If you are like any other football fan, then you love your fantasy football.  But, if y..."/> If you are like any other football fan, then you love your fantasy football.  But, if y..."/>

NPC’s 2011 Fantasy Draft Guide: Kickers


If you are like any other football fan, then you love your fantasy football.  But, if you are like me, then you want to pull your hair out (making yourself look like our friend Larry there) trying to figure out who to pick.  Well fret not because NPC has decided to take a crack at helping you select your draft positions.  So without further ado….

Uhhhh, are we really starting with kickers?  Yeah I’m with you if you are thinking that.  But I figured that we’ll start with the lowliest of fantasy positions, and then work our way up as the week moves along.  So here it is – your top 10 guide for selecting kickers.  And you can be as sure as the day is long that Jeff Reed will not be on this list.

1. Nate Kaeding, Chargers

If you were following Kim’s post on Big Ben’s poor placement among QB’s, then you would see the Chargers and their offense have become a bit of a hot topic.  Last season Kaeding scored 115 points.  He missed three games due to a groin injury, so his numbers could have been even higher.  With a percentage last season of 82% his consistency isn’t fantastic.  Where Nate’s true power is that he had five double digit games last season that would help propel any fantasy team in a close game onto the side of victory.  It’s ok in my book to go a few games with your kicker getting only 3 or 6 points a game but then rock out a bunch of games with 12 or more.  The Chargers offense has stayed potent (though it swirls with doubts) and should produce to get him into close range and rack up the tally with XP’s.

2. Matt Bryant, Falcons

Bryant was one of the best kickers last year hitting 90% of his kicks.  He scored a total of 128 points last season.  Again, the Falcons’ have  a potent offense that should be able to get Bryant within striking distance on a regular basis – all but one of his attempts last year were from within 49 yards.  Even though his contract year was last year, and he resigned with the Falcons, his production should not fall off.  Over the past three seasons he’s hit 84% of his field goals and has become somewhat clutch for his team.

3. Neil Rackers, Texans

Neil proved last season that he still has a booming leg when he went to the Texans.  He hit 3 of 4 from over 50 yards, which is a good thing if you are the Texans.  He scored 132 points last season and should be just as productive.  He was 100% from 1-39 yards, so he doesn’t miss the easy ones.  Rackers downfall is that he is not that great of a clutch kicker… but does that really matter in fantasy?

4. Mason Crosby, Packers

Crosby is a bit of a risk in the top 5.  Not because of his accuracy or power, but because of who he plays for.  The Packers offense is very good and very productive.  The problem is they score a lot of touchdowns.  Crosby had his lowest number of attempts last season at 28.  He scored 118 points last season, but I think he will eclipse that mark this season.  The Packers still have great offensive weapons, but I’m banking on the Super Bowl Blues to hit them a few times this season – leading them to kick more often than last year.

5. David Akers, 49’ers

I like David Akers as a kicker.  He has always had good accuracy – 84-86% – and is good within 39 yards.  Much of what was going for Akers was that he played for the Eagles.  I’m sure he’s saddened not to be part of that ‘Dream Team,’ but it shouldn’t effect his ability to produce.  Going to the 49’ers makes him a bit of a risky pick.  But as the #2 point getter for the past three seasons, he will still be a very productive kicker.  I have faith in the ‘other Harbaugh’ that the 49’ers offense will get Akers plenty of chances this season to score some big fantasy points.

6. Josh Brown, Rams

Brown has had a huge leg ever since his rookie season back in 2003.  He can boom kicks well over 50 yards which gets him into trouble with his percentages.  Brown scored 132 points last season, even though he went 84% in accuracy.  He just kicks a lot.  With the Rams and Bradford picking up steam in their offense, I don’t see his production slowing down too much.  And why should it when you are the highest paid kicker in the league.

7. Adam Vinatieri, Colts

Vinatieri in the top 10 is another one of those risky picks at the end of your draft.  He scored 136 points last season and made 92% of his field goal attempts.  The problem is he only attempted 28 field goals.  Not great for fantasy projections.  But, there is an X factor involved that has nothing to to with Vinatieri – Peyton Manning.  How healthy is he, and when will he make his first start this season.  And, when he returns, how effective will he be in moving the ball into enemy territory?  I think he will get more attempts in this season and his repaired hip should not give him much trouble.

8. Garrett Hartley, Saints

Hartley only made 80% of his kicks last season and even lost his starting job in Week 3.  He got it back and went gang busters making 16 of his last 18 to close out the season.  Hartley is within an offense that could either get him a ton of attempts or hardly any depending on how many times Drew Brees gets the ball into the end zone.  I suggest if you draft Brees as your QB, don’t draft Hartley – a bit of a conflict of interest going on there.  He went 2/2 from over 50 yards last season, so the leg power is certainly there.  He’ll get good production this season, just hope that Brees doesn’t have a 5,000 yard season.

9. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots

Gostkowski tore a quad last season and only made 10 field goals before he was done for the season.  I’m not too keen on guys coming back from injury having fantastic seasons.  But, Gostkowski has proven to be an effective fantasy point generator.  Back in 2009, the dude scored over 140 points by making 36 field goals and 40 XP’s – and if you’re wondering he had 90% accuracy on those field goal attempts.  Gostkowski falls into the same scenario as Hartley – he’s either going to get a ton of attempts like he did back in 2009, or he’s going to be kicking a ton of XP’s if the New England offense decides to blow things up on the field.  But still a worthy top 10 kicker pick if you decide to go for him.

10. Rob Bironas, Titans

I’m putting Bironas on this list because Vince Young or Kerry Collins no longer play for that team.  The Titans have a very potent running game and now, with the addition of Matt Hasselbeck, have a better passing game.  Bironas is 84% in attempts over the past 3-4 seasons.  Grant it, he hasn’t had more than 30 attempts – but again sometimes it’s who you play for that will kill ya.  I think Bironas will have a good chance at getting more attempts this season, and as long as he can hold up that 84%, he should have a pretty good fantasy season scoring over 130 points.

Honorable mention should go to Sebastian Janikowski.  Sebass was the No.1 kicker last season with 150 points.  But he plays for the Raiders and had less than 100 points numerous seasons prior to that.  He’s in the top 20 at least, but not really worth it unless your league has more than 20 people in it.

Well there you have it.  A Top 10 guide to your fantasy kickers.  Those were my opinions, take them as you want.  Be sure to come back each day for more positional breakdowns for your 2011 fantasy teams.  Good luck!

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