Usually cast aside until late in drafts are the lonely kickers. Extra points and field goals can be lifesavers in your closer games making the kickers a position not to be overlooked. The production of a kicker is more often than not contingent upon the offense their respective team has and how well it moves the ball, as well as the accuracy of the kicker. Probably just as important is the fact that you should probably not take a kicker until the last 3 rounds of a draft. Here’s the top 10.
1 – Nate Kaeding – An injury kept his numbers down a bit last season, but while he was playing he was very productive in a very good offense that can move the ball down the field, but had issues putting the ball in the end zone with an average power run game. That’s money for a fantasy kicker.
Point: Consistently high production along with a great average over the last 4 seasons (.867%).
Counterpoint: Some people can reach to high in a draft to secure the top kicker. Don’t be that guy.
2 – Stephen Gostkowski – Much the same as Kaeding, an injury slowed what appeared to be a productive year for Goskowski, with a tear to his thigh muscle. The addition of Chad Ochocinco can only help the already polished Patriots offense and Gostkowski’s overall numbers.
Point: Tom Brady will get plenty of opportunities for him be it extra points or field goal attempts.
Counterpoint: We have yet to see how he has recovered from his thigh muscle tear.
3 – Mason Crosby – After an underachieving year Crosby is poised for an improvement this season. Crosby’s accuracy is slightly below the aforementioned kickers, but he makes up for it in attempts is Green Bay’s pass friendly offense which can have trouble when trying to run the ball in.
Point: He should be closer to his average of 34 attempts per season from his 28 last year.
Counterpoint: Playoff games in weeks 14-16 could be cold weather games which do not always translate well for kickers. Plan accordingly.
4 – Garrett Hartley – Hartley started off the season last year missing 2 crucial field goals against Minnesota that shook his confidence a bit and led to him being benched for 2 games. He came back to got 16 for 18 on field goals and did not miss a kick after week 11.
Point: He comes into the season with a new contract and probably a good deal of confidence.
Counterpoint: Hartley has been know to be shaky, from a mental standpoint, at times which can spell disaster for kickers (See Mike Vanderjagt).
5 – Neil Rackers – There may be a trend your noticing here about kickers in good offenses, and yup, Rackers fits the bill as well. He has a strong leg and can kick it from 50+, but will likely get his fair share from close up. A late season hamstring issue may have slowed some of his production late last season, leaving him room for improvement on 27 field goals made on 30 attempts.
Point: High powered offense makes him a good start every week.
Counterpoint: Another kicker who has struggled with metal lapses and accuracy issues in his career. Be aware.
6 – Sebastian Janikowski – Sea Bass led the league last year in attempts with 41 mostly due to the Raiders issues at quarterback. However, the improved run game helped the offense get down the field and Janikowski has a strong accurate leg from deep out. The Raiders are looking to have a similar offense to last season and in turn Janikowski could be the benefactor.
Point: When given the attempts he is a very productive fantasy kicker.
Counterpoint: The Raiders have yet to prove they can be a steady offense.
7 – Alex Henry – The offense in Philly has an electric feel to it since Michael Vick took over, and their offensive production led to a great season for David Akers who had 38 attempts. The Eagles let him go and invested a 4th round pick in Alex Henry out of Nebraska. Henry went 18 for 19 his last season of college and kicked for an average 89% made kicks while there. He may slip in a few drafts because some managers may not know him by name yet. He could be a steal.
Point: Has huge upside in that offense.
Counterpoint: He is untested under NFL pressure kicks on what could be a bad kicking surface in Philadelphia.
8 – Matt Bryant – Roddy White has declared that Atlanta could be a repeat of St. Louis’ “Greatest Show on Turf”, and even if the Falcons don’t live up to that hype their offense remains strong and looks to give another solid year of attempts.
Point: Good bet for solid fantasy points every game.
Counterpoint: He fell off a bit at the end of last season killing fantasy owners in the playoffs, with only 4 field goal attempts from week 13 to 17.
9 – Rob Bironas – With the addition of a veteran like Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans will have a more balanced offense which can only benefit Bironas. He is a highly efficient kicker, much like Janikowski, when he is given the attempts.
Point: If Tennessee can move the ball he will be money.
Counterpoint: Will the Titans offense click?
10 – Josh Brown – Brown quietly led the NFC in attempts with 39 last season and the Rams’ offense is slowly getting better. Look for steady numbers at again with Josh McDaniels bringing in his offense. Brown was money when in Seattle, but quieted in a struggling St. Louis offense in 09. He could be money again if the offense continues to get better uner Sam Bradford.
Point: Good under the radar pick with high upside.
Counterpoint: Can struggle at times from mid-range.
Thanks for reading. Please post any comments or questions here and on Twitter @dwillPSB.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.