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. Note: fppk = average fantasy points per $1,000 of salary.
1. Kevin Harvick ($11,000) - The No. 4 car was not the best car in Texas, but it was pretty close. Harvick earned 11 fast lap points and 10 laps led points in the July race. He ran the third most laps inside the top five. (5.7 fppk)
2. Ryan Blaney ($10,000) - The maxed-out speed tracks suit Blaney. He lost the Texas race because he pit-cycled just before a caution and couldn’t get through traffic at the end of the race. His car was fast in July, but he was by no means darting through traffic like it was a video game. (4.1 fppk)
3. Denny Hamlin ($10,800) - When the green flag dropped, Hamlin lost 10 positions before the competition caution. He finished Stage 1 in 15th-place, but he did not pit before Stage 2. This move shifted Hamlin into the top five car where he remained for the rest of the race. (4.9 fppk)
4. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,200) - At one point in the Texas race, Truex was as high up as third place. It’s possible that he could have won, but a fueling issue forced Truex to dig out of a hole. While moving his way back to the front, he was collected in the big wreck at the beginning of Stage 3. (4.4 fppk)
5. Kyle Busch ($9,300) - At Texas, Kyle Busch ran the most laps inside the top five (129), but he only earned six fast lap points. Matt DiBenedetto ($7,700) did not run one lap inside the top five, but he earned four fast lap points. (3.2 fppk)
6. Joey Logano ($9,800) - The fact that Joey Logano did not win the July race illustrates that Texas is the worst track on the circuit. Logano ran long and got lucky when the Houff caution came out. He started third with four fresh tires behind the RCR cars on old tires, and he could not pass them. (3.8 fppk)
7. Brad Keselowski ($9,600) - Texas was a pit road race in July. Texas will be a pit road race this weekend, and it will be for the foreseeable future. Tires don’t wear out, and fast cars cannot pass slower cars at this notorious one groove race track. Keselowski had a 10th-place car, but he spent some time in the top five via pit road strategy. (4.6 fppk)
8. Chase Elliott ($10,500) - Texas was a pretty straight forward race until Stage 3 began with a pile up. The race settled back down with a 51 lap green flag run, but that ended with a highly criticized wreck by Quin Houff ($5,000) that completely altered the running order. Elliott would have pit cycled back to 6th, but because of the wreck, he finished 12th. (4.4 fppk)
9. Erik Jones ($8,900) - At least he will be racing next year, but calling it racing might be a stretch. Next season, Jones will turn laps in the back half of the field for Richard Petty. He’s got three more races until his career is over, so don’t be surprised to see some risky strategy calls from the No. 20 car. (4.1 fppk)
10. William Byron ($8,300) - In July, he wrecked at Texas; it happens. Texas is Byron’s favorite track. He doesn’t know why, but this track has always clicked for him. This is where Byron earned his first top 10 in the Cup Series. He earned another top 10 at Texas in 2019. (3.7 fppk)
11. Alex Bowman ($9,100) - His car is fast enough to hang inside the top 10, but it’s definitely not a favorite to lead laps. At Texas, laps led strongly correlate with fast laps, so Bowman is going to be a fade for most DFS players. This could be a huge mistake because the lead doesn’t go to the best car, it goes to the best strategy. (3.7 fppk)
12. Jimmie Johnson ($9,400) - On the first run of the race, Johnson sliced through the field. He drove from 20th to eighth at a track where passing is an anomaly. During the competition caution, Johnson was nailed with a penalty and conceded all of his gains. Before the end of Stage 1, Johnson wrecked and ended any chance of a top 10 finish. (3.5 fppk)
13. Kurt Busch ($8,500) - Life comes at you fast. Last week, Busch had a win in his pocket and was eyeing a possible championship. Now, Busch is in a must-win scenario. His misfortune is good news for DFS players because we do not want to roster drivers that are playing it safe. (3.5 fppk)
14. Aric Almirola ($8,100) - Clean air is king. Almirola won the random draw and started on the pole in July. He easily controlled the first run of the race, but his chances of a win were dashed by a dashed line. At Texas, NASCAR decided to randomly start enforcing the blend line rule, and Almirola was the victim. (4.2 fppk)
15. Tyler Reddick ($7,900) - Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Other times it is better to hire a data analytics team to determine when is the best time for a fuel-only pit stop. The Rho AI supercomputer told RCR to do a fuel-only stop, and the RCR cars finished first and second. (4.4 fppk)
16. Clint Bowyer ($8,700) - Here’s a crazy stat: Clint Bowyer has not earned a top 10 finish at 1.5-mile track this season. His struggles at intermediate tracks over his career have been well documented, but this is a new low. He’ll be awesome in the booth next year though. (3.7 fppk)
17. Austin Dillon ($7,500) - It’s not hard to imagine why people loathe Austin Dillon. During his victory lane interview, Dillon said, “Not bad for a silver spoon kid.” He had just earned yet another lucky win because his grandfather spent extra money to hire an artificial intelligence firm to help Dillon win races that he cannot win on his own. (4.4 fppk)
18. Christopher Bell ($7,200) - There’s a lot of fanfare surrounding Chase Briscoe’s promotion to Cup. Apparently, everyone has forgotten that the 2020 rookie class has been a disaster, and that each driver is 10 times better than Briscoe. Bell’s season has been the worst of his professional career. He wrecked in the first Texas race, but he was a 20th-place car before the wreck. (3.5 fppk)
19. Ryan Newman ($6,400) - Last week, he was terrible. Newman ran long and caught a caution that netted him 12 positions, but it still didn’t matter. Over the next several runs, he sunk like a rock. Newman is in a similar DFS spot this week. Will he be his normal 15th-place self or sink like a rock again? (3.4 fppk)
20. Matt Kenseth ($7,100) - This play did not work last week, but Kenseth can’t wreck three weeks in a row. This is the same exact play. He’s starting near the back and he’s cheap. Kenseth has 17 top 20 finishes in 29 races. (3.0 fppk)
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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.