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.
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1. Chase Briscoe ($11,400) - He had nothing for the Big 3 at Kentucky, but at least he finished on the lead lap, 30 seconds behind the leader. Briscoe wins every race on pit road via fast 4 tire pit stops. While 2 tire and no tire stops are common in the high down force series, the Xfinity series requires 4 tire stops. This is a huge advantage for Briscoe.
2. Noah Gragson ($10,600) - The stats are clear. Gragson is the best and most improved driver in the Xfinity series. Briscoe deserves to be in the conversation, but Briscoe’s wins are directly the result of great equipment and the best pit crew. Gragson, unlike Brisoce, drives his way to the front. Last year, Gragson finished 6th at Kentucky (behind the Big 3).
3. Justin Allgaier ($10,300) - Last year at Kentucky, Allgaier was very fast. He challenged Christopher Bell for the lead in stage 2, but could not overcome dirty air. During the green flag stops in stage 3, Algaier’s crew got nailed with a penalty, and Allgaier’s race was pretty much over.
4. Austin Cindric ($10,900) - Moments after Jeff Burton praised Cindric for being a more mature driver and not making foolish moves, he wrecked. That sentence probably applies to other races, but in this case, it’s specific to the 2019 Kentucky race. Cind-WRECK is destroying cars and making unforced errors at an alarming rate this season. He’s going to win eventually, but he’ll never be consistent.
5. Ross Chastain ($10,000) - This can be a gambler’s race, and at Pocono, Chasatin proved his team is willing to gamble. This team gambled and failed last year at Kentucky, but they have to because the Kaulig cars do not have race winning speed at intermediate tracks (Allmendinger’s win at Atlanta was the result of all three contenders being penalized on the last run of the race).
6. Ryan Sieg ($7,200) - Mechanical failures and tire failures have plagued the #39 car since the season resumed. His 12th place finish at Pocono and 17th place finish on the road course at Indy are nothing to write home about, but consecutive races without a failure is a big step. Sieg earned a top 10 finish at Kentucky last year.
7. Harrison Burton ($9,700) - The lack of practice has hurt the development of Harrison Burton. The short term effects are clear, but the long term effects are even more devastating. Every weekend without practice adds to a lost year of development. That’s not quite the case this week because the Xfinity Series is running two races at Kentucky. Race one might be practice for Burton.
8. Brandon Jones ($9,500) - Despite his status as a silver spoon race car driver, it’s easy to feel sympathetic for Jones. As far as luck goes, it’s hard to beat being born into a world where your father runs a major corporation. On the race track, Jones has had the opposite luck. He had the best vehicle in the Truck and Xfinity Series races at Kentucky last year, and his truck got wrecked and his Xfinity engine blew up.
9. Michael Annett ($8,000) - Five cars finished on the lead lap last year at Kentucky. That’s worth saying again. Only five cars finished on the lead lap, and it really should have only been four. Custer allowed his teammate Briscoe to hang on to the lead lap. Annett finished 4th behind the Big 3. The JR Motorsports cars had speed and handled well last year at Kentucky.
10. Riley Herbst ($8,400) - He finished 11th at Kentucky last year. Herbst wasn’t good and he wasn’t bad. Actually, 11th place in the #18 JGR car is pretty bad, but at least he didn’t wreck. The two big problems with Herbst is that he doesn’t have any talent and he’s prone to make mistakes. What should DFS players expect? He didn’t earn this ride; he bought it.
11. Myatt Snider ($9,300) - The #93 car is average at best, but the field of Xfinity cars is on average below average. If this were 2016, Snider and the #93 car would have to scrape and claw for a top 30 finish. This is 2020, if Snider avoids a wreck, he’ll default to a top 15 finish.
12. Jeremy Clements ($8,900) - Over the last six races at Kentucky, Clements is averaging a 16th place finish and most if not all of those races were against stronger fields. If Clements doesn’t suffer a mechanical failure or get wrecked by Riley Herbst (Indy GP race), then he’ll be right around 10th place.
13. Anthony Alfredo ($8,200) - Last week was Alfredo’s worst race of the season, but it was a road course and he lost a lap because of a window net issue. Everywhere else, Alfredo is averaging a 9th place finish. That’s not bad for a rookie running part time.
14. Justin Haley ($9,100) - He attempted a two tire stop last year, and took the lead. That lead lasted right until the green flag dropped and he was immediately passed. Two tires and no tires work in the Cup and Truck series because of the high downforce. Haley was able to rebound and finished 10th.
15. Jeb Burton ($8,500) - This is Burton’s fourth race in the #8 Jr Motorsports car, but it’s actually his first race because the first three were at plate tracks and a road course. Burton will finally find out what this car has, and the answer is not much. The #8 car has not led a single lap all season and has failed to finish on the lead lap six times.
16. Joe Graf Jr. ($6,600) - He was on a roll and was improving each week, but then Talladega happened. That was followed by a Pocono race where nearly every car wrecked. Last week, Graf ran his first road race. As they say, growth is not linear. Kentucky is a great opportunity to move the growth line graph in a positive direction.
17. Garrett Smithley ($4,800) - This salary is egregious. For two years, Smithley was regularly priced around $7,000 in equipment weaker than what he will drive this week. The Bobby Dotter #07 car is decent. Smithley was around 20th place at Charlotte before a mechanical issue ended his race in stage 3. He finished 24th at Atlanta.
18. Brett Moffitt ($8,100) - There have been four intermediate track races since the Xfinity Series returned. At Homestead, Vinnie Miller wrecked into Moffitt. In the other two in which Moffitt participated, he finished 6th and 14th.
19. Jesse Little ($5,000) - The #4 car has been the best JD Motorsports car for years. Little is the best JD Motorsports driver. How can the driver 18th in the Xfinity standings be the 3rd cheapest driver?
20. Ronnie Bassett, Jr. ($4,700) - When a driver is the cheapest on the board, exceptions can be made. Bassett finished 19th at Atlanta. What’s the exception? He didn’t finish on the lead lap. That doesn’t matter when a Mario Gosselin car is this cheap. He finished and he finished inside the top 20.
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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.