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 NASCAR Cup Series DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover slate locks at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Kyle Larson ($11,800) — Any track where Larson won in a Chip Ganassi jalopy, that’s a Larson track. Last season, when he drove a Hendrick car at those tracks, he controlled those races.
2. William Byron ($11,000) — Is this the year the No. 24 Hendrick Chevy returns to the top? Or is this an overreaction to good results throughout a wonky schedule? Byron finished fourth in both of the last two Dover races.
3. Alex Bowman ($10,100) — During the first half of the 2021 Dover race, Bowman was the slowest of the four Hendrick cars. He took the lead on pit road and used clean air to his advantage and won. This might be Bowman’s best track with four top-5 finishes in the last five races.
4. Chase Elliott ($11,300) — Every week, Elliott is knocking on the door. He sits atop the NASCAR standings. A win is coming soon. Last season, he was knocking on the door at Dover.
5. Joey Logano ($10,600) — Did you know that Joey Logano has the third-best Real Rating this season (a statistic that comprehensively synthesizes a driver’s race). Quietly, Logano has been great this season. Don’t be surprised if he sneaks away with a win at Dover.
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6. Ryan Blaney ($10,300) — This is a good test. Dover has not been a good track for Blaney. He has been fast every week this season at each of the wildly different race tracks. This setup should be a layup for his new crew chief Jonathan Hassler.
7. Martin Truex Jr ($9,800) — Last year, Truex suffered damage at Dover. In the four previous races, he finished 2nd, 2nd, 2nd and 1st. In the last 10 races at his home track, he has eight top-10 finishes.
8. Ross Chastain ($8,600) — It’s difficult to pass at Dover (see Kyle Larson’s second-place finish in 2021 despite having the best car). It’s difficult to pass in the Next Gen car (see all of the oval races this season). Pit road will make or break a driver, and Chastain has the best pit crew.
9. Denny Hamlin ($9,500) — It’s difficult to get a read on 2022. There’s a new car and a joke schedule. The season basically began with an obstacle course. Hamlin struggled in the mud pit, but he looked good in the rubber band maze. How does that help us this week?
10. Kevin Harvick ($9,300) — Is he back? No one knows, but it’s better to be early to the party than late. Harvick ran 99% of his laps inside the top 10 at Dover last season.
11. Kyle Busch ($9,100) — This is a thing. There is enough data to support it. Kyle Busch is terrible in spring Dover races. He is cursed. Don’t fight the curse.
12. Tyler Reddick ($8,800) — Last year, Reddick earned a top-10 finish at Dover. He has been demonstrably better this season. Does that mean he’s a top-5 driver now or a possible Dover race winner?
13. Christopher Bell ($8,100) — What are we going to do with this schedule? Bell was good at Richmond and Martinsville but those are short, flat tracks. It feels like the beginning of the season.
14. Harrison Burton ($5,000) — In elite equipment, Burton was a major disappointment in the Xfinity Series and Truck Series. It’s not surprising that he’s struggling in the Cup Series, but it is surprising to see a quasi-Penske car priced at $5,000.
15. Todd Gilliland ($5,400) — Until his price moves north of $6,000, it’s Todd Squad for life! When he becomes too expensive, then the whole “for life” thing will be forgotten and the cherished punt will be abandoned.
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