Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Place kicker

by Cory J. Bonini on August 1, 2012 @ 18:02:11 PDT

 

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Unless you play in a very deep league (at least 20 players on roster), there is no reason to draft any place kicker before the final round. Do not waste a pick on a second kicker in normal leagues - the only time this is justifiable is if you play in a best-ball format that doesn't allow roster adjustments during the season.

1) David Akers | San Francisco 49ers | 5-foot-10, 200 pounds | 14th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
42451003235831357791113352730

Fantasy analysis: San Fran's offense afforded Akers a league-high 52 field goal attempts in 2011, which was 11 more than the next closest place kicker. Expect fewer FGAs this season, but he should remain among the top options at the position. Akers has made at least 82.5 percent of his three-point tries each of the last four seasons.

2) Sebastian Janikowski | Oakland Raiders | 6-foot-1, 258 pounds | 13th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
29321003336870181091179572932

Fantasy analysis: Janikowski has arguably the strongest leg the NFL has ever seen, and he is regularly provided opportunities to prove it. He has kicked at least 80.0 percent of his field goal tries through the goal posts the last four seasons, and this year's offense should provide him ample situations for fantasy points. He has more value in leagues that reward for distance kicks.

3) Nate Kaeding | San Diego Chargers | 6-foot, 187 pounds | 9th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Nate Kaeding, PK, San Diego Chargers

Fantasy analysis: A torn anterior cruciate ligament on the opening kickoff in Week 1 cost Kaeding all of the 2011 season. He is healthy and competing with Nick Novak, but it figures to be a competition in name only. Barring a setback, Kaeding should regain his form as one of the most reliable fantasy football kickers available. Take a chance on him as somewhat of an undervalued, if not sleeper, option.

4) Stephen Gostkowski | New England Patriots | 6-foot-1, 215 pounds | 7th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
5558100343784018101113911132932

Fantasy analysis: The veteran bounced back nicely from a quadriceps injury that forced him to miss the second half of the 2011 season. He made 84.8 percent of his three-pointers and booted 59 extra points in this high-powered offense. Expect much of the same from Gostkowski and this O in 2012.

5) Neil Rackers | Washington Redskins | 6-foot-1, 207 pounds | 13th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy analysis: Washington provided Graham Gano the second most field goal tries in the league last year, and the incumbent will face stiff competition from Rackers. Count on this one going well into training camp, so keep a close eye on it if you draft before its conclusion. Rackers is a sleeper candidate, if such a thing exists for a kicker entering his age-36 season.

6) Jason Hanson | Detroit Lions | 6-foot, 190 pounds | 21st year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy analysis: The old timer still has a boot on him and has made a kick of at least 50 yards every season since 2004. He was granted 54 extra point tries and 29 field goal attempts in Detroit's prolific offense of a year ago. The XPAs could come down and coincide with a spike in trey attempts. Hanson is no better than a midrange option at this stage of his career, however.

7) Mason Crosby | Green Bay Packers | 6-foot-1, 207 pounds | 6th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
525510027308002467968242225

Fantasy analysis: The strength of Crosby's fantasy value comes from his extra point attempts (69 last year). He hasn't kicked more than 28 field goal tries in the last two years, largely because the Packers' offense has taken off. Crosby still finished fourth in fantasy points among kickers last year. Count on fewer XPAs and an increase in FGAs in 2012 as Green Bay feels their way through major offensive line changes.

8) Dan Bailey | Dallas Cowboys | 6-foot, 189 pounds | 2nd year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
3841100343792136811131012353134

Fantasy analysis: Dallas' offense should offer Bailey plenty of field goal opportunities in 2012. He performed admirably as a rookie last season, knocking in 86.5 percent of his threes and splitting the uprights 39 times on touchdown exclamation attempts. Bailey is a lesser known commodity and could provide value on draft day.

9) Matt Bryant | Atlanta Falcons | 5-foot-9, 203 pounds | 11th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
54571003134870281081079132730

Matt Bryant, PK, Atlanta Falcons

Fantasy analysis: Bryant has been remarkably consistent the past two seasons, but a new offensive coordinator could change things - perhaps improve them. Dirk Koetter's system should open up the offense more and create a prolific scoring machine. Bryant is a strong bet for steady production in 2012.

10) Matt Prater | Denver Broncos | 5-foot-10, 195 pounds | 6th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
5962100252886017981057352225

Fantasy analysis: Some guy named Peyton Manning is expected to make this offense better, and Prater could be a direct recipient of more work because of the new quarterback. The stocky footer has a healthy leg, having knocked in 59-yarders each of the last two seasons. The thin air of Denver doesn't hurt, either. Our ranking of Prater is a tad on the low side if he fulfills his potential.

11) Robbie Gould | Chicago Bears | 6-foot, 185 pounds | 8th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
33361002831840181081068242427

Fantasy analysis: Gould has connected on at least 83.3 percent of his field goal attempts in every year since his 2005 rookie season. Chicago's offense should be considerably improved and more consistent with the additions of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Michael Bush. Gould is a solid value pick once the elite names are off the board.

12) Alex Henery | Philadelphia Eagles | 6-foot-1, 177 pounds | 2nd year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
343710029329001911810810132629

Fantasy analysis: As a rookie last year, Henery did not disappoint. He kicked 24 of his 27 field goal tries through the uprights and made all 46 of his point-afters. Philly's potent offensive attack should produce considerable work for the second-year kicker. Confidently draft him as an every-week kicking option.

13) Dan Carpenter | Miami Dolphins | 6-foot-2, 225 pounds | 5th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
7101001114820235242402912

Fantasy analysis: Carpenter has the leg strength to hit from 60 yards out and plays for a team whose offense should get him into position just enough to matter. Carp has nailed at least 84.0 percent of his kicks in three of four NFL seasons. His biggest drawback is Miami's failure to find the end zone with any regularity, but he has 75 three-point attempts in the last two years combined.

14) Mike Nugent | Cincinnati Bengals | 5-foot-10, 190 pounds | 8th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
41441002831860268571012132427

Mike Nugent, PK, Cincinnati Bengals

Fantasy analysis: Nugent's career was quite shaky until last season, when he made 86.8 percent of his 38 field goal kicks. Cincy's offense is improving but should still experience stalls deep in enemy territory, which only benefits Nugent. He's a borderline option in 2012.

15) Randy Bullock | Houston Texans | 5-foot-9, 208 pounds | Rookie

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
4144100333686011012101257352932

Fantasy analysis: The rookie with a muscular, compact build enters an intriguing situation. Houston afforded Neil Rackers the opportunity to finish tied for the fifth most fantasy points among kickers last year. Bullock has no competition for the job and plays in an offense that will give him looks. Rookie kickers are hit or miss (pun intended), although Bullock has what it takes to be a fringe No. 1.

16) Josh Brown | New York Jets | 6-foot, 202 pounds | 10th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
4346100313481018107968242528

Fantasy analysis: Incumbent Nick Folk will battle Brown this preseason. While it's still up in the air, Brown's history is more impressive than Folk's and could work in his favor. He is coming off a poor year, but so is Folk. Stay tuned. Brown is worth consideration if he wins the job.

17) Rob Bironas | Tennessee Titans | 6-foot, 210 pounds | 8th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
35381003134840168810810242629

Fantasy analysis: It looks like Jake Locker is poised to win the starting job, which could lead to a lot of looks for Bironas. Either way, the veteran kicker has above-average leg strength and has made at least 90.6 percent of his kicks over the last two years. He should be considered a safe although uninspiring candidate for your team.

18) Jay Feely | Arizona Cardinals | 5-foot-10, 208 pounds | 12th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

XPA XP% FGA FG% FG 1-19 FG 20-29 FG 30-39 FG 40-49 FG 50+ Tot FGs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
3336100273086018107979242427

Fantasy analysis: Feely is coming off his worst season since 2004 and doesn't offer a lot for fantasy owners. If the Cardinals' offense picks up a little steam, however, he could be a worthwhile play most weeks. For now, he should be left for the wire in standard formats.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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