I'm lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to be a part of a few NASCAR fantasy pools in Sioux Falls. I didn't say I was very good at it but it's fun to be a part of. In fantasy racing, there are ups, downs, and hopefully, a few wins.

Picking a successful NASCAR team or driver can be a challenge week in and week out.

In the off-season, I thought I'd make a few predictions for the upcoming season. As always, I get to the end of my favorite 10 and I'm still left with drivers who should be ranked higher. (And, perhaps, a few who should rank lower.)

Well, that's why it's fantasy. You just never know how the season will end up. There is no scientific study deep into the numbers, it's merely my opinion.

  • My top 10 fantasy draft for 2014:
  • 1. Jimmie Johnson - Can you really go against the momentum and precision of the #48 team? There are plenty of race fans would probably rather see someone else hoist the championship trophy in Miami at the end of 2014, but he's proven he's a champion and as good as anyone who has ever driven a race car.
  • 2. Matt Kenseth - He's greatly improved his performance on tracks that, let's face it, didn't treat him too kindly in the past. Another year with Joe Gibbs racing and talented teammates should give him a shot for a championship.
  • 3. Kyle Busch - Is this finally his year? He's got a ton of talent and Kyle is maturing as a driver. He's got the skills to hoist the Sprint Cup trophy at the end of the season and is always fun to watch.
  • 4. Carl Edwards - Perhaps he is my sentimental favorite again this year, but the #99 will improve in 2014 after last season's career worst 15th place in the standings.
  • 5. Kevin Harvick - showing his championship caliber in the 2013 season his move to Stewart-Haas Racing should work for him.
  • 6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. - It may seem as if I favor the Hendrick's stable of talent, and truth is, I do. Solid equipment, top notch crew chiefs, and teammates that share information should tilt the scales. Besides, the #88 is just simply due.
  • 7. Kasey Kahne - Last season found the #5 Chevrolet with very little luck when it mattered most. Take away a few of those moments, push the rewind button on 2013 and we could have had a much different ending in November.
  • 8. Kurt Busch - Take one of the most talented and versatile drivers in the garage, give him a new team (SHR) and a much improved public image and you've got a guy who will make the chase. My prediction is Kurt will win a couple of races and bring a car to the Chase to vie for the Sprint Cup.
  • 9. Denny Hamlin - Much like the Kasey Kahne story of 2013, luck simply did not come into play for the #11. A back injury led him to miss the Chase for the first time in his career. However, Denny won the season finale at Homestead and I'll look for him to carry that momentum into the 2014 season.
  • 10. Joey Logano - The move to the #22 Penzoil proved to be a solid move for Logano who had a career best 19 top 10s, a win, and an 8th place finish in the Chase.
  • 11. Jeff Gordon
  • 12. Jamie McMurray
  • 13. Clint Bowyer
  • 14. Brad Keselowski
  • 15. Tony Stewart

If you are looking to spice up race day with a fantasy team or single driver picks, here's a few fantasy links (some pay) that you may want to try. Good luck!

NASCAR.com (free and pay options)

FanTrax (free)

CDM Sports (pay)

If you know of another reliable fantasy site, let us know below in the comment box.

I do not manage or own any of the above links.

Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR