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 Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart NASCAR slate locks at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Kyle Larson ($12,000) — A 165 fantasy point performance at an intermediate track is a big deal. Larson embarrassed the field at Atlanta and the only reason he lost is because of a lapper. The SMT data reveals that Logano was intentionally blocking. Larson knew what Logano was doing, that’s why he radioed, “I hate Joey Logano.” This isn’t the first time Logano has intentionally blocked a Hendrick car. Logano pulled a similar dirty move on Chase Elliott at Homestead last season.
2. Chase Elliott ($9,800) — Kyle Busch spun his tires during the stage two restart. This lead to a collision that damaged the front end of Elliott’s car and later resulted in the #9 car blowing up. There’s also a tinfoil hat theory that alleges Elliott was illegally using too much bear bond on that cool day in Atlanta and his car blew up because it was too sealed off.
3. Kyle Busch ($10,300) — The first Atlanta race was a turning point for Kyle Busch. The #18 car shot to the front as soon as the green flag dropped. After the Atlanta race, the theory that Busch cannot compete without practice has lost a lot of traction.
4. Ryan Blaney ($10,500) — Crew chief Todd Gordon believes that Ryan Blaney is one of the best drivers in NASCAR when it comes to tire management. This skill is very valuable at high wear tracks like Atlanta and played a big role in his win. A major assist from his teammate was just as valuable.
5. William Byron ($10,000) — He ran the third-most laps inside the top 10, but a poor final run resulted in a disappointing finish. That last run is an issue that crew chief Rudy Fugle will have to address, but it may not matter much this weekend because this race is 100 miles shorter.
Refer a friend and get $20 DK Dollars! Head to the DraftKings Playbook Promo page for more details!
6. Denny Hamlin ($9,600) — He ran up front all race at Atlanta, but just like everywhere else, he had nothing for Kyle Larson. In post-race interviews, Hamlin told reporters that he wasn’t fast enough. His balance and handling were close, but not good enough to beat Larson.
7. Kevin Harvick ($10,900) — A valve stem issue on pit road led to a green flag pit stop in stage one and Harvick spent the rest of the race battling to get back onto the lead lap. As is usually the case, he hated his car when things weren’t going his way. However, once he was back on the lead lap, he liked his car.
8. Martin Truex Jr ($9,000) — Atlanta was a disappointing race for Truex. In the middle of the race, his team radioed to him that they flat-out missed the setup and there was nothing that they could do. The cool temperature might have played a part. The track should be hot and slick this weekend, and that typically plays to Truex’s advantage.
9. Ryan Newman ($6,100) — Despite a battery issue, Newman finished 13th at Atlanta. The Roush cars have been strong at the low grip tracks in Atlanta and Homestead. The summertime temperatures should make this track even more challenging this weekend, and that should be advantageous for the experienced veteran.
10. Alex Bowman ($9,400) — He had a good day on pit road at Atlanta which foreshadowed future wins at Richmond and Dover. Those wins were the direct result of speedy pit stops. The #88 car was fast, as it tends to be on cooler temperature days with higher grip levels. This weekend, the weather and the track will be the opposite.
11. Tyler Reddick ($7,100) — An early tire issue resulted in Reddick going a lap down at Atlanta. If it weren’t for the tire issue, then Reddick believes that he could have been a top 10 competitor. Even after his tire issues, he said that the car had a lot of speed and ran great lap times.
12. Joey Logano ($8,800) — The #22 team has improved their high downforce package of late, but they were terrible in the Atlanta race. The only notable event from that race was when Logano saved tires at the end of the race with the purpose of blocking Larson. The handful of laps that it took Larson to lap Logano, allowed Ryan Blaney to leapfrog Larson for the lead.
13. Brad Keselowski ($9,200) — In the first Atlanta race, Truex got loose and slid up in front of Brad Keselowski. Rather than let off the gas, Keselowski refused to back down and instead chose to run into Truex. The damage to his nose ruined the rest of his race. It’s moves like this that call into question whether BK’s departure from Team Penske was voluntary or not?
14. Daniel Suarez ($7,700) — This isn’t a CGR car until next season, but from the funding perspective, it might as well be. CGR has an engine alliance with Hendrick, and Trackhouse has an engine alliance with RCR. Hendrick and RCR use the same engines, so they’re all the same, and the results seem to back up this marriage of teams.
15. Aric Almirola ($8,000) — In the first Atlanta race, his car struggled on restarts and it didn’t have long run speed. The SHR #10 car was slow on short runs and long runs — that sounds like a Rick Ware car, but it’s not surprising based on how this season has gone for SHR.
16. Chris Buescher ($8,600) — Atlanta was another one of those outlier performances for Buescher (seventh place finish), but it’s not an anomaly to Buescher. According to him, his Atlanta car was similar to his Homestead car, and he earned 32 hog points in that race.
17. Austin Dillon ($7,900) — His RCR/Hendrick engine was fast at Atlanta. Early in the race, Dillon ended up four-wide on a restart, and dropped to 22nd place. He methodically worked his way to a sixth place finish with good restarts and by holding his position on long runs.
18. Kurt Busch ($8,400) — He finished stage one of the Atlanta race in fourth place. On the stage two restart, Kyle Busch spun his tires, and Kurt Busch got wrecked during the stack up. His CGR teammate, Ross Chastain, finished in 14th place.
19. Ryan Preece ($7,400) — He’s starting in the back for two reasons. The first is that he’s not a good race car driver — that’s your warning, if you’re considering putting him in your DFS lineups. The second is that his car blew up last week and he finished in last place. His JTG-Daughtery car is a top 25 car, if Preece doesn’t Preece.
20. Quin Houff ($4,500) — This is purely a DFS strategy play. Houff is not a good driver, but he can finish 32nd and score 12 points. His score doesn’t matter as much as the savings that he creates. It sounds like a terrible strategy, but Houff and other ugly punts have been optimal this season.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.