20) Dale Earnhardt Jr. | No. 88 AMP Energy Drink Chevrolet | Hendrick Motorsports
Pros: Junior has placed well during his career; he has finished the year in the top five three times. His 2004 season, especially was impressive as he won six races, placed in the top five 16 times and finished fifth. It should help having a full offseason with "new" crew chief Lance McGrew after the pair were forced to adjust on the fly last year. It also helps that he's in a Hendrick car, among the best in NASCAR, and he has plenty of experience working and driving with them.
Cons: The wheels fell off the car last year for Earnhardt. His 25th-place finish was his worst since running a full slate in the Sprint Cup. He failed to win a race for just the second time since 1999; his five top-10s tied a career low for a full season. Even after the midseason removal of his crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., Earnhardt failed to improve on his disappointing start; he managed only two top-10 finishes over his last 23 races.
Fantasy tip: If popularity earned you some points, Earnhardt would be headlining this list. However, you can't win races on name alone; Earnhardt has disappointed for three straight years. He'll likely be overvalued based on his name value; don't fall into that trap and take him ideally as a No. 3 driver with moderate upside.
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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