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WATCH: NASCAR Price Check – Pocono 400

Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday’s Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. 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.)


RANKDRIVERSALARY
1Kyle Busch$11,400
2Kevin Harvick$10,500
3Martin Truex, Jr.$10,900
4Brad Keselowski$10,200
5Joey Logano $9,500

1. Kyle Busch ($11,400) – The 2019 racing package should not affect Pocono. Drivers are struggling to make passes this year, but they always have struggled to pass at Pocono. Track history will matter, and Busch has averaged 70 points per race over the past five Pocono races. (6.3 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($10,500) – As funky as the new rules package has been, the fast cars are still the same fast cars. Harvick’s numbers look good this season, but his track history is even better. Last year in the two Pocono races, Harvick scored 78 points and 89 points. (4.4 fppk)

3. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,900) – After winning the championship in 2017, Truex has not been the same dominant driver. That was until this spring, when Truex rolled off wins at Richmond, Dover and Charlotte. He won the spring 2018 Pocono race. (6.1 fppk)

4. Brad Keselowski ($10,200) – Pocono is no longer a fuel mileage race, but there are still games to be played. Drivers can pit before the end of a stage and remain on the lead lap. When pit cycling occurs during the stage break, the early pitters leap to the front. Keselowski earned the fourth most fantasy points last spring by employing this strategy. (5.4 fppk)

5. Joey Logano ($9,500) – Pocono has been a rough track for Logano over the past two seasons, but his poor finishes can be explained as pit road issues and part failures. If Logano can get the monkey off his back, he’ll be a contender this weekend. (4.9 fppk)


RANKDRIVERSALARY
6Chase Elliott$9,900
7Aric Almirola$8,100
8Kurt Busch$8,800
9Denny Hamlin$9,300
10Kyle Larson$9,700

6. Chase Elliott ($9,900) – Pocono is one of Elliott’s best tracks. He ranks fourth in driver rating at Pocono. The combination of his track history and recent form will make Elliott a favorite to win the weekend. (5.8 fppk)

7. Aric Almirola ($8,100) – In both Pocono races, Almirola started deep in the field and drove his way into the top 15. That is where he ran for most of those races. In the spring, the race broke his way and he finished seventh, in the fall it didn’t, and he finished 25th. (3.8 fppk)

8. Kurt Busch ($8,800) – He’s been a top-10 driver at Pocono, but those races were in strong SHR cars. His Chip-Ganassi Chevy has been competitive this season, but there is always a question mark when his team travels to a unique track for the first time. (4.8 fppk)

9. Denny Hamlin ($9,300) – It’s been a long time since Hamlin has won at Pocono, and he knows why. In his own words, he has admitted his team has not been strong at Pocono since the repave in 2012. When the track ages, Hamlin should win again, but the effects of Pocono’s aging might be negated by the high downforce package. (4.3 fppk)

10. Kyle Larson ($9,700) – The 2019 version of Larson is the Xfinity Ricky Stenhouse or current Xfinity champ Tyler Reddick. He’s capable of winning races and a championship, but it’s more likely something goes wrong. (3.6 fppk)


RANKDRIVERSALARY
11Daniel Suarez$7,900
12Alex Bowman$8,500
13Ryan Blaney$8,900
14Clint Bowyer$9,100
15Ryan Newman$7,400

11. Daniel Suarez ($7,900) – Track position matters at Pocono. Suarez was a 15th-place car last season, but at Pocono, he started on the pole and led the race for 72 miles. He did not fade either; he finished second. Track position matters at Pocono. (4.9 fppk)

12. Alex Bowman ($8,500) – Why is Bowman all of the sudden one of the best drivers in NASCAR? Do Fantasy NASCAR players need a reason? Just accept that Bowman is a top-five driver and move on. Solving this mystery will not give you a leg up on the competition. (4.7 fppk)

13. Ryan Blaney ($8,900) – Early in the season, it looked like Blaney might have a championship car. That no longer appears to be the case. Over the past two months, Blaney is averaging a 17th-place finish. (4.0 fppk)

14. Clint Bowyer ($9,100) – Pocono is Race 14. Bowyer has earned seven top-10 finishes so far. Last season, he earned 16 through 36 races. He has yet to win this season, but Bowyer has won only 10 times in 13 seasons. (4.0 fppk)

15. Ryan Newman ($7,400) – Nothing has changed. Newman is a 15th-place driver, he was a 15th-place driver and always will be a 15th-place driver. Newman started on the front row with four laps left in the Coca-Cola 600, and he finished 16th. (4.6 fppk)


RANKDRIVERSALARY
16Erik Jones$8,600
17William Byron $7,600
18Jimmie Johnson$8,300
19Matt Tifft$5,300
20Austin Dillon$7,700

16. Erik Jones ($8,600) – The 2019 package has bunched cars together on restarts. Drivers must choose to be aggressive or protect their cars. In the past two races, Jones has been aggressive. He survived damage at Kansas, but at Charlotte his day ended with a 40th-place finish. (3.9 fppk)

17. William Byron ($7,600) – He led 31 laps and hung onto a spot inside the top 10 all night in the Coca-Cola 600. Is Byron developing or does track position mean everything in 2019? Both are likely true. (4.1 fppk)

18. Jimmie Johnson ($8,300) – His eighth-place finish at Charlotte is a cause for celebration, but it’s also a clear sign he’s finished. Johnson has eight wins at Charlotte, but an eighth-place finish is the best he can do. (3.9 fppk)

19. Matt Tifft ($5,300) – In the past two races, Tifft has been a 25th-place driver. That’s not good, but not bad for his price. The circumstances of those races led to finishes of 20th and 21st. Pocono is a track where the top 28 cars remain on the lead lap. Circumstances will benefit Tifft again. (4.0 fppk)

20. Austin Dillon ($7,700) – This is shaping up to be one of Dillon’s worst seasons. He’s finished on the lead lap in 46% of the races. His previous career low was 56% last season. The new rules package has helped some of the smaller teams, but RCR is going backwards. (3.3 fppk)


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