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 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 slate locks at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Kyle Busch ($10,900) — The DFS concern since the Covid 2020 break has been Busch’s struggles without practice. Let’s put an end to that narrative. Busch no longer needs practice. It is uncertain if Busch has gotten better at learning in the simulator or if his new crew chief is the answer. Regardless of the reason, Busch unloads fast and is a contender to lead laps every week.
2. Martin Truex Jr ($9,100) — To some, this has been a disappointing season for Truex because some expect him to win every week and at every type of track. To more sane individuals, Truex is having a great year. He won at Phoenix, Martinsville and Darlington. That’s three high horsepower wins and two at tracks that compare to New Hampshire.
3. Denny Hamlin ($10,000) — No one could touch Brad Keselowski’s car at New Hampshire in 2020. That No. 2 car won at New Hampshire, Richmond and it nearly won the championship at Phoenix. Hamlin was the closest to catching Keselowski at New Hampshire, but he has not replicated that type of speed this season.
4. Kyle Larson ($11,200) — The closest tracks in comparison to New Hampshire are Martinsville, Richmond and Phoenix. Penalties ruined Larson’s race at Phoenix, but he looked human at Richmond and Martinsville. These are heavy braking tracks that do not fit his driving style.
5. Alex Bowman ($8,200) — One of his low downforce wins doesn’t matter this weekend (Dover), but Bowman’s win at Richmond is interesting. The problem with assuming that his Richmond win could mean a New Hampshire win, is that his Richmond win was due to great pit stops and a great restart at the end of the race. That’s not easily duplicated.
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6. William Byron ($10,600) — He has been very close at winning in this package. The No. 24 Hendrick car was a top car at Phoenix, and a top 5 car at Martinsville, Richmond, Dover and Nashville. His teammates and Martin Truex earned the wins in those races, but soon enough, it will be Byron’s turn.
7. Chase Elliott ($9,800) — Outside of the road courses, this team can’t seem to get it together. If any setup works first, then it will likely be at a short track in the high horsepower package. Elliott has won two high horsepower races, but both were at road courses.
8. Brad Keselowski ($9,300) — He’s the reigning champ at New Hampshire, but this season he has not demonstrated excellence at the high horsepower tracks. In fact, he’s been better in the low downforce package this season.
9. Joey Logano ($) — Last season, Logano was the best driver at low downforce races in terms of running up front, but he rarely cashed in with wins (one low downforce win in the February Phoenix race). He hasn’t won a low downforce race this season, but he had the highest driver rating at Phoenix and the third-highest rating at Richmond.
10. Kevin Harvick ($10,300) — Nashville is still new, but it could be comparable to New Hampshire. Many analysts compared Nashville to Richmond, and Richmond is comparable to New Hampshire. The distributive property therefore links Nashville to New Hampshire, and Harvick had the fourth-best driver rating at New Hampshire. Now all we need is some cork board, string and Pepe Silvia.
11. Christopher Bell ($7,700) — It’s not surprising to see Bell struggle in the high downforce, low horsepower races because it’s not surprising to see anyone struggle in that terrible brand of racing. At the real races with the low downforce, high horsepower package, Bell has been able to show off his skills. He has the ninth-best driver rating in the real races.
12. Ryan Blaney ($8,700) — This is not a Blaney track or a Blaney type of track. He finished fourth at New Hampshire in 2019, but thankfully, that terrible racing package is no longer in use. This season, his driver rating ranks 13th at low downforce race tracks.
13. Kurt Busch ($8,500) — Every once in a while Kurt Busch earns a surprise win, then the world goes back to normal. Kurt won at Las Vegas last season, and then returned to irrelevance. He did the same exact thing at Kentucky in 2019.
14. Ryan Newman ($7,200) — At the end of stage one, Newman was in 17th place and on his way to fulfilling his role as chalk value play of the week at Atlanta. However, before the end of the stage, his tire came apart, forcing an unscheduled pit stop, and Newman lost a lap that he was never able to gain back — a pass through penalty didn’t help either. Newman will be starting in the back, once again.
15. Bubba Wallace ($6,500) — Did this team find something? Bubba says that his team has been giving him fast cars all season, and the poor results are on him. Is Bubba being a stand-up guy to cover for his team or have the poor results really been his fault. Bubba has four top 15 finishes in the last seven races — it’s possible that he’s starting to put it together, but it’s inconclusive.
16. Ross Chastain ($7,000) — Nashville may be nothing like New Hampshire. It might race more like an intermediate track or Richmond, but heavy braking and horsepower were a thing at Nashville and it will be a thing at New Hampshire. Chastain finished second at Nashville.
17. Aric Almirola ($8,400) — The No. 10 car has suffered for two reasons this season: it’s unlucky and Stewart-Haas Racing is not building great cars. At Richmond and Nashville both of those were not true. Almirola finished sixth at Richmond and fourth at Nashville.
18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($7,100) — Every time that it seems like STONK-house is going to the moon, he goes to the junkyard. He’s starting in the back this week and he was great at the last low downforce race at an oval (sixth at Nashville).
19. Justin Haley ($4,700) — If his car does not die, then Haley should default to a top 30 finish. His average finish this season is 30th, but that’s weighed down by some wrecks and failures. In the 12 races where he did not wreck or the car did not fail, Haley has an average finish of 28th. That’s not much better, but his price opens up a lot of roster combinations.
20. Corey LaJoie ($5,700) — For most DFS players, he’s not cheap enough. For the rest, he’s starting too close to the front. It’s a tough spot, but LaJoie has been surprisingly good in the high horsepower, low downforce package. His average finish is 20th in the last eight races in this package.
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