The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday. The order is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen slate locks at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Chase Elliott ($10,700) — Tyler Reddick and Kyle Larson are hot, but Elliott is still the King of the Road. The 26-year-old is only a couple wins away from becoming the all-time leader in road course wins. Elliott has seven road course wins. The current all-time leader Jeff Gordon earned nine road course wins over the course of 25 years.
2. Tyler Reddick ($10,300) — Everyone knows Tyler Reddick has been working on his road racing skills. Everyone knows that he has improved. No one knew that he was this good. Reddick is looking to make it three road course wins in a row on Sunday.
3. Kyle Larson ($10,500) — In his first year with Hendrick, Larson blossomed into a great road course racer in 2021. Larson won at Sonoma, Watkins Glen and the Roval, and he nearly won at Road America and Indianapolis. This season he finished third at Road America and he had a race-winning car ruined by a loose wheel at Sonoma.
4. Ross Chastain ($10,000) — His COTA win was a surprise at the beginning of the season. That’s not surprising anymore. Trackhouse has been fast at every road course this season. The cars are so fast that they attracted an F1 superstar.
5. Austin Cindric ($9,500) — After years of dominating the Xfinity Series road courses, Cindric has continued his excellence in the Cup Series. He has yet to win, but he’s just a rookie. However, the rookie has a top-5 Real Rating (my own statistical creation that comprehensively synthesizes a driver’s laps) at the road courses this season.
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6. William Byron ($7,700) — He is snake bitten at the road courses. The Hendrick cars have speed and Byron has the skill, but he cannot put together a full race. Byron again looked good in the last road course race (Indy GP), but he wrecked on a lap 80 restart while in sixth place.
7. Martin Truex Jr ($9,100) — Last season, Truex had the second-best car at Watkins Glen. Truex is still a great road course racer, but he can’t beat Hendrick. Now, add Tyler Reddick to the mix. Making matters worse is that the JGR Toyotas have lacked speed in the Next Gen car at the road courses.
8. Christopher Bell ($8,700) — His current form checks out. He won at New Hampshire, nearly won two weeks ago at Michigan and last week at Richmond. Bell has won a road race in the Xfinity Series (Road America) and the Cup Series (Daytona). The drawback is JGR’s 2022 road struggles.
9. Ryan Blaney ($9,200) — Will he point race? If he does, he restarts Stage 3 outside of the top 20 and is dead in fantasy. In real life, he will enter the volatile Daytona cutoff race with a comfortable point lead.
10. Denny Hamlin ($8,600) — So far, Hamlin has been resigned to accept JGR’s lack of speed at the road courses. During the regular season that weakness has been acceptable because of JGR’s speed everywhere else. A playoff road course race is looming. Hamlin’s patience may be wearing thin. JGR needs to find speed, and they need to find speed now.
11. Kyle Busch ($8,900) — The JGR cars have struggled at the road courses this season. It’s hard to trust the Toyotas, but it’s just as hard to dismiss Kyle Busch at a road course where he has won twice.
12. Kevin Harvick ($8,400) — At Road America, Kevin Harvick was not good but that was good for DFS. He qualified in the back because, as mentioned, he was not very good. So how did he have a good race? He cycled forward by pitting before the end of Stage 1 and Stage 2. He never passed anyone on the track, but he ended up in the optimal lineup.
13. Kimi Raikkonen ($7,600) — Typically, road course ringers are cheap. Typically, they’re in inferior equipment. This isn’t typical. Kimi Raikkonen is a former Formula 1 champ, and his Trackhouse car is one of the best on the grid.
14. Ty Dillon ($5,100) — With all of the famous names and young drivers, Dillon is going to get overlooked or dismissed. This is a mistake. At least a third of the optimal lineup will be populated by drivers that do not belong based on speed, but they’ll secure a solid finish and fantasy points simply by pitting before the end of stages.
15. Cole Custer ($6,300) — He’s running double-duty at a road course for the third time this season. The extra reps helped Custer earn a top-10 driver rating in the Cup Series races at COTA and Road America.
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