The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Saturday’s race at Road America. 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. A.J. Allmendinger ($12,000) - A top-3 finish and a boatload of place differential points are nearly guaranteed and those place differential points are quite significant in a 45 lap race. The only debate is whether he’ll win. Given his polite demeanor on the track and the ruthlessness of the spoiled brats he’s racing against, the win will not come easy. He’ll have to get his hands dirty.
2. Austin Cindric ($11,000) - NASCAR doesn’t want him stinking up the road courses by leading all of the laps, so they kneecapped him at Indy. He should have won at Road America last year, but his team chose an unnecessary contrarian pit road strategy.
3. Scott Heckert ($7,100) - He finished 14th at Watkins Glen last year, and it wasn’t a fluke. His average running position was 17th against a strong field that included Kyle Busch and A.J. Allmendinger. The road ringer is a good bet to earn another top-20 finish for BJ Motorsports.
4. Preston Pardus ($7,500) - At Indy, Pardus got an opportunity in a decent car and he earned a top-10 finish. The only thing that was holding him back in his previous Xfinity races was his equipment. Last year, his dad bought a stock car, but the thrown together ride didn’t survive at Road America. In Pardus’ second race, Harrison Burton wrecked him at the end.
5. Josh Bilicki ($6,500) - Despite his road racing experience, Bilicki never seems to live up to the expectations of DFS players. He’s never in great equipment and he never runs a clean race. There will be times on Saturday where Bilicki is comfortably running inside the top 15, but this never seems to last.
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6. R.C. Enerson ($7,900) - This week the revolving door to the No. 07 car welcomes a former Indy Lights driver. Enerson has a road course win in the Indy Lights series and a top-20 finish in each of his four Xfinity road course races. Jade Buford finished 14th in this car at Indy.
7. Alex Labbe ($8,800) - At the Indy GP course, the seasoned Canadian road racer walked his way into the top 10. From there, an ascent into the top 5 was much more challenging. Labbe has skill, but that can only get so far in a series dominated by rich kids in world class equipment.
8. Noah Gragson ($10,000) - He’s not a prototypical road racer, but he has the machine and the skill to consistently earn top-5 finishes at road courses. His strength will also be his weakness this weekend. Gragson is too aggressive, and that could result in a win or finishing a lap down. He did not shy away from trading paint on the Indy GP Circuit in the final laps.
9. Chase Briscoe ($10,300) - He has two road course wins, but neither wins are demonstrations in road racing excellence. An unfair strategy advantage as a part-time driver in a Roval playoff race led to win number one and NASCAR deliberately disadvantaged Allmendinger and Cindric in his other win.
10. Justin Allgaier ($10,600) - He’s capable of winning, and he’s also capable of wrecking. Allgaier won two road races in 2018, and he wrecked in two road races in 2019. At Indy, a pit road mistake late in the race knocked him out of contention.
11. Ross Chastain ($9,500) - This is not Chastain’s cup of tea, but he did what he was supposed to do and earned a top-10 finish at Indy. Kaulig Racing can win this weekend, but if they’re smart they will focus their resources on winning with Allmendinger or Haley.
12. Harrison Burton ($9,000) - One would expect Burton to struggle in road races due to his lack of experience, but experience doesn’t matter. Burton has millions of dollars of support behind him and that cash bought a top-10 ride for Burton at Indy. Unfortunately, millions of dollars can purchase a fool proof ride, but it can guarantee that a tire changer will screw on a lug nut correctly.
13. Riley Herbst ($7,800) - You are witnessing the future of NASCAR. Practice has been outlawed this season unless you are willing to pay for it. Herbst bought a ride in the Road America Trans Am race just to get practice this weekend. Welcome to new NASCAR where practice doesn’t come with the race, it’s a baggage fee.
14. Brandon Jones ($8,400) - He wrecked in practice and proceeded to wreck again and again in the Road America race, but his car survived the abuse. It finished on the lead lap, but not all of the parts finished on the lead lap. Fortunately for Jones, a caution at a four mile track gives pit crews what feels like a lifetime to work on damage.
15. Kaz Grala ($8,200) - A part-time race at Road America is nothing new. Grala did this exact same thing in the exact same car last season and finished 5th. As long as Grala survives the restarts and doesn’t race like his career depends on a win, he should easily earn a top-10 finish.
16. Andy Lally ($9,100) - Corporate NASCAR has pretty much destroyed 20th century stock car racing, but one final vestige that will not quietly fade away is Xfinity road ringers. They never win, but it’s fun to watch them and long for halcyon days. Lally has five Xfinity road course top-10s against much stronger fields.
17. Jeremy Clements ($8,600) - Once upon a time, Jeremy Clements won a road race at Road America. It seems like an unbelievable fairy tale, but it really happened. Clements is a decent road racer, but a win seems unbelievable. On that day, the field was weak and the strategy fell right into his lap.
18. Justin Haley ($9,300) - If there is a restart to end this race like there was last season, then Road America will turn into a WWE donnybrook. Haley has been one of the most aggressive and out of line drivers this season. When the top five drivers tried to wreck each other on the final laps at Indy, of course Haley was right there with a steel chair rightfully taking his 2nd place finish.
19. Daniel Hemric ($9,700) - Mid-Ohio and Road America are possibly the weakest races in the series. They’re one-off races absent of talent. To many, they’re unofficial exhibition races. In the real road race against real talent at Watkins Glen, Hemric has never earned a top-10 finish. At Mid-Ohio and Road America, Hemric has three top-three finishes.
20. Myatt Snider ($8,000) - After a year of road racing in Europe, DFS players expected a little more than a 16th place finish at Indy. Snider can probably squeeze a couple more spots out of his car, but not many. The RSS No. 93 car isn’t very sporty.
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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.