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 Wawa 250 NASCAR slate locks at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
1. Austin Cindric ($8,800) — There is less parity in the Xfinity Series. In the Cup Series, thirty drivers have a legitimate shot at a top-5 finish at Daytona, but in the Xfinity Series, it’s half that number. In the Cup Series, drivers starting in the 20s are in the sweet spot, in the Xfinity Series that number shrinks to the teens. Cindric is in that sweet spot and he’s the reigning Daytona winner, so he should be very popular on Friday.
2. Justin Haley ($8,600) — His Cup Series Daytona win is a joke, but his three Xfinity Series plate track wins are not. He has the best plate track car and based on the stats, he’s the best plate racer in the series. Haley should be the favorite on Friday night.
3. Chase Briscoe ($11,500) — Is he too expensive? No, there are plenty of value options on this slate. Is his BJ McLeod car a McClown car? Even the McClown cars have a shot this weekend, but no — this is a legit Ford. If Briscoe does not wreck, then he’ll likely be optimal.
4. Daniel Hemric ($10,700) — Most drivers do not want their first win to come at a plate track — they want a real win. However, Hemric is now 197 races into his career without a win, so he’ll take a win at a go-kart track if it were officially sanctioned by NASCAR. The good news for DFS players is that he doesn’t need to win to work at Daytona.
5. Myatt Snider ($9,600) — An RCR car starting in the back half of the field at a plate track should elicit ownership. Snider has not been much of a downgrade to this team, having finished seventh at Daytona and ninth at Talladega.
6. Michael Annett ($9,800) — The drivers deep in the field are not that reliable and some are priced up. Annett isn’t cheap, but he’s starting far enough back and he is capable of a top-5 finish. He won at Daytona in his Jr Motorsports No. 1 car in 2019.
7. Brandon Brown ($10,100) — The pricing in the Xfinity Series is incredible. In the Cup Series, DFS players can pretty much play whoever they want, but it’s a little trickier in the Xfinity Series. Brown is safer than most cars in the back, but the safe cars are expensive, and how safe are the “safe” cars?
8. Colby Howard ($6,300) — He finished 12th in this race last season in a JD Motorsports car. At Talladega in April, Howard finished on the lead lap in 19th place. The car is good enough to earn a top 15, but Howard has to keep it out of trouble.
9. AJ Allmendinger ($7,700) — Kaulig Racing has a secret recipe at plate tracks. Ross Chastain and Justin Haley have won multiple plate races in these cars over the last several seasons. Allmendinger should have won at Daytona last summer, but he was wrecked on the final lap by his teammate, Chastain.
10. Sam Mayer ($10,400) — This is as risky as it gets. Mayer has wrecked in five of his seven Xfinity races and he suffered a mechanical failure last week. Throw on top of that the volatility of plate racing and you have one of the riskiest GPP plays of all time.
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11. Jordan Anderson ($7,200) — In 2020, Jordan Anderson finished second at Daytona in the Truck Series. He probably could have won that race, if he were more aggressive. Instead, he allowed Grant Enfinger to bully him on the final lap. That’s a bad look for Anderson, but Anderson’s timidity is appealing to DFS players that do not need wins, just safe top 5s.
12. Alex Labbe ($7,000) — In three of the last six plate races, Labbe has finished 11th or better. His best finish over that span is ninth place. Based on the numbers, he’s got a 50/50 shot of replicating that performance, and if he does, then he’ll likely be in the winning lineup.
13. JJ Yeley ($9,200) — The No. 17 Rick Ware car is more dependable than the other small team cars starting in the back, but it’s not $9,200 dependable. DraftKings is turning the screws and trying to make DFS players make tough decisions, but a couple cheapies always come through, so Yeley’s excessive price tag is not too much of a hindrance.
14. Christopher Bell ($8,900) — It’s a toss up between Jeb Burton ($9,400) and Bell. Normally, JGR equipment is far superior, but that’s not the case at a plate track — Kaulig cars are the best. Still, Bell is simply a better driver. Burton has a win at Talladega, but rain shortened finishes hardly count.
15. Riley Herbst ($7,900) — In two of the last four plate races, Herbst has been optimal. This spring at Talladega, he started 17th and finished fifth. At Daytona last summer, he started 10th and finished fourth. In the Xfinity series, the winning lineup is not always an avalanche of place differential points.
16. Justin Allgaier ($8,200) — Is “stack in the back” dead? It might not be wise to simply play drivers starting in the back. If Allgaier and several top tier drivers — all with cheap price tags — finish inside the top 5, then they might be better point per dollar plays than the drivers in the back.
17. Noah Gragson ($7,600) — Welcome to Bizzaro World. Gragson is $7,600 and JJ Yeley is $9,200. DraftKings is not playing around. They know DFS players stack the players starting in the back, so now they’re going to force DFS players to think about starting drivers in the front in good equipment. DFS players will think about it, but whether they do it is another thing.
18. Harrison Burton ($8,000) — Not only can the shockingly affordable top tier drivers be the best point per dollar plays, but they could score more raw points than the Hail Marys in the back. Burton can score 50 points easily and that’s very close to being an optimal score.
19. Joe Graf, Jr. ($6,100) — This is an ugly pick, but it’s a plate race. Graf has finished outside of the top 20 in six of his seven plate races and outside of the top 30 in five of seven. However, he finished 11th at Daytona to start the season and a driver can’t wreck in every plate race.
20. Blaine Perkins ($5,400) — A driver’s first plate race might be a good thing. It’s probably better than their second or third plate race. In those races, a driver is too confident. Perkins will be very careful and hyper aware in his plate racing debut, and those are important characteristics for DFS players looking for drivers that will survive to the 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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