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.
The DraftKings Fr8Auctions 200 slate locks at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
1. Kyle Busch ($14,000) – The boss is back and he’s angry. A flat tire prevented Busch from winning at Las Vegas. Two penalties and a wrecking lapper were required to stop Busch at Atlanta last year. It often feels like Busch is living in an NES game. The AI unfairly rigs the game against him, but most of the time, he still finds a way to win.
2. John Hunter Nemechek ($9,600) – Round one went to Nemechek, but it wasn’t a fair fight. Kyle Busch had to deal with a flat tire. If both drivers are on equal footing, it’s going to go in Busch’s favor especially at Atlanta. Nemechek is clearly the favorite to win the championship, but these are the weeks where his superiority takes a step back to the boss.
3. Austin Hill ($11,000) – Kyle Busch wrecked and got nailed with two penalties during stage 3 at Atlanta last season. Chase Elliott missed pit road. Austin Hill inherited the lead and drove away, but after a late race caution, Hill got passed by Enfinger on the restart and finished 3rd.
4. Ross Chastain ($13,000) – The Niece trucks are not great, but when Ross runs he gets a good one. Chastain’s aggressive ways can destroy DFS lineups, but it’s hard to fade a talented driver in a good truck starting dead last.
5. Sheldon Creed ($9,900) – At Las Vegas, Creed had to deal with multiple issues, but before he damaged his truck, he wasn’t faster than Nemechek. If Creed has to push to compete, then it’s going to be a long season. He had to push in 2019, and he tore up a lot of trucks.
6. Brett Moffitt ($9,300) – The Niece trucks are weak. That’s the nice way to say it. If the cautions fall at the right time, Moffit might be able to wheel his way into the top 5, but in most races, it’s going to take everything he’s got as a driver to get into the top 10 in this truck.
7. Grant Enfinger ($9,000) – He’s back in a ThorSport truck this week. At Las Vegas, Enfinger earned a top 10 driving below average equipment for Codie Rohrbaugh. The truck he’s jumping back into also earned a top with a below average driver in Christian Eckes at Las Vegas.
8. Zane Smith ($10,500) – At Las Vegas, Smith had to start in the back and he had to overcome an unscheduled green flag pit stop. The litany of cautions made it relatively easy for Zane Smith to recover, but at least he avoided the wrecks.
9. Matt Crafton ($8,400) – It’s hard to envision Crafton leading laps. There are too many good trucks starting inside the top 10. Crafton can pull off his routine top 5 finish, but from the DFS perspective, he needs his competition to experience bad luck
10. Ryan Truex ($7,200) – He’s running out of chances in real life and he’s running out of chances with DFS players. Truex played it safe in stage one at Las Vegas. By stage 3, he was a 10th to 15th place truck, but he got caught up in a wreck. That’s his ceiling and that’s his floor.
11. Ben Rhodes ($8,800) – His back-to-back wins to start the season were a nice story, but it’s almost been forgotten. A plate win and for all intents and purposes another plate win at the Daytona Road Course, do not mean much to DFS players. Rhodes is not company to the elite.
12. Tyler Ankrum ($10,200) – Tyler ANCHOR has sunk to the bottom in the Truck Series. He’s starting in the back because he has wrecked in every single race this season. He can only go up from here. At some point, he’ll stop wrecking and return his GMS truck to the top 10 where it belongs.
13. Raphael Lessard ($7,700) – This season is not going as planned. After getting dropped by KBM, Lessard is supposed to be proving that he belongs in this series. His finishes have been terrible, but in his defense, the three races to start the season have been highly volatile.
14. Todd Gilliland ($7,400) – Last year, Gilliland earned one top 5 finish at a 1.5 mile track and it was at Atlanta. It wasn’t a fluke, he ran the 4th most laps inside the top 5. It’s always hard to trust Gilliland, but there is a little more confidence than usual this week.
15. Johnny Sauter ($7,900) – It’s starting to look like it’s time to call it a career. Sauter’s run at ThorSport is only getting worse. The best way to catch a falling knife is to pick it up off of the floor. Sauter has not bottomed out yet.
16. Chandler Smith ($7,500) – You’re never going to look at Chandler Smith the same. Chandler Smith is Todd Gilliland. Both drivers were electric in ARCA/K&N. Both drivers looked great in their first season of part time work for KBM. Both drivers were terrible every year after.
17. Stewart Friesen ($8,200) – This truck has turned the page and moved on from the disastrous 2020 season. Friesen looks like the 2019 driver that qualified for the championship race. It’s going to be hard for Friesen to unseat the KBM trucks, but he should be able to earn another top 5 finish.
18. Bret Holmes ($5,900) – Las Vegas was a mess and Holmes got caught up in one of the wrecks. Before the wreck, he was running between 20th and 25th place in his Truck Series debut. The biggest question is whether this small team will be able to fully fix their truck between Las Vegas and Atlanta.
19. Derek Kraus ($8,100) – Last year in his rookie season, Kraus earned 13 top 10 finishes in 23 races. His average finish was 13th. He’s starting 29th because of wrecks at Daytona and a mechanical failure at Las Vegas. When his bad luck disappears, he will be a homerun in DFS.
20. Chase Purdy ($6,900) – His few starts in the truck series has been disappointing. The young driver is racing top notch GMS equipment and should default to top 15 finishes. Purdy earned three top 15 finishes in seven races last season, but this year, he has failed to earn a single top 20 finish in the first three races.
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