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DraftKings Rankings: Phoenix

Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings' NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.

 

(fppk = average fantasy points per $1,000 of salary. The typical median fppk for a 2016 race was in the 3s. Plate tracks tend to be lower and short tracks tend to run higher due to the amount of laps.)

Drivers 1-5
Rank Driver Salary
1. Kevin Harvick $11,100
2. Joey Logano $10,500
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. $8,500
4. Jimmie Johnson $9,000
5. Kyle Busch $10,100

1. Kevin Harvick ($11,100): If Phoenix Raceway was its own country, then Kevin Harvick would be its king (or president, if they decided to be a democracy). Harvick has scored more than 100 fantasy points in six of the last seven Phoenix races. (4.5 fppk)

 

2. Joey Logano ($10,500): In the last seven Phoenix races, he has six top 10s. If not for a fueling mistake, it would be a perfect seven for seven. Logano earned a top 10 on the fantasy points leaderboard in five of those seven races (the exceptions being the fueling issue race and a 12th-place score). (5.2 fppk)

 

3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($8,500): Only one car has dared to step in the way of Kevin Harvick's domination at Phoneix: The 88. Junior won at Phoenix in the fall 2015 race and Alex Bowman scored 110 fantasy points in the fall 2016 race. (0.8 fppk)

 

4. Jimmie Johnson ($9,000): Before Kevin Harvick at Phoenix, there was Jimmie Johnson at Phoenix (five wins between 2007-2009). Don't write him off. Last fall, Johnson scored 22.5 fast lap points at Phoenix. (2.8 fppk)

 

5. Kyle Busch ($10,100): The box scores say Kyle Busch has been terrible, and so do the fantasy results. Even after two wrecks and a poorly handled car at Atlanta, it's not the time to jump ship. Busch can bounce back at Phoenix. He's scored top-10 fantasy points in the last three Phoenix races. (0.7 fppk)

Drivers 6-10
Rank Driver Salary
6. Brad Keselowski $10,300
7. Kyle Larson $9,100
8. Matt Kenseth $8,800
9. Denny Hamlin $9,200
10. Chase Elliott $9,700

6. Brad Keselowski ($10,300): If you had to pick the best driver so far, it's without a doubt Brad Keselowski. How is he at Phoenix? Last year was an off year: a top 10 and a wreck. Before that, he was 11th or better in eight consecutive Phoenix races. (5.3 fppk)

 

7. Kyle Larson ($9,100): The best average finish this season belongs to Kyle Larson (fifth). He finished third last fall at Phoenix. A week later, he almost won at Homestead, and then he almost won at Daytona. He's finished second at Atlanta and Las Vegas. This might be his year. (5.4 fppk)

 

8. Matt Kenseth ($8,800): Last fall, Kenseth did not crack the top 10 in any of the practices. Are we talking about practice? He was leading the race during an overtime restart, but he wrecked. He scored 13 fast lap points and 13.75 laps led points. Practice doesn't mean everything. (2.3 fppk)

 

9. Denny Hamlin ($9,200): Goodbye, intermediate tracks. Hello, short tracks. This is Hamlin's wheelhouse. At the short, flat tracks in 2016, Hamlin's average finish was fifth (that's not including a very rare wheel hop wreck at Martinsville). (1.7 fppk)

 

10. Chase Elliott ($9,700): His Las Vegas practice speeds were appealing, but Keselowski and Truex looked good, too. They also had the benefit of starting on the front row. Elliott is a top-10 driver, but he's not elite. (5.0 fppk)

Drivers 11-15
Rank Driver Salary
11. Kurt Busch $8,700
12. Martin Truex Jr. $9,400
13. Paul Menard $6,200
14. Ryan Blaney $8,000
15 Aric Almirola $6,900

11. Kurt Busch ($8,700): The one thing Kurt has going for him is that he's a safe top-10 pick. So much for that 30th at Las Vegas. Everything should return to normal this week. Kurt has a top-10 finish in each of the last five Phoenix races. (3.8 fppk)

 

12. Martin Truex, Jr. ($9,400): This car is fast, but this is not a Truex track. The 78 car was great everywhere last year, but not in the desert. Truex has one top five in 22 Phoenix races. (7.5 fppk)

 

13. Paul Menard ($6,200): A top-15 starting position will almost always push me off of Menard. That's my rule. His Phoenix stats are not as impressive as his Las Vegas stats, but he's been a top-15 driver in three of the last four Phoenix races. (4.8 fppk)

 

14. Ryan Blaney ($8,000): This is a good time to be a Penske satellite operation. Out of the gate, these Fords have the best setup for the 2017 low downforce package. If not for a tire issue in Atlanta, Blaney would have three tops 10s. At Phoenix, he posted two top 10s in 2016. (6.8 fppk)

 

15. Aric Almirola ($6,900): Late-race restarts make or break fantasy teams. Almirola was having a decent day (average running position of 20th), but after a late-race caution, Almirola finished 14th. Almirola has a top-20 finish in nine of the last 10 Phoenix races. (6.0 fppk)

Drivers 16-20
Rank Driver Salary
16. Clint Bowyer $7,700
17. Erik Jones $7,500
18. Ryan Newman $8,200
19. AJ Allmendinger $7,000
20. Kasey Kahne $8,100

16. Clint Bowyer ($7,700): With his price tag hovering above $8,000, Bowyer is only a strong play for me if he qualifies 15th or worse. He's a new man and a top-15 driver, again. He's not a top-tier lap leader yet. (3.0 fppk)

 

17. Erik Jones ($7,500): In the last two races, Jones has raced better than he's finished. His average running position was 11th at Atlanta (14th-place finish) and 10th at Las Vegas (15th-place finish). It's disappointing for the Furniture Row Racing rookie, but that's still pretty good for a young driver. (2.9 fppk)

 

18. Ryan Newman ($8,200): In the last 15 Phoenix races, Newman has 11 top-15 finishes. He bounced back from the battery debacle in Atlanta with a 17th-place finish in Las Vegas (average running position of 12th). (1.2 fppk)

 

19. AJ Allmendinger ($7,000): The theory is that Allmendinger's road racing background has led to his success at short flat tracks (the turns are similar). In 15 Phoenix races, Allmendinger has 12 top 20s. He finished second and 10th at Martinsville last season (short, flat track). (5.6 fppk)

 

20. Kasey Kahne ($8,100): Las Vegas was a better representation of the real Kasey Kahne (12th-place finish and -5 place differential points). There was a lot of good fortune involved in his fourth-place Atlanta finish. (6.5 fppk)


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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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.

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