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 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte slate locks at 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Kyle Larson ($11,300) — The reigning Coca-Cola 600 winner will look to repeat, but this time, it’s in a different car. The new Next Gen car doesn’t seem to bother Larson at the intermediate tracks. He finished second at Kansas and Las Vegas.
2. Kyle Busch ($11,100) — There have been two 1.5 mile intermediate track races this season. Busch scored the most fantasy points at Las Vegas (102 DKFP) and the second most at Kansas (65 DKFP).
3. Martin Truex Jr ($10,200) — In the low-downforce, high-horsepower days, Truex absolutely owned the Coca-Cola 600. The Next Gen car is not that same, but it’s a step in that direction. Truex knows this track, and he could regain his crown as the King of Pop.
4. William Byron ($10,000) — Kansas was disappointing, but not because Byron failed. It was disappointing because Byron had a race-winning car but finished 16th. A flat tire dropped Byron from the lead to 29th place on lap 112.
5. Ross Chastain ($9,800) — An eventful day on pitroad limited Chastain’s chances at Kansas. The No. 1 Trackhouse Chevy had top-10 speed, but it’s unclear if it had race-winning speed.
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6. Denny Hamlin ($10,500) — The No. 11 JGR Toyota — like all of the JGR cars — has race-winning speed. At Kansas, Hamlin had to start in the back and there were mistakes on pit road. The cleanest JGR driver will be in the winning DFS lineup at Charlotte.
7. Chase Elliott ($10,700) — A blown tire took Elliott out at Kansas. Even with that blemish on his record, Elliott still has the second-best Real Rating this season (a statistic that comprehensively synthesizes a driver’s race).
8. Alex Bowman ($9,300) — In previous racing packages (low downforce), the Dover setup was similar to the Charlotte setup. Bowman won at Dover last season, and he finished fifth a month ago at the one-mile intermediate track.
9. Ryan Blaney ($9,100) — The season started out strong for Blaney and his new crew chief Jonathan Hassler. After Kansas, this team is scratching their head wondering where their speed went. Hendrick and JGR are getting faster every week. Team Penske cannot afford to fall any further behind.
10. Tyler Reddick ($9,600) — It was a bad day for tires at Kansas. Tires have been an issue in previous Charlotte Memorial Day races. Reddick has suffered tire failures several times this season. He has speed, but can he make it 400 laps on Sunday night?
11. Kurt Busch ($8,600) — JGR and 23XI are sharing notes. Busch won at Kansas and his teammate Bubba Wallace ($6,900) finished 10th. It may behoove DFS players to treat these cars as the fifth and sixth JGR cars.
12. Joey Logano ($8,900) — Kansas was Joey Logano’s worst race of the season. The Team Penske cars lacked speed, and this is a major cause for concern heading to another intermediate track this weekend.
13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,400) — As noted in the NASCAR Best Bets article, since the schedule has normalized, Stenhouse has earned three consecutive top-10 finishes, highlighted by a second-place finish at Dover. Also, Stenhouse has a top-15 finish in six of the last seven Charlotte races.
14. Corey Lajoie ($4,900) — There are a lot of hog points (fast lap and laps led points) on the line in the Coca-Cola 600. The hog points in the Memorial Day race typically go to the expensive options, so punting becomes necessary. Lajoie doesn’t even feel like a punt. He’s earned a top-20 finish in four of the last five races.
15. Todd Gilliland ($5,000) — A double punt may be necessary on Sunday night. If not, Gilliland is a pivot away from Lajoie. It’s never pretty rostering Gilly and it won’t be any different in a 600-mile race. DFS players will have to hold their breath all night and hope the rookie plays it safe.
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