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. Austin Cindric ($10,700) - He almost won the Daytona road course race with a damaged car. That’s all DFS players need to know about Cindric’s abilities on road courses. The numbers do not lie.
2. Kyle Busch ($10,800) - The #54 JGR car won the Daytona Road Course race with a driver that had zero Xfinity experience. What will happen when the car is driven by a driver with 97 Xfinity wins?
3. Kevin Harvick ($9,900) - It’s a BJ McLeod car, but there’s no way that Harvick is really racing BJ McLeod equipment. What’s the clue? The #5 car has magically turned into a Ford this week. McLeod has not fielded a Ford since 2016. This is an SHR car and Harvick is a great road course racer.
4. AJ Allmendinger ($10,400) - In round one of Cindric vs. Allmendinger, the two wrecked coming to the stage 1 green-white checkered flag. Neither driver will back down this time either. Winning the first COTA race in Xfinity Series history is a big deal.
5. Justin Allgaier ($10,100) - He’s not the favorite to win, but he’s not that far behind Cindric and Allmendinger. In clean air, a really good road racer might as well be great. Passing the leader at a new track will be challenging.
6. Noah Gragson ($9,700) - He’s not an elite road course racer, but he’s good enough to run inside the top 5. From that position, he’s aggressive enough to try to take the lead in a spot where passing should not happen.
7. Andy Lally ($8,300) - Overall, Lally has looked good in his Xfinity road course racers. However, just looking at finishes, Lally has not been good. He is extremely aggressive and races for wins everytime. DFS players do not always need wins, and Lally’s reckless approach results in too many lackluster results.
8. Harrison Burton ($9,300) - The winner of this race has to be mean. There might be wrecks and spins throughout the field, but to get the lead and hold the lead, the driver has to be a jerk. An aggressive passer and a stubborn blocker, Harrison Burton is not.
9. Brandon Jones ($8,700) - For years, Jones ran double duty at road courses in order to try to figure it out, but it never worked. Last year, he gave up and just decided to run the Xfinity race, and something magical happened. Jones finished 2nd in the 2020 Daytona Road Course race and 4th in the 2021 DRC race.
10. Daniel Hemric ($9,500) - He’s a racecar driver. Hemric is competitive everywhere, but the knock on him over the last two seasons has been his bad luck. DFS players can’t quantify bad luck, but they can evaluate his results. Hemric should be battling inside the top 5 at the end of this race.
11. Miguel Paludo ($8,200) - On lap 26 of the Daytona Road Course, Paludo flat spotted his tire and had to pit from 6th place for a flat tire. The wave of cautions in stage 3 allowed Paludo to battle back and finish 7th.
12. Brett Moffitt ($5,700) - This field is just too tough. On a normal week, Moffit and Our Motorsports fight and claw for top 10 finishes. Moffitt was a great road racer in the Truck Series, but the odds are stacked against him and all of the small team regulars this weekend.
13. Tyler Reddick ($8,500) - Stage points do not matter, so Reddick will cycle forward during each stage break because of the customary early pit stop road course strategy. Reddick seems like a driver that should struggle at a new road course, but that describes the entire field of drivers.
14. Jeb Burton ($8,000) - It seems like this might be an off week for the Kaulig cars. They’ve held their own against soft fields, but the competition got tight this week. Burton finished 5th at the Daytona Road Course, but that was against weak drivers. Getting to 5th at COTA will be a challenge.
15. Justin Haley ($9,100) - He’s around a top 5 road course racer in this series, but that’s if the ringers do not perform. That’s also when the “Busch Whackers” stay home. Haley is talented and his Kaulig car is good, but he’ll need strategy and luck to earn a solid finish against this field.
16. Alex Labbe ($7,800) - This is a stacked Xfinity field and the best lineup of drivers in recent memory. Normally, Labbe is one of the best road course racers in the field, but this weekend he’s lucky to even be ranked. Based on talent, he deserves a look depending on where he is starting on Saturday.
17. Austin Dillon ($7,600) - It feels like the good ole’ days. Qualifying does not happen until several hours before the green flag drops. Everything is speculation this early in the week, but speculation is necessary if DFS players are going to build lineups in the small window between qualifying and the start of the race. One of those drivers that will be forgotten in the shuffle is Austin Dillon.
18. Cole Custer ($8,900) - This is all about reps. Custer wants to run as many laps as possible this weekend to prepare for the Cup race. The last thing that he wants to do is wreck out in stage 1. Look for Custer to play nice for 75% of this race, and then turn it on late after the inevitable stage 3 caution.
19. Jade Buford ($6,800) - This is a week for Buford to shine. The rookie is still figuring out oval stock car racing, but he has plenty of road course experience. In the Xfinity Series, he’s earned three top 20 finishes in his four road course races.
20. Preston Pardus ($6,300) - His results are going to scare people, and they should because only results matter in DFS. However, his results could easily be better. Bad luck and bad equipment have contributed to those finishes. Anyone that has watched the races knows that Pardus has looked strong in his road course races.
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