Ranking Kickers and Defenses; The Biggest Waste Of Time in Fantasy Football

Eric PedigoContributor ISeptember 11, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 14:  Kicker Neil Rackers #4 of the Houston Texans attempts a field goal against the Arizona Cardinals during preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 19-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

        Ranking kickers and defenses in fantasy football is even more pointless than ranking other positions.  The only difference is, ranking real players is fun.  I’ve been releasing preseason fantasy football rankings for quite a few years, but the past couple of seasons I decided not to waste my time, or yours.  We don’t really need rankings when it comes to selecting a kicker or defense, just common sense.  New Orleans has a good defense, Detroit does not.  The Jets and Ravens are good, St. Louis and Cleveland-not so much.  The trick is to pick a good defense.  You only have thirty-two to pick from as opposed to the hundreds of players at other positions.  And the same goes for kickers.  Your best bet is to just take a kicker from a team that scores a lot of points.  Don’t try to guess which kicker will get more field goal attempts because his team isn’t good enough to get into the end-zone.  Get yourself a kicker who plays for a team that spends a lot of time in the red zone.  Sure you may get more extra points than field goals, but you’ll definitely get points.  Plus, no team punches it in every trip down, so you’ll still get your three pointers.  So next year forget about rankings, all you really need is a checklist.

              The truth about the kicker and defense positions in fantasy is that they’re the least important on your fantasy team.  So unimportant in fact, that there is absolutely no reason, or excuse, for taking either position until the last two rounds of the draft.  There are a lot of intelligent fantasy guys who totally understand that this is beginner stuff.  They’re the guys looking down at their notebooks and snickering after you draft Baltimore’s D in the eleventh round.  Those guys know that they can wait until the last two rounds and still get a potential top ten at either position.  And the difference between the number one ranked kicker or D and the number ten, is maybe about one fantasy point per game.  So it makes absolutely no sense to waste a mid-round pick on either, when you can get pretty much equal value at the end of the draft.  It doesn’t matter how many retro Junior Seau jerseys you own, don’t draft the Chargers D with anything but one of your last two picks, especially when there are still real players left on the board.  It’s not that a kicker or defense doesn’t have a chance to outscore a running back drafted in later rounds; it’s that kickers and Ds are the most attainable positions in fantasy football.  Go look at your waiver wire right now.  Go ahead…I’ll wait.  See what I mean?  At all times there is a perfectly solid option available for either position.  You can even play “Waiver wire defense” if you’d like.  That’s when you switch defenses week to week based on which available team has the best matchup.  At your next draft, let everyone else draft kickers and defenses early based on name value, and you go on fantasy value.  Good luck everyone.