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 Wise Power 200 slate locks at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
1. Kyle Busch ($15,000) - At Richmond, Kyle Busch was a disappointment, but the team experimented with different setups across the three KBM trucks. In the last intermediate track race at Atlanta, Kyle Busch humiliated the field.
2. John Hunter Nemechek ($10,100) - It’s hard to imagine anyone else winning the Truck Series championship this season. Nemechek outdueled Busch at Las Vegas, but Busch put on a clinic at Atlanta. Round three will likely be decided by the driver that limits their mistakes.
3. Zane Smith ($9,100) - It’s possible that Zane Smith could have won all three Kansas races last season. His teammates wrecked him in two of the races. In the other race, drivers gambled with their pit strategies and started ahead of him on the final restart, and he could not dig out of that hole.
4. Austin Hill ($8,900) - If something happens to Kyle Busch and John Hunter Nemecheck — the keyword there being “and” — then Austin Hill has a chance to lead laps and be optimal. Even if that happens, who is to say that Zane Smith doesn’t fill the void or that Sheldon Creed ($9,400) doesn’t wake up?
5. Chandler Smith ($7,500) - The lack of practice has limited the growth of the young phenom, but it looks like Smith is slowly figuring it out. His last intermediate track race was a disaster, but his setup at Atlanta was a mess.
6. Raphael Lessard ($6,600) - Last fall, Lessard triggered a major wreck at Kansas. He had solid, yet unexceptional races in the July doubleheader at Kansas. Other than his third place finish in the Bristol Dirt Race, this season has been a disaster.
7. Ross Chastain ($12,000) - His truck will not be as good as the race winning truck that he had at Kansas in 2019. Still, his part time Niece trucks were pretty fast last season. The issue with Chastain is that he needs hog points (fast laps and laps led points), and that’s not happening with Kyle Busch in the race.
8. Sheldon Creed ($9,400) - Here’s the deal, Sheldon Creed is a good driver and Jeff Stankiewicz is a good crew chief, but they can’t win races without money. This truck lacks sponsorship again this week, and it appears that their limited funding is catching up with them.
9. Carson Hocevar ($5,100) - The chalky value play is Tate Foglemen ($5,500). The scary GPP value play is Hocevar. At Atlanta, the scary Hocevar play was optimal. This Niece truck is fine, but Hocevar is young and unpredictable.
10. Chase Purdy ($5,600) - GMS had great trucks at Kansas last season. GMS has great trucks every weekend, and yet Purdy has very little to show for it. Purdy’s best finish this season was 18th in the Bristol Dirt Race. At some point, it will start to click, but until then, he’s burning DFS lineups.
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11. Tate Fogleman ($5,500) - Young’s Motorsports trucks are 20th-to-25th place trucks. Foglemen is their best driver in their best truck. He is way too cheap for a starting position of 35th.
12. Bret Holmes ($5,200) - Sam Mayer finished ninth in this truck at Richmond. Mayer is a much better driver and has much more experience, but this proves that the equipment is better than most. Holmes was running well at Las Vegas before his wreck. He didn’t do anything from the beginning at Atlanta, and it’s possible that his wrecked race truck was not fully repaired.
13. Grant Enfinger ($10,500) - This is a Rohrbaugh truck, not a ThorSport truck. That didn’t hold Enfinger back at Las Vegas, but he also benefited from one-third of the field wrecking out of the race. He was still surprisingly fast at Las Vegas given his equipment.
14. Christian Eckes ($8,100) - In the second Kansas race, Eckes nearly passed Crafton at the end for the win, but he could not get it done. If Eckes wins that race, his career could be a lot different. Instead, he’s hanging on to his dream as a part-time ThorSport driver.
15. Stewart Friesen ($7,600) - Close the book on the 2020 stats for Friesen. A pandemic is a terrible time to build a team from scratch. This season, Friesen has begun to look like the old Friesen, but the problem is that in 2021, there are more contenders than there were in 2019.
16. Matt Crafton ($8,700) - Last summer, Crafton ended a three-season winless drought at Kansas. How did he do it? He got lucky. He gambled and took tires early, and the race went green. Fast cars were trapped on the track with old tires and a fresh set sitting in the pits.
17. Brett Moffitt ($9,700) - This Niece truck isn’t bad, but it doesn’t compare to Moffitt’s previous equipment with GMS and Hattori. Moffitt is talented enough to wheel it into the top 10, but something funky will need to happen in order for Moffitt to be a contender in this race.
18. Ryan Truex ($8,000) - This is the last chance for Truex to make a name for himself, and it’s not going well. Truex looks off, and the Niece trucks simply aren’t competitive. He also doesn’t have a sponsor this week. Last year, Ty Majeski was supposed to make a name for himself in this truck, but when his sponsorship money ran out, Niece kicked him out of the truck.
19. Tanner Gray ($5,900) - Hocevar might be too risky and Fogleman might be too chalky. The first part is no surprise, but did anyone ever expect to read the second part of that sentence? Tate Fogleman chalk as I live and breathe. If neither sounds appealing, consider the DGR-Crosley truck that averaged a 16th place finish last season.
20. Todd Gilliland ($6,900) - This is a very cheap price, but Gilliland is starting close to the front and his truck isn’t great. If there are plenty of cautions and Gilliland is not one of them, then he can earn a top five finish in a short run race.
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