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NASCAR DraftKings Fantasy Driver Rankings: Season Finale 500 at Phoenix DFS Picks

Pearce Dietrich gives his picks and ranks his top drivers for Sunday’s NASCAR Season Finale 500 at Phoenix slate, which locks at 3:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings.

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 the value of each driver. Note: fppk = average fantasy points per $1,000 of salary.

The DraftKings Season Finale 500 slate locks at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $200K Stock Car Season Finale [$50K to 1st] (Cup)

1. Brad Keselowski ($10,800) - His car was great in practice and it was great in the race. Keselowski rebounded from a stage 1 wreck that caused mostly cosmetic damage. Many of the drivers believed that Keselowski had the best car, but a poor pit strategy decision late in the race ruined his chances. (4.6 fppk)

2. Chase Elliott ($10,600) - The #9 car was the best car early in the race, and possibly for most of the race. A loose wheel resulted in a green flag pit stop during stage 2 that buried Elliott in traffic for the rest of the race. NASCAR would love for Elliott to be the champion, but he’ll have to earn it fair and square. (4.6 fppk)

3. Joey Logano ($10,000) - In the March race, Logano’s car may not have been the best, but it was close. He passed Brad Keselowski (the fastest car) on the last lengthy run, but Logano had fresher tires. At the end, Logano had track position and he did not make any mistakes, so he won. (3.8 fppk)

4. Denny Hamlin ($10,300) - An early race wreck in the spring Phoenix race limits the data available for predicting Hamlin’s performance this weekend. Hamlin finished 2nd at the short, flat track in New Hampshire, but Kesewloski won that race easily. (4.9 fppk)

5. Kevin Harvick ($11,100) - His car was good, but the days of Phoenix domination are over. Harvick should have been able to muscle his way to the front with the low downforce package, but the addition of PJ1 backfired and made passing slower cars more challenging. (5.5 fppk)

6. Martin Truex Jr. ($11,400) - He drove from the back to the front, and he was a contender towards the end of the spring race. Unfortunately, Aric Almirola drove through Truex on a late race restart and ruined his day. (4.5 fppk)

7. Kyle Busch ($9,600) - By now, everyone knows that Busch struggles when he doesn’t get practice time. In the first Phoenix race, practice didn’t help. In the 2018 Phoenix spring race, practice was a disaster. In those races, Busch figured the setup out during the race. He finished 3rd in the spring and won last spring. (3.6 fppk)

8. Ryan Blaney ($9,800) - Early in the Phoenix race, Blaney got caught up in a wreck with Hamlin and Keselowski. The Phoenix race was a week after a corded tire cost him a win at Fontana. Weeks before that, he lost the Daytona 500 by a foot and wrecked Newman. February and March were eventful months for Blaney. (4.3 fppk)

9. Tyler Reddick ($8,100) - One of the biggest surprises of the march Phoenix races was Tyler Reddick. He was able to find grip running high in the PJ1 and was inside the top five late in the race. To no one’s surprise, his aggressive racing led to a wreck. (4.3 fppk)

10. Jimmie Johnson ($9,300) - No one expected Jimmie Johnson to go out in a blaze of glory, but a couple top 10s wasn’t asking too much. Instead, Johnson has not finished better than 30th in the last three races. (3.4 fppk)

11. Aric Almirola ($7,800) - Phoenix was a typical Almirola race. He had a top 10 car, but not a race winning car. In the last six Phoenix races, Almirola has five top 10 finishes. Over that span, he’s led a total of 26 laps. (4.2 fppk)

12. William Byron ($8,400) - He benefited from the cautions at the end, but it wasn’t a giant break. Byron had an average running position of 13th, so his 10th place finish doesn’t look special. However, on lap 272, Byron was in 3rd place. Four cautions later, he finished in 10th. (3.6 fppk)

13. Chris Buescher ($7,200) - Wrecks happen and DFS chalk can never be trusted. Here we are again. Buescher is starting 31st and he’s finished 18th or better in each of the last four Phoenix races. (4.2 fppk)

14. Clint Bowyer ($7,900) - It’s possible that Bowyer ends his career on a high note. He’s always been a good short track racer, but his final race may be of little DFS relevance with a starting position of 9th. (3.9 fppk)

15. Alex Bowman ($9,000) - In 2016, Bowman scored the most points in the Phoenix fall race and almost won. The year prior, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the #88 car to victory lane at Phoenix. Ever since, DFS players have contemplated playing Bowman, but he’s never finished better than 13th. (3.9 fppk)

16. Kurt Busch ($8,800) - The #1 car struggled all day. Both Chip Ganassi Racing cars were not that great at Phoenix. The results do not show it, but if it weren’t for multiple cautions at the end of the race, Busch does not sniff the top 10. (3.6 fppk)

17. Ryan Newman ($6,500) - Over the last 15 races, Newman’s average finish is 21st. It’s been a while since Newman has been good, but he’s been at least a top 20 driver. There’s no word on when Newman plans on retiring, but if performance is an indicator, this could be his last race. (3.5 fppk)

18. Erik Jones ($8,600) - At Texas, Jones pushed Clint Bowyer to the lead twice instead of helping his teammate Martin Truex. At Martinsville, JGR had to go on the radio to remind him not to mess up his teammate’s chances. Is it any surprise that he was kicked off of the team? JGR has one car in the playoffs, and all of the resources are going to Hamlin this week. (4.0 fppk)

19. Michael McDowell ($6,300) - There were five cautions in the last 50 laps at Phoenix, and McDowell earned the lucky dog on the first of those cautions. His average running position was 25th, but he finished 16th. He did not deserve that finish, but who is to say that it doesn’t happen again in another caution filled Phoenix race. (4.6 fppk)

20. John H. Nemechek ($5,500) - Here is the lock of the week. There will be at least one Neme-wreck (a harmless spin by JHN that brings out a caution that benefits JHN) at Phoenix. Nemechek has wrecked in each of the last three Phoenix races. The wreck is a lock, it just needs to be fortuitous. (4.2 fppk)

Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $200K Stock Car Season Finale [$50K to 1st] (Cup)

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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.