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.

Driver2019 Rating2019 Avg. FinishFantasy Spin
Kyle Busch108.48.9Averaging 6.5 wins, 19.5 Top 5s, 27.5 Top 10s and an 8.6 average finish the last two years
Martin Truex Jr.103.49.8Led the series in wins for the second time in the last three seasons in 2019
Kevin Harvick105.210.1Multiple wins, double-digit Top 5s and 20-plus Top 10s are his floor
Chase Elliott92.215.2Poised for a big 2020 after another three-win campaign and a career-best 601 laps led last year
Joey Logano98.410.8Struggled a bit down the stretch, but he still ranked in the Top 5 in average finish and Top 10s
Denny Hamlin98.09.5Put a winless 2018 behind him with the best overall season of his career
Kyle Larson90.415.1A strong second half bodes well for a big rebound campaign in 2020
Brad Keselowski94.812.9Pencil in three wins, 12 Top 5s and 20 Top 10s for one of the most versatile drivers in the series
Erik Jones85.115.3Needs to be more consistent, but he offers weekly Top 5 upside and is still just 23 years old
Ryan Blaney93.813.8His 11 Top 5s, 18 Top 10s and 13.7 average finish last year were all career highs
William Byron85.014.9The sky is the limit after massive leap between his rookie and sophomore seasons
Kurt Busch87.913.1Don’t expect Top 5 upside, but he will be around the Top 10 almost every week
Clint Bowyer86.615.2Up and down at the bigger ovals, but he’s a great option at road courses and short tracks
Alex Bowman82.014.4Still trying to put it all together, but he showed Top 5 potential at the 1.5-mile tracks
Aric Almirola83.315.4Limited upside but a dependable Top 15 performer
Matt DiBenedetto69.918.3The breakout star of 2019 is headed for a career year with Wood Brothers Racing
Christopher BellN/AN/AJGR’s next star makes the jump to Cup after dominating at the XFINITY level
Jimmie Johnson78.717.4Hard to expect much from his swan song after a career-worst 17.4 average finish
Cole CusterN/AN/AElite equipment awaits the rookie as he begins his Cup career at Stewart-Haas
Chris Buescher67.417.9Moves to Roush Fenway Racing after producing steady Top 20 results in 2019
Ryan Newman71.714.6The veteran won’t wow you, but he is one of the best at grinding out solid finishes
Tyler Reddick70.018.0Jumps to the Cup level with RCR after back-to-back XFINITY titles
Austin Dillon70.019.5Career underachiever at the Cup level, but his equipment allows for mid-pack results
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.70.120.5Landed a ride with JTG Daugherty, but his crash rate makes him tough to trust
Ryan Preece54.623.1Made small gains late in 2019, but Preece’s ceiling is limited by equipment
Ty Dillon57.220.6Was able to flirt with Top 20s on a routine basis in the second half of 2019
Corey LaJoie44.625.9Alliance with Stewart-Haas gives LaJoie serious sleeper potential if he returns to the No. 32
John H. Nemechek51.823.7Could be a decent DFS punt option with a full-time ride at Front Row
Bubba Wallace53.624.0Tough to be more than a Top 25 driver in his current equipment
Michael McDowell53.124.6Sleeper potential at the superspeedways and road courses

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