2014 Fantasy NASCAR Preseason Rankings

by Brian Polking on February 21, 2014 @ 15:05:03 PDT

 


NASCAR is back.

Cars have already been on the track at Daytona as part of preseason testing, and the 2014 Sprint Cup Season is only a month away from going green. Plenty has happened since Jimmie Johnson claimed his sixth-career Cup championship at Homestead last November, and there is no shortage of storylines worth paying attention to heading into the season.

After being out since August with a broken leg, Tony Stewart is on track to be ready for the start of the season. By the way, he will also be the owner/driver of a newly expanded four-car operation that will include teammates Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick. Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. landed with Furniture Row Racing after the fallout from the Richmond scandal left him without a sponsor at Michael Waltrip Racing, and A.J. Allmendinger will make his return to the Cup Series full time with JTG Daugherty Racing after a positive drug test in 2012 nearly cost him his career. To top it off, Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson highlight the most anticipated rookie class in recent memory.

For those who haven't been paying attention to all the offseason happenings, have no fear. These preseason driver rankings will get you up to speed and ready for the 2014 fantasy racing season with a quick look at how the top 30 fantasy options stack up.

Rank
Driver
2013 Driver Rating
2014 Value Outlook
1
Jimmie Johnson
110.3
Coming off a sixth championship, Johnson remains the safest fantasy option by a wide margin
2
Kyle Busch
101.9
For the second year in a row, Busch was one of only three drivers to lead more than 1,000 laps and have a driver rating of more than 100
3
Matt Kenseth
110.9
After leading the series in wins and driver rating in 2013, his second year with JGR should be fun to watch
4
Kurt Busch
93.0
Had the second-most top-5s of his career in 2013 and has more resources at his disposal in 2014 with his move to SHR
5
Kevin Harvick
94.9
Moves to SHR on the heels of a 2013 season where he had the second-best average finish in the series and spent more time on the lead lap than any other driver
6
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
98.5
Closed out 2013 with a 5.56 average finish in the final 9 races and had a career-high 22 top-10s
7
Jeff Gordon
92.5
Can still be counted on for around 10 top-5s and 20 top-10s
8
Clint Bowyer
93.5
He didn't win in 2013, but Bowyer logged the third-best average finish in the series for the second year in a row
9
Denny Hamlin
82.4
Should have a strong 2014 season now that his nagging back issues are behind him
10
Brad Keselowski
94.4
The 2012 champ should get back to business after a humbling 2013
11
Kasey Kahne
96.5
Strong runs are a given, but so are handful of really bad ones
12
Carl Edwards
92.5
Remains consistent, but he hasn't been championship-caliber the past two years
13
Joey Logano
92.2
Posted career highs across the board in 2013 in his first year with Team Penske
14
Greg Biffle
83.0
He had just four top-5s in 2013 and has had single-digit top-5s in three of the past four seasons
15
Tony Stewart
79.0
"Smoke" is still a top-10 talent, but there's no telling how his long layoff from a broken leg will impact his performance
16
Ryan Newman
81.8
Should have no problem remaining a solid fantasy option with RCR in 2014
17
Brian Vickers
78.2
Has a chance to make a big impact with in first full-time ride since 2011, but health issues loom
18
Martin Truex Jr.
92.3
Richmond scandal has Truex with Furniture Row Racing in 2014 and has his fantasy value up in the air
19
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
70.0
Somewhat quiet as a rookie, but a solid second half suggests he is headed in the right direction
20
Jamie McMurray
81.2
Quietly completed the most laps in the series in 2013 and finished in the top 15 in points
21
Austin Dillon
65.1
Having Richard Childress for a grandfather has certainly helped his career, but you don't win Truck and Nationwide titles without a little talent
22
Kyle Larson
59.7
Expect some highs and lows from the highly touted youngster in his first full year in the Cup Series
23
Paul Menard
76.7
Doubtful he will ever be more than a top-20 driver, and the lack of upside curbs his value
24
Aric Almirola
74.7
His 18.8 average finish and 6 top-10s in 2013 were both career bests, but a true breakout might be another year away
25
A.J. Allmendinger
67.0
Back in the Cup Series full time, but consistency will likely be hard to find in 2014 with JTG Daugherty Racing
26
Marcos Ambrose
73.4
Likely racing for a job after a disappointing 2013 season that included 0 top-5s
27
Danica Patrick
53.6
No signs of a breakout in sight after Patrick made minimal progress at best in 2013
28
David Ragan
51.2
Ragan is a restrictor plate stud, but consistency remains a problem everywhere else
29
Justin Allgaier
55.6
Worth keeping an eye on after new ownership spent money to upgrade the team in the offseason
30
Parker Kligerman
58.8
The 2009 ARCA champ has a full-time ride and showed top-20 potential in two Cup starts at the end of 2013

 

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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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