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FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT GUIDE

2007 Player Rankings: Kickers
Updated: September 3, 2007
Top 10's:        
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Tier 1
Adam Vinatieri - IND YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 1
Keeper: 1
Auction 10: 4%
Auction 12: 3%
2004 NEP 16 33 31 94% 48 48 48 141
2005 NEP 16 25 20 80% 49 41 40 100
2006 IND 13 28 25 89% 48 38 38 113
Avg   15 29 25 86%   42 42 117
Proj IND     28       46 130

Vinatieri only had 113 points last year because he missed three games due to a groin injury. He still returned for the playoffs where he connected on five field goals in the AFC Championship game. Yeah - he was a nice addition. Consider too that the Colts have never had less than the 6th most kicking points in the NFL for the last several years and then feel really good about drafting Vinatieri. Only problem here is that you'll have to spend an earlier pick.

Jeff Wilkins - FA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 2
Keeper: 2
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2004 STL 16 24 19 79% 53 32 32 89
2005 STL 16 31 27 87% 53 36 36 117
2006 STL 16 37 32 86% 53 35 35 131
Avg   16 31 26 84%   34 34 112
Proj FA     29       42 129

Since joining the Rams in 1997, Wilkins had a perfect streak going of good year then bad year, then good year... But after scoring 117 points in 2005, he upped the ante with 131 points in the first season with Scott Linehan at the helm. That ranked #3 in the NFL last year and this is the same kicker that has been regularly over 80% in kicking field goals and who turned in an obscene 163 points in 2003. Consider the new offense as a blessing for Wilkins and his consistent inconsistency as being over. The Rams have no cold weather games and should end the year with what should be a great set of games for a kicker.

Jason Elam - FA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 3
Keeper: 3
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2004 DEN 16 34 29 85% 52 42 42 129
2005 DEN 16 32 24 75% 51 44 43 115
2006 DEN 16 29 27 93% 51 34 34 115
Avg   16 32 27 84%   40 40 121
Proj FA     28       39 123

For the 13 years that Elam has been the Denver kicker, he has always been a solid choice in a fantasy draft. He has never had less than 109 points in any season and never less than 115 points in the last five years. He's always had 50+ yard kicks in every season and even tied the NFL record with a 63-yarder in 1998. Elam only ranked 11th in scoring last year among kickers and that's about the worst he will be. He still has the leg, the think atmosphere and a team that likes to settle for three points. He may not be the #1 kicker, but it would be hard to argue that there is another with less risk than Elam has.

Shayne Graham - NOS YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 4
Keeper: 4
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2004 CIN 16 31 27 87% 53 41 41 122
2005 CIN 16 32 28 88% 49 47 47 131
2006 CIN 16 30 25 83% 51 42 40 115
Avg   16 31 27 87%   43 43 124
Proj NOS     26       45 123

After temporary gigs with the Bills and Panthers, Graham has spent the last four seasons with the Bengals and never had less than 106 points. Over the last three seasons, he's ranked 5th, 3rd and 10th. The loss of Chris Henry may have some effect on the offense but Graham has always been a safe choice as a fantasy kicker that will not hurt you and could end up being a difference maker.

Tier 2
Matt Stover - FA* YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 5
Keeper: 5
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 BAL 16 32 29 91% 50 30 30 117
2005 BAL 16 34 30 88% 49 23 23 113
2006 BAL 16 30 28 93% 52 37 37 121
Avg   16 32 29 91%   30 30 117
Proj FA*     28       39 123

The 39 year-old Stover may not be playing for too many more years but he's hardly slowing down. Seven of his last eight seasons have featured more than 110 kicking points and he's been a near lock to be a top ten kicker every year. His 121 points ranked 5th best last year and the second year of Steven McNair and the addition of Willis McGahee shouldn't hurt the chance to score here. Always a solid pick available after the run starts.

John Kasay - FA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 6
Keeper: 6
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 CAR 14 22 19 86% 54 28 27 84
2005 CAR 16 34 26 76% 52 44 43 121
2006 CAR 16 27 24 89% 54 28 28 100
Avg   15 28 23 82%   33 33 102
Proj FA     28       38 122

(+Upside) Kasay has been the Panther's kicker since 1995 and comes off a disappointing 100 point season in 2006. He ranked 5th in the NFL for 2005 when he kicked for 121 points and in 2003, he had 125 points. But last year the Panthers were hit with injuries and an off-season all around. As inconsistent as the Panthers offense has been the last four years, it's hard to rely on Kasay as a fantasy but he makes an excellent back-up kicker and even a decent choice if you wait too long for a starter.

Josh Scobee - JAC YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 7
Keeper: 7
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 JAC 16 31 24 77% 53 21 21 93
2005 JAC 16 30 23 77% 53 39 38 107
2006 JAC 16 32 26 81% 48 41 41 119
Avg   16 31 24 77%   34 33 105
Proj JAC     27       41 122

(+Upside) Hard to argue with the nice progression that Scobee has made in his three years with the Jaguars. He's only 24 years old and kicked 119 points last year - 6th best in the league. That's up from 107 in 2005 and Scobee has a nice outlook for another incremental increase with a team that now is loaded at running back and has a passing game that historically falters at the goal line - and in comes Scobee. The Jacksonville defense holds the score down and Scobee is there to end the games.

Nate Kaeding - FA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 8
Keeper: 8
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004 SDC 16 25 20 80% 53 55 54 114
2005 SDC 16 24 21 88% 49 49 49 112
2006 SDC 16 29 26 90% 54 58 58 136
Avg   16 26 22 85%   54 54 120
Proj FA     25       46 121

All those touchdowns by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 gave Kaeding a career high 58 extra points and his 26 field goals were also a career best. In his first two seasons, Kaeding only had around 113 points or around 12th best in the league. Now that Norv Turner has taken over the team and Tomlinson is unlikely to set yet another NFL scoring record, chances are that Kaeding will settle back to his more typical season. After ranking #2 in the NFL last year, there's no doubt that Kaeding is an early pick for kickers but it's a new season with a new coach. And a chance that the Chargers won't necessarily lead the league in scoring - Turner's kickers rarely turn into top scorers.

Stephen Gostkowski - NEP YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 9
Keeper: 9
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                  
2005                  
2006 NEP 16 26 20 77% 52 44 43 103
Avg   16 26 20 77%   44 43 103
Proj NEP     25       46 121

(+Upside) After ranking #1 in 2004, the Patriots have only had the 19th most kicking points in both 2005 and 2006. The accurate Vinatieri left last year and the rookie Gostkowski took over but only had a 77% success rate was lower than Vinatieri had done in all but one of his nine seasons in New England. The offense has only produced 20 field goals in both the last two years but there's a chance that Gostkowski could improve if Laurence Maroney has any of the same injury woes again this year. Corey Dillon and all his short scores are gone and Maroney has to step up into that role. The Pats have a much upgraded set of receivers this year which could improve both extra points and eventual field goal attempts, especially if they are just to end games.

Robbie Gould - CHI YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 10
Keeper: 10
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2004                  
2005 CHI 13 27 21 78% 45 20 19 82
2006 CHI 16 36 32 89% 49 47 47 143
Avg   15 32 27 84%   34 33 114
Proj CHI     27       40 121

Gould is the hot kicker to own this year, coming off a 143 point season in 2006 to rank #1 among all kickers (almost always a kiss of death for the next year). Gould only had 82 points in 2005 in an injury-shortened season but even adjusted for the missing games he only projected out to a 100 point year. The Bears defense ensures scores are held low and field goals are perfectly acceptable. Gould's 89% success rate also yields confidence in him as well. One qualification to him - he still has not successfully kicked a 50+ yard field goal in the NFL, so drop him a notch or two if you get distance scores.

   
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