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.
The DraftKings Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina slate locks at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NXS $60K Octane [$10K to 1st] (XFIN)
1. A.J. Allmendinger ($11,500) - Climbing through the entire field, then competing with Cindric is too much. Fortunately for Allmendinger, he doesn’t have to climb through the entire field this time. He is not the favorite to win, but a favorite to win. If he runs a clean race on pit road, then he can win this race.
2. Austin Cindric ($11,000) - The king of road course racing is trying to prove that he is ready for a 2021 Cup schedule that features a proliferation of road courses. The rumor at the moment is that Cindric will only receive a part time Cup schedule in 2021. The disappointment might fire him up or shut him down.
3. Chase Briscoe ($10,400) - He is a very good road course driver with a great pit crew. Of course, that’s all relative. Last year, Briscoe was a nobody when facing subpar competition. This year, he’s raced against clowns that make him look like P.T. Barnum. Briscoe should have beat the clowns at the Daytona Road Course race, but his luck on pit road finally ran out. From a non-preferred starting spot on a late race restart, Briscoe wrecked.
4. Noah Gragson ($9,800) - His stats are impressive. Gragson has a top 10 in each of his seven road course races. He has five top five finishes. Gragson starts on the pole, and passing at this type of track isn’t easy.
5. Jesse Little ($5,400) - The Daytona and Indy road courses are roval type tracks, and Little finished 18th at both tracks this season. Little is starting second to last and he’s one of the cheapest drivers on the slate.
6. Stephen Leicht ($4,600) - Most of the time Leicht is the distinguished start-and-parker for Carl Long, but not at the road courses. Leicht is priced like he is going to park, but in his three road races this season, he’s finished 21st, 21st, and 22nd. Leicht might go under owned because the fear of a start-and-park or a real mechanical failure always looms large with Carl Long.
7. Justin Haley ($9,400) - His aggression at the end of the Indy GP led to a second place finish, but it could have easily turned a top five into a finish outside of the top 20. At the Daytona Road Course, Haley’s aggression led to an early exit.
8. Alex Labbe ($7,700) - The Canadian has plenty of experience road racing in the Pinty Series. He also has plenty of experience road racing in the Xfinity series. Labbe has earned a top 10 finish at a road course in every season of his three year Xfinity career.
9. Riley Herbst ($7,300) - At the Daytona Road Course, Herbst finished 7th without any practice. It wasn’t a lucky finish either, he had the 7th best driver rating. If he did it at Daytona, then he can do it again, and a 6x return is not a stretch.
10. Kyle Weatherman ($6,100) - Similar to Jesse Little, Weatherman finished 17th at Daytona and 15th at Indy. Little is cheaper and starting a little further back, but Weatherman makes for a great pivot. Both will be very popular, but Little is driving more dependable equipment.
11. Josh Bilicki ($7,000) - He has a road racing background, but his Xfinity results have been mixed. Bilicki has looked good at times, but only on a few occasions has he put together a complete race. However, his last two road races were those occasions.
12. Preston Pardus ($8,300) - Check the rankings articles for Road America and Indy for the background on Pardus. He was expected to be very good this year in his races with Mario Gosselin, and he has lived up to those expectations with two top 10 finishes.
13. Ross Chastain ($9,600) - It was always going to be this way. Chastain is a bubble driver. He has a mere seven point lead on Harrison Burton. Chastain does not have enough points to play it safe, and playing it safe is not a part of his vocabulary. This might not end well.
14. Justin Allgaier ($10,700) - With a 20 point playoff cutline cushion, all he needs to do is avoid wrecking. Easier said than done for Wall-gaier. He’ll play it safe, but his spot in the next round won’t be safe until he crosses the finish line, if he crosses the finish line.
15. Jeremy Clements ($8,500) - Here’s the obligatory mention of his 2017 Road America win. His road racing history is not just one lucky race. He’s earned a top 10 finish at Indy, the Roval, and Mid Ohio.
16. Jade Buford ($7,400) - No one had ever heard of Jade Buford before this season. The limited knowledge that DFS players had was his Wikipedia page. Now, he’s got three top 20 finishes, two with Bobby Dotter and one with JD Motorsports. He’s back with Dotter this weekend, and will likely grab another top 20 finish.
17. Harrison Burton ($8,900) - The Harrison Burton fans are well aware that he’s only trailing Ross Chastain by seven points for the final spot in the next round of the playoffs. For those that aren’t Burton fans, which is everyone other than his mom, this is meaningless news. Are the Xfinity playoffs a thing?
18. Kody Vanderwal ($4,900) - This is borderline crazy. There is plenty of value available this weekend, so Vanderwal is for the galaxy brains only. He’s starting in the back and he’s dirt cheap. He rarely earns top 30s this year, but there has been one exception - road courses (23rd, 27th, and 28th). He’s just out there cruising like it’s a backroad while everyone else is tearing their cars up.
19. Gray Gaulding ($6,000) - It’s a Mike Harmon car, so this is for the pivoteers only. Gaulding is better than a $6,000 driver and he’s starting in the back. He doesn’t have a great road course history and this car could break down on any lap, but Kyle Weatherman earned a couple top 20s at road courses in a Mike Harmon car this year.
20. Austin Hill ($7,600) - This will be his first road race in the Xfinity Series. In the Truck Series, Hill has two 5th place finishes and an 8th place finish in his three road course races.
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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.