2012 Fantasy Football Week 16: Kicker Rankings / Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIDecember 18, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Sebastian Janikowski #11 and Shane Lechler #9 of the Oakland Raiders looks on as Janikowski kicked a fifty-seven yard field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second quarter at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 16, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In the midst of another year of disappointment in Oakland, fantasy owners caught a glimpse of what Sebastian Janikowski can be when the Raiders actually give him a steady dose of opportunities. Janikowski converted on five field goals, scoring all 15 of the Raiders' points in the teams shutout victory over the Chiefs.

On the day Janikowski converted a long of 57 yards giving him his third week out of the past five weeks with a 50-plus conversion. The bad news is his big day came fresh off converting one field goal or fewer in five of his past six games.

Hopefully savvy fantasy owners were paying attention to the competition the Raiders were playing (not to mention Oakland beat the Chiefs earlier in the season), which opened the door for one of the better days at the kicker position last week.

Don’t expect those numbers this week as the Raiders head out to Carolina and face a Panthers team that recently looks like the playoff-caliber team many expected them to be this summer. Oakland is likely to play from behind as it's done so often this season, leaving Janikowski as a risky low-end starter this week.


What Did We Learn From Week 15?

- The trend of Week 15 was slumping kickers receiving opportunities for big days, as Blair Walsh erupted for five field goals, three of them over 50 yards. While Christian Ponder struggles through his sophomore season, Walsh has suffered in his consistency over recent weeks, totaling just one field goal in his past three games.

If the Vikings can develop a consistent passing game and continue to add talent to the defense, Walsh could be in for a monster season next year. The rookie kicker has the leg to be an elite option in fantasy leagues for years to come; dynasty owners take note.

- Another kicker who struggled coming into his Week 15 performance that had a five field-goal effort was Texans Shayne Graham. The veteran came into a big game against the Colts with one conversion over this past two games, but Houston continued to give him opportunities even picking up his final field goal inside the final two minutes of the game, despite having a big lead at the time.

Nice performance, and we should expect another productive game for Graham this week as the Texans take on the Vikings at home.


Sean’s Week 16 Watch List

- After a career year in 2011, David Akers has struggled through most of the season playing with nagging injuries. Proof of his struggles can be found in his second-half numbers as Akers has a missed field goals in three of his past four games and not one of his conversions are beyond 37 yards in his past six games.

It appears San Francisco will continue to stick with the veteran down the stretch and that’s probably wise because of the success he’s had in this league and he’s a positive influence in the locker room. Look to Akers as nothing more than a low-end starter this week against the Seahawks, but he could give you steady numbers if Seattle’s top corner Richard Sherman is out.

- Both Connor Barth and Lawrence Tynes were shut out last week as their teams failed to score a point. Expect a bounce back for both kickers as they’ve had big seasons up to last week and should be trusted in the final week of the season.

1 Matt Bryant @ Lions
2 Stephen Gostkowski @ Jaguars
3 Shayne Graham Vikings
4 Dan Carpenter Bills
5 Lawrence Tynes @ Ravens
6 Blair Walsh @ Texans
7 Matt Prater Browns
8 Connor Barth Rams
9 Justin Tucker Giants
10 David Akers @ Seahawks
11 Jason Hanson Falcons
12 Dan Bailey Saints
13 Greg Zuerlein @ Buccaneers
14 Mason Crosby Titans
15 Sebastian Janikowski @ Panthers
16 Nick Novak @ Jets

Week 16 Standard Rankings – QB | RB | WR | TE | D |