Consistency earned Matt Kenseth the top spot in the driver rankings heading into the weekend activities, and consistency keeps him in the top spot heading into Sunday night's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth qualified sixth Friday and ranked sixth or better in both practice sessions Saturday. Meanwhile, his 7.4 average finish in the last 10 races at AMS is the best in the series, and during the stretch he hasn't finished worse than 12th. Throw in the fact that three of his series-leading five wins this year have come at 1.5-mile tracks, and fantasy owners won't find a safer pick.
While Kenseth holds down the top spot, his former teammate Carl Edwards moves up into the top five in the final driver rankings. He qualified second for Sunday's race and ranked first and third in the two practice sessions Saturday. Edwards is also a three-time winner at the track, and in 15 starts, he has finished seventh or better 10 times, including seven finishes of third or better. He has as much upside as any driver this weekend.
Another driver with plenty of potential this weekend is Joey Logano, and he vaults into the top 10 in the final rankings. He qualified 11th and ranked 11th or better in both practice sessions. Meanwhile, he has been on a serious roll heading into Sunday's race. Logano has finished eighth or better in the last five races, including a win at Michigan and top-five at Bristol the past two weeks, and no driver has scored more points during the stretch. Despite failing to crack the top 15 in his previous six starts at Atlanta, Logano is worth taking a chance on this weekend.
Although he doesn't quite make the top 10, Juan Pablo Montoya does move up into the top 15 in the final rankings. He ranked eighth or better in both practices sessions Saturday, and he will roll off third in Sunday's race. Perhaps more importantly, Montoya has a history of success sat Atlanta. He has finished in the top 15 in four of his last five starts at the track and has finished as high as third twice during the stretch.
Outside of Montoya, fantasy owners looking for a sleeper option this weekend may want to consider Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The rookie won his first-career Cup Series pole Friday, and he managed to crack the top 20 in both practices Saturday in race trim. As a result, he slides into the top 20 in the final driver rankings. Stenhouse probably won't win this weekend, but a top-20 finish seems likely, and a top-15 finish isn't out of the question.
About Brian Polking
Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.
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