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WATCH: NASCAR Price Check – South Point 400 at Las Vegas


Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 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 ($11,500) – Finally, back to real racing or as close as it gets in the 2019 package. Surprisingly, Busch has not won at a 1.5-mile intermediate track this season, but he’s run well. He’s led more than 60 laps in four intermediate track races. (5.6 fppk)

2. Kevin Harvick ($10,300) – Last week at Indy, Harvick had a fast car, the pole, and did not make any mistakes. The first two have been common and will continue to be, but if Harvick can limit his mistakes moving forward, he’ll be a championship contender. (4.3 fppk)

3. Denny Hamlin ($11,100) – He’s been in the fantasy NASCAR optimal lineup in five of the past six races. In total, Hamlin has been an optimal play eight times (tied for the most). Heading into the playoffs, Hamlin seems like the driver to beat. (4.7 fppk)

4. Brad Keselowski ($9,500) – He nearly won the spring race at Las Vegas. Keselwoski ran down Joey Logano, but he ran out of laps at the end. In May at a similar track, BK won at Kansas. In both races, Keselwoski came on late in the race. (4.5 fppk)

5. Kurt Busch ($9,300) – At the beginning of the season, NASCAR still was subjecting fans to wonky qualifying sessions. Busch started near the back, but through pit strategy and talent, Busch finished fifth. (4.3 fppk)


6. Joey Logano ($9,700) – He nearly won at Atlanta in February, but he had to forfeit the lead late in the race due to a tire issue. The next week at Las Vegas, Logano held off a hard-charging Brad Kesewloski and won. That was March. In the past six months, Logano has lost his edge. (4.4 fppk)

7. Kyle Larson ($10,000) – A penalty ruined his Las Vegas race in the spring. In this racing package, penalties are near death sentences. Recently, Larson eliminated his mistakes and strung together some impressive finishes, but that ended last week when Larson rammed into the inside wall. (4.0 fppk)

8. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,700) – A pit road wreck ruined his day at Indianapolis, but that’s racing in 2019. The package has created parity. Success and failure in stock car racing once was based on talent and equipment, but in 2019, a driver’s fate is determined by minor events. (4.9 fppk)

9. Chase Elliott ($8,900) – Indy wasn’t Elliott’s best showing, but after numerous cautions and wrecks by top-tier cars, Elliott scraped his way to the top 10. This summer has been less than stellar, but most of that can be attributed to the random assortment of race tracks during the summer swing. (4.3 fppk)

10. Erik Jones ($9,100) – Who didn’t see that coming? Jones got hot this summer then immediately cooled off once he garnered the attention of DFS players. As the bandwagon emptied, Jones won, and when DFS players jumped back on, he wrecked at Indianapolis. (4.2 fppk)


11. Clint Bowyer ($8,500) – Don’t look now, but Bowyer has a top-10 finish in each of the past three races. His SHR teammate, Kevin Harvick, has a win in two of the past four races. It’s possible SHR has figured out the 2019 package. (3.2 fppk)

12. Ryan Blaney ($8,700) – A loose wheel forced an unscheduled pit stop in Stage 1 of the spring Las Vegas race. Normally, a driver can rebound from an early mistake, but not in this racing package, and not in a completely caution-free race. (4.1 fppk)

13. Chris Buescher ($7,200) – Four drivers have been a part of eight optimal fantasy NASCAR lineups this season. Not only is Buescher one of those drivers, but he is the cheapest in terms of average salary. (4.6 fppk)

14. Paul Menard ($6,900) – Welcome to the Paul Menard Farewell Tour. While most NASCAR tracks, media and fans will deny Menard his deserved weekly adulation, the rankings will honor John Paul Menard every week until the end of the season. In the spring race, Menard started 15th, ran 16th and finished 15th. That is classic Menard. (4.0 fppk)

15. Alex Bowman ($8,000) – This summer has not been kind to Bowman, but the summer schedule is a hodgepodge of throwaway tracks. Bowman’s hot spring was at intermediate and short tracks. The playoff schedule is mainly intermediate and short tracks. (4.4 fppk)


16. Daniel Suarez ($7,600) – An SHR car should never miss the playoffs. There is too much money being poured into each team, but this is the norm rather than the exception. Danica Patrick missed the playoffs every year, and now Suarez missed the playoffs in his first season with SHR. (4.4 fppk)

17. Aric Almirola ($7,800) – In the past five intermediate track races, Almriola’s best finish is 11th and his worst finish is 16th. That pretty much sums up the entire 2019 season for Aric Almirola. (3.5 fppk)

18. William Byron ($8,300) – In the past six races, Byron has finished fourth twice and 21st three times. It seems strange, but it makes sense. Young drivers are inconsistent. For perspective, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. wasn’t a consistent winner until he was 34 years old. (4.4 fppk)

19. Ryan Newman ($8,100) – Typically, the drivers that barely make the playoffs get bounced in the first round, but Newman might sneak into the second round. His presence in the playoffs is inconsequential, but it’s fun to see how long a driver can survive by simply not making mistakes. (4.9 fppk)

20. Jimmie Johnson ($7,700) – As a faithful viewer of the Price Check, Johnson took my sage advice and shaved his beard. Unfortunately, his clean-shaven appearance did not work, and the has-been missed the playoffs. This guy was done two years ago. (3.3 fppk)


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