Kickers are generally a fantasy afterthought with owners waiting until the last round to fill the spot. They are viewed as dispensable. There’s always a viable option available on the waiver wire, right?
While it’s true, to an extent, that doesn’t mean that they can’t make a difference in winning or losing. No, I wouldn’t look to draft a kicker before the last round as I would rather have depth at RB, QB and WR, the positions with the potential to bring in significantly more points. Still, there are weeks that just just a point or two decides a winner and the kicker is the ultimate difference.
Let’s take a look at how I’d rank the Top 15 options:
- Nate Kaeding – San Diego Chargers
- Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots
- Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers
- Garrett Hartley – New Orleans Saints
- David Akers – Philadelphia Eagles
- Ryan Longwell – Minnesota Vikings
- Rob Bironas – Tennessee Titans
- Matt Prater – Denver Broncos
- Lawrence Tynes – New York Giants
- Dan Carpenter – Miami Dolphins
- Jay Feely – Arizona Cardinals
- Robbie Gould – Chicago Bears
- Jeff Reed – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Neil Rackers – Houston Texans
- Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts
- Nate Kaeding went 32-for-35, including nine kicks of 40 yards or more (three over 50 yards). You couple the advantage of playing in generally good weather for the majority of the season with his accurate leg and you get the best option in the league.
- Don’t forget about Neil Rackers, who joins the Texans after spending the past seven seasons in Arizona. He missed time at the end of the season with a groin injury and now will have to compete with Kris Brown for playing time. If he wins the job (and it’s assumed he will), he will be a usable option.
- Ryan Longwell did the job last season (26-for-28) and certainly benefits from playing half his games in a dome.
- Rob Bironas went 10-for-12 from 40-49 yards and 5-for-6 from 50+ yards. Being that accurate from long range goes a long way in making a valuable kicker.
Make sure to check out our 2010 rankings: