Fantasy Football Rankings- Kickers
By Staff Writer John Belaska
The kicker is the most neglected position in fantasy football. Most owners like to wait until the last round of the draft to take one. This is ridiculous considering the kicker is an actually starting position on a fantasy roster. Owners are more willing to grab a fifth running back than to fill a starting position sometimes. This does not work out well for them in most cases.
It is always better to have a starting lineup that is filled with talent than to have a whole bunch of players who can rack up points sitting on the bench. Sure adding depth to a roster is important, but that depth should never come at the cost of points from starters. Remember, you do not win if all your points come from your bench. Do yourself a favor and make sure your starting lineup is always good to go.
10. Blair Walsh
Blair Walsh is only one year removed from being the highest scoring fantasy football kicker in the NFL. He was typically the first kicker taken in leagues last season. He ended up disappointing based on his draft value in 2013. Because the 2012 season is still a recent memory, he does still hold some value this season. Walsh is one of those players that could go either way. He will either be great or be a bust. Due to his potential he does make the list, but if he does not pan out his fantasy owners should look for a replacement on the waiver wire.
Steven Hauschka was a great asset in 2013. His success can be attributed to the Seahawks’ team as a whole. They put him in a lot of great positions last season. However, it is hard to see the Seahawks being as dominant this season. Not only do they still have to contend with the NFC West, but they are also going to have to play the AFC West this season. Those are some tough matchup that will require more than field goals to win games.
It is never a bad idea to rely on Adam Vinatieri. He is good every year. Since he is no longer considered the best kicker in fantasy football, he can be had at a good value in the draft. With the makeup of the Colts’ offense, he should have a better season in 2014.
7. Matt Prater
The expectations of Matt Prater should be much lower this season. More than likely he is going to be one of the top three kickers taken in all drafts. However, when you look at the way his fantasy points broke down in 2013, you would see that most of his points came on point after attempts. He led the league in PATs by a long shot. It is not likely the Broncos are going to score as much as they did in 2013; therefore Prater’s value is a bit diminished.
6. Dan Bailey
It is never a bad idea to take the Cowboys’ kicker. The Cowboys have a high powered offense that often times struggles to put the ball in the end zone. This means Dan Bailey will get plenty of chances to hit field goals. Due to the power of the offense, he would normally get more PAT opportunities, but with Romo’s health in jeopardy it is more likely his number of fields goals will increase. Not a bad thing.
Justin Tucker is one of the best kickers in the league. Not only is he good in fantasy football, but he is also a stud kicker in real life. He would be higher on this list if it was not for the questions on the Ravens’ offense. The line is horrible and Ray Rice may end up missing some of the season. This definitely hurts Tucker’s chances of getting field goals. You cannot kick the ball through the uprights if your team cannot move the ball.
4. Nick Novak
Nick Novak is somewhat of a sleeper this season. Nobody is really talking about him. He was not amazing last season, nor was he terrible. However, with the offense the Chargers have, Novak’s team is very capable of putting him in field goal range. Also, the Chargers are not playing any risky football. Their conservative style of play means they would take the field goal over risking a turnover any day.
3. Mason Crosby
Mason Crosby was one of the best kickers in the league last season. He actually was the best in the league until Aaron Rodgers went down due to injury. With Rodgers healthy once again, there is no reason to think Crosby will not pick up where he left off prior to the star quarterback getting injured.
2. Phil Dawson
Phil Dawson may not be the flashiest pick, but it is a very safe one. Safety is what you need out of a kicker. He is constantly finishing in the top five kickers in terms of fantasy points. Last season was not as good as normal and he still was a top five kicker. This was due to the 49ers inability to move the ball through the air. This season, the 49ers have Michael Crabtree back and have added Stevie Johnson. This means the lack of offense firepower problem should disappear and Dawson is set to benefit from it.
1. Stephen Gostowski
A Patriots’ kicker is always a good choice in fantasy football. The Pats use their kicker often because they are not willing to take chances of turning the ball over without getting any points on the board. Gostowski is one of the best in league. Not only is he talented, but his team sets him up for success. This is exactly what you look for in a fantasy football kicker.