceeded to not lead a single lap. By the time the race ended the next day, Byron was two laps down. (4.3 fppk)

18. Ryan Newman ($8,200) – It is assumed Newman will wreck Suarez, but Indy is not the best place to wreck another driver. Newman very likely will try his best to prevent Suarez from taking the final playoff spot, but Suarez is a pest, too. This could be an ugly week. (4.9 fppk)

19. Daniel Suarez ($7,500) – Here’s the problem with Suarez: He’s battling Newman for the last playoff spot, and Newman already said he’s going to wreck Suarez as payback for Darlington. Have fun rostering Suarez and sweating this out. (4.3 fppk)

20. Aric Almirola ($8,700) – Indianapolis wasn’t Almirola’s best race last season, but it he wasn’t as bad as the results will indicate. Almirola earned two penalties, and one was a green flag pass through penalty. (3.5 fppk)


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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.