Fantasy Football 2009 Kicker Rankings and Tips

Jody WagnerContributor IAugust 22, 2009

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 10:  Kicker Stephen Gostkowski #3  of the New England Patriots follows through on a field goal attempt during a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on August 10, 2007 in Tampa, Florida. The Bucs won 13 - 10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Every year I see fantasy football mgrs make HUGE mistakes at the kicker position and it really hurts them in the win/loss category.  Don't be that fantasy mgr that messes up at the kicker position.

The first mistake that many mgrs make is they rank their kickers by the kickers' name.  BIG MISTAKE!  How good the kicker actually is and how good he's done in the past, doesn't really matter that much.  It doesn't matter if he holds records or has been to the Pro Bowl year after year. 

What matters when ranking kickers is the team he plays for and his job security.  For example, if Stephen Gostkowski played for Detroit last year rather than NE, he wouldn't have been anywhere near the top-rated kicker. 

The second mistake that many mgrs make is they take their kicker way too early.  One year, in my main league, an EXPERIENCED mgr took a kicker in the 2nd round and immediately got ripped for it.  He responded with, "You'll see.  The kickers score the most points." 

After he said that, I bet him a pie in the face on the web cam, that I'd finish higher than he would.  He took that bet, and of course, his new theory did not hold up, and he lost big time. 

I was never worried.  There are always sleeper kickers to take late that will score near the top three kickers taken.  The same can't be said for other positions.  If you take a kicker in the top half of your draft, you are making a big mistake.

Another mistake that mgrs make is that many don't value kickers at all and put no thought into them.  Yes, take your kicker late, however, don't just take any old kicker.  You can't have the opposing teams kicker beat your kicker by four or five points EVERY game. 

That will cost you wins. What you need to do is find that sleeper kicker that will be there in the last couple rounds but will be near the top in points. 

The Commish's Kicker Rankings:

1. Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots) - The Pats will score a ton of points this year with Tom Brady back and that offense.  Book him No. 1.  The problem here is that he is on average (Yahoo drafts - 69th pick) going ahead of starting RB's, Joseph Addai, Reggie Bush, Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, and Jamal Lewis.  That's INSANE!  Don't be that manager.

2. Ryan Longwell (Minnesota Vikings) - Adrian Peterson by himself will get the Vikings' kicker a TON of points.  Then we throw Brett Favre into that thought process and Ryan Longwell has to be the No. 2 ranked kicker.  The Vikings are going to score a TON of points. 

The Vikings' impressive defense will also give the Vikings many opportunities to score by getting them the ball back often.  The Vikings' schedule starts off at Cleveland and then at Detroit and then at home vs SF.  It will be a great start for Longwell.  He is on average going 89th.  It's still too early.  If you can get him later on in the draft or via a trade, do it.

3.  Nate Kaeding (San Diego Chargers) - Here is an opportunity to grab a nice kicker later on in the draft.  He is my third ranked K yet he is on average the 17th kicker taken in Yahoo drafts.  People are sleeping on Kaeding.  He's going to score a lot of points with a healthy Rivers and Tomlinson. 

The Chargers are also getting Merriman back on defense which will help the offense get more opportunities.  The thought here is that we'll get that extra RB while other mgrs are drafting Gostkowski and we'll take Kaeding late. 

We'll get about the same production from Kaeding. You should be falling all over yourself for the chance to start SD's kicker four times against Denver and Oakland.

4.  Jason Elam (Atlanta Falcons) - The Atlanta Falcons are going to score a lot of points.  Elam will also be inside domes more often than not.

5. David Akers (Philadelphia Eagles) - McNabb and the Beagles (yeah, I said it) can score a lot of points and they have a bit of an easy schedule.  It would hurt this Cowboys fan to take him but you have to be unbiased when it comes to winning your fantasy league.

6. Jeff Reed (Pittsburgh Steelers) - Pittsburgh can put points on the board. 

7. Shayne Graham (Cincinatti Bengals) - Unless Ocho Cinco is kicking, Graham will score and a healthy Carson Palmer will see to that.

8. Neil Rackers (Arizona Cardinals) - Oh you didn't know? You better call somebody...! The Cardinals can score and Rackers RACKS up the points.

9. Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis Colts) - Peyton Mannings teams always score a lot.

10. Josh Scobee (Jacksonville Jaguars) - On average, Josh Scobee is going undrafted in Yahoo drafts.  I'd be ok rolling with him this year.  So go ahead and get your extra RB's and WR's and take Scobee in the last round and feel comfortable with it.

Worry about:
1. Nick Folk (Dallas Cowboys) - The Cowboys drafted K David Buehler in the 5th round with the idea of keeping both kickers, Buehler being the kick-off specialist. I do worry that Buehler is a really good kicker and they spent a fifth round pick on him. 

You have to be thinking hard about that if you own Folk.  Without Buehler lurking, Folk would be in the top 10.  Is it really worth taking Folk when there are others just as good?

1. John Kasay (Carolina Panthers)
2. Rob Bironas (Tennessee Titans)
3. Mason Crosby (Green Bay Packers)
4. Lawrence Tynes (NY Giants)
5. Kris Brown (Houston Texans)
6. Ryan Lindell (Buffalo Bills)
7. Phil Dawson (Cleveland Browns)
8. Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears)
9. Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland Raiders)
10. Josh Brown (St. Louis Rams)
11. Joe Nedney (SF 49ers)
12. Jay Feely (NY Jets)
13. Shaun Suisham (Washington)

Absolutely do NOT draft:
1. Matt Prater (Denver Broncos) - The Broncos are going to struggle mightily.
2. Garrett Hartley (New Orleans Saints) - He's suspended for the first four games of the 2009 season.  John Carney is his replacement for that time.  He could be useful after week four.  Keep an eye on him.
3. Matt Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - They're going to be horrible.  Stay away from kickers on horrible teams.
4. Jason Hanson (Detroit Lions) - He kicks for the Lions...nuff said.
5. Steven Hauschka (Baltimore Ravens) - I just don't trust that situation.
6. Dan Carpenter (Miami Dolphins) - I just don't trust this situation either.
7. Olindo Mare (Seattle Seahawks) - It IS Olindo Mare and they DO have a back-up kicker on the roster.  I'll pass.
8. Ryan Succop (Kansas City) - A seventh round rookie on a not-so-great team.  Nah.


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