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 Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard NASCAR slate locks at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday.
1. Ty Gibbs ($10,300) — Is Ty Gibbs a road racing expert? In four Xfinity road course races, he has two wins, a second place finish and a DNF (mechanical failure). Perhaps it’s the car — the JGR Toyotas have won five of the six road course races this season.
2. Austin Cindric ($10,500) — Only Kyle Busch wins every Xfinity race. Expecting Austin Cindric to win every road course race is unreasonable. He has won a lot of them, but Austin Cindric is not elite and he’s not going to win every week. That being said, he should win this week. He’s going to get plenty of reps running double duty.
3. AJ Allmendinger ($10,400) — A speeding on pit road penalty prevented AJ Allmendinger from cycling to the lead in the Indy road race last season. The entire complexion of that race completely changes without that penalty. Even with the penalty, Allmendinger battled back at the end, but a rough battle with Cindric and Briscoe did not go his way.
4. Justin Allgaier ($9,900) — It’s hard to imagine that Allgaier beats the three favorites (Cindric, Allmendinger and Gibbs). It’s also hard to imagine that he finishes better than just one of them, let alone all three. He’s a top-5 driver, but he’ll need a significant break to get a win at Indy.
5. Noah Gragson ($9,700) — Last season at the Indy GP race, while Cindric, Allmendinger and Briscoe were banging into each other, Gragson slowly snuck up on them and quietly took a third place finish. Gragson’s third place finish is a perfect example of how hard it is for a surprise winner to happen. Even if two of the favorites fail, there’s still a third and final boss that has to be defeated.
6. Justin Haley ($9,400) — He’s a decent road racer — a lucky win at Bowmanville in the Truck Series in 2018 and three other top-5 finishes across the two lower series. One of those top 5s was a second place finish at the Indy GP last season. Haley is running double duty this weekend, so he’ll get plenty of reps.
7. Harrison Burton ($9,200) — Sans practice, Burton earned a fifth place finish at Watkins Glen. This week he will enjoy the benefits of practice. He will also enjoy the benefits of driving a JGR Toyota at a road course.
8. Daniel Hemric ($9,500) — His JGR Toyota will be capable of winning the race, but Hermic won’t be. The veteran Xfinity driver has yet to win a NASCAR oval race, so it’s very unlikely he’ll get his first win at a road course. Hemric will need to qualify poorly to be in play this weekend.
9. Andy Lally ($8,300) — There are a handful of talented road course drivers in this event, but as always, their equipment is lacking. Lally finished fifth at Mid-Ohio in solid equipment (Our Motorsports), but he was able to earn an impressive 13th place finish for BJ McLeod at Road America.
10. Michael Annett ($8,100) — After missing a race before the Olympics break due to a leg injury, Annett returned to the No. 1 Jr Motorsports car and finished 11th at Watkins Glen. Annett has a top 15 finish in every road course race this season with a high of third at Road America.
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11. Kevin Harvick ($10,100) — So far, his Xfinity experiment has been so-so. Harvick finished fourth at COTA and sixth at Road America. DFS players did not get what they wanted in those races, but Harvick got what he wanted — reps. That will likely be the plan, again.
12. Max Papis ($8,500) — It’s been a while since NASCAR fans have seen Mad Max race. Most DFS players probably only know him as William Byron’s coach and a guy that designs steering wheels. Papis has a couple podium finishes at the Indy road course and the No. 17 Rick Ware car is a top 15 car with the right driver.
13. Brandon Jones ($8,800) — Hopefully, Jones has a good qualifying run and DFS players do not have to consider playing him at the Indy road course. Jones has started deep in the field in several road course races and the potential place differential made him a popular, albeit risky target.
14. Brandon Brown ($5,200) — What’s with this price? The field is stronger this weekend, but if anything, that will push Brown’s starting position further back. His car is better than this price and he’s a better road racer than this price — he’s finished 12th or better in four of the five road course races this season.
15. Ryan Sieg ($5,100) — Brandon Brown and Ryan Sieg broke the DK pricing algorithm this week. This is the lowest they’ve ever been priced, and it comes at a high point in both of their careers. A road course discount makes sense, but this is an egregious price.
16. Kris Wright ($4,700) — Rejoice! The Kris Wright play finally worked. His finishes in the Sam Hunt No. 26 car had been all over the place going into Watkins Glen (18th, 32nd, 32nd and 25th), but he ran a clean race and finished 17th last week. If he earns another top 20, then he should be optimal at this price.
17. Will Rodgers ($5,500) — Sam Hunt Racing is going to try to get two cars into the Indy field. Rodgers has plenty of K&N Series road racing experience and won the 2018 Sonoma race against stout competition. He finished 14th at Nashville for Sam Hunt earlier this season.
18. Jade Buford ($6,400) — This is an awfully appealing price tag for a driver with a road racing background. Also, Buford is one of the few drivers with road racing experience that is driving decent equipment (Big Machine Racing). Buford finished 14th at the Indy GP last season.
19. Sage Karam ($6,800) — The Jordan Anderson No. 31 car has been a top-15 car when Jordan Anderson is not driving and Erik Jones is not wrecking — Jones was in ninth place when he wrecked at Watkins Glen on lap 66 of 82. Sage Karam has never won an IndyCar race, but he’s competed in 24 races between 2014 and 2021.
20. Loris Hezemans ($4,600) — Last season, Reaume Brothers Racing partnered with RSS. When this car is sponsored, it has top 20 potential. Hezemans is a EURO NASCAR driver with plenty of road course experience. He and his sponsor did not enter a race at Indianapolis to park.
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