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 Alsco Uniforms 302 NASCAR slate locks at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
1. Austin Cindric ($10,200) — The car is the fastest in the series and Cindric might be the best driver at the moment, but luck is not on the side of the No. 22 team. Last week at Bristol, Cindric led 75 laps and was on his way to a win until a late race caution changed everything.
2. Noah Gragson ($10,700) — “Noah Gragson has entered the chat.” After consecutive wins at Darlington and Richmond, Gragson is a favorite to win the championship. This is a momentum sport, but not because of intangible confidence — teams go on streaks because the engineers have discovered speed.
3. Justin Allgaier ($10,000) — Jason Burdett, crew chief for Justin Allgaier, said that the No. 7 car is at its best at the unique tracks. Las Vegas is not a unique track. If there is such a thing as a cookie cutter intermediate track, then Las Vegas is one of them.
4. AJ Allmendinger ($9,800) — It’s better to be lucky than good. Allmendinger is running hot right now, and he deserves it after years of struggling in inferior equipment. The Kaulig No. 16 car is not the fastest in the series, but it’s fast enough to capitalize on late race cautions and other drivers’ mistakes.
5. Ty Gibbs ($11,000) — What’s wrong with Ty Gibbs? All kidding aside, seriously, what’s wrong with the No. 54 JGR car? When Ty Dillon failed to produce in this car, fans were quick to blame the driver, so shouldn’t Ty Gibbs receive the same treatment?
6. Harrison Burton ($9,200) — Last week was another winless week for Burton, but he earned his series-leading 19th top-10 finish (tied with Austin Cindric). It doesn’t appear that this team is going to break through with a win, and it also appears that they’re fine with that.
7. Josh Berry ($10,400) — With Michael Annett out, Berry gets another opportunity in top tier equipment. To no one’s surprise, Berry — a legendary late model racer — has been at his best at short tracks. This is not to say that he cannot win at an intermediate track, but there are top tier drivers with much more experience at the 1.5 mile tracks.
8. Brett Moffitt ($8,400) — The primary Our Motorsports car can be a top-10 car, but Moffit has been wildly inconsistent in his two Xfinity Series seasons with the team. He’s a past Truck Series champ and his Xfinity cars have been decent, but the inconsistency is inexcusable at this point.
9. Daniel Hemric ($9,600) — At Bristol, Hemric led 78 laps, but when the real racing took place in stage 3, Hemric was nowhere to be found — finishing 10th. Let’s just embrace that Hemric will never win a race and keep a weekly counter. Hemric is now 203 races into his career without a single win.
10. Riley Herbst ($7,900) — Quietly, Herbst has earned back-to-back top-5 finishes for the first time in his career (excluding two consecutive top 5s in 2020 that included Daytona). Let’s pump the brakes and take it easy before we declare that he has turned the corner, but maybe we don’t have that luxury. If Herbst earns a top-5 finish at Las Vegas — his home track — he could squeeze into the optimal lineup.
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11. Ty Dillon ($8,600) — Last week, Dillon was shifted to the secondary Our Motorsports car, but he earned his third consecutive top-15 finish. It’s hard to say if this team can improve this late in the season, but Dillon is fast enough to benefit from late race cautions.
12. Jeb Burton ($8,100) — For most of the season, Jeb Burton has been unplayable because of his starting position and price. His starting position and price were the result of solid performances. Finally, he is affordable and starting in a position where a solid performance could be optimal.
13. Myatt Snider ($8,300) — It’s easy to miss him. He’s not starting upfront and he’s not in the back of the field. He’s not expensive and he’s not cheap. He’s earned a top-10 finish in three of his last four races and six of his last nine.
14. Brandon Jones ($9,400) — This has been the second-worst season of his career, and that says a lot because he’s never really had a good season. With that being said, every time Jones has won, no one expected him to win, so this week is as good as any.
15. Justin Haley ($8,800) — Allmendinger is winning races in the same equipment and it’s Allmendinger’s first full time season with the team. This is Haley’s third season with the team and he’s yet to win a non-plate race for Kaulig. The only variable that is different is the driver.
16. Sam Mayer ($9,000) — The talent is there, but bad luck, mistakes and every break is going against him. The No. 8 JR Motorsports car is fast, but something goes wrong every week. Mayer will be in a winning GPP lineup before the end of the season, but he’ll have destroyed plenty of lineups before getting there.
17. Matt Jaskol ($5,000) — In his last race, he finished 27th at Texas. That will work at this price. Las Vegas is Jaskol’s hometown and this will be his first NASCAR race at Las Vegas. Carl Long wouldn’t give him a junker for this race, would he?
18. Dylan Lupton ($5,800) — Several years ago, Lupton and Kaz Grala looked like they were building a solid Xfinity Series team at JGL Racing, but out of nowhere, the team folded. Lupton has talent, he just needs a quality ride, and the Sam Hunt No. 26 car is not too far off.
19. J.J. Yeley ($7,600) — His price tag makes roster construction more challenging, but that also lowers his ownership. Yeley has not been automatic in the No. 17 Rick Ware car this season, but he’s also been given the challenging races. This weekend is different; setting up the Xfinity car for Las Vegas should not be too challenging.
20. C.J. McLaughlin ($4,900) — He is starting dead last and can finish there, this is a Mike Harmon car. However, if this jalopy does not fall apart, then McLaughlin can squeeze into the optimal lineup via attrition.
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