NASCAR® Driver Rankings: Apache Warrior 400


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.)

1Martin Truex, Jr.$11,000
2Kyle Busch$11,000
3Kyle Larson$10,200
4Jimmie Johnson$9,400
5Denny Hamlin$9,600

1. Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,000) – As if Truex needs any more of an edge, Dover is his hometown track. Truex has been in the top-five in fantasy points in each of the last three Dover races. At short tracks, he’s averaging 21 fast lap points and 22 laps led points per race. (6.5 FPPK)

2. Kyle Busch ($11,000) – If the No. 18 team doesn’t make mistakes, it wins convincingly. Last week Busch led 187 laps on his way to victory lane. The week before, his frontrunner status was ruined by two pit crew mistakes at Chicago. The same thing happened in the June Dover race. (5.7 FPPK)

3. Kyle Larson ($10,200) – When Kyle Busch’s Dover race fell apart on pit road, Larson inherited the lead and held it for 60 percent of the race. In overtime, Larson was passed by 11-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson. (5.5 FPPK)

4. Jimmie Johnson ($9,400) – He will never lead the most laps, and that was out of the question starting in the back in the June race. He did lead the most important lap and won his 11th Dover race. He was a Bristol winner, as well. (3.7 FPPK)

5. Denny Hamlin ($9,600) – It should not be a surprise that Hamlin has led only one lap after being busted at Darlington. Joey Logano experienced a similar drop off when he was caught. Hamlin is fast, but he can’t seem to compete with Truex and the Kyles. (4.2 FPPK)

6Matt Kenseth$9,500
7Daniel Suarez$6,900
8Jamie McMurray$8,100
9Joey Logano$9,000
10Chase Elliott$9,200

6. Matt Kenseth ($9,500) – He’s earned three top-fives in the last four short track races. He could easily be a perfect four for four, but there was this thing with an ambulance you might have heard about. (3.7 FPPK)

7. Daniel Suarez ($6,900) – This is a top-15 car as long as Suarez doesn’t make a mistake. In his last 10 races, he has two wrecks, two top-15s and six top-10s. In the first Dover race, Suarez finished sixth and ran 97 percent of his laps inside the top-15. (4.0 FPPK)

8. Jamie McMurray ($8,100) – In June, McMurray started 19th but was the sixth-fastest on the long run in practice. His average running position of 11th shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s where he always races, and that’s fairly close to his practice speed. Barring a wreck, that’s where he’ll race this weekend. (3.4 FPPK)

9. Joey Logano ($9,000) – As a non-playoff driver, he’s driving for wins. That wasn’t going to happen last week. Logano started in the back and was banned from the final practice. With the world against him, he still earned a top-10 finish. (3.1 FPPK)

10. Chase Elliott ($9,200) – It is hard to put Elliott on your roster. It’s no fault of his own. He’s scored more than 50 fantasy points in all three of his Dover races. The problem is his price. A driver above $9,000 needs to lead laps or score monster place differential points. (3.8 FPPK)

11Kevin Harvick$10,300
12Paul Menard$6,500
13Danica Patrick$6,100
14Ryan Newman$7,200
15Ty Dillon$6,700

11. Kevin Harvick ($10,300) – He was fast in the most important practice last week, but it didn’t translate into a fast car in the race. This is a transition year for the SHR Fords. Just like last week, Harvick is great at Dover, but those finishes were the result of a well understood Chevy. (4.1 FPPK)

12. Paul Menard ($6,500) – His average finish of 20th ranks as one of his worst seasons, but he’s relevant in fantasy NASCAR. For the first time, Menard’s finishing position is better than his starting position. (3.9 FPPK)

13. Danica Patrick ($6,100) – She finished a lot better than she raced in June, but that’s what she does at Dover. In her last five Dover races, her best average running position is 22nd. In four of those races, she has finished 21st or better. Three races were top-15 finishes. (3.5 FPPK)

14. Ryan Newman ($7,200) – No one drives an average car better than Newman. Last week, Newman was 15th at best, and he got everything he could out of his car and finished 13th. At Dover, he had the same speed, but through strategy and tough racing, he finished fourth. (4.4 FPPK)

15. Ty Dillon ($6,700) – He led more laps than Jimmie Johnson in the June race. That was in part due to pit strategy, fortuitous yellow flags and Ryan Newman blocking very fast cars behind him. Even without good fortune, Dillon had a 15th-place car. (4.5 FPPK)

16Brad Keselowski$9,700
17Erik Jones$8,600
18Ryan Blaney$8,300
19Kurt Busch$8,400
20Kasey Kahne$7,700

16. Brad Keselowski ($9,700) – This feels like a dark horse Ryan Newman championship run. Keselowski isn’t going to beat the Toyotas. He’s been pretty outspoken about the manufacturer imbalance. His path to the championship is clear, finish top-five every week (sixth at Chicago and fourth at New Hampshire). (4.2 FPPK)

17. Erik Jones ($8,600) – The closest track to Dover is Bristol. A month ago, Erik Jones scored 135 fantasy points at Bristol and nearly won. There is always a risk involved with the rookie, but he’s finished sixth or better in his last three short track races. (4.2 FPPK)

18. Ryan Blaney ($8,300) – It appears that Blaney’s short track woes are behind him. He’s running on the lead lap and finishing up front. In the first Bristol race, Blaney suffered a mechanical failure but finished 10th in the second race. In the first Dover race, he suffered a mechanical failure. (2.8 FPPK)

19. Kurt Busch ($8,400) – After three top-fives heading into the playoffs, Busch suddenly finds himself in a must-win situation. A poor Chicago race followed by a wreck at New Hampshire, and Busch has to win for the first time since the first race of the season. (3.1 FPPK)

20. Kasey Kahne ($7,700) – If you’re trying to win the big tournament, then Kahne is in play. He has terrific track history at Dover. Over the last seven Dover races, his average running position is 11th. (2.9 FPPK)


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