Matt Kenseth | No. 17 Crown Royal Ford | Roush Fenway Racing
After missing the Chase for the first time in his career in 2009, Kenseth rebounded in 2010, ultimately finishing fifth in the final standings. He managed just six top-five finishes all season, but his 12.8 average finish was his best since 2006 and the third-best average of his 11-year career. With Roush Fenway Racing getting better as the 2010 season progressed, big things could be in store for Kenseth in 2011.
More than anything, the 2010 season marked the return of Kenseth's traditionally consistent ways. No driver completed more laps than Kenseth, and he finished outside the top 20 just four times last year. His fantasy value has never come from his top-five finishes, and the low total in 2010 isn't a sign of decline. If anything, Kenseth became better as the year progressed.
Assuming his performance in the second half of last season was a preview of what to expect in 2011, fantasy owners have to consider Kenseth a top-10 fantasy option. When he is running well, he is among the safest picks in the series. Based on his career numbers, Kenseth's top-five and top-10 totals should increase this season, which only drivers his value higher.
Since the start of the 2008 season, Kenseth has scored the second-most points at intermediate tracks, which makes him an elite option at more than half of the races on the schedule. He doesn't exactly excel at any other track type, but he doesn't hurt fantasy owners, either. Kenseth's ability to produce solid finishes almost every week makes him a safe pick at the end of the first round of fantasy drafts.
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