By Derek of The Sportmeisters
Hello Football Fans!
It’s June and that means OTA’s and mini-camps are all but over and actual training camp is around the corner.
Preseason games start on August 13th and boy-o-boy, I can’t wait.
Now, what I am here to discuss today are my preseason, pre-training camp Fantasy rankings for the kickers. Obviously, my rankings are likely to change, but here are my first projections of the year.
1. Stephen Gostkowski—New England Patriots—Projection: 30-33 FG 52-52 XP
Brady’s back and that means more extra points and better chance at field-goal range. Gostkowski led the league with 36 field goals last year and will probably be one of the first kickers off the board.
2. Nate Kaeding—San Diego Chargers—Projection: 29-32 FG 48-48 XP
Kaeding has been a dependable fantasy kicker for years and will stay that way. The Chargers score a bunch of points and will get into field-goal range more often than not, so drafting Kaeding isn’t a bad idea.
3. David Akers—Philadelphia Eagles—Projection: 29-33 FG 47-47 XP
I really like the Eagles' offense this year and that includes their kicker. Akers attempted 40 field goals last year, so you know they get will him chances, and I think he gets a few more extra point chances this year. He should be a safe draft pick.
4. Mason Crosby—Green Bay Packers—Projection: 30-36 FG 44-44 XP
Crosby has been fairly consistent in his first two years in the NFL. He led the NFL in points in 2007 and had 34 field goal attempts and 46 extra points last year. He should continue to see opportunities and is a safe choice come draft day.
5. Rob Bironas—Tennessee Titans—Projection: 34-38 FG 35-35 XP
Bironas attempted 33 field goals last year, 19 of them between 40 and 49 yards. He has a big leg as has made five field goals from 50 yards out or more the past two years. With Kerry Collins at QB, the Titans will more than likely kick more field goals than attempt extra points, so you can draft Bironas and feel confident in his ability to score points.
6. Jason Elam—Atlanta Falcons—Projection: 29-31 FG 44-44 XP
Elam proved last year that he is far from done. He connected on 29-of-31 attempts and was a perfect 10-for-10 from 40-49 yards. He has been one of the best kickers in the NFL for years and has been a consistent fantasy player as well. He should put up similar numbers and will be a top-tier fantasy kicker.
7. Ryan Longwell—Minnesota Vikings—Projection: 31-35 FG 43-43 XP
Longwell still has a lot of juice left in that leg, and he proved that last year going a perfect 6-for-6 from beyond 50 yards. With Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson at the helm, Longwell should see his fair share of field goal attempts, so draft him and expect good results.
8. Nick Folk—Dallas Cowboys—Projection: 26-29 FG 47-47 XP
Folk was a fantasy disappointment last year, as was the entire Cowboy offense. However, I expect a bounce back year from the entire offense and that means Folk will get more opportunities at both field goals and extra points. He should be a top-10 kicker.
9. Neil Rackers—Arizona Cardinals—Projection: 27-31 FG 45-45 XP
Rackers has a huge leg and has been fairly efficient the past few years. Especially in 2005, when he attempted 42 field goals, seven of them from 50+. He is on a team with a big offense, so expect a good amount of points from him this year.
10. Robbie Gould—Chicago Bears—Projection: 28-32 FG 40-40 XP
Gould has been consistent from inside 30 yards, as has never missed a kick from that range. However, he has never made a kick from 50+. He has a new QB at the helm of his team’s offense and should see more attempts as a result of that. He should be a consistent option this year.
11. John Kasay—Carolina Panthers—Projection: 27-30 FG 41-41 XP
Kasay has been good for years and was good again last year. He attempted 31 field goals and made 46 extra points. Expect much of the same from him this year.
12. Josh Brown—St. Louis Rams—Projection: 31-34 FG 31-31 XP
Brown is a good kicker on a bad team. He attempted 36 field goals, but just 19 extra points last year. The Rams should be a bit better this year, as long as QB Marc Bulger and RB Steven Jackson stay healthy, and he should see more extra points.
13. Kris Brown—Houston Texans—Projection: 27-30 FG 41-41 XP
The other Brown has been quite good the past two years. He has made seven of eight attempts from beyond 50 yards and has 62 field goal attempts in that time. Houston has a fairly good offense, so expect another good year from Brown.
14. Shayne Graham—Cincinnati Bengals—Projection: 26-30 FG 37-37 XP
Graham was bad last year. Much of that was due to a groin injury and a lack of production from the Bengals offense without QB Carson Palmer. Palmer is back this year and Graham is healthy, so expect him to return to his usual fantasy numbers.
15. Garrett Hartley—New Orleans Saints—Projection: 24-27 FG 51-51 XP
Here is the sleeper kicker. Hartley only attempted 13 field goals last year, but made them all. He kicks for New Orleans and we all know the offense that is there, so we can expect Hartley to get a multitude of chances.
There are my first projections for fantasy football. The K position is not very important to your fantasy team, but they can win or lose a week for you by those one or two points.
However, you should not draft a kicker before the final two rounds of the draft because you will probably get almost equal value from any one of them. Any questions or concerns, email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.
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