Kickers may be the red-headed stepchildren of the fantasy realm, but they still deserve one day of glory on the Fantasy Fox blog.
To wit, here’s a look at my rankings for the 32 presumed starters at this position, heading into Week 1. I say presumed because, as we already know, the majority of kickers are eminently replaceable assets in the real world.
These rankings are subject to changebetween now and Sept. 8.
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Top 32 Kickers
1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots 2. Matt Prater, Broncos 3. Blair Walsh, Vikings 4. Phil Dawson, 49ers 5. Matt Bryant, Falcons 6. Justin Tucker, Ravens 7. Randy Bullock, Texans 8. David Akers, Lions
1. With the Patriots, Gostkowski has averaged 28.5 field goals, 63.5 PATs and 148 fantasy points over the last two seasons. That’s enough cachet to merit the top ranking.
2. The Broncos’ Prater had four games of three-plus field goals last year. Of equal importance, he booted multiple PATs in every single outing (including the playoffs).
3. Walsh had a stellar rookie campaign with Minnesota, connecting on three or more field goals seven times. He also nailed 9 of 9 kicks from 50-plus yards.
4. Perhaps I should boost Matt Bryant (33 field goals last year) a few notches higher. After all, new Falcons tailback Steven Jackson only has 20 touchdowns over the last four seasons (with St. Louis) — compared to Michael Turner’s 44 in the same span with Atlanta.
1. Zuerlein started his NFL career on a strong note last season, booting 13 of 13 field goals in the opening five games. But after that … things went downhill fast. Let’s hope for a sustained bounce-back in 2013.
2. Bailey is certainly a great talent with the Cowboys; but at the same time, he had 11 games of zero, one or two made field goals last year.
3. Robbie Gould (21 field goals) only played in 13 games last season, a figure that dilutes his value for the August fantasy drafts.
17. Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders 18. Alex Henery, Eagles 19. Shaun Suisham, Steelers 20. Rob Bironas, Titans 21. Graham Gano, Panthers 22. Josh Brown, Giants 23. Adam Vinatieri, Colts 24. Shayne Graham, Browns
1. Poor Janikowski. If Oakland wasn’t scraping the bottom of the barrel at quarterback — regardless of whether Matt Flynn or Terrelle Pryor gets the QB nod — he would have greater standing in the fantasy realm. (Perhaps his luck will turn once Tyler Wilson becomes the team’s full-time quarterback.)
2. Josh Brown could be a major sleeper at this position, if the Giants can replicate last year’s number of field goal attempts (39 for Lawrence Tynes).
3. Rob Bironas had five games of zero field goals last year. That’s a troubling factoid for someone drafting Bironas on reputation alone.
4. This could be a make-or-break season for Alex Henery (51 FGs for 2011-12). With that powerful leg and the Eagles’ warp-speed offensive system … the Philly kicker could be a sneaky-good bet for 30 field goals.
25. Nick Novak, Chargers 26. Jay Feely, Cardinals 27. Ryan Succop, Chiefs 28. Mike Nugent, Bengals 29. Josh Scobee, Jaguars 30. Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins 31. Nick Folk, Jets 32. Dustin Hopkins, Bills