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NASCAR Fantasy Rankings: DFS Picks on DraftKings for NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500

Pearce Dietrich gives his picks and ranks his top drivers for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500, which locks at 2:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings.

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 Daytona 500 slate locks at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $2.25M Fantasy Racing Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semis Entry] (Cup)

1. Bubba Wallace ($9,400) — About half of the time, a driver wrecks at Daytona. Bubba has defied the odds by finishing 17th or better in 10 of his 11 Daytona races. He’s nearly won a handful of those races.

2. Ryan Blaney ($10,100) — Some guys just got it. There are elite drivers that can’t buy a break at the plate tracks and others that regularly earn top-10 finishes and win disproportionately. Blaney is one of the lucky ones. He’s been optimal in DFS the fourth-most.

3. Austin Dillon ($8,000) — The stats do not lie. Dillon has always been a good plate racer from the Trucks to Cup. He has a Daytona 500 win and last season he added the summer session to his CV. To finish first, first a driver must finish. Dillon has a top-20 finish in 21 of the last 31 plate races (most).

4. Ross Chastain ($9,200) — Atlanta isn’t a pure plate track, but it’s pretty close. It wouldn’t surprise anyone that if in year two of Atlanta's new super-speedway configuration, Atlanta went full blown Daytona. If that’s the case, the Melon Man earned two runner-up finishes at Atlanta in 2022.

5. Austin Cindric ($8,200) — Was Brad Keselowski a great plate racer or does Team Penske have a great plate-track program? Cindric won the 2022 Daytona 500 and finished third in the summer race.

For NASCAR insight and quick DFS help, follow Pearce Dietrich (@Race4thePrize) on Twitter.

6. Denny Hamlin ($10,300) — Last season, Hamlin’s best finish at Daytona was 25th. Wrecks happen. It’s Daytona. None of this changes the fact that he’s one of the best plate racers of all time. His five wins and average finish of 17th (tied for second-best) back that up.

7. Joey Logano ($10,000) — Just about everything is going well for Logano. He’s the defending champ. Team Penske builds great cars for Daytona. Logano is one of the best super-speedway drivers. He was even able to regrow his hair.

8. Aric Almirola ($6,200) — His 10 optimal lineup appearances at restrictor plate tracks (dating back to the inception of DFS NASCAR in 2015) are the most in fantasy racing. The next closest drivers are Erik Jones ($6,600) and Michael McDowell ($6,500) with seven apiece.

9. Martin Truex Jr ($8,400) — This pick is the best representation of restrictor plate racing. Statistically, Truex has been the worst ever. Not recently, ever. Then what happened? He magically stopped wrecking. In the six super-speedway races last season, he earned five top-15 finishes.

10. Justin Haley ($5,600) — His Cup Series plate-track sample size is small (13 races), but Ryan Preece ($6,800) has fewer plate races and people accept his plate-track stats. In that sample size, Haley is tied for the fourth-best average finish in this field. Also, he has four Xfinity Series plate-track wins.

11. Chase Elliott ($10,400) — It’s not for lack of trying, but Elliott has never won a Cup Series race at Daytona. It’s for lack of luck. He’s won at Talladega, and he’ll get significant reps in the Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona on Friday night.

12. Kevin Harvick ($7,800) — Only a few drivers have competed in every plate-track contest since the inception of DFS NASCAR at DraftKings. Harvick is one of those drivers. In those 31 races, Harvick finished inside the Top 20 at a rate of 61%. That ranks third behind Austin Dillon (68%) and Denny Hamlin (65%).

13. Kyle Larson ($9,900) — Plate racing is the final piece of the puzzle. Larson has mastered everything else. He could probably race underwater at this point. It’s not that he hasn’t figured it out. Larson won an Xfinity Series race at Daytona in 2018. The Cup Series plate-track win will come.

14. Kyle Busch ($9,600) — Austin Dillon and his former RCR teammate, Tyler Reddick ($9,000), held off the field for the win in the last race at Daytona. That race was a two-day, chaotic affair. That’s almost the norm for the Daytona Summer race. Busch doesn’t need chaos to win, but just like everyone else, he’ll need luck.

15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($6,900) — It’s a bad sign when the Google Docs autocorrect algorithm wants to change Ricky to Wrecky. Stenhouse was a good plate racer to begin his career. He peaked in 2017 with wins at Talladega and Daytona. Since then, he’s been a mess, but that’s plate racing. His luck could turn around at Daytona.

Set your DraftKings fantasy NASCAR lineups here: NAS $2.25M Fantasy Racing Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semis Entry] (Cup)

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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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.