Fantasy NASCAR Driver Big Board: Looking Ahead to 2020

It's never too soon to start preparing for the 2020 Fantasy NASCAR season, and expert Brian Polking gets you ready with a first look at the top drivers for next year.

Oct 22, 2017; Kansas City, KS, USA; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) races on track during the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season just ended, but if you are a Fantasy NASCAR diehard like myself, then it is never too soon to start looking ahead to 2020. Silly season has already delivered plenty of surprises, and while drivers like Matt DiBenedetto and Chris Buescher are switching teams this offseason, we also have the “Big Three” of Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick all making the jump from the XFINITY Series to the Cup Series at the same time. There are still a few seats to be finalized, so these rankings may shuffle a bit before Speedweeks at Daytona rolls around. Until then, check out a first look at my Top 30 drivers for 2020.

Driver
2019 Rating
2019 Avg. Finish
Fantasy Spin
Kyle Busch
108.4
8.9
Averaging 6.5 wins, 19.5 Top 5s, 27.5 Top 10s and an 8.6 average finish the last two years
Martin Truex Jr.
103.4
9.8
Led the series in wins for the second time in the last three seasons in 2019
Kevin Harvick
105.2
10.1
Multiple wins, double-digit Top 5s and 20-plus Top 10s are his floor
Chase Elliott
92.2
15.2
Poised for a big 2020 after another three-win campaign and a career-best 601 laps led last year
Joey Logano
98.4
10.8
Struggled a bit down the stretch, but he still ranked in the Top 5 in average finish and Top 10s
Denny Hamlin
98.0
9.5
Put a winless 2018 behind him with the best overall season of his career
Kyle Larson
90.4
15.1
A strong second half bodes well for a big rebound campaign in 2020
Brad Keselowski
94.8
12.9
Pencil in three wins, 12 Top 5s and 20 Top 10s for one of the most versatile drivers in the series
Erik Jones
85.1
15.3
Needs to be more consistent, but he offers weekly Top 5 upside and is still just 23 years old
Ryan Blaney
93.8
13.8
His 11 Top 5s, 18 Top 10s and 13.7 average finish last year were all career highs
William Byron
85.0
14.9
The sky is the limit after massive leap between his rookie and sophomore seasons
Kurt Busch
87.9
13.1
Don’t expect Top 5 upside, but he will be around the Top 10 almost every week
Clint Bowyer
86.6
15.2
Up and down at the bigger ovals, but he’s a great option at road courses and short tracks
Alex Bowman
82.0
14.4
Still trying to put it all together, but he showed Top 5 potential at the 1.5-mile tracks
Aric Almirola
83.3
15.4
Limited upside but a dependable Top 15 performer
Matt DiBenedetto
69.9
18.3
The breakout star of 2019 is headed for a career year with Wood Brothers Racing
Christopher Bell
N/A
N/A
JGR’s next star makes the jump to Cup after dominating at the XFINITY level
Jimmie Johnson
78.7
17.4
Hard to expect much from his swan song after a career-worst 17.4 average finish
Cole Custer
N/A
N/A
Elite equipment awaits the rookie as he begins his Cup career at Stewart-Haas
Chris Buescher
67.4
17.9
Moves to Roush Fenway Racing after producing steady Top 20 results in 2019
Ryan Newman
71.7
14.6
The veteran won’t wow you, but he is one of the best at grinding out solid finishes
Tyler Reddick
70.0
18.0
Jumps to the Cup level with RCR after back-to-back XFINITY titles
Austin Dillon
70.0
19.5
Career underachiever at the Cup level, but his equipment allows for mid-pack results
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
70.1
20.5
Landed a ride with JTG Daugherty, but his crash rate makes him tough to trust
Ryan Preece
54.6
23.1
Made small gains late in 2019, but Preece’s ceiling is limited by equipment
Ty Dillon
57.2
20.6
Was able to flirt with Top 20s on a routine basis in the second half of 2019
Corey LaJoie
44.6
25.9
Alliance with Stewart-Haas gives LaJoie serious sleeper potential if he returns to the No. 32
John H. Nemechek
51.8
23.7
Could be a decent DFS punt option with a full-time ride at Front Row
Bubba Wallace
53.6
24.0
Tough to be more than a Top 25 driver in his current equipment
Michael McDowell
53.1
24.6
Sleeper potential at the superspeedways and road courses

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