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NASCAR DraftKings Fantasy Driver Rankings: Vankor 350 at Texas DFS Picks

Pearce Dietrich gives his picks and ranks his top drivers for Saturday, July 18th’s Vankor 350, which locks at 8:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings.

The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Saturday’s race. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NTS $125K Octane [$20K to 1st, 2x Min Cash] (Trucks)

1. Kyle Busch ($16,000) — The No. 51 KBM truck won both Texas races last season and Kyle Busch is Kyle Busch. Fading Kyle Busch has only worked one time in a truck race. It was the Atlanta race where Kyle Busch scored almost half of the fast lap points but was kneecapped by a NASCAR penalty.

2. Christian Eckes ($8,300) — Let’s not forget that Eckes is a rookie and he’s not getting an opportunity to practice each week. Even in a KBM truck he should struggle a little, but Eckes has a top 5 driver rating in each of the past four races.

3. Austin Hill ($10,200) — Last week hardly counts, but Austin Hill had a top 5 driver rating again. In seven races this season, Hill has a top 5 driver rating in every race. In the second Texas race last summer, Hill led the second-most laps.

4. Grant Enfinger ($7,500) — His two wins don’t really move the needle. A plate track win is worthless to DFS players and his Atlanta win was a pure fluke. The relevant stat for Enfinger is that he finished fourth in both chaotic Texas races last season.

5. Zane Smith ($7,900) — If the Kentucky race runs to completion, there’s a good chance that the rookie wins. Smith had the second-highest driver rating last week. He has a ton of talent and his stats back that up. GMS may be the top overall team in the Truck Series this season.

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6. Tanner Gray ($7,300) — In the first race back, Gray struggled at Charlotte. Other than that, he’s been able to secure solid finishes. Aside from Daytona and Charlotte, Gray has finished 12 or better in the other five races for DGR Crosley.

7. Derek Kraus ($6,300) — Kentucky wasn’t a full race but in the laps that they did run Kraus had the 12th-best driver rating. He’s been a top 10 driver in the past four Truck races. Any worries about Bill McAnally’s transition into the Truck Series have been put to rest.

8. Brennan Poole ($6,800) — At Charlotte, Poole was wrecked by Jesse Iwuji and then laps later by the other disaster artist, Natalie Decker. At Pocono, Poole wrecked along with half of the field. In every other race, and it’s not a long list, Poole earned a top-20 finish for his small team.

9. Brett Moffitt ($9,700) — His 2018 championship season is a distant memory. It’s hard to believe that Moffitt won four races in 2019. Moffitt is still a very good driver but he’s become just another top 10 regular permanently stuck in the Truck Series.

10. Matt Crafton ($9,500) — The defending champion might miss the playoffs or he might win a race before the playoffs, but not this race. Kyle Busch is going to win this race. Crafton can easily earn a top 5 just like he did last week.

11. Tyler Ankrum ($8,500) — Very few drivers survived both Texas races last season. Texas in the Truck Series is a mess every single time. This might as well be a plate race, it’s that volatile. Ankrum survived both races with finishes of third and sixth.

12. Ben Rhodes ($8,700) — Austin Hill is clearly the best driver in the Truck Series this season but who is No. 2? In terms of driver rating, it’s Ben Rhodes. That’s a bit of a shocker, but it’s not when you consider the fact that he hasn’t had a bad race and just about every other driver has had at least one bad day.

13. Sheldon Creed ($7,700) — Last week doesn’t count. Casual Truck Series fans might believe that Creed finally got his first win but his Kentucky win will always carry a heavy asterisk. Just like Stenhouse winning at a plate track or Chastain winning an Xfinity race in the No. 42 car. The win shows up in the record books but the hardcore fan knows that they aren’t winners.

14. Johnny Sauter ($10,900) — Since the season resumed, Sauter’s average running position is 12th. Over that span, he has finishes of seventh, fifth and fourth. It appears that he is finishing slightly better than where he is running.

15. Todd Gilliland ($9,300) — Last year, Gilliland earned 14 top-10 finishes in 23 races. This year, he’s earned 5 top-10 finishes in seven races. It feels like he’s running better this year but he’s on pace for 16 top-10 finishes. He’s on pace for the same number of top-5 finishes as last year. It’s the same old Gilliland.

16. Ryan Truex ($7,000) — He had a better car at Kentucky than what the results show but he did not run that well. Truex and Raphael Lessard got into each other in stage 1 and Truex suffered a tire rub. After two lucky dogs in stage 2, the best finish Truex could muster was 27th place.

17. Stewart Friesen ($8,900) — Last year, Friesen earned 12 top-5 finishes and 16 top-10 finishes. This year, Friesen has zero top-5 finishes and three top-10 finishes. Halmar Friesen Racing’s switch to Toyota has been an unequivocal disaster.

18. Ty Majeski ($6,400) — Kentucky wasn’t a terrible race for Majeski. He finished 19th but his average running position was 12th. However, he’s not in the same league as the possible race winners. Sheldon Creed’s fastest lap was 177.5 mph while Majeski’s fastest lap was 173.4 mph.

19. Raphael Lessard ($7,100) — It would be a smash play if Lessard was starting a little closer to 20th. He isn’t, but this is a bargain for a KBM truck. Lessard has been a 15th-place driver all season. There are sure to be wrecks at Texas, so as long as Lessard keeps his truck in one piece he has a good shot of advancing into the top 10.

20. Tate Fogleman ($6,100) — This truck averaged a 17th-place finish last season. Fogleman is averaging a 25th-place finish this season but that includes wrecks at crazy races at Daytona and Pocono. Throw out the wrecks and Fogleman is averaging a 22nd-place finish.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NTS $125K Octane [$20K to 1st, 2x Min Cash] (Trucks)

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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.