By Derek Lofland.
Just like tight ends, kickers and defenses can be an afterthought in fantasy football drafts.
While these positions are not going to be early selections, picking the right one in the later rounds can be the difference between winning close games and losing close games. Every point counts.
Below are our 2009 Fantasy Football's Kicker Rankings.
1. Stephen Gostkowski (Patriots) – The Patriots have a very good offense and he has great range on his kicks. Gostkowski led the NFL in field goals made with 36 last year. He was also 10-for-12 on field goals over 40 yards.
2. John Kasay (Panthers) – The Panthers have a great offense that moves up and down the field. Kasay was 12-for-15 on field goals over 40 yards. He figures to score a lot again this year.
3. John Carney (NY Giants) – He was second in the NFL in field goals made last year. Only eight attempts over 40 yards on the season and he just doesn’t have a lot of range anymore. The Giants may look to get someone with a stronger leg. If they replace Carney, we will have to reevaluate and see if the new Giants’ kicker still looks as appealing.
4. David Akers (Eagles) – Third in the NFL in field goals made with 33. Akers plays on an offense that moves the ball consistently, but has to settle for field goals in the redzone because of a poor short-yardage running game. Brian Westbrook turns 30 and if he is not up to form, hurt or ineffective, it will be interesting to see if he gets as many attempts next year.
5. Mason Crosby (Packers) – He has one of the strongest legs in the NFL. Another team that doesn’t get a lot of rushing touchdowns, so he may get chances close to the endzone as well. Only downside is that it’s tough for him to kick in Green Bay once the weather gets cold.
6. Ryan Longwell (Vikings) – One of the most accurate kickers in the NFL and he plays in a dome, which helps. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, but often settle for field goals, because they don’t have much of a passing game.