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 B&L Transport 170 at Mid-Ohio slate locks at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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1. Austin Cindric ($10,900) - There won’t be a monsoon in Lexington, Ohio and Kyle Busch isn’t racing. Austin Cindric will be the most popular driver in the Xfinity DFS contest. He’s starting on the pole and he’s won four road course races.
2. AJ Allmendinger ($10,700) - This price might be a little too cheap. Allmendinger can earn a top 3 finish, double digit place differential points, and score hog points (fast laps and laps led). Allmendinger might be more popular than Cindric, and a lot of people will try to jam them both into their lineups.
3. Andy Lally ($8,900) - This has not been a good Xfinity season for Lally, but the Daytona Road Course race was a wreck fest and the weather at COTA was insane. Mid-Ohio could be a very mild race with a lot of lap turning. If that’s the case, then Lally could easily be the best point per dollar play.
4. Justin Allgaier ($9,900) - This is a contrarian play. Cindric and Allmendinger are better at road courses, but Allgaier has wins in road races where he wasn’t the best driver. In 2018, Allgaier beat Cindric at Mid-Ohio. He wasn’t better than Cindric; he was on a different tire strategy. That can happen again.
5. Noah Gragson ($10,200) - In his one race at Mid-Ohio, Gragson finished 5th. There are several similarly priced top tier Xfinity drivers starting just outside the top 10. Allmendinger is the obvious play because he can lead laps, but Gragson could be optimal if Allmendinger makes a mistake.
6. Preston Pardus ($7,900) - His background is in road racing. Although his finishes do not show it, Pardus has been very good in his few Xfinity road course races. His price might seem high, but he is capable of finishing inside the top 10 at Mid-Ohio.
7. Miguel Paludo ($9,300) - At the Daytona Road Course race in February, Paludo made a mistake and blew a tire. Fortunately, he was able to recover and he finished 7th. At COTA, he killed his transmission. That’s a mistake that he couldn’t recover from.
8. Kris Wright ($6,200) - Experience matters. Wright has not been very good in his few Xfinity Series road course races, but his sports car and open wheel racing laps have to mean something. Wright is starting near the back and is affordable.
9. Justin Haley ($9,100) - Once upon a time, Noah Gragson and Todd Gilliland were battling for a win in a Truck Series road course race. The teammates wrecked each other and Haley earned the win. Last season, Cindric and Allmendinger were battling for the win in the Indy GP. They didn’t wreck, but they didn’t win either, and Haley finished 2nd.
10. Kyle Weatherman ($5,300) - It might be time to go back to Kyle Weatherman as the value play this week. He hasn’t worked at ovals, but he’s been decent at road courses. In four of his five road course races, he’s finished 21st or better. A 25th place finish will get the job done.
11. Daniel Hemric ($10,000) - There are five drivers that cost $10,000 or more. Hemric will be the least popular of those drivers. His road racing history is the weakest and his pathways to success in DFS are limited. Not only does he need a top 3 finish, but he’ll need the favorites to fail.
12. Jade Buford ($6,000) - Big Machine Racing hasn’t had the greatest rookie season, but this is a weekend where they can shine. Buford has a road racing background and he has earned four top 20 finishes in his five Xfinity Series road course races.
13. Alex Labbe ($7,400) - He’s starting a little too close to the front and he’s not cheap enough, but that means he’ll go under owned. Labbe has top 5 talent and a top 15 car, that’s a steal at his price. He’s not going to score a lot of points, but he might score just enough points.
14. Harrison Burton ($9,500) - In order for Burton to be in the winning lineup, he has to win the race. Burton never wins races, let alone a road course race. A top 5 would be great for Burton, but that won’t even be a top 10 in DFS.
15. Josh Berry ($9,700) - This week he is racing for Jordan Anderson. That’s a significant downgrade from JR Motorsports, but the Jordan Anderson car has been fast in its limited appearances this season. Tyler Reddick finished 8th at COTA in this car.
16. Brandon Jones ($8,700) - He’ll never figure out road racing; he’s barely figured out oval racing. Jones always signs up for ARCA or Trans-Am race in order to get extra reps, but those additional laps never help.
17. Joe Graf Jr. ($4,700) - A Bobby Dotter car should never be priced below $5,000, but here we are. If anyone was going to sink this team, it was going to be Joe Graf. This is an ugly play, but Xfinity road racing isn’t racing for 75% of the race. All Graf needs to do is pass a couple inferior cars during the last five laps. If he can’t do that, then he needs to go home.
18. David Starr ($4,800) - He’s not a good road course racer, but he’s starting in the back and he has sponsorship. Starr doesn’t feel like a good play, but if he is paired with another sub $5,000 Hail Mary, then DFS players can get exposure to the $9,000 place differential plays.
19. Gray Gaulding ($5,100) - It’s all about the car. Gaulding is a top 15 driver in 30th place equipment. He can will this car into the top 25, if it stays in one piece. With the stages, Gaulding might be able to nurse the car around during stage one and two, and then drag it into the top 25 in the final laps of the race.
20. Ryan Sieg ($7,600) - He’s raced in over 25 Xfinity Series road course races, but he’s never improved. Sieg has a couple decent finishes, but he is out of his element. It’s unlikely that he is relevant this weekend, but it’s possible that a strategy play results in 10th place finish.
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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.
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