by Ray Kuhn
Just because you waited until the last round to draft your kicker doesn’t mean they don’t matter. Their points count just the same as all the other positions, and some DFS sites also require that you roster one. Regardless of your feelings on the position and its fantasy relevance, it does warrant some attention. With no regular season action under our belts yet, the best we can do is look at last year’s performances and a kicker’s situation. Let’s take a look at how they rank to start the season:
- Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at Arizona
- Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers – at Jacksonville
- Steven Hauschka – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Miami
- Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Baltimore
- Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys – vs. New York Giants
- Matt Prater – Detroit Lions – at Indianapolis Colts
- Chandler Catanzaro – Arizona Cardinals – vs. New England
- Brandon McManus – Denver Broncos – vs. Carolina
- Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Detroit
- Chris Boswell – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Washington
- Graham Gano – Carolina Panthers – at Denver
- Sebastian Janikowski – Oakland Raiders – at New Orleans
- Nick Novak – Houston Texans – vs. Chicago
- Blair Walsh – Minnesota Vikings – at Tennessee
- Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
- There is no arguing that Stephen Gostkowski is the best kicker in the NFL and he has been for the past few seasons. He hasn’t missed an extra point since his rookie season in 2006, and even then it was just one, and he dealt just fine with the increased distance last season. He was also perfect on field goals of less than 40 yards, and missed just three field goals all season (94.6% last season). The downgrade at quarterback, for the first four games, should serve to benefit Gostkowski and turn some of those extra point attempts into field goals.
- Another kicker whose offense will be starting their backup quarterback to begin the season is Dan Bailey. While Dak Prescott looked good in the preseason, it will be interesting to see how he does when the action counts. The Cowboys are still good enough to move the ball, but it is possible they stall in the red zone. After having a down year for his standards in 2014, 86.2% success rate, Bailey rebounded last year to make 93.8% of his field goal attempts.
- You could make the argument, that this is the best offense Sebastian Janikowski has been a part of in quite some time. The veteran isn’t exactly efficient, 80.8% last season, and his leg strength isn’t what it used to be, but Oakland is going to score enough to give him some value. It also helps that he was unaffected by the change to the extra point rule last season as he missed just one of his 39 attempts. This week’s match-up against New Orleans figures to be a shootout so that means a lot of Janikowski.
- Another game that figures to have a lot offense is the match-up between Detroit and Indianapolis. Weather isn’t a factor yet this season, but the game will be taking place in a dome so kicking conditions will be pristine. Prater made 91.7% of his field goals last season and was successful 92.3% of extra points.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings: