It’s never too early to start thinking about the 2012 fantasy NASCAR season, and unless you won your league a few weeks ago, you probably can’t wait for it to begin either. Just like last year, mock drafts will be popping up at ifantasyrace.com from time to time, so be sure to check back frequently for those as well as the individual driver previews that Ryan writes. Now, without further ado, my 2012 Fantasy NASCAR Mock Draft v1.0 (with some added commentary).

  1. Carl Edwards
    –Although he has only 3 wins in the last three years combined, I expect Edwards to surpass that number in 2012 and finally get that championship.
  2. Kyle Busch
    –One day all the drama around this guy will end…right?
  3. Matt Kenseth
    –Coming off his best year since 2007 and could have battled for the championship if Brian Vickers wasn’t around.
  4. Jimmie Johnson
    –He’s lost his advantage over the rest of the field, but Johnson’s still a lock for the Chase and a top 6 finish in the points.
  5. Tony Stewart
    –I’m still not sure how Smoke won the championship, and I don’t see him being a threat for a repeat. Of course, I didn’t think he had a shot last season, either.
  6. Kevin Harvick
    –I don’t think the crew chief change will help Harvick one bit.
  7. Greg Biffle
    –Bad luck hurt this team in 2011, I see a bounce back from The Biff.
  8. Jeff Gordon
    –He’s in some of the best equipment and is always a lock for a top ten points finish.
  9. Denny Hamlin
    –When you look at his numbers, Hamlin is nothing special, and he was only in the championship hunt in 2009 because of his 8 wins. Last year was Denny’s worst season thus far in his career, hopefully (for fantasy owners) he doesn’t stay down.
  10. Kasey Kahne
    –Coming off a great end-of-the-season run and will be in Hendrick equipment now.
  11. Kurt Busch
    –Another year, another crew chief for Kurt. Will it affect him, though? Nope, just a different person to scream at week in and week out.
  12. Marcos Ambrose
    –He’s getting the hang of the ovals and could sneak into the Chase with wins at the road courses. Sleeper alert.
  13. Brad Keselowski
    –I don’t see lightning striking twice for this team and him making it into the Chase via wins, or points for that matter.
  14. A.J. Allmendinger
    –He’s improving every year, but when will The Dinger finally break out?
  15. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
    –When you look at his 2011 statistics it’s really mind-boggling how Junior got in the Chase. Being consistently average probably won’t work in 2012.
  16. Ryan Newman
    –Another 2011 Chaser that I think will take a step back in 2012.
  17. Joey Logano
    –He could be racing for his future this season.
  18. Clint Bowyer
    –I still think it was a terrible decision by Bowyer to go to MWR.
  19. Jeff Burton
    –He came on strong at the end of 2011, but I think the tank is approaching “E” on Jeff Burton.
  20. Martin Truex, Jr.
    –About the only thing you can say about him is “potential”.
  21. Paul Menard
    –A year under his belt at RCR could make Menard more comfortable this season.
  22. Jamie McMurray
    –His magical 2010 season seems like oh so long ago, doesn’t it?
  23. Regan Smith
    –He improves with each passing season, but Smith really needs some better equipment.
  24. Juan Montoya
    –Last I heard was that he might be signing an extension with Earnhardt/Ganassi, but if that doesn’t happen he could be out of NASCAR soon.
  25. Bobby Labonte
    –Just because right now I’m not sure on the status of Brian Vickers or David Ragan, among others.

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