- Scott Engel, ESPN Fantasy Games
While it's easier to anchor your Fantasy NASCAR squad with top drivers, winning your league can often come down to who has the best "secondary" or lower-tier performers. No matter what style of league you play in, grabbing a bargain driver can boost you to the top spot. So here is a list of less heralded and less experienced Nextel Cup competitors who could make fine choices next to guys like Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart. Stock Car Challenge values are included for those who play in the ESPN.com game.
Clint Bowyer (SCC Value - 20.0): He was overshadowed by Denny Hamlin for most impressive rookie of 2006. But Bowyer asserted himself well, with 11 top-10 finishes. He battled some bad luck in his rookie campaign, but he'll have experience and good cars on his side this season. Bowyer could contend for the Chase and he'll deliver more respectable finishes this season.
Casey Mears (19.5): He has been tabbed as a possible sleeper in the past, but now he must deliver or continue to be regarded as mediocre. A move to the No. 25 Chevrolet provides him with the equipment, crew and team he needs to succeed. It will be a boom or bust season for Mears. He'll either flourish in his new ride or fantasy owners will become convinced he will never be a standout.
Scott Engel offers some under-the-radar drivers to watch.