The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Saturday. The order is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol slate locks at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
1. Kyle Larson ($10,800) — The excuse for Larson was always that his Chip Ganassi equipment was holding him back. It turns out, the excuse was correct. In Larson’s first season with Hendrick, he won 11 races. The Bristol night race was one of those wins.
2. Chase Elliott ($11,200) — The cars feel different on concrete. Elliott has mastered this feeling. He has two wins at concrete tracks this season (Dover and Nashville).
3. Kyle Busch ($10,500) — Track history is important this week. It’s hard to find a driver with better results at Bristol. In the last eight Bristol races, Busch has three wins, a runner-up finish and three fourth-place finishes.
4. Denny Hamlin ($11,500) — Hungry Hamlin comes into Bristol having barely lost the last two races. After runner-up finishes at Darlington and Kansas, Hamlin has got to want a win. At the very least, the No. 11 Toyota has emerged as the championship favorite.
5. William Byron ($8,700) — Hendrick Motorsports are the kings of concrete. Byron’s teammates have all of the wins, but Byron has been right there in every race. He finished third at Bristol last fall.
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6. Christopher Bell ($10,200) — This is his third full-time season in the Cup Series, but in many ways it feels like his first real season. Bell has been at his best this season when racing at his favorite tracks. Bristol is a favorite.
7. Alex Bowman ($8,200) — Hendrick has consistently been fast at the concrete tracks. Last season, Bowman won at Dover and Kyle Larson won at Bristol and Nashville. This season, Elliott won at Nashville and Dover.
8. Ryan Blaney ($8,900) — The results don’t always show it — Blaney tends to get involved in the chaos — but Bristol is one of Blaney’s stronger tracks. If he can keep it clean, he could clear 100 DKFP on Saturday night.
9. Ross Chastain ($9,200) — Dover isn’t Bristol but it’s a valid data point. Both are steeply banked concrete tracks and results tend to correlate. Chastain led 86 laps and finished third at Dover in the spring.
10. Kevin Harvick ($8,500) — The 2021 season was a forgettable season for Harvick, but Bristol was one of his few strong races. He scored 92 fantasy points and finished second. In the 2020 fall Bristol race, Harvick won and scored 141 fantasy points.
11. Martin Truex Jr ($9,700) — A Bristol win has never materialized for one of the best short-track racers in the series. Good finishes have not materialized either — two top-10 finishes in the last 18 Bristol races.
12. Tyler Reddick ($9,900) — It seems like a galaxy-brain move to pick a driver that DNFs every week. Something always goes wrong for Reddick in the Next Gen car, and that’s at the normal tracks. How is he going to finish a race at this bull ring in the Next Gen car?
13. Joey Logano ($9,500) — Pop quiz: Has Joey Logano ever won at Bristol? Yes, twice — 2014 and 2015. Bristol just doesn’t feel like a Logano track, but that’s not quite true. He’s led plenty of laps at The Colosseum.
14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,800) — The Wrecky Spinhouse nickname is apt given Stenhouse’s recent struggles at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Early in his career, Stenhouse was good at Bristol. He still is, but like plate races, it’s easy to go on a streak of DNFs at this chaotic short track. Stenhouse finished second at Dover in the spring, and he earned the sixth-best driver rating.
15. J.J. Yeley ($5,100) — Let’s get weird. Rostering Yeley makes it very easy to target multiple hogs (drivers that hog all of the fast lap and laps led points). Over the last four Bristol races, his average finish is 28th, and he was in the optimal lineup in the last Bristol race.
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