NASCAR PRICE CHECK
Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday’s race at Daytona. 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.)
Set your lineups here: NAS $150K Octane [$25K to 1st]
1. Joey Logano ($9,800) – He’s the best plate racer in the best plate car with a worldclass plate track spotter. Also, he has the best Clash results. His average finish over the last seven Clash races is 3rd. (4.4 fppk)
2. Denny Hamlin ($9,600) – Generally, Hamlin is considered a good plate racer. He’s not quite in the echelon of the Earnhardts or even Joey Logano, but Hamlin is very good. His three Clash wins tie him with Harvick for the most wins among drivers in the field. (5.1 fppk)
3. Ryan Blaney ($8,000) – Team Penske ran up front together for the entire 2019 Clash races until Jimmie Johnson wrecked the field. Team Penske should be back up front again, and Blaney has a good chance of earning his third straight 4th place finish or better. (4.2 fppk)
4. Kevin Harvick ($8,500) – From 2009 to 2013, Harvick won three Clash races. It was such a long time ago that they weren’t called Clash races or even Sprint Unlimited races. They were Bud Shootouts. (4.6 fppk)
5. Kyle Busch ($8,700) – When Kyle Busch races at a plate track, it’s very much like Superman visiting the planet Krypton. All of the racing skills that Busch has spent his lifetime honing are meaningless. All drivers and cars are equal at the plate tracks. Busch’s superpowers are constrained. (5.5 fppk)
6. Kurt Busch ($7,700) – It’s plate racing. From 2012 to 2017, Kurt averaged a 14th place finish. Busch has earned a top 3 finish in each of the last two Clash races. That’s plate racing. (3.9 fppk)
7. Kyle Larson ($6,100) – Drivers care about exhibition races when the cash prize is one million dollars. Larson gave it his all in the 2019 All-Star race and was handsomely rewarded. The cash prize for the Clash is maybe $150,000 and most of that goes to the team. Expect some safe lap turning. (4.0 fppk)
8. Chase Elliott ($8,900) – All Daytona exhibitions are not created equal. Nothing is on the line in the Clash, so drivers are reckless. Elliott has never earned a top 5 finish in the Clash. In the cautious Duel races, Elliott has won twice. (3.8 fppk)
9. Brad Keselowski ($9,300) – After a series of plate race wrecks, Keselowski vowed to no longer play nice. If anyone dared to make a bad block, he would drive through them. They did and he did, and in doing so, he failed to earn a top 10 finish at a plate track last season. (4.0 fppk)
10. Aric Almirola ($6,900) – Dyatona has been a good track for Almirola, but Talladega has been even better. Almirola has seven consecutive top 10 finishes at Talladega. Some drivers get lucky at plate races, but seven in a row seems to be a little more than luck. (3.4 fppk)
11. Clint Bowyer ($7,200) – In six Clash races, Bowyer has never earned a top-5 finish. His average finish is 15th, which places him in the bottom quartile. This is surprising given that Bowyer has been a good plate racer in regular season races at Daytona and Talladega. (3.3 fppk)
12. Erik Jones ($5,900) – If you are “team stack from the back,” then you might want to analyze the results from the 2019 Clash. Erik Jones started dead last giving him the highest ceiling based on place differential. Easy play right? Wrong. Jones started last and finished last. (3.9 fppk)
13. Alex Bowman ($7,500) – In his two Clash races, Bowman has earned two top-5 finishes. It’s a small sample size, but his 100% top 5 rate is much better than the field’s 29% top-5 rate. (4.2 fppk)
14. Austin Dillon ($5,500) – He has a top 10 in three of his five Clash appearances. A top 10 doesn’t say much because it’s typically only a 20 car field, but at least he’s finishing inside the top 10 and not the bottom 10. (3.3 fppk)
15. Martin Truex, Jr. ($8,200) – Only Jimmie Johnson has been worse at plate tracks. Truex has finished 13th or worse in each of the last four Clash races. In the regular-season plate races, he hasn’t done much better. Since 2017, his average plate finish is 23rd. (5.6 fppk)
16. William Byron ($6,600) – This will be William Byron’s first Clash race. His plate racing performances at the Cup level have been lackluster in his first two seasons. In eight races, Byron has finished 20th or worse seven times. His lone top 20 finish was a 2nd place finish at Daytona last summer. (4.2 fppk)
17. Ryan Newman ($5,600) – No other active driver has more Clash appearances than Newman, but over half of the field have more top-5 finishes. In 15 Daytona exhibition openers, Newman has accumulated a measly three top 5 finishes. (4.8 fppk)
18. Jimmie Johnson ($6,400) – He won the Clash last season after seven years of finishes outside of the top 10. Given his terrible track record, it’s not surprising that his win was questionable. He wrecked the leader and illegally took the lead by driving below the yellow line, and then the race was called due to rain. (3.2 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.