After a slow start to the 2010 season, Edwards became better and better as the year progressed. He capped a strong second half of the year with back-to-back wins in the final two races, putting him on the short list of drivers capable of winning the title in 2011. He finished the year fourth in the final standings, and his 11.8 average finish was the second best in the series.
In many ways, Edwards has become a victim of his own success. His nine-win campaign in 2008 made him an elite driver, and he has been forced to live up to those numbers ever since. The fact is that Edwards has been a very steady performer even if the wins haven't been there the last two seasons. Since the start of the '08 season, he ranks in the top 15 in terms of points scored at every track type on the schedule, ranking seventh or better at all types except intermediate tracks.
He is an emerging all-around talent with as much upside as any driver in the series. Edwards has averaged a top-15 finish in every season at the Cup level, and he has posted two of his best averages in the last three seasons. In other words, Edwards is still getting better. Considering that his numbers are already impressive, his potential alone makes him worth a first-round pick in any draft.
Last season, Denny Hamlin used the momentum from the end of the 2009 season to have an incredible 2010 campaign. Edwards looks like the likely candidate to do the same in 2011. At worst, he is a top-10 driver. At best, he can win the series title. Either way, Edwards deserves to go high in any draft and to have a regular spot on fantasy rosters throughout the year in all formats.
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