2010 Stats: Points Finish 5th, 0 Wins, 6 Top Fives, 15 Top Tens, Average Running Position 14.8, Average Finish 12.8, Laps Led 108, Driver Rating 86.0
Matt Kenseth isn’t a flashy driver but I’ll take his consistency any day of the week. His 2011 stats appear weak but he finished on the lead lap 32 races last year. That’s 10 more than Juan Pablo Montoya, 9 more than Joey Logano, 8 more than Jamie McMurray, 7 more than Greg Biffle, 5 more than Jimmie Johnson, 4 more than Clint Bowyer, and 3 more than Denny Hamlin. No driver had more lead lap finishes and only Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick tied him for this feat.
When it comes to fantasy leagues consistency wins championships and no driver is more consistent than Kenseth year in and year out.
Strengths – Matt Kenseth is at his best on intermediate tracks but perhaps his greatest strength is consistency.
Weaknesses – Don’t think outside the box and decide to use him at road courses. If your fantasy league rewards qualifying points then Kenseth isn’t the driver for you.
Intermediate Track Grade– A-, Matt Kenseth hasn’t won an intermediate track race since 2009 at Auto Club Speedway but don’t count him out on these tracks. He would’ve won Texas last fall except he over drove his car during the last restart. At every intermediate track on the schedule except three Kenseth has a career average finish of 15th or better. Kenseth and his Roush teammates finished the season strong so expect big things from him in 2011.
Flat Track Grade- B, Flat tracks have been both a strong suite and a weak spot for Kenseth over the course of his career. Typically Roush cars struggle on the short flat tracks but last season at Phoenix the big three Roush drivers all finished inside the top 7. Indy has been a strong track for Kenseth and with the promise of the FR9 it’s possible that he finally kisses the bricks. His only career win on a flat track came at Phoenix.
Restrictor Plate Track Grade- B+, Kenseth is a really good restrictor plate driver. His Daytona win was far from a fluke. If anything I would say I’m surprised he hasn’t won multiple races on these wild card tracks. His results have been pretty flat since his Daytona 500 win but I trust him.
Short Track Grade- B, When it comes to short tracks I’ll only pick Matt Kenseth at Bristol. His results at other venues last year weren’t bad but they won’t take you far fantasy racing wise. Last season he finished in the teens in both Richmond and Martinsville races.
Road Course Track Grade- C, If you pick Kenseth at a road course then you haven’t been paying attention. In twenty-two road course races Kenseth has only finished in the top ten four times. When you toss in the fact he doesn’t like them then the case is closed, and I’m not going to pick him.
How to use Matt Kenseth from a Fantasy NASCAR Perspective in 2011? Matt Kenseth almost always gets off to a fast start every season. Last year he finished in the top ten in six of the first seven races. In 2009 Matt Kenseth started off the season hot by winning the first two races.
When it comes to an allocation league I would focus on using Kenseth at the big 2.0 intermediates, the cookie cutters, Bristol and Dover.