Fantasy NASCAR: Nationwide Series Top 25 Drivers

by Adam Ansell, RotoExperts.com on February 2, 2011 @ 19:11:15 PDT

 


 

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Brad Keselowski: The only thing Keselowski did wrong last season was kill any suspense as to who would win the 2010 Nationwide Series title – he had it unofficially locked up by the summer. Keselowski was as dominant as a driver could be last season. He finished outside the Top 10 just six times, and had streaks of nine and seven consecutive Top Five finishes. He's an elite driver at every track and should anchor your roster in all formats. He ranked second in Driver Rating and third in Average Running Position last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
118.0
5.7
5.2
6
26
29
5
26 of 35

Kyle Busch: Busch set the Nationwide Series single-season wins record last season, despite sitting out six events. It appears he'll run the same slate this year, and that's the only thing keeping Busch out of the top spot. Bold Fantasy owners that rank Busch higher than Keselowski and are willing to sacrifice the events Busch will miss, should go for Busch. Besides being practically unstoppable, Busch is just five wins short of typing Mark Martin's Series wins record (48). He'll blow by that mark by midseason. Busch led all competitors in DR and ARP last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
130.8
3.8
5.0
13
22
25
3
28 of 29

Carl Edwards: Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. NASCAR has mandated that drivers are only eligible for one championship in 2011. If that's the case, Edwards may not run a full slate, as he's sure to be in contention for the Sprint Cup title. Regardless, he's still an elite Fantasy driver. He finished the last three seasons second in the Series standings. Known for being a dominant second half driver, Edwards logged three wins, 10 Top Fives and 14 Top 10s in the season's final 18 races. Edwards ranked fifth in DR and in ARP in 2010.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
111.4
7.6
8.0
4
19
27
3
16 of 35

Joey Logano: Logano took his game to another level in 2010, becoming the perfect mix of dominance and consistency. To put that into numbers, Logano started 25 races last season and finished outside the Top 10 just once. He started inside the Top Four on the grid 13 times and had an Average Start of 4.9. Unfortunately for Fantasy owners, he's only expected to run approximately 20 races in 2011. He's going to be even better in 2011, which is difficult to fathom. Logano ranked third in DR and second in ARP last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
117.6
5.2
4.9
2
15
24
8
16 of 25

Justin Allgaier: Allgaier finished fourth in the 2010 Series standings, but went through a bit of a sophomore slump. In the first five races of 2010, Allgaier logged his first career win (Bristol), three Top Fives and five Top 10s. He followed that up with six straight finishes outside the Top 10. After an up and down summer, Allgaier closed out the season with six Top 10s in his final eight starts. With some more experience under his belt, Allgaier will be an elite Fantasy play every week in every format. He ranked seventh in DR and in ARP last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
95.8
11.4
11.5
1
8
20
2
10 of 35

Trevor Bayne: Bayne will run a full slate in the No. 16 Roush Fenway ride. His three poles a season ago came in succession at Gateway, ORP and Watkins Glen. Bayne posted a Top Five in each of those starts. Though Bayne was fairly shaky the rest of the season, he finished seventh in the Series standings. Now that he has the stability of driving for strong ownership, he'll be even more valuable to Fantasy owners in 2011. He ranked ninth in DR and ARP last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
88.3
13.8
16.0
0
6
11
3
4 of 35

Aric Almirola: Almirola's impressive eight starts in 2010 scored him a full-time ride helming the No. 88 JR Motorsports car. The 26 year-old has the skills and maturity to be an elite Fantasy driver in 2011, showing a penchant for leading laps and cashing in quality finishes in his limited opportunities a year ago. Almirola ranked eighth in DR and in ARP.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
93.0
12.3
13.0
0
1
4
0
6 of 8

Brian Scott: Scott will have access to a wealth of knowledge and experience as the newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team. Unlike Busch and Logano, Scott will run a full schedule of races in JGR's superior equipment. He bounced from team to team in 2010, and now that he's grounded on a stable team the sky is the limit for the young driver. Scott ranked 15th in DR and 16th in ARP last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
72.7
20.1
21.0
0
1
5
0
1 of 35

Reed Sorenson: Sorenson is expected to run a full schedule, or something close to it. He was extremely consistent in 2010, never going consecutive races without a Top 10 finish. Sorenson's last full-time runs came in 2005 and 2006, when he finished fourth and 10th in the standings, respectively. He'll have to lead more races and improve on his Average Starting Position (13.9) to be mentioned with the Fantasy elite, but he's awfully close. He ranked sixth in DR and eighth in ARP last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
95.9
12.3
11.5
0
9
21
0
3 of 28

Kevin Harvick: Harvick is expected to run just 12 races, a far cry from the 28 he participated in a season ago. But to still be ranked in the Top 10 is a testament to how good he is. Harvick's 12 races will be spread over the entire season. In cases like this, Fantasy owners need to decide what gives them a better chance to win: a full-time driver with limited upside in any given race, or a part-timer that's a good bet to be spectacular when he does compete. I'll take high upside and figure out the rest later, especially in this case.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
116.4
5.8
6.2
3
17
26
3
16 of 28

Elliott Sadler: This season will mark the first time Sadler has run a full schedule since 1998. He looked very good in limited duty last season, racking up important Fantasy stats across the board. Sadler's absence from the Nationwide Series may cause him to slip under the radar in some formats.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
92.0
12.5
13.4
0
1
2
1
4 of 5

Jason Leffler: Leffler finished ninth in the Series standings in 2010 while running a full slate. He's expected to compete in 27 races in 2011. The last time Leffler ran a 27-race season (2004) he racked up one win, eight Top Fives and 17 Top 10s. He's finished in the Top 10 in the Series standings four straight seasons, and will be a consistent, but not spectacular Fantasy performer this year.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
85.1
16.6
17.5
0
6
14
0
4 of 34

Clint Bowyer: Bowyer will helm the No. 33 ride for nine races in 2011. Bowyer was a feast or famine type driver last season, excellent or terrible without much middle ground. Fantasy owners should expect Bowyer to get back to his consistent ways this season and has a lot of upside.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
90.3
14.6
16.8
0
1
6
1
3 of 13

Paul Menard: Menard lost his No. 98 full-time ride in which he finished fifth in the Series standings last season. He'll return for seven events in 2011, piloting the No. 33 Chevy. In those same seven events in 2010, Menard recorded one Top Five and three Top 10s.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
92.7
11.3
12.6
0
4
19
0
3 of 35

Kasey Kahne: Kahne will drive the No. 38 ride for eight events. It was a down 2010 for Kahne in the Sprint Cup Series, and the Nationwide Series was no different. Despite the poor Average Finish, Kahne was solid in the Fantasy bonus points department (pole, laps led) and will be much improved in 2011.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
92.5
15.8
24.0
0
1
2
1
3 of 8

Sam Hornish Jr.: He's expected to run a minimum of 10 races in 2011, after just one start (Homestead-Miami) last season.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
73.5
16.0
21.0
0
0
0
0
0 of 1

Denny Hamlin: It's undetermined exactly how many events Hamlin will run in this season, but when he's on the entry list make sure he's in all lineups.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
123.1
4.3
3.3
1
2
3
1
3 of 4

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: He'll compete in four races in 2011 and will be an elite Elimination format start every time he's on the entry list.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
108.1
10.5
11.3
1
2
2
0
2 of 3

Mark Martin: The all-time Series leader in career wins (48) will return after taking 2010 off – he'll compete at Las Vegas, the Auto Club, Michigan and Kentucky.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Steve Wallace: He may have finished 10th in the Series standings in 2010, but offers very little Fantasy upside in terms of wins, laps led and qualifying bonuses.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
83.2
16.2
17.2
0
1
13
0
1 of 35

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
76.4
18.2
19.4
0
3
8
0
5 of 32

Mike Bliss

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
69.1
21.7
20.9
0
2
4
0
2 of 34

Michael Annett

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
72.4
19.6
19.7
0
0
2
0
2 of 35

Jason Keller

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
59.7
24.9
23.4
0
1
1
0
0 of 27

Danica Patrick

DR
ARP
Avg. Finish
Wins
Top 5s
Top 10s
Poles
Races Led
51.7
27.8
28.0
0
0
0
0
1 of 13

Wanna talk some track? E-mail Adam at ansell@rotoexperts.com.

About Adam Ansell, RotoExperts.com

This article is courtesy of:

RotoExperts.com is a deluxe fantasy analysis and information site and content development network. Led by award-winning Fantasy veteran Scott Engel, formerly of ESPN and CBS SportsLine, the RotoExperts.com team provides distinctive and in-depth fantasy insights in all sports. RotoExperts.com is an official content provider for NFL.com, Yahoo Sports, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. RotoExperts.com was nominated for a total of eight industry awards in 2009, and won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Award for Best Humor Article. RotoExperts.com urges you to look for the X- The Mark of Fantasy Excellence.

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