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.
1. Austin Cindric ($10,700) - For those living in a cave, Cindric is the best driver in the best car with the best team in the Xfinity Series. This season is going to be a bloodbath. Other drivers might have a chance at the short tracks, but not at the road courses. Cindric has the possibility of becoming one of the best road course racers in NASCAR history.
2. A.J. Allmendinger ($10,900) - His setup was way off here last season, but he still had a chance. Allmendinger would have cycled to the lead early in the race, but a pitting outside of the box penalty forced Allmendinger to go a lap down. He battled back at the end of the race and earned a fourth place finish. Two months later, he won at the Roval, again.
3. Brandon Jones ($9,000) - In the past, Jones would run Trans Am races to prep for the Xfinity races. It never worked; he was terrible. Last year, he had no choice but to go into the DRC race with no experience, and he earned his best road course race finish ever. Jones is starting dead-last. He’ll be the most popular pick this weekend.
4. Ty Gibbs ($4,700) - Does DraftKings not know his last name? This is Joe Gibbs’ grandson. The 18-year-old already has 11 NASCAR wins (ARCA and K&N). He finished second in the ARCA race at the Daytona Road Course last season.
5. Michael Annett ($8,700) - Over his last 14 Xfinity road races, his average finish is 14th. Annett should easily be able to drive his JR Motorsports car up to the top 10. That’s a return north of 6x value; he’ll be very popular this weekend.
6. Justin Haley ($10,000) - He got lucky and won a Truck Series road course race in 2018, and he has been decent in his Xfinity road races. Last year, he didn’t last long at the Daytona Road Course. The Kaulig setups weren’t great. A wise driver would have taken it easy, and made changes during the stage breaks. Not Haley, he pushed the car to the edge and wrecked out early.
7. Miguel Paludo ($8,200) - The No. 8 JR Motorsports car will be driven by a road ringer this weekend. His road course resume includes 259 races and 36 wins. In three full-time seasons in the Truck series (2011-2013), his average finish was 15th.
8. Alex Labbe ($8,800) - This is year four of Xfinity series DFS. By now, everyone knows that the Canadian is a pretty good driver, and a strong road course racer. The only thing holding Labbe back is his equipment, yet he can still earn a top 10. Still, with his starting position (36th), a 15th-to-20th place finish will work, too.
9. Andy Lally ($9,400) - There will always be road ringers in the Xfinity series, and Lally has become a regular. Last year, Lally earned two fifth place finishes for Our Motorsports and that includes a fifth place finish at the Daytona Road Course.
10. Riley Herbst ($8,100) - A couple of drivers are running double duty this weekend. Last year that was illegal. Labbe got into trouble for just practicing in a sports car event. The rule is gone, and Herbst will get extra reps in the Truck race. This is a huge advantage for a driver that does not need one. Herbst earned a top 10 at the DRC last season and his SHR car led half of the laps in that race.
11. Justin Allgaier ($10,500) - A couple years ago, Allgaier won a road race at Mid-Ohio. The field was weak and at the end, Allgaier was on fresh tires while Cindric was on old tires. Allgaier was on the cusp of a top five finish at the Daytona Road Course last season before Allmendinger accidentally wrecked him.
12. Noah Gragson ($10,300) - Whatever he lacks in road racing skill, he makes up in aggression. There are more talented drivers in the field, but Gragson always seems to will his car into a top five at the road courses.
13. Preston Pardus ($7,600) - He’s a talented road racer with decent equipment. In the races where he has wrecked (Daytona Road Course and the Roval), he was easily a 10th-to-15th place driver. As a part-time driver trying to make a statement, these wrecks should be expected.
14. Kris Wright ($4,600) - This is yet another befuddling price point set by DraftKings. Sam Hunt Racing is not a top-tier team, but they’ve been competitive. Kris Wright has been a road course racer since 2015 and he has earned 3 wins.
15. Cody Ware ($6,200) - This was a popular car in DFS last season (Bobby Dotter & Rick Ware Alliance). In a weaker car, Ware was able to finish seventh at the Roval last season. Ware finished fourth in the Rolex 24 at the Daytona Road Course a little over a month ago.
16. Jade Buford ($8,500) - This is a little pricey, but Buford has road racing experience and it showed in the 2020 Xfinity road races. He averaged a 13th place finish last season road racing for small teams. He’s still with a small team, Big Machine Racing, and this is only their second race ever.
17. Harrison Burton ($9,200) - There will be growing pains between Burton and his new crew chief Jason Ratcliff, but this should not be one of those weeks. Ratcliff won an Xfinity road course race with Christopher Bell in 2019.
18. Myatt Snider ($7,800) - All of his Euro NASCAR road racing didn’t seem to matter last season. In Snider’s defense, what was he supposed to do in the No. 93 RSS car? He’ll be a legitimate contender this weekend in RCR equipment.
19. Brett Moffitt ($6,300) - In the Truck Series, Moffit has been a good road course racer. He finished third at Mosport in 2018 and he won at the Canadian track in 2019. In 2020, he finished second at the DRC. His skill checks out, but does his Our Motorsports car have enough speed?
20. Daniel Hemric ($9,700) - He’s never been a good road racer, and after the last two seasons, it’s fair to question whether he’s a good stock car racer. After wrecking on a weekly basis last season, it would seem logical that Hemric would take it easy to start the season, especially at a road course where he does not have any experience.
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