NASCAR Bristol Auto Racing

WATCH: NASCAR Price Check — Price Check – Bojangles’ Southern 500

Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. 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 ($11,900) – At Bristol, Busch’s car was conspicuously slow. Of course, there will be off weeks for Kyle Busch, but not at Bristol. He battled all race long, but the car just was not there. (5.8 fppk)

2. Brad Keselowski ($9,600) – He wasn’t the best at Darlington last year, but his pit crew was the best when it mattered. He took the lead on pit road under the final caution and cruised to an easy victory. (4.5 fppk)

3. Kurt Busch ($9,100) – He’s having the best season of his career. His average finish is better than his championship season in 2004. The past month has been shaky, but that can be attributed to a strange stretch of race tracks in the schedule. (4.2 fppk)

4. Kevin Harvick ($9,900) – Some weeks Harvick has the fastest car. Most weeks Harvick and his team find a way to lose. If a DFS player rosters Harvick, then they believe everything is going to break Harvick’s way. There is no other reason to draft him. (4.0 fppk)

5. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,200) – Night races at intermediate tracks are Truex’s thing, but not at Darlington. He did manage to win at Darlington in 2016, but he only led 28 laps in that race. His average finish at this egg-shaped track is 11th. (5.1 fppk)

6. Denny Hamlin ($11,400) – After a winless 2018 season, it looked like the 38-year-old was going to be shown the door by JGR. Four wins later, including premier wins at Daytona and Bristol, Hamlin is the favorite to win the championship. (4.9 fppk)

7. Joey Logano ($11,000) – In a recent interview, Logano admitted his team no longer had an edge. At the beginning of the season, Penske had a leg up on the competition, but the field has closed the gap. (4.4 fppk)

8. Kyle Larson ($10,600) – He dominated Darlington last year by daring to run as close to the wall as possible. That’s no longer a special feat in 2019. The cars are glued to the track like a video game with driver assistance turned on. (4.1 fppk)

9. Chase Elliott ($9,300) – After a rough summer, Elliott’s win at Watkins Glen turned his season around. He finished ninth at Michigan and fifth at Bristol. Elliott finished fifth at Darlington in the 2018 race. (4.3 fppk)

10. Erik Jones ($8,700) – From Dover to Watkins Glen, Jones earned nine top-10 finishes in 12 races. Watkins Glen marked four consecutive top-five finishes. Just as everyone took notice, Jones cooled off. He has failed to earn a top-15 in the past two races. (4.2 fppk)

11. Daniel Suarez ($7,500) – The No. 41 car is a top-10 car. Even when Suarez and his team make mistakes, the car sometimes finds a way to get back into the top 10. If Suarez and his team are mistake-free, then the No. 41 is a lock for a top-10 finish. (4.3 fppk)

12. Chris Buescher ($7,300) – His best finish at Darlington is 13th. That’s pretty good, but it doesn’t matter. The 2019 package has leveled the playing field and made Buescher relevant, at least for fantasy purposes. The new package doesn’t not make him a contender, it only prevents Buescher from getting lapped. (4.6 fppk)

13. Clint Bowyer ($8,500) – From Martinsville to the first Pocono race, Bowyer recorded seven top-10 finishes in nine races. From June to September, he earned just two top-10 finishes. (3.1 fppk)

14. Ryan Blaney ($8,900) – Darlington has been tough on Blaney. He’s never earned a top-10 finish at this oblong intermediate track. Making matters worse is Blaney is running double duty this weekend. In the past that would have been a benefit, but in the wildly deviating racing packages, this is more of a hindrance than a help. (4.1 fppk)

15. Paul Menard ($6,900) – As always, Menard might not win DFS players a boatload of money on a given weekend, but he has won DFS players a boatload of money over the course of the season. In 13 of the 16 races where he’s been priced $7,000 or lower, Menard has earned a top-20 DFS score. (4.0 fppk)

16. Aric Almirola ($7,800) – It is difficult to uniquely describe Almriola’s season because he has not done anything unique. He hasn’t been good and he hasn’t been terrible. If he’s cheap, then he’s a good play because he hasn’t been terrible. (3.5 fppk)

17. Ryan Newman ($8,300) – If a driver can’t win a race, then the best plan is to finish the race. Newman knows he can’t win, so he takes a conservative approach. His goal is to play it safe and earn a top-15 every week. (5.0 fppk)

18. Alex Bowman ($8,200) – His red-hot spring climaxed with a win at Chicago, but what has he done since? Nothing. Bowman has one top-10 finish (a 10th-place finish at Michigan). His average finish since Chicago is 17th. (4.5 fppk)

19. Jimmie Johnson ($8,000) – At most, there are 20 competitive cars in NASCAR. There are 16 playoff spots for those 20 cars. It’s easier to qualify for the NASCAR playoffs than it is to get into a community college. Jimmie Johnson isn’t going to make the playoffs. Let that sink in. (3.5 fppk)

20. William Byron ($7,100) – It’s hard to figure Byron out. Sometimes he flashes talent. Sometimes he finishes in the top 10 because of great calls by his crew chief. Sometimes he makes mistakes. Sometimes he’s terrible. It all comes down to price and the amount of risk a DFS player is willing to accept. (4.4 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.