5) Tony Stewart | No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet | Stewart-Haas Racing
Pros: Stewart regained his groove after a bit of a down year in 2008. He finished the '09 season with four wins, his most since 2006, 15 top-fives and 23 top-10 results. Stewart failed to complete only one race (an accident at Talladega in November). He was phenomenal during a 10-race string from May 31's Autism Speaks 400 to an Aug. 10 trip to Watkins Glen. Stewart's average finish in this time was 3.6, and he won three of these races. Stewart-Haas Racing uses Hendrick Motorsports engines, which helped Stewart return to his wining ways.
Cons: The brash driver closed out the year with 22nd-place and 25th-place finishes. Prior to last season, Stewart isn't much of a qualifier, having not won a pole in the past four years. While this hasn't stopped him from performing well, many leagues offer bonus points for qualifying results. The once-dominant Stewart hasn't finished better than sixth place in the standings in the past four years. He is temperamental and may not try his hardest at times.
Fantasy tip: New life has been breathed into Stewart and teammate Ryan Newman through their Stewart-Haas outfit. How good can No. 14 be this year? His success in recent years points to a good but unspectacular season, so temper your expectations. Stewart is talented enough to make a run at the title, but giving him the benefit of the doubt is a thing of the past in our eyes. He is a No. 1 fantasy driver, but be aware of overvaluing him due to name recognition.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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