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.
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1. Kyle Larson ($11,300) - It’s been awhile since the last intermediate track race. At Atlanta, Larson destroyed the field until Logano intentionally sandbagged then blacked Larson to allow for Blaney to steal the victory. Larson won the intermediate track race before that at Las Vegas.
2. Brad Keselowski ($9,700) - Last season, Keselowski had good long run cars at Kansas. He was better in the July race, which should be closer in setup to this race than the 2020 fall Kansas race. Keselowski has been very good on restarts this season. The combination of restarts and long run speed bodes well for Keselowski this weekend.
3. Martin Truex Jr ($10,000) - In the fall race, it was so cold that the team couldn’t tape up his car. Other teams were able to tape up their cars and Truex could not compete with this added speed advantage. In July, Truex had the best car at Kansas, but poor restarts prevented him from capitalizing.
4. Denny Hamlin ($10,800) - His car was strong in both races. This speaks volumes about the #11 team. They were able to set up the car for 100 degree weather and a fall race that was the coldest NASCAR race in five years. Hamlin won the July race, and lost his chances at a win in the fall due to a penalty.
5. Kevin Harvick ($9,100) - He was fast in both races, but not the fastest. One constant in those races was restart excellence and short run speed. Harvick was better in the fall race, but this season’s spring race will likely race more like the July 2020 race.
6. Kyle Busch ($8,600) - He was good last July, but he hit the wall in stage 3. Busch was not quite as fast as his teammates, but that’s expected given his team’s struggles with setups. In the last intermediate track race at Atlanta, his team was pretty close right off the trailer, Busch shot to 3rd place within a handful of laps.
7. Chase Elliott ($10,400) - The #9 car had great long run speed at Kansas last fall, but it didn’t have a working radio, and that hurt Elliott’s chances of leading laps. Ultimately, a bad restart, in stage 3 was the biggest inhibitor of Elliott having a big fantasy day.
8. Joey Logano ($11,100) - A penalty and a blown tire ended his spring race, but in his return to Kansas in the fall race, he won. Logano did not have the best car, but Kansas is a strategy race. Logano got to the lead via pit strategy and blocked a faster Kevin Harvick lap after lap to secure a place in the championship race.
9. Ryan Blaney ($9,500) - This track should have plenty of grip. Not as much as last fall, when Blaney was fast, but not fast enough to pass the leader (this is a highly aero dependent race, passing the leader is very difficult on equal tires). The closer the cars set up to flat foot racing, the better Blaney performs.
10. Tyler Reddick ($6,900) - Expect to see Reddick on the wall, and earning fast laps on long runs. Reddick struggled in the fall race because the temperatures were so low that the lower groove had just as much grip as the groove on the fence.
11. William Byron ($8,800) - He had a top 10 car in both Kansas races last season. With pit road strategy, he almost won the July race. This season, Byron and new crew chief Rudy Fugle have been very fast. They won at Homestead and should have earned better finishes at the other intermediate tracks, but slow pit stops and bad restarts hurt Byron’s finishing results.
12. Alex Bowman ($10,200) - His win at Richmond was pretty lucky, but he was due for some good luck. Bowman has been a top 5 driver all season, but every break had gone against him. Finally, it went the other way, and he jumped from a top 5 driver to a winning driver.
13. Austin Cindric ($6,700) - DraftKings has overpriced Cindric in past Cup races, but this is too low. This will be Cindric’s easiest race of the season. A driver with very little talent should be able to earn a 20th place finish in a Penske car in a high downforce, low horsepower race at Kansas.
14. Ross Chastain ($6,500) - So far, Chastain looks like a lesser version of Jamie McMurray for Chip Ganassi Racing. Eventually, Chastain will become a solid 15th place driver. Right now, he is a 15th to 20th pace driver, but with his price and starting position, he’ll be a popular value play.
15. Kurt Busch ($9,300) - The knock against Kurt Busch in DFS is that he’s not a lap leader and he starts too close to the front. Busch is rarely in a position to earn 20 place differential points, but this week he can get it done, and his price isn’t too high.
16. Erik Jones ($7,800) - This week Erik Jones admitted that the lack of practice is hurting him this season. It’s been a challenge to get the car setup correctly because it’s a new team, new crew chief, and a Chevy. This is true, but the bigger problem is that Jones isn’t that great and neither is RPM. Jones is still a viable option because pit road games could make him a valuable palace differential play.
17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($8,200) - At first glance, Stenhouse’s price tag seems too high, but he’s earned it. His JTG Daughtery car has been fast this season and Stenhouse appears to have taken a step forward as a driver. The price is probably a little too much for most, and the odds of his optimization are low, but this makes Stenhouse an intriguing GPP play.
18. Daniel Suarez ($6,300) - It’s hard to tell how the DFS community feels about Suarez. His cars have been fast and he has talent, but the team is new and Saurez’s results have the inconsistency of a rookie. Suarez finished 17th at Atlanta and 15th at Homestead. He finished 26th at Las Vegas, but had nose damage in that race.
19. Chris Buescher ($6,100) - This is a contrarian GPP value play, but it’s not unreasonable. Buescher faded hard at Homestead after leading 57 laps. At Las Vegas, he finished 14th and he finished 7th at Atlanta.
20. Christopher Bell ($8,000) - In the last intermediate track race at Atlanta, Bell struggled and finished 21st. At Las Vegas, he earned a top 10 finish. Kansas should race more like Las Vegas than Atlanta.
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