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Repeatability - Kickers
David Dorey
July 22, 2005

Placekickers have longed carried the reputation for being hard to predict and it ends up as being quite true - with a few notable exceptions. All player listings to follow were created using the standard performance scoring as seen on The Huddle statistics. Kickers receive one point per extra point and three points per field goal.

  2000 Pts 2001 Pts 2002 Pts 2003 Pts 2004 Pts
1 M Stover 135 J Wilkins 127 J Feely 138 J Wilkins 163 A Vinatieri 141
2 R Longwell 131 M Vanderjagt 125 D Akers 133 M Vanderjagt 157 J Elam 129
3 J Nedney 126 J Elam 124 J Carney 130 M Stover 134 J Reed 124
4 M Gramatica 126 K Brown 124 R Longwell 128 J Kasay 125 D Akers 122
5 D Akers 121 M Stover 115 M Gramatica 128 G Anderson 123 S Graham 122
6 M Vanderjagt 121 D Akers 115 S Janikowski 128 J Elam 120 R Longwell 120
 
7 A Del Greco 118 J Feely 115 J Elam 120 R Longwell 120 M Vanderjagt 119
8 O Mare 117 J Carney 113 M Andersen 117 D Akers 114 R Lindell 117
9 S Janikowski 112 A Vinatieri 113 A Vinatieri 117 J Brown 114 M Stover 117
10 G Anderson 111 P Edinger 112 M Hollis 115 A Vinatieri 112 N Kaeding 114
11 S Christie 109 S Janikowski 111 O Mare 114 M Andersen 106 L Tynes 109
12 K Brown 107 T Peterson 108 J Nedney 111 S Graham 106 J Brown 109
 
13 D Brien 106 J Hall 104 M Bryant 108 D Brien 105 S Janikowski 106
14 A Vinatieri 106 R Longwell 104 J Hall 107 P Edinger 105 D Brien 105
15 M Hollis 105 J Cortez 101 R Lindell 107 A Elling 102 J Carney 104
16 J Elam 103 B Conway 100 J Cortez 103 J Carney 102 P Dawson 100
17 T Seder 102 M Andersen 98 M Vanderjagt 103 J Hall 101 J Hanson 100
18 J Hanson 101 M Gramatica 97 J Hanson 100 J Reed 100 M Andersen 99
19 M Andersen 98 O Mare 96 P Dawson 100 B Cundiff 99 S Christie 99
20 J Hall 93 P Dawson 95 M Stover 96 O Mare 99 J Feely 94
21 J Wilkins 89 J Nedney 94 P Edinger 95 S Janikowski 94 N Rackers 94
22 W Richey 88 R Lindell 93 J Wilkins 94 J Hanson 92 J Scobee 93
23 B Daluiso 85 J Kasay 91 G Anderson 90 S Marler 90 B Cundiff 91
24 P Edinger 84 W Richey 89 S Christie 89 J Feely 89 J Wilkins 89
The Following season: Remained Top 6 Became 7-12 Became 13-24 Not in next Top 24

Top 6 became Avg. 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Top 6 1 1 3 1 0 1
7 to 12 1 1 0 1 2 2
13 - 24 3 3 2 3 3 1
Duds 1 1 1 1 1 2
7 to 12 became Avg. 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Top 6 2 2 1 3 1 4
7 to 12 1 1 1 1 2 1
13 - 24 1 1 1 1 1 1
Duds 2 2 3 1 2 0
Top 6 was: Avg. 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Top 6 1 1 3 1 0 1
7 to 12 2 2 1 3 1 3
13 - 24 2 1 2 2 4 1
24+ 1 2 0 0 1 1

The Top 6 each year is closest to being a guide for who will not be in the Top 6 the following year. In all but one season (2000), the last five years has not seen more than one kicker repeat in the Top 6 the following year. 2002 had none.

The 7 to 12 range kickers actually fared better at becoming Top 6 than those kickers who just were Top 6. They have been twice as likely and last year were four times as likely to show up in the top tier in 2004. However - they had their share of duds as well.

Looking backwards, there's still not a lot to glean that can be relied on. Even if you selected two kickers from the previous Top 12, you'd be lucky to get one of them that remained in the Top 12. One caveat to all of this is that those bad kickers - ranked 24+ in the previous season - can pretty much be ignored the next year safely enough. They just do not rise up enough to warrant any consideration.

Another oddity is how many kickers alternate having big years and down years. There is no real reason for it other than it only takes about 20 points to shift a kicker from being Top 6 to being nothing more than a back-up.

  Repeat Reliability 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
1 D Akers 5 6 2 8 4
2 R Longwell 2 14 4 7 6
3 J Elam 16 3 7 6 2
4 M Vanderjagt 6 2 17 2 7
5 M Stover 1 5 20 3 9
6 A Vinatieri 14 9 9 10 1
7 S Janikowski 9 11 6 21 13
8 J Carney   8 3 16 15
9 J Wilkins 21 1 22 1 24
10 J Feely   7 1 24 20
11 M Gramatica 4 18 5    
12 O Mare 8 19 11 20  
13 J Nedney 3 21 12    
14 G Anderson 10   23 5  
15 J Hall 20 13 14 17  
16 D Brien 13     13 14
17 S Graham       12 5
18 P Edinger 24 10 21 14  
19 R Lindell   22 15   8
20 J Brown       9 12
21 J Reed       18 3
22 J Hanson 18   18 22 17
23 J Kasay   23   4  
24 S Christie 11   24   19
25 P Dawson   20 19   16
26 N Kaeding         10
24 L Tynes         11
28 B Cundiff       19 23
29 N Rackers         21
30 J Scobee         22
Finishes that were 25th or deeper each year were not listed.

The table to the right shows the year end ranking for each of the listed players and is sorted in a manner to suggest the most reliable "repeaters" in fantasy drafts over the last five years. While Akers has not been a #1 before and he's only once been better than 4th in a given year, he ends up as the most reliable repeater every year. Same for both Longwell and Elam. Vanderjagt and Wilkins have been gold in the past but both have been every other year players.

Notable too is that the #1 kicker for the last three years has not repeated with a performance better than 22nd the next year.

Kicker Repeatability
12% - 0%

Considering the similar scoring for all kickers, only the Top 6 really can be said to be difference makers. Over the last five years, there is usually only one player that repeats the next year in the Top 6 and David Akers was the only one to do that more than once. There is just no measurable way to predict kickers based heavily on past performance. Akers, Longwell, Elam, Vanderjagt, Stover and Vinatieri are the only "repeaters" worthy of relying on and as shown above - that repeat may mean that they are just worth having as a starting kicker, not as a true difference maker. Playing into the numbers as well are many kickers that turn in one or two monster games that pushes them well above the pack and yet the next year doesn't have those one or two games and makes them look like they dropped severely. The reality is that they are pretty much the same as always other than the one or two games.