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.
1. Brett Moffitt ($8,900) - As predicted, it’s impossible to pass the leader at Gateway unless you wreck the leader, like Sheldon Creed did to Todd Gilliland. Moffitt is Creed’s teammate and a respectable driver. He would not wreck Creed even though Moffitt’s truck was faster.
2. Sheldon Creed ($10,100) - Several times Creed has apologized for dirty moves on the race track, but after a while, these apologies ring hollow when the driver continues to wreck himself and others. Creed is fast, but there is a giant target on his back, and strangely enough, the driver most aiming for that target is himself.
3. Austin Hill ($9,900) - Gateway was a test and Hill passed. The Hattori truck is known for its intermediate track speed, but Gateway has some short track tendencies and it definitely aligns with the championship race track at Phoenix. Hill finished third last week and proved that this team can compete anywhere.
4. Greg Biffle ($8,100) - Chase Elliott won in the No. 24 GMS truck. Sam Mayer almost won in this truck last week. Biffle probably won’t win, but he has a really good shot at grabbing a top 10. He wouldn’t be racing, if he didn’t think he could at least earn a top 10.
5. Zane Smith ($9,500) - What Smith has done is unbelievable. Who would believe that a rookie could win two races without practice? He just jumps in and wins like it’s a video game. Darlington is challenging, but he’s been up to every challenge thus far.
6. Bayley Currey ($6,500) - In Currey’s two races with Niece Motorsports, he’s finished 16th and 18th. It’s worth repeating that he is a talented race car driver, but he’s spent most of his career in terrible equipment.
7. Tyler Ankrum ($7,800) - Even with the new COVID weekend schedule, Ankrum lacks experience and it shows. This weekend, no one has experience. The teams and the drivers do not know what they are doing. Talent means everything this weekend, and this could be an opportunity for Ankrum to snag a win.
8. Todd Gilliland ($9,100) - Make note of last week. The result does not show it, but Gilliland was the best driver at Gateway. This adds to the theory floated last week that Gilliland’s struggles are due to a Truck Series schedule heavily focused on slot car racing. At short tracks, Gilliland has been great. A smart Xfinity owner should buy low on Gilliland stock because he would dominate a low downforce series.
9. Derek Kraus ($7,900) - Last week, he battled issues with his truck, but he was still able to finish 13th. If his team builds a decent truck like they have been doing almost every week this season, then Kraus should earn a top 10 finish.
10. Chandler Smith ($10,300) - It’s 2020, so it’s not surprising that one of the most promising prospects in years wrecks every single week. At Gateway, Smith had driven up to seventh place before he got loose and hit the wall. It’s only going to get harder this week at Darlington.
11. Grant Enfinger ($8,700) - The No. 98 truck was lacking speed last weekend and that is concerning moving forward. Enfinger is not talented enough or lucky enough to get by with an average truck. He needs a fast truck and luck on his side. If he doesn’t get both, then he’s irrelevant.
12. Trevor Bayne ($7,600) - Anyone in a Niece truck starting close to 30th is a solid play. That is, anyone except for Mark Smith. Bayne gets a price hike because of his name recognition, but it’s not too high. He’s a decent driver in good equipment and he should be fine in cash games.
13. Matt Crafton ($9,300) - Some of the old guys have actually raced trucks at Darlington. Crafton finished fourth in the last truck race at Darlington in 2011. It’s reasonable to expect that any notes that he has from this race are worthless. If the notes are worthwhile, then they’re sitting on a laptop buried under who knows what in the garage somewhere.
14. Ben Rhodes ($8,500) - He only has one top 10 finish in his last four races, but his driver rating has not changed much. Earlier this season, he was finishing slightly better than where he was running. Now, he is finishing slightly worse.
15. Christian Eckes ($10,600) - Is Eckes another Gilliland or Burton? Those drivers were major disappointments for KBM and Eckes is following in their path. Eckes was in position to win the last two Gateway races, but he let other drivers use him up. It’s strange that Kyle Busch drivers are so unlike Kyle Busch.
16. David Ragan ($9,700) - The long waited David Ragan truck race is upon us. This race was supposed to happen at Atlanta in March, but COVID happened instead. Then NASCAR abandoned qualifying, which locked Ragan out of races for months. Finally, he’ll jump into a 15th place DGR-Crosley truck and finish 15th.
17. Johnny Sauter ($11,000) - It’s time to write off another season for Sauter. His two seasons with ThorSport have been an abject failure. Sauter is talented, but it’s just not working out. If Sauter did not have sponsorship connections, he would have been shown the door by now.
18. Ty Majeski ($7,400) - He did what he was supposed to do last week. Majeski should earn 10th place finishes every week in his Niece truck. Once this becomes routine, then he should start expecting more. For now, anything better than 10th seems like a stretch for the rookie.
19. Raphael Lessard ($7,300) - The team and truck can not get any better, but the driver can. Last week, Lessard showed what he can do on a good day. He’s been a 10th-to-15th place driver throughout most of his rookie season, but he might be on the verge of putting it together. He only needs to get a little better to take advantage of the excellent equipment that he has been given.
20. Austin Wayne Self ($6,900) - There have been plenty of times where AWS has wrecked another driver. Last week, he got wrecked, but he did not take it well. AWS tried to go back on the track and retaliate, but he failed to wreck the other driver. Why does this matter? This week AWS will need to be on his best behavior in order to avoid a suspension. Hopefully, this means safe driving.
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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.