The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday. The order is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings NASCAR All-Star Race slate locks at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Kyle Larson ($10,200) — It’s almost as if the rules were designed to prevent Larson from winning again. Even with the rules as they are, Larson will likely find a way to win again. He is the Michael Jordan of NASCAR.
2. Denny Hamlin ($9,900) — The unique All-Star Race rules heavily influence DFS lineup construction. Finishing position and place differential points will be the two key scoring categories. Only the drivers starting in the back half of the field will have an opportunity to score double-digit place differential points. The likely result will be that Hamlin is one of the highest-owned drivers on this slate.
3. Kyle Busch ($8,200) — The biggest jerk is going to win this race. The driver that blocks, runs others three wide and refuses to push other drivers to the lead. Kyle Busch has a reputation for being a little bit of a prick, but who wouldn’t be for a million dollars?
4. Brad Keselowski ($7,700) — In the high downforce package, Keselowski has been one of the best drivers on restarts this season, netting 26 positions in five races. This race will be all about restarts, making Keselowski a favorite to win the one million dollar prize.
5. Ryan Blaney ($9,600) — The No. 12 car has been fast at intermediate tracks this season, but that doesn’t matter. Blaney is said to be an expert at managing tire wear on long runs, and that’s how he won at Atlanta. That’s irrelevant. Blaney has a great opportunity to score fantasy points from his starting position in the back, but he has to survive. All of these drivers know that the millionaire at the end of the race will be the craziest and luckiest driver.
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6. Kevin Harvick ($8,700) — Texas has been one Kevin Harvick’s best intermediate tracks. He won at Texas in 2018 in a low downforce package, and he won in 2019 in a high downforce package.
7. Martin Truex Jr ($9,100) — The biggest weakness for Martin Truex over the last two seasons has been his inconsistency on restarts in the high downforce package. In the offseason, Truex switched spotters with the hope of being able to better navigate the madness of split second lane choices, aggressive blocks and pushes. It hasn’t worked out for him, but in all fairness, no one has been consistent in this brand of racing.
8. Alex Bowman ($9,300) — This race will come down to the final restart. Bowman has stolen two wins this season by nailing the final restart (Richmond and Dover). DFS players do not need to roster the best drivers on restarts, they need to roster the best driver on the last restart.
9. Kurt Busch ($6,900) — Finally, Kurt Busch had a good race last weekend at Sonoma. He can take that positive momentum and try to win one million dollars or he can blow those good vibes by wrecking in what looks to be a wild race. Regardless of the outcome, Kurt’s starting position of 13th place should make him a popular target on Sunday night.
10. William Byron ($8,000) — In the last high downforce race, the Hendrick Motorsports cars put on a clinic at Charlotte. Their cars will likely be the class of the field again, but it is unknown how much their equipment advantage will matter in a six stage, short run race. If everyone decides to play nice for most of the restarts, then Byron and the HMS cars seem to be the play.
11. Chase Elliott ($8,500) — He’s the reigning All-Star Race winner as if that means anything, but it does mean one million things to his bank account. This race will be chaotic and drivers are more likely to burn 200 grand wrecking on a restart than they are to win $1 million.
12. Joey Logano ($7,500) — This hasn’t been a great season for Logano in the high downforce package, but that is meaningless this weekend. Every team is building a short run car and hoping that their driver makes the right moves on the restarts. Logano was one of the best drivers on restarts at Charlotte.
13. Ryan Newman ($6,200) — Twenty years ago, Ryan Newman won the All-Star, so he’s due. This field was set by current race winners, a past champion, and an All-Star winner. Newman does not have race winning equipment, but if this plays out like a plate race, then all bets are off.
14. Michael McDowell ($6,300) — This isn’t a plate race, so McDowell doesn’t stand a chance, but it’s as close as it gets to a plate race. There will be at least six restarts in this package and a lot of torn up race cars. McDowell is a long shot, but he can earn a top 5 finish through survival.
15. Christopher Bell ($7,200) — The drivers starting in the front of the field need a lot of help. If this were a normal race, then Bell would have a higher probability of leading laps than most of the field, but this isn’t a normal race. With the field inverts, the only way Bell is optimal is if he wins the race.
16. Austin Dillon ($6,600) — All of the risky drivers are starting near the front of the field. It will be extremely contrarian to roll the dice with Dillon, Custer, or Bell. If this race is an absolute train wreck, and that seems to be the plan, then Dillon might sneak into the winning lineup.
17. Cole Custer ($5,900) — For Custer to work, the field needs to wreck out. If Custer is fortunate enough to lead a portion of this race, he’s going to get shifted back into traffic during the stage breaks because of the rules. It’s all about finishing position and place differential points, and Custer cannot earn place differential points.
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