by Ray Kuhn
Kickers are frustrating. Their value, to some degree, is dependent upon their team’s offense. Before picking a kicker, you have to forecast how their team will do to determine their value. Of course some kickers are better and more consistent than others, but a few times a season they will find a way to disappoint you. This can be either due to their performance for or against your squad. As we get closer to the playoffs, this only gets magnified in importance.
Let’s take a look at how the kickers rank for Week 12:
1. Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
2. Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – vs. Detroit
3. Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – at New Orleans
4. Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys – at New York Giants
5. Dan Carpenter – Buffalo Bills – vs. New York Jets
6. Cairo Santos – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
7. Phil Dawson – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Washington
8. Matt Prater – Detroit Lions – at New England
9. Patrick Murray – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Chicago
10. Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
11. Blair Walsh – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
12. Shayne Graham – New Orleans Saints – vs. Baltimore
13. Caleb Sturgis – Miami Dolphins – at Denver
14. Cody Parkey – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Tennessee
15. Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Cleveland
- It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Jaguars allow the second most points to opposing kickers. Adam Vinatieri is one of the best there is, and with Andrew Luck and company leading the offense, the Colts should not have an issue putting points on the board. The fact that the game will take place in a dome certainly helps as does Vinatieri’s new found success from long distance. Vinatieri is 22 of 22 on field goal attempts this season including six between 40 and 49 yards and two from beyond 50.
- With Fred Jackson still slowed by injury and CJ Spiller out, the Bills lack fire power on offense. The beneficiary of that is Dan Carpenter. Whatever weather elements Buffalo throws at Carpenter do not seem to faze him either, which is extremely helpful this time of year. I would expect Kyle Orton to have some success moving the ball against the Jets, but we will likely see many field goal attempts against the 10th friendliest team to fantasy kickers.
- Tampa Bay has struggled this season and Patrick Murray only has gotten to attempt 15 field goals, making 11. At the onset of making this list, Murray wasn’t on my radar for the Top-15, but the fact that the Bears give up the most points to opposing kickers changed that. The game is taking place in Chicago, so I would recommend monitoring the weather though.
- Justin Tucker is an elite kicker, and it is hard to forget his game against Detroit where he determined many fantasy games. Tucker and the Ravens are coming off a bye this week, which means it is possible he was dropped since not many squads carry two kickers. If he is available, Tucker is a kicker you can ride through the playoffs.
- When we think of the Eagles and their high powered offense, Cody Parkey is usually not a name we think about. However the rookie is a very strong 18 of 19 on field goals this season and the Titans rank 9th in points allowed to opposing kickers. Again, since the game will be played in Philadelphia, the weather bares watching, but we can expect to see an offensive filled game which means kicking opportunities for Parkey.