DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 14th
KASEY KAHNE (HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS) CHEVY
2016 FANTASY LIVE POINTS: 1,125.5 (RANKED 14TH)
2016 YAHOO POINTS: 2,204 (RANKED 16TH)
The 2017 NASCAR season is right around the corner. In order to get fantasy teams ready for the new season I decided to recap the 2016 season for my top 30 drivers and preview how I think they will perform this year. Each day I will post two driver previews until my No. 1 fantasy driver is revealed. I will continue my rankings with Kasey Kahne.
2016 RECAP: Kasey Kahne was horrible in 2016 until the Chase begin. It is obvious that Hendrick Motorsports was hiding some speed because once the races started to count for the championship all four Hendrick Motorsports cars started to run in the top 10. Kahne finished eight of the 10 Chase races in the top 13. I expect that speed to carry over to the 2017 season.
Kahne was a good choice on select tracks in Yahoo Fantasy last year. He had three finishes in the top five (Richmond, Dover and Charlotte) and 13 finishes in the top 10 (most of these came in the final 10 Chase races).
Kahne was at his best on the large –flat tracks (Pocono and Indianapolis) in 2016. He finished sixth at the first Pocono race and 15th in the second. Kahne finished 18th at Indianapolis. He scored the ninth-most points (116 points) in Fantasy Live on these tracks. Kahne was also a good pick on the road courses. He scored the ninth-most points (74 points) in Fantasy Live at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.
2017 PREVIEW: Usually when a team finishes the season with fast cars they begin the next season with fast cars as well. It just takes some time for the other teams to catch up. Hendrick Motorsports had the best cars at the end of the 2016 season and they should be fast at the start of the 2017 season. I expect Kahne to get off to a fast start since he is good at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Kansas.
Everything will be the same for Kahne in 2017. Keith Rodden will serve as his crew chief and Farmers Insurance will be the primary sponsor.
Kahne was placed into Group B of Yahoo Fantasy. Fantasy players should not have a hard time using their nine allocations with the No. 5 car in 2017. Kahne will be a good choice at the 1.5-mile tracks early in the season (Las Vegas, Texas and Kansas), the two road courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen) and at the two steep ovals (Bristol and Dover).
I expect Kahne to be priced around $21 in Fantasy Live. Since he has a problem leading laps Kahne does not have much value in this game. If his price falls under $18 I would consider using him, but I would not recommend paying over $20 for a driver who cannot lead laps.
BEST TRACKS LAST 3 YEARS: SONOMA (7.6 AVG Finish), RICHMOND (10.8 AVG Finish), DOVER (10.8 AVG Finish), LAS VEGAS (11.6 AVG Finish), KANSAS (11.8 AVG Finish), ATLANTA (12.6 AVG Finish)
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