Austin Dillon taking off his helmet
Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

By Jordan McAbee

When it comes to the DraftKings daily fantasy sports contests, it’s all about getting the most bang for your buck with the people on your rosters. These games would be a lot easier if you could just pick the best drivers week in and week out. Because of the salary cap restriction, however, players have to find value in some of the mid-to-lower priced drivers, which can be difficult at a track like Phoenix–the site of today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. We have found some “diamonds in the rough”–for lack of a better term–for the Good Sam 500 that will help you complete your DraftKings Fantasy NASCAR roster, though, and hopefully score enough points that you win some money.

Cheap Phoenix Options for DraftKings

Austin Dillon ($6,800) – The 2016 breakout driver of the year (well, if you can give him that distinction through three races) is massively under-priced for this week’s race at Phoenix. And the reason this happened is because his history here in the desert isn’t that great; in four career starts at PIR, Austin Dillon has an average finish of 24.3 with a best result of 15th. Now, let’s take a step back and remember how well this #3 team is performing in 2016 (they haven’t had a result worse than 11th thus far) and that Austin’s best finish at Phoenix came in this race one year ago. He starts 15th in today’s Good Sam 500 and should finish around there as well. Austin Dillon probably won’t get you many place differential points today but how many other drivers in this price range are going to get you a solid top 15 run?

Credit: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
Credit: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Ryan Newman ($7,500) – “The Rocketman” hasn’t looked great so far this weekend, but he rarely shows his hand in practice. Newman will also start Sunday’s Good Sam 500 from the 20th-place starting position, and when you pair that with the fact that he hasn’t finished worse than 11th in the last five races at this track, you have a pretty solid option to work with. Newman comes in at the 16th-highest-priced driver of the week, which I think is fair but he probably could have been higher. When you look at other drivers around him (Clint Bowyer at $7,400, Chase Elliott at $7,700, and Jamie McMurray at $7,800), Newman is the best choice in this price range.

Paul Menard ($6,500) – When you get into this price range with DraftKings, you expect to see drivers that would need some luck to crack the top 20. But that isn’t the case with Paul Menard this weekend. Let’s not forget that this #27 Chevrolet came home 13th and 14th in the two Phoenix races during the 2015 season, and thus far through the first three races of 2016, Menard has finished between 15th and 18th in all of them. You’re not going to get maximum points out of a guy like Paul Menard but having the chance to score close to 30 points for his $6,500 price point is a pretty good option in my book. Menard scored 37.5 DraftKings points in this race one year ago.


ty-dillon-phoenixTy Dillon ($5,400) – This guy is going to be a driver that will find his way onto many DraftKings rosters on Sunday simply because of his price. Ty Dillon is the lowest priced driver for Phoenix and he’s in some pretty decent equipment so why not take a shot? Putting a driver with a $5,400 salary on your team will help allow you to afford more of those higher priced drivers, which are the ones that are going to finish up front on Sunday. Throw in the fact that Ty will start 28th for the Good Sam 500 and you have a chance to pick up some decent place differential points as well.

As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.