Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin
38-Year-Old Driver  
Joe Gibbs Racing
Joe Gibbs Racing
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The Joe Gibbs Racing veteran endured a challenging season in 2018. Hamlin went winless for the first time in his 13-season career, and posted a five-season low in Top 10s with 17. It all added up to his worst point standings finish (11th) of the last five years. Hamlin will look to hit the reset button this season and get back to his winning ways. He'll start out with a new crew chief as Mike Wheeler moves on to other challenges and the No. 11 team will be headed up by new chief, Chris Gabehart. We expect Hamlin to rebound to more recent numbers this season. That would include getting back to victory lane once or twice and a Top-10 total closer to 20 or more. Hamlin could come cheaper in fantasy drafts this season, and that presents some value to those that wait. Read Past Outlooks
Rallies for Fifth at Richmond
NASCAR Cup
April 13, 2019
Hamlin finished fifth n the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway Saturday night.
ANALYSIS
Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota would be one of many cars that would fail pre-race inspection. The Joe Gibbs Racing star would have to start from the rear of the field as a result. Hamlin would be mired deep in the field and heavy traffic for a big part of the race. He would eventually work his way inside the Top 10, and stay there the rest of the event. At lap 400 Hamlin would cross the finish line fifth for his sixth Top 5 of the season. He also extended his current Top-10 streak to seven races.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2014
2008
2006
The Joe Gibbs Racing star is coming off a typical season for the No. 11 Toyota team. Hamlin racked up two victories and 22 Top-10 finishes en route to finishing sixth in the driver standings for the second-straight year. That's been the pattern and the mark for this driver and team for the last three seasons. Crew chief Mike Wheeler and Hamlin have found a good level of consistency and the ability to win races, but they're just shy of the serious championship contender level. Although Hamlin came painfully close to making the Championship 4 at Homestead, but came up just short. With the retirement of Matt Kenseth, we expect more focus at Joe Gibbs Racing to fall on Hamlin and his race team. He and Kyle Busch are the faces of the franchise now, and championship contention is the ultimate measure of success. We expect to see Hamlin race with some real urgency in 2018.
The Joe Gibbs Racing star is one of the streakiest driver's in the Monster Energy Cup Series. Hamlin is known for his classic hot and cold streaks throughout each season. He can go on a tear for several races and be the best driver in the series or he can go completely stone cold for a period. However, it all seems to work out in the end and he'll post 2-to-3 wins and 20-22 Top 10's with a Top-10 finish in the final driver standings most of the time. 2016 was a high point in some ways as Hamlin managed a career-best 11.8 average finish. This was due in large part to much better qualifying than Hamlin typically does over a season. Hamlin and crew chief Mike Wheeler will be reunited in 2017 and they'll get right to work on improving on what was a pretty good campaign last season. This is a contract year for Hamlin, so motivation to push even higher will be priority.
There was some good news and some bad news for the driver of the No. 11 Toyota in 2015. While Hamlin rebounded to two victories and 20 top-10 finishes, it was his inconsistency late in the season that prevented him from making the Championship 4 in the Chase like he did in 2014. The disappointment of not racing for the title at Homestead was a bit mitigated by the fact that Hamlin performed better and more consistently than he has the two previous campaigns. The veteran driver will have a new crew chief in the upcoming season with Mike Wheeler taking over the duties during the offseason. Considering that Joe Gibbs Racing in general is on the rise, we can only be very optimistic that Hamlin will continue his upward trajectory in 2016.
Last season’s Chase for the Cup was like a tale of two seasons for Hamlin. He started the 10-race playoff with one victory and three Top-10 finishes, but in the second half he faded miserably. Hamlin only posted one Top 10 in the final five races of last year and limped to the finish line of 2012. That gave the driver of the No. 11 Toyota a sixth-place finish in the final driver standings. As good as Hamlin can be, he often shows mental fragility when it’s all on the line. Still, his 18 victories the last four years rank him among the elite in NASCAR. A potential championship may lie just out of reach for a time for this talented driver, but race wins and many Top 10’s are certainly in his near-future with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hamlin filled in the last races of 2005 for Gibbs in the #11 car very well. He captured the pole position at Phoenix and collected a few top 10 finishes in his handful of starts. A rookie of the year award could be in the future of Hamlin this season.
More Fantasy News
Fifth-Place in Food City 500
NASCAR Cup
April 7, 2019
Hamlin finished fifth in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.
ANALYSIS
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Rallies to Win at Texas
NASCAR Cup
March 31, 2019
Hamlin overcame two different pit road penalties to rally and win the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon.
ANALYSIS
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Leads Texas Happy Hour
NASCAR Cup
March 30, 2019
Hamlin registered the fastest lap in Saturday's final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, leading an eventful final tune-up for Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin pushed the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota to a best speed of 186.987 mph on the 1.5-mile track, NASCAR.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Fifth at Martinsville
NASCAR Cup
March 24, 2019
Hamlin finished fifth in the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon.
ANALYSIS
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Battles to Seventh at Fontana
NASCAR Cup
March 18, 2019
Hamlin overcame multiple challenges to earn a seventh-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Sunday, leading laps and scoring stage points in the 400-mile race, dennyhamlin.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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