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Kicker Consistency
David Dorey
July 29, 2010
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Drafting kickers is almost an exercise in futility given their significant change in ranking from year to year and in the end, there just isn't that much difference between getting a really good one or just a decent one. Considering overall numbers, why wouldn't a person just shrug his shoulders and wait until the final round?

Because there is a difference and it is not overall numbers that matter so much.

Player  2009   2008   2007  Average
Gostkowski, Stephen 11 14 16 13.7
Crosby, Mason 13 13 14 13.3
Akers, David 16 14 10 13.3
Reed, Jeff 13 13 11 12.3
Folk, Nick 11 12 14 12.3
Kaeding, Nate 15 12 9 12.0
Elam, Jason 8 15 13 12.0
Bironas, Rob 10 13 13 12.0
Tynes, Lawrence 13 x 11 12.0
Brown, Kris 10 13 12 11.7
Gould, Robbie 8 13 13 11.3
Longwell, Ryan 12 12 10 11.3
Kasay, John 9 12 12 11.0
Carpenter, Dan 13 9 x 11.0
Prater, Matt 11 11 x 11.0
Dawson, Phil 8 11 13 10.7
Bryant, Matt 4 15 13 10.7
Brown, Josh 7 11 13 10.3
Suisham, Shaun 8 10 13 10.3
Feely, Jay 13 9 8 10.0
Hanson, Jason 11 8 11 10.0
Succop, Ryan 10 x x 10.0
Janikowski, Sebastian 12 11 7 10.0
Rackers, Neil 8 11 10 9.7
Graham, Shayne 7 8 14 9.7
Vinatieri, Adam 5 10 14 9.7
Lindell, Rian 10 11 8 9.7
Nedney, Joe 9 12 7 9.3
Carney, John 10 13 5 9.3
Stover, Matt 5 11 11 9.0

How often a kicker can score at least average points each week means how often he is not hurting you. It all harkens back to the consistency studies we always do for quarterbacks, running backs and receivers. If a kicker gets you 18 points but then only totals 2 points over the next two games, that's a killer. It would be far better to have a kicker that just scored six points each week.

So what we have done here is for the last three seasons, each kicker has been reviewed to see how many times he kicked at least six points in a game. The average is around 6.5 points per week for a moderate 104 point season. You would hope your kicker could kick at least an average amount of points.

Gostkowski and Crosby both continue to fare well but it is interesting to see other kickers show up better than what their annual numbers suggest. Jeff Reed is a kicker that seems nothing special but he's been one of the most consistent kickers for the last three years. He may not have won you any games, but at least he did not turn in many bad games and held his own as a starter.

Impressive too are the kickers who have strung together the last three seasons with ten or more games kicking six points or more. Ryan Longwell and Kris Brown both show up better in that metric despite not having more than 12 or 13 instances each year.

When it comes to kickers, annual numbers are really pretty meaningless since they are fairly similar to each other and are almost impossible to forecast each year. But with consistency, you can find a kicker who will be reliable each week. Your kicker rarely is the undisputed source of your win. But consistently getting six or more points from your kicker will go a long way towards winning consistently.

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