The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.
1. Austin Hill ($10,400) - In every series there is a plate racing expert, and Austin Hill might be the best that the Truck Series has to offer. It’s a toss up between Enfinger and Hill. In the last five plate races, Hill’s worst finish is 11th. His average finish is 7th and he won at Daytona 2019.
2. Grant Enfinger ($9,600) - He won at Daytona in February and he won at Talladega in 2016. His multiple plate track wins places him in rare company in the Truck Series, let alone this field. Enfinger has six top 10 finishes in the last eight plate races.
3. Johnny Sauter ($9,800) - Last year, Sauter thought he had won at Talladega, but NASCAR disagreed with a move Sauter made on the last lap and his win was taken away. “I’m sorry Smokey. You were over the line, that’s a foul.”
4. Brett Moffitt ($10,600) - The 2018 Truck Series champion has not won a race this season and he’s never won a plate race. A lot of drivers have not won a plate race and most of the field has not won a race this season.
5. Sheldon Creed ($9,200) - His aggressive style should scare most DFS players away. His driving style and his superior equipment do not provide an advantage for Creed over most of the field. Creed is starting on the pole. The last time the pole sitter won at Talladega was in 2015, and that winner did not lead the most laps.
6. Trevor Bayne ($8,200) - At Richmond, Bayne finished 13 laps off of the lead lap. The next week, he finished 5th at Bristol. That is a miraculous turnaround and could only be explained one way, Bayne cheated and got disqualified. Once upon a time, Bayne won the Daytona 500.
7. Kaz Grala ($8,100) - In 2016, Grala survived a chaotic last lap that involved airborne trucks and won at Daytona. It’s unlikely that he gets that lucky again, but with his starting position, he does not need to win. His Niece Motorsports truck can easily earn a top 10, as long as he doesn’t wreck.
8. Korbin Forrister ($5,300) - Normally, Forrister drives for his small team, but this weekend he’ll be with DGR-Crosley. This is a major step up in equipment. Unfortunately, the equipment won’t matter as much, but the style of racing levels the playing field and this is possibly Forrister’s best shot at earning his first top 10 finish.
9. Raphael Lessard ($7,700) - This is either the beginning of the end or the new beginning for Lessard. It’s very likely that his career with KBM is over unless he wins at Talladega. This race is his only realistic shot at a win before the end of the season. It would behoove Lessard to approach this race with an all or nothing attitude.
10. Stewart Friesen ($7,900) - The 2020 season has finally turned around for Stewart Friesen. He’s earned a top 10 finish in six of the last seven races. His only finish outside of the top 10 was an understandable wreck at Bristol. Friesen has finished 5th and 6th in the last two races at Talladega.
11. Tyler Ankrum ($8,900) - As long as he does not wreck, he should advance to the next round of the playoffs. There is a situation where drivers below the cut line can leapfrog Ankrum, if they pile up stage points. Ankrum is going to be forced to race, and face the possibility of a wreck.
12. Todd Gilliland ($9,400) - It’s checkers or wreckers. Not that Gilliland needs an excuse to drive like a moron, but this time he will be excused. Gilliland needs to win in order to advance into the next round of the meaningless playoffs.
13. Jordan Anderson ($6,200) - In the Daytona race, Enfinger wrecked Anderson in order to protect the win. During the post race interview, Anderson was extremely happy about his second place finish, but there was sadness in that moment. A well funded driver with all of the advantages was about to lose fair and square to a penniless underdog, but instead, Enfinger bent the rules and won. Perhaps this is a metaphor for our current times.
14. Matt Crafton ($8,800) - He’s on the playoff bubble, and he can’t afford to wreck. A 20th place finish without stage points doesn’t work either. Crafton will be forced to run upfront and stick his head in the hive. Maybe he gets stung, and maybe he doesn’t. DFS players are worried about the sting, but they also need to know whether Crafton is trying to get the honey.
15. Ben Rhodes ($9,000) - It’s do or die for Rhodes. There is a small chance that Rhodes can point his way into the next round of the playoffs. This strategy requires stage points. Leading laps in the stage one and two is meaningless for most of the field, but not for Rhodes.
16. Christian Eckes ($10,200) - Rhodes and Eckes are battling for the final spot in the next round of the playoffs. Every point counts in this race. They cannot passively cruise around Talladega in wreck avoidance mode. They must battle up front for points. They are more likely to lead laps than any other driver because of their approach. They’re also more likely to wreck.
17. Zane Smith ($10,000) - There will be a lot of rookies and inexperienced drivers turning their first laps at Talladega this weekend, and Zane Smith will be one of them. He’s the best of the bunch. Smith has earned two wins this season and finished 11th at Daytona.
18. Chandler Smith ($8,400) - The lack of practice has clearly hurt Kyle Busch Motorpsorts and their stable of young drivers. The part time phenom, Chandler Smith, seems to have taken this the worst. The good news this weekend is that practice is meaningless at a plate track. Just hold the throttle to the floor, never lift, turn circles, and pray that you don’t wreck.
19. Spencer Boyd ($5,600) - There are plenty of drivers that symbolize the inane nature of plate racing, and Spencer Boyd is the latest poster child. He’s a below average river in below average equipment. He’s just out there every week, and yet, he won the Talladega race last year. Anyone can win this race.
20. Codie Rohrbaugh ($5,800) - The first “r” is not silent, but the second is. Who came up with that rule? Robocop has been in two plate races. He wrecked at Talladega last year and he finished 3rd at Daytona this year. Will we get good cop or bad cop this weekend?
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.