Food City Dirt Race: NASCAR DFS Premium Rankings

NASCAR DFS very much could get weird or resemble the lotto this weekend, but hey, what kind of people would we be if we just quit? Degenerates power through – no matter the circumstances. Not only are we in unfamiliar waters with the Bristol dirt race, but the weather is a complete disaster. Nevertheless, I have put a ton of time into researching the slate and completing the rankings and projections. With that being said, feel free to venture out from the rankings or projections more so than usual IF you want since there are so many unknowns and assumptions.

I rank every driver and tier them based on price. There is no sense to compare Chase Elliot to Quin Houff, but comparing Chase Elliot to Kevin Harvick, for example, tends to make sense. The rankings will be posted first and represent the “initial pass” on my approach to the slate.

The notes represent my “second pass” and will provide more insight into how I am building lineups, what I have learned from looking around the industry, and mention any situations where I’m “hotter” or “colder” on anyone than when I set the rankings. For example, I may mention that there is a large gap in my interest level after the top three ranked drivers in a given tier. Another example would be to point out that drivers ranked 1-3 are interchangeable in terms of my interest. My suggestion is to enter multiple lineups and use the rankings and notes as a guide as you build lineups.

If you are a more serious player building 40+ lineups, I do suggest purchasing a lineup optimizer tool. These are affordable for our more advanced players and you can get them relatively cheap – especially if you are purchasing for NASCAR only. We will definitely look to partner with a third party or build one in-house for next season. If you need help selecting one, I’m here to help explain and recommend what you need. To reiterate – this is only for advanced players and you do not need this unless you have full command of the tool. In fact, it can do more harm than good if you do not know what you are doing.

NASCAR DFS Tiered Rankings – Food City Dirt Race

Tier 1 Notes

To start off the slate, I think you need to take a stand on going significantly overweight or underweight on Larson. I’m hoping the news of him moving to the rear (but scored from 1st) will scare people away, but he still should be over 40% owned. His lap led/fastest lap potential take a hit with the news, but he is still such a favorite according to the odds. The second-biggest favorite is +800 (Bell) which is quite the statement with Larson being all the way down at +300.

Even though I ranked Bell stronger than Reddick, I did end up with more Reddick so you could flip those rankings if you want. I have plenty of both. The Reddick price is outrageous on FanDuel so take advantage of that.

I’m way lighter on Ricky Stenhouse Jr for a guy that we had on our preview show, but we did not have any practice data or starting positions when we recorded. I’ll play Ricky in a few spots, but my research left me ranking him behind several others.

Tier 2 Notes

Elliot’s starting position makes him one of the highest floor and ceiling combinations on the slate. Sub-9k for Bill’s Boi rarely happens so I plan to get some of the #9 car. Your early dominator options with Larson going to the rear are Hamlin, KFB, and Blaney. I gave KFB the better ranking, but I have equal exposure to both guys.

Tier 3 Notes

Kurt Busch was in a smash spot last week and was crushing value before having issues. Well, I’m going right back to him with an incredible place differential opportunity for the veteran. The rationale behind playing Kurt mirrors the Chase Elliot play.

My biggest struggle in this tier is how to handle the new drivers in the player pool that normally don’t run Cup. My research points to them being capable, but it will ultimately come down to how much equipment matters in this race. And no one knows that answer. My rankings lean towards equipment being a significant factor, but the race could start and all of that could be thrown out the window. If you think the equipment will be less of a factor, you could bump these guys up on projections/rankings because of their dirt backgrounds. My stance is playing them lightly.

Tier 4 Notes

Matty D was on the preview video, but his starting spot has me off of him. His place differential opportunity is just too small for me to rank him well. Although Ty Dillon is ranked poorly, I must say he is one of the safest plays on the board if you are risk-averse. He basically can’t hurt your lineup with that starting spot. However, I prefer and ranked some riskier options above Ty because I feel like they have way more potential to run in the top 10.

Tier 5 Notes

I do like punting this week to fit in a lot of the expensive drivers. It never feels good playing this range but sometimes you have to do it. My ownership lines up directly with the rankings here. I’m only playing rankings 1-4 in this range.

Platform Insights (DraftKings/FanDuel)

I’m adding this section just to point out a few things across platforms as I’m building lineups. As a reminder, place differential, laps led, and fastest laps are more important on DraftKings. FanDuel is all about finishing position so your goal should be to get as many drivers that can finish inside the top 10/top 5.

  • I probably could just do a 1 bullet section this week with how crazy the price discrepancy is on Reddick. I’m playing him a lot on both sites but 7.8k on FD is silly-SZN low.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr is more affordable over on FD
  • Blaney appears to be a better play on DK due to dominator potential and his FD price is jacked up to 12.5k. I don’t have much interest in him overall.
  • Willy B and Ryan Newman are both priced way down on FD

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