1) Garrett Hartley, place kicker, New Orleans Saints
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
kickers combined for 28 field goal attempts last year; that number could have been higher if 46-year-old John Carney
wasn't booting kicks for them. With Hartley, I think head coach Sean Payton
is more likely to attempt more kicks from further out. Hartley has missed just two field goals (22-for-24) in his two years in the league. Extra points shouldn't be a problem, either.
2) Stephen Gostkowski, place kicker, New England Patriots
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
I've never owned Gostkowski, either. Often going as the top kicker,
which isn't advised, I was still pleased to land him in the final round. Gostkowski
hasn't finished lower than sixth in the past two years, and New England's offense
should provide plenty of opportunities. I probably would have went with the New
' Garrett Hartley
not taken him the pick before me.
3) Adam Vinatieri, place kicker, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Jared Byrd | Team Roster
Who snagged Hass?
Whenever I consider drafting a place kicker, I usually have two criteria - they should play for a high-powered offense and they should play in favorable weather conditions on a regular basis. Vinatieri should be able to return to normalcy this year following an injury-plagued 2009 campaign.
4) Rob Bironas, place kicker, Tennessee Titans
Team: John Kotch | Team Roster
Bironas has displayed great long-range accuracy. Last season, he hit 10 out of 12 field goal attempts within the 40-to-49 yard range, and five of six from 50-plus yards. Bironas has had 77 total extra point tries over the past two years and has had no fewer than 32 field goal attempts in each of the past three years. With the likes of Nate Kaeding
, Mason Crosby
, and Garrett Hartley
off the board, Bironas was the best available kicker.
5) Ryan Longwell, place kicker, Minnesota Vikings
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Longwell is a part of a team that scored the second most points in the league last season, and he should get plenty of opportunities to put up points this season. Longwell does not have to worry about the wind in at least half of his games, which helps his field goal percentage.
6) Anthony Gonzalez, wide receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Team: Jack Douglas | Team Roster
In 2009, Gonzalez was lost for the season when he sustained a right knee injury in Week 1. Before that, he was the Colts' No. 2 wide receiver, averaging 47 receptions for 620 receiving yards and 3.5 touchdowns per season. His current health seems improved, but there remain big concerns. Still, he is young and if he recovers fully could potentially resume his role as the second wide receiver. Within a few weeks of the start of the season, I should know whether or not he is worth retaining. If not, then I can release him. The upside here is worth the risk.
7) Shayne Graham, place kicker, Baltimore Ravens
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
The Ravens' offense could be very explosive this year; I'm expecting Graham to receive more opportunities for field goals than the combination of Steven Hauschka
and Billy Cundiff
did last season. I'm comfortable with Graham as a possible midrange No. 1 kicker.
8) Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
A threat if fully healthy?
It wasn't that long ago that Hasselbeck was a top-10 fantasy football
quarterback and drafted much, much higher than this. Two poor, injury-riddled seasons later, and everyone is writing him off. He is in a contract year, worked out like a madman during the offseason and the team finally addressed offensive line concerns. If he can stay healthy and quickly adjust to his new system, 3,400 yards and 20-plus touchdowns are easily within reach.
9) David Akers, place kicker, Philadelphia Eagles
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Akers successfully converted at least 30 field goals and 40 extra point attempts for the second consecutive season last year. He should continue to see a decent amount of scoring opportunities in the Eagles' offense.
10) Robbie Gould, place kicker, Chicago Bears
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
In the last two seasons, Gould has been flawless on field goals inside the 40 - a perfect 33-of-33. Combine that accuracy with an offense that should improve because of the brains of Mike Martz
and the healthier legs of Matt Forte
, and you've got a No. 1 place kicker. One other bonus: Gould's bye week is not until Week 8. That means more than half of the fantasy season will go by before I have to involve Gould in a roster decision.
11) Dan Carpenter, place kicker, Miami Dolphins
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
League rules require a kicker for each team. I think Miami's up-and-coming offense, along with Carpenter's accuracy and leg strength, made this easy considering what was left. I hate to call a kicker a sleeper, but Carp has the potential to be a consistent option.
12) Matt Bryant, place kicker, Atlanta Falcons
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: I'll leave it to my cohorts at KFFL.com,
who have put it ever so
eloquently as to why Bryant is sneaky pick at place kicker. I'll be a little
blunter. Bryant is accurate. Steven Hauschka
is inaccurate. The Falcons (should) have an above-average
offense, if Michael Turner is healthy. Jason
Elam was a fantasy asset in 2008. Bryant can be the same. I considered the
Oakland Raiders' Sebastian
Janikowski, but ... it's just a kicker.
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