DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 23rd
TREVOR BAYNE (ROUSH FENWAY RACING) FORD
2016 FANTASY LIVE POINTS: 909 (RANKED 21ST)
2016 YAHOO POINTS: 1,905 (RANKED 21ST)
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 one of the most underrated fantasy drivers, Trevor Bayne.
2016 RECAP: Trevor Bayne quietly had a good season in 2016. He was not a popular pick in Fantasy Live or Yahoo Fantasy, but he was one of my go-to-drivers in DraftKings. Bayne finished 22nd in the Point standings, had two finishes in the top five (Bristol and Daytona) and had five finishes in the top 10 (Bristol, Talladega, Dover, Daytona and Watkins Glen). Bayne also led 34 laps for the season.
Bayne was at his best on the road courses, Superspeedways and the steep tracks. Bayne scored the seventh most points in Fantasy Live on the road courses (Sonoma 25th, Watkins Glen 9th), the 12th most points in Fantasy Live on the Superspeedways (Daytona 28th, Talladega 10th, Daytona 3rd, Talladega 17th) and he ran well at Bristol (5th and 12th) and Dover (10th and 20th). He was quietly the best driver for Roush Fenway Racing in 2016.
2017 PREVIEW: The No. 6 team for Roush Fenway Racing will be the same in 2017 as it was in 2016. Matt Puccia will once again serve as the crew chief and AdvoCare will serve as the primary sponsor.
The big change that may affect this team is the reduction of cars in the Roush Fenway Racing stable. The team announced that it will only run two cars in 2017. I think the reduction should help Bayne this year. The team can now focus on the two cars and have more money and resources to invest into making these cars go faster. Jack Roush has a long way to go to get back to the top of the sport, but sometimes you have to reach the bottom before you can climb to the top.
Bayne is one of the best drivers in fantasy NASCAR to pick up points on your competition. He is not a popular pick, but if you know what tracks to use him at, he can score your team a lot of points. Bayne is at his best at the two steep oval tracks (Bristol and Dover). The Tennessee native has a 10.3 average finishing position in his last three races at his home track (Bristol). Dover requires the same type of setup and driving style. Bayne had an average finishing position of 15th at the Monster Mile in 2016. I recommend using him at these two tracks.
Bayne scored his only win in the Sprint Cup Series in the 2011 Daytona 500. He still runs well on the Superspeedways. In order to win the race you must finish the race. Bayne has finished the last eight races at Daytona and Talladega on the lead lap. That is hard to do and it is a stat that should be considered when picking your drivers for these tracks.
I think Bayne has a future in this sport and someday he will consistently run in the top 15. Unfortunately Roush Fenway Racing is not at that point yet, so be sure to use Bayne at the tracks he runs well at and avoid him at the other tracks.
BEST TRACKS LAST 3 YEARS: KENTUCKY (12 AVG Finish), BRISTOL (15 AVG Finish), WATKINS GLEN (15.5 AVG Finish), RICHMOND (19.5 AVG Finish)