In keeping with last year's new format to the fantasy blogs on the Granite Stripe, this year's race previews will highlight three drivers: one that should be a race contender; one that is worthy of cautious optimism; and one that should be disregarded for one reason or another.

Aside from the other restrictor plate track (Talladega), Daytona is the hardest race to predict because the pack-style racing allows any driver on the track to win.  (Think Trevor Bayne in the 2011 Daytona 500 or David Ragan at Talladega in 2013.)  But, predictions needs to be made, so here we go:

Green Flag - Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The defending race winner has four top-two finishes in the last 10 Daytona races, which is statistically improbable.  He leads the field with a 13.4 average finish at the track and has always had a knack for performing well at restrictor plate races.  Let's see if he can defend his Daytona 500 title!

Caution Flag - Danica Patrick

She has two top-10s in five starts at Daytona and has shown the ability to run with the lead pack in these races.  Her performance here is better than it's been at most tracks.  Take caution if you're playing Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, as she's going to be one of the few good options on the C-list and users only get nine starts on a driver per season.

Red Flag - The Busch Brothers

This is a cop out for sure, but it's difficult to say "no way" on a driver when each has a relatively even shot at winning the race.  These two don't.  Kurt Busch is indefinitely suspended based on off-track conduct, and Kyle Busch suffered a broken right leg and a broken left foot in a gruesome crash in the XFINITY Series on Saturday.  Neither will race on Sunday, nor any time soon, so make sure they're out of all lineups for the foreseeable future.