NASCAR® Driver Rankings: Bank of America 500

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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 the value of each driver.

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

RankDriverSalary
1Martin Truex, Jr.$10,900
2Kyle Busch$10,600
3Kyle Larson$10,400
4Jimmie Johnson$10,000
5Chase Elliott$9,400

1. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,900) – Some Fantasy NASCAR players might have been disappointed by Truex’s 69 fantasy points last week. Think about that. Disappointment over 69 points tells you everything you need to know. Truex’s average running position of second was the best at Dover. (6.5 FPPK)

2. Kyle Busch ($10,600) – Truex is more consistent, but Busch seems to be faster. In the last intermediate track race (Chicago), Busch was the car to beat. After a loose wheel and a pit crew penalty, his day was toast. Busch is the fastest, but he is haunted by pit road mistakes. (5.8 FPPK)

3. Kyle Larson ($10,400) – Not to be left out, Larson once again proved he’s right up there with Truex and Busch. He outscored both with 95 points at Dover. Larson has been at his best at the short tracks and the two-mile tracks. At 1.5-mile tracks, he’s a smidge behind Truex and Busch. (5.7 FPPK)

4. Jimmie Johnson ($10,000) – Fantasy NASCAR rewards laps led and fast laps. Typically, Jimmie Johnson doesn’t even register in these statistical categories. There are exceptions, and Charlotte is one of them. Johnson has over 20 fast lap points in each of the last three Charlotte races. (3.8 FPPK)

5. Chase Elliott ($9,400) – At Chicago, Elliott was fast, but his car was found to have unapproved aerodynamic modifications, ruling his finish encumbered. At Dover, he was fast again, but his car passed the pre-race inspection last. At any rate, the No. 24 team has found something, and it cannot be ignored. (4.1 FPPK)


RankDriverSalary
6Denny Hamlin$9,200
7Matt Kenseth$8,600
8Erik Jones$7,900
9Daniel Suarez$7,500
10Aric Almirola$5,800

6. Denny Hamlin ($9,200) – Darlington is the only intermediate track race where Hamlin was a part of the optimal daily fantasy NASCAR lineup. He also happened to “push the edge” with his setup in that race. Truex and Busch are so far ahead, however. (4.0 FPPK)

7. Matt Kenseth ($8,600) – Short tracks have been Kenseth’s strong suit this season. His average finish at the intermediate tracks ranks 12th. He only has two top-five finishes at the 1.5-mile tracks this season. One of those top-fives was at Charlotte in May. (3.6 FPPK)

8. Erik Jones ($7,900) – The Rookie of the Year favorite has finished sixth or better in five of the last seven races. He’s finished 12th or better in eight of the last nine races. Jones has run six or more fast laps in each of the last six intermediate track races. That’s not a lot, but he’s faster than most of the field. (4.2 FPPK)

9. Daniel Suarez ($7,500) – This season has been a lot like Carl Edwards’ first year at JGR. Suarez will not lead laps, he will not win, but he runs up front. He’s finished 12th or better in eight of the last 10 races this season. (4.1 FPPK)

10. Aric Almirola ($5,800) – There are a handful of drivers around $6,000 that catch the eye of fantasy NASCAR players. Most don’t pay off, but every week, one of them does. Almirola is routinely qualifying near 20th, which hurts his value. But does it really? It’s easier to hold your spot, then to gain a spot. (4.2 FPPK)


RankDriverSalary
11Kevin Harvick$10,200
12Ryan Newman$7,100
13Ty Dillon$6,700
14Austin Dillon$7,700
15Jamie McMurray$8,800

11. Kevin Harvick ($10,200) – This team improves every week, but it still has a ways to go to catch Truex and Kyle Busch. Harvick defaulted into some laps led points at Chicago when Truex and Kyle Busch made mistakes. This car isn’t the best, but it’s getting closer. (4.1 FPPK)

12. Ryan Newman ($7,100) – Drivers have always said that Newman is the hardest driver to pass in NASCAR. If anyone is still in doubt, ask Chase Elliott. It’s easier for a driver to hold their position than to pass. That’s why Newman is a solid pick each week. He does not lose spots. (4.4 FPPK)

13. Ty Dillon ($6,700) – Before the Chicago intermediate track race in mid-September, Dillon had earned top-20 fantasy points in eight of the 10 intermediate track races (including Michigan and Fontana). Chicago was an extremely green race. A couple of cautions and Dillon may have been fine. (4.5 FPPK)

14. Austin Dillon ($7,700) – Getting eliminated from the playoffs may be the best thing that could have happen to Dillon. He no longer has to race safe. He can take chances. Do not be surprised to see Dillon use pit strategy to earn a top-five. In the last Charlotte race, Dillon schemed his way to a win. (3.6 FPPK)

15. Jamie McMurray ($8,800) – Last week McMurray qualified poorly, but he had top-five speed in practice. He was a no-brainer pick. That’s not likely to happen again. McMurray has the seventh best average finish this season. (3.5 FPPK)


RankDriverSalary
16Joey Logano$9,600
17Kurt Busch$8,300
18Clint Bowyer$8,100
19Brad Keselowski$9,900
20Ryan Blaney$9,000

16. Joey Logano ($9,600) – In 2015, Logano ran away with the day race at Charlotte (134 points). That finish is almost meaningless. That was two rules packages ago. This is a Toyota world. Logano has one top-five at an intermediate track in the last six months. (3.3 FPPK)

17. Kurt Busch ($8,300) – This has been a crazy season. Busch won the Daytona 500, then did nothing for the entire season. He got hot the month before the playoffs, then went ice cold in the playoffs. Another hot streak is around the corner. Kurt has five straight top-10s at Charlotte. (3.1 FPPK)

18. Clint Bowyer ($8,100) – Last week, Bowyer was way too expensive for a borderline top-10 driver. His 16th-place average finish at intermediate tracks is the ninth best in NASCAR. With a top-10 finish and a handful of place differential points, Bowyer could finish with 40-50 fantasy points. (3.5 FPPK)

19. Brad Keselowski ($9,900) – After three playoff races, Keselowski has three top-10s. This is Keselowski’s plan. He can worry about beating the Toyotas at Homestead in November. For now, the plan is to get top-10s, stage points and advance each round. (4.2 FPPK)

20. Ryan Blaney ($9,000) – In the spring, Blaney led laps at Texas and Kansas. He started those races on the front row. If he’s in the catbird seat this week, then he could finish with a top-five fantasy score. At $9,000, Blaney needs to qualify first or close to last. (2.7 fppk)

 


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