Fantasy NASCAR team preview: Roush Fenway Racing

by Bryce McRae on January 21, 2009 @ 01:00:01 PDT


No. 99 Office Depot Ford

Owner: Jack Roush
Driver: Carl Edwards
Crew chief: Bob Osborne
Sprint Cup debut: 2004
Age: 29
Career Sprint Cup wins: 16
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 2

2009 fantasy outlook: Edwards came the closest of any driver in the last three years to knocking Jimmie Johnson from his perch atop the driver standings. Edwards finished with a circuit-leading nine wins, including three in his final four races, and was an agonizing 70 points short of passing Johnson. One of the strongest teams surrounds him, and judging by his strong finish, he appears to be one of the favorites to keep Johnson from winning an unprecedented fourth straight title.

No. 17 DeWalt Ford

Owner: John Henry
Driver: Matt Kenseth
Crew chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Sprint Cup debut: 1998
Age: 36
Career Sprint Cup wins: 16
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 11

2009 fantasy outlook: Kenseth dropped into double digits in the standings last year for the first time since 2001. He finished 25th or worse in five of the Chase races. However, his poor finish to the season should be improved by new crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, who helped Carl Edwards win seven of the final 19 races in the Nationwide Series last year. One of the most consistent options in NASCAR, Kenseth is a solid top-tier driver to build your team around.

No. 6 UPS Ford

Owner: Mike Dee
Driver: David Ragan
Crew chief: Jimmy Fennig
Sprint Cup debut: 2006
Age: 23
Career Sprint Cup wins: 0
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 13

2009 fantasy outlook: Ragan, 23, finished just outside the standings for the Chase last year, compiling six top-fives, 14 top-10s and an average finish of 16th. Ragan's crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, has helped a young Kurt Busch to a championship in 2004, so Ragan will be in good hands from the pit. First, he'll have to win a race on the Sprint Cup. He doesn't appear to be a championship contender just yet, but keep an eye on him in the future. He is a No. 2 driver with a world of upside.

No. 16 3M Ford

Owner: Jack Roush
Driver: Greg Biffle
Crew chief: Greg Erwin
Sprint Cup debut: 2002
Age: 39
Career Sprint Cup wins: 14
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 3

2009 fantasy outlook: Biffle enjoyed a superb 2008 campaign, winning two races and finishing in the top five 12 times and the top 10 17 times. He has never posted consecutive seasons with 6,000-plus points, so if history holds true, he shouldn't enjoy a great campaign in 2009. The veteran of this team, he is surrounded by one of the strongest collection of drivers, but he plays second fiddle to Carl Edwards. Biffle is a strong No. 2, though he doesn't offer the upside of many others at his level.

No. 26 Crown Royal/Irwin Industrial Tools Ford

Owner: Geoff Smith
Driver: Jamie McMurray
Crew chief: Donnie Wingo
Sprint Cup debut: 2002
Age: 32
Career Sprint Cup wins: 2
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 16

2009 fantasy outlook: For the second consecutive year, Kenseth improved his place in the standings as he came close to reaching his 2003-05 levels. A strong finish - three third places to close out the season - bodes well for 2009. However, he has been overshadowed by Roush's other drivers, and McMurray needs to be more consistent if he wants to move up a tier. He could be a surprise pick based off his late-season success last year, but don't pick him up until you have secured at least two stronger drivers.

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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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