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 the value of each driver.
The DraftKings EchoPark 250 slate locks at 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.
1. Martin Truex Jr ($11,300) - It’s been a while since Truex competed in an Xfinity race, but he just drove a high horsepower, low downforce car last week and won at Phoenix. The #54 JGR car has been lights out this season when Ty Dillon wasn’t wrecking into everything in sight.
2. Austin Cindric ($10,900) - In the first five races, Cindric has been the highest rated driver three times. He was the second highest rated driver at the Daytona Road Course and the 4th highest at Las Vegas. Cindric blew a tire under green at Las Vegas and still managed a top 5 day. He’s the king of Xfinity.
3. AJ Allmendinger ($10,300) - The Kaulig cars are for real. No one can run with Cindric, but Cindric isn’t perfect. At Las Vegas, Cindric’s race was ruined by debris, and AJ stepped up to claim the win. Even if Cindric didn’t have bad luck, a strong argument can be made that Allmendinger’s car was faster at Las Vegas.
4. Justin Haley ($9,200) - His finishing position won’t show it because he got spun out by Josh Berry, but Haley might have been the fastest driver on the track at Las Vegas. Before his incident in stage two, Haley was piling up fast laps in traffic.
5. Daniel Hemric ($10,000) - It’s the same old Hemric, he just can’t win. At Las Vegas, Hemric won every restart except the last one. Hemric is a lot like Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier. These drivers have to run a perfect race and they need other drivers to make mistakes. Eventually, Hemric is going to win this season. The car is fast, his pit crew is the best, and Hemric can’t choke every week.
6. Brandon Jones ($9,700) - At Las Vegas, Jones had an opportunity to win on the final restart. He was faster than his teammate, Daniel Hemric, and A.J. Allmendinger, but he was passive. Jones does not race hard. He only accepts the perfect, clean pass, and that’s why he rarely wins.
7. Noah Gragson ($11,500) - A perfect illustration of Jr Motorsports’ struggling intermediate track program is the Atlanta 2020 race. On the final run of the race, the three best cars were sent to the back (Briscoe, Cindric, and Allgaier). That left Gragson and Allmendinger alone to battle, and the Kaulig car easily beat the Jr Motorsports car.
8. Justin Allgaier ($10,600) - The Jr Motorsports intermediate track package is lacking, and that’s about as kindly as it can be put. Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted as much last week on his podcast. It’s become a weekly tradition to listen to radio transmissions of Allgaier and his crew chief Jason Burdett battling with the setup throughout the race.
9. Harrison Burton ($8,600) - A mechanical failure took Burton out at Homestead. In the next intermediate track race at Las Vegas, Burton worked his way into the top 5 in stage 3, but a bad block led to a spin. He rebounded with the help of cautions, but he has not looked elite this season.
10. Cody Ware ($4,500) - The #17 Rick Ware car (formerly the #07 Ware/Dotter car) might be the best of the second tier. Depending on the driver, this car is more dependable than Clements or the Gosselin cars. JJ Yeley has earned two top 15 finishes this season in this car. Ware is a downgrade, but this car is still in play.
11. Alex Labbe ($7,300) - Last week, Labbe’s teammate wrecked him at Phoenix. Ignore his Las Vegas finish because he got taken out in the Ty Dillon debacle. All of this means that he’ll start in the back again. At Las Vegas, Labbe had a 15th place car.
12. Josh Berry ($8,200) - Santino Ferrucci wrecked Josh Berry last week and Berry responded with a double finger salute. This rivalry seems like a bad movie script. The old late model racer versus the young kid from F1. Berry has quickly adjusted to the Xfinity Series, but his luck has been terrible.
13. Michael Annett ($9,000) - It’s surprising to see Annett starting this deep in the field, but the Jr Motorpsorts engines decided to blow up last week. At Las Vegas, Annett earned a legit 6th place finish. It wasn’t pit road shenanigans that earned that finish; it was a fast car.
14. Ryan Sieg ($9,400) - The more things change, the more things stay the same. Sieg is going to Sieg. There is so much promise, but endless disappointment. He wrecked at Las Vegas, but those wrecks will happen. At Phoenix, his wreck didn’t have to happen. He went full galaxy brain and stayed out on 25 lap old tires and wrecked.
15. Brett Moffitt ($8,400) - The Our Motorsports car is a top 10 car. It will fade on long runs, but with several cautions in stage three, this car can flirt with a top 5 finish. Moffitt was on his way to a top 10 finish at Las Vegas, but Ty Dillon forgot that mirrors existed and ran Moffitt into the wall.
16. Brandon Brown ($7,000) - Who is this guy? Brandon Brown made the playoffs last season and lived in the teens with Sieg and Clements. It appears that he has risen above this tier and is now a top 10 contender.
17. Joe Graf Jr ($4,700) - This is another scary value play. Graf is not a great race car driver, but he has decent equipment. He’s dirt cheap and his starting position isn’t as terrifying as the other drivers that are sub $5K.
18. Riley Herbst ($8,800) - In his rookie season, Herbst never accomplished much in JGR equipment. So far this year, he hasn’t accomplished much in SHR equipment. The wreck at Las Vegas wasn’t his fault, but this young driver desperately needs reps and early DNFs are only going to further stunt his growth.
19. Tommy Joe Martins ($4,900) - The value plays are brutal this week. DFS players can choose to play garbage at an inflated price or take good second tier cars at a discount. Martins closed out last season strong and has started this season as a top 20 driver every week, but is he starting too close to the front?
20. Kyle Weatherman ($5,100) - Predicting where Weatherman will finish is more challenging than a weatherman predicting the weather. He had a mechanical failure at Homestead, wrecked at Las Vegas, and then another failure at Phoenix. If he finishes, he can earn a top 25, but whether Weatherman finishes is the question.
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