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FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT KIT

2011 Player Rankings: Kickers
Updated: September 8, 2011
Top 10's:        
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Tier 1
Matt Bryant - ATL YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 1
Keeper: 1
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 TBB 16 32 26 81% 49 35 34 112
2009 ATL 5 10 7 70% 51 10 10 31
2010 ATL 16 31 28 90% 51 44 44 128
Avg   12 24 20 83%   30 29 89
Proj ATL     30       49 139

Kicking indoors agrees with Bryant, who missed just thrice all of last season and has faltered on only one Georgia Dome attempt since joining the Falcons. He'll see the sky just once after Atlanta's Week 8 bye (Week 14 at Carolina); add to that the Falcons' potent offense and you've got a recipe for a money fantasy kicker.

08-19-11 Update: Julio Jones is looking good and the entire Falcons offense looks like it is ready for the next level.

Stephen Gostkowski - NEP YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 2
Keeper: 2
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 NEP 16 36 32 89% 50 40 40 136
2009 NEP 16 31 26 84% 53 47 47 125
2010 NE 8 13 10 77% 43 26 26 56
Avg   13 27 23 85%   38 38 107
Proj NEP     27       57 138

The quad injury that cut Gostkowski's 2010 season in half has healed, meaning he'll be back in the triple-digit points range where he's spent each of his previous four seasons. Weather could be a concern, as his November and December consists of home games in New England and trips to New York, Philly, DC, and Denver. That's a small risk to take for a guy who's averaging better than three PATs a game for his career.

Nate Kaeding - FA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 3
Keeper: 3
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 SDC 16 27 22 81% 57 46 46 112
2009 SDC 16 35 32 91% 55 51 50 146
2010 SD 13 28 23 82% 50 40 40 109
Avg   15 30 26 87%   46 45 123
Proj FA     29       49 136

Three misses from 50-plus yards out contributed to Kaeding posting his lowest accuracy rate since his rookie campaign. But he's hit 95 percent of his career kicks from 40 yards and in, he's tacking on points for one of the league's most prolific offenses, and after a Week 11 trip to Chicago he'll be indoors or in sunshine.

Tier 2
Mason Crosby - GBP YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 4
Keeper: 4
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 GBP 16 27 20 74% 53 46 46 106
2009 GBP 16 36 27 75% 52 49 48 129
2010 GB 16 28 22 79% 56 46 46 112
Avg   16 30 23 77%   47 47 116
Proj GBP     25       51 126

Crosby's consistency--between 46 and 48 PATs each of his four NFL seasons, an accuracy rate hovering between 75 and 79 percent--earned him a new contract in Green Bay. Last year Crosby's point total dipped to a career-low 112 points, but given the prolific Green Bay offense that feels like an aberration. He'll be on the frozen tundra for most of the fantasy playoffs, but last year he converted nine of 11 tries in Green Bay so that's a mere quibble.

Neil Rackers - FA* YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 5
Keeper: 5
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 ARI 16 25 22 88% 54 44 44 110
2009 ARI 14 17 16 94% 48 38 37 85
2010 HOU 16 30 27 90% 57 43 43 124
Avg   15 24 22 92%   42 41 107
Proj FA*     27       45 126

Despite getting the boot from Arizona and barely edging Kris Brown for the Texans' job last preseason, Rackers has been on a tremendous roll in converting 90 percent of his field goal attempts over the past three seasons. He also returned to triple digits last season, and with Houston sporting elite offensive talent Rackers should remain among the league's top-scoring kickers.

Adam Vinatieri - IND YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 6
Keeper: 6
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 IND 16 20 15 75% 52 43 43 88
2009 IND 6 9 7 78% 48 18 17 38
2010 IND 16 28 26 93% 48 51 51 129
Avg   13 19 16 84%   37 37 85
Proj IND     28       40 124

My Cousin Vinny has been playing from the ladies' tee for years--just two 50- yard field goals in the last eight seasons--but his short game remains strong. The Colts were confident enough in his staying power to ink him to a three-year deal, which means three more seasons of tacking on points for a Peyton Manning offense. As an added bonus, Vinatieri will kick indoors only twice from Week 9 through Week 16

Nick Folk - NYJ YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 7
Keeper: 7
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 DAL 16 20 18 90% 52 42 42 96
2009 DAL 14 28 18 64% 51 36 36 90
2010 NYJ 16 39 30 77% 56 37 37 127
Avg   15 29 22 76%   38 38 104
Proj NYJ     28       40 124

Folk hit a rough patch midway through last season, at one point connecting on just five of 10 field goal attempts, but unlike his struggles in Dallas this one didn't cost him his job. Instead, he won a playoff game for the Jets and re-signed during the offseason. He'll need an assist from Mother Nature, as every game from Week 9 on poses a threat of inclement weather, but the Jets should give him plenty of opportunities to play the hero once again.

Billy Cundiff - CLE YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 8
Keeper: 8
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008                  
2009 CLE 12 23 18 78% 46 23 23 77
2010 BAL 16 29 26 90% 49 39 39 117
Avg   14 26 22 85%   31 31 97
Proj CLE     27       43 124

All it took was an eighth franchise in nine pro seasons for Cundiff to reach triple-digit points. Billy parlayed his career year into a five-year, $15 million contract, but don't expect someone who's bounced around the league as much as he has to get complacent. Kickers always seem to fare well in Baltimore, where the Ravens aren't afraid to settle for three and play defense, so don't expect Cundiff to be one-and-done above the century mark.

Sebastian Janikowski - OAK YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 9
Keeper: 9
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 OAK 16 24 18 75% 57 25 24 78
2009 OAK 16 29 26 90% 61 17 17 95
2010 OAK 16 41 33 80% 59 43 43 142
Avg   16 31 26 84%   28 28 106
Proj OAK     29       36 123

Seabass has been shackled by bad offenses for much of his career, but last year he received as many PAT opportunities as the previous two seasons combined, as well as a career-high 41 field goal attempts. The resulting 142 points represented a high-water mark for Janikowski, and with the Raiders offense pointed in the right direction it may become a regular zip code for the big- legged Pole.

Shaun Suisham - PIT YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 10
Keeper: 10
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2008 WAS 16 26 16 62% 50 25 25 73
2009 WAS 14 24 20 83% 44 26 25 85
2010 PIT 7 15 14 93% 48 19 19 61
Avg   12 22 17 77%   23 23 74
Proj PIT     26       46 124

Despite missing a 52-yarder in the Super Bowl Suisham appears to have found a home in Pittsburgh, where he made 14 of 15 kicks after taking over for Jeff Reed midway through the season. A career 80 percent conversion rate suggests Suisham won't be as accurate this season, but the Steelers will give him enough opportunities to make him a viable fantasy option.

   
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