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FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT KIT

2008 Player Rankings: Kickers
Updated: September 2, 2008
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Tier 1
Stephen Gostkowski - NEP YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 1
Keeper: 1
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 3%
2005                  
2006 NEP 16 26 20 77% 52 44 43 103
2007 NEP 16 24 21 88% 45 74 74 137
Avg   16 25 21 84%   59 59 122
Proj NEP     24       63 135

While Gostkowski’s game improved in his second NFL season—his field goal accuracy climbed from 77 to 87 percent—it was the coattails of a record-setting offense that propelled him into the upper echelon of fantasy kickers. Imagine how gaudy his numbers would have been had the Pats not converted 70 percent of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns, leaving Gostkowski counting by ones instead of threes. Then again, an NFL-record 74 PATs more than makes up for the fact that 24 NFL kickers made more field goals. It’s not as if the Patriots’ offense will take a giant step backwards in 2008, and even if it does that just means fewer singles—and more treys—for Gostkowski. If you can’t wait until the last round to take your kicker, Gosty is the guy in your crosshairs.

Nick Folk - DAL YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 2
Keeper: 2
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2005                  
2006                  
2007 DAL 16 31 26 84% 53 53 53 131
Avg   16 31 26 84%   53 53 131
Proj DAL     26       50 128

Last summer Folk was a little-known rookie from Arizona hoping to push Martin Gramatica for the Dallas gig. Turns out Tiny Dancer’s hamstring injury, which landed him on injured reserve and handed the job to Folk, was the best thing that could have happened to the Cowboys. Folk had the distinct pleasure of tacking on PATs for the NFC’s most prolific offense, and when they left him with field goal attempts he converted them at an impressive 83 percent clip. With Romo & Co. back for more and augmented by rookie Felix Jones, turning your fantasy kicking chores over to Nick should give you squad’s Folk tale a happy ending.

Nate Kaeding - SDC YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 3
Keeper: 3
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2005 SDC 16 24 21 88% 49 49 49 112
2006 SDC 16 29 26 90% 54 58 58 136
2007 SDC 16 27 24 89% 51 46 46 118
Avg   16 27 24 89%   51 51 123
Proj SDC     26       47 125

Nate’s first kick of 2007 was blocked, and he didn’t make his second field goal until Week Four. After that, though, he was money—including a finishing fantasy playoffs kick (pardon the pun) in which he averaged almost 11 points per game weeks 14 through 17. All the elements remain in place for Kaeding to rank amongst the elite fantasy kickers again this season: a top-notch offense with just enough of an issue in the red zone (the Bolts converted a shade under 56 percent of their red zone possessions into touchdowns) to provide Nate with copious ones and threes; accuracy that’s allowed him to convert nearly 90 percent of his field goal attempts the past three seasons; and a big leg that’s knocked through 78 percent of his plus-40 tries since entering the league. There’s absolutely nothing here preventing Kaeding from being among the first kickers off the fantasy draft board.

Adam Vinatieri - IND YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 4
Keeper: 6
Auction 10: 3%
Auction 12: 2%
2005 NEP 16 25 20 80% 49 41 40 100
2006 IND 13 28 25 89% 48 38 38 113
2007 IND 16 29 23 79% 39 51 49 118
Avg   15 27 23 85%   43 42 111
Proj IND     25       49 124

The greatest clutch kicker of our generation proved to be entirely mortal in 2007. He memorably shanked a potential game-winning chippy against the Chargers and saw his field goal accuracy rate dip below 80 percent for the first time since 2003. My Cousin Vinny didn’t even make a kick from beyond 39 yards during the entire regular season; fortunately for Adam only one team took more drives into the red zone than Indy, so he was bequeathed with plenty of opportunities. As the Colts’ offense transitions from point- producing juggernaut to a more efficient and economical machine comfortable with 27 points instead of 35, Vinatieri won’t need to stretch his leg to maintain residence amongst the top tier of fantasy kickers. That’s a downer in distance leagues, and Vinny is certainly not worth reaching early for, but his steady dose of six-, seven-, and eight-point games won’t hurt you.

Tier 2
Mason Crosby - GBP YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 5
Keeper: 4
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2005                  
2006                  
2007 GBP 16 39 31 79% 53 48 48 141
Avg   16 39 31 79%   48 48 141
Proj GBP     27       40 121

Any questions about the Packs’ decision to turn kicking chores over to a rookie were answered immediately as Crosby opened his career with a 53-yarder and a 42-yard game winner in his first NFL game. That was just as appetizer, as the Colorado rookie capped his first season by leading the league in scoring. Problem is, the vast majority of Green Bay’s scoring drives were directed by the now-retired Brett Favre; the move to Aaron Rodgers likely precipitates a decline in scoring attempts of both the one- and three-point variety. And then, of course, there is the albatross around Crosby’s neck: not since John Smith went back-to-back for the Patriots in 1981-82 has a scoring leader repeated.

Josh Scobee - JAC YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 6
Keeper: 5
Auction 10: 2%
Auction 12: 2%
2005 JAC 16 30 23 77% 53 39 38 107
2006 JAC 16 32 26 81% 48 41 41 119
2007 JAC 8 13 12 92% 48 27 26 62
Avg   13 25 20 80%   36 35 95
Proj JAC     25       44 119

The quad injury Scobee suffered in Week One cost him half the season, but Jacksonville’s offense was humming along when he returned and he crammed 26 PATs into the final seven games. Unfortunately he kicked multiple field goals in just two of those seven games and didn’t even try a trey over the final fortnight —leaving you in quite a pickle if Scobee was kicking for your squad in the fantasy title game. A David Garrard-led offense too efficient? Who knew? Josh’s health is fine, his accuracy continues to improve, and the Jags added receivers in the offense in hopes of making their offense even more potent. It all points to Scobee bouncing back to post solid numbers and provide a reliable option for your fantasy squad.

Shayne Graham - CIN YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 7
Keeper: 7
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CIN 16 32 28 88% 49 47 47 131
2006 CIN 16 30 25 83% 51 42 40 115
2007 CIN 16 34 31 91% 48 37 37 130
Avg   16 32 28 88%   42 41 125
Proj CIN     27       36 117

While the Bengals’ offense regressed a bit in 2007, it was actually to the benefit of Graham. The most telling stat: only three teams had more red zone possessions than Cincy, and only three teams converted those trips into points more regularly than the Bengals’ 91 percent efficiency rate… but the Bengals’ touchdown percentage of 48.2 ranked 23rd in the league. That meant career highs for Graham in field goal tries and field goals made, and when you factor in his career-high 91 percent accuracy rate it wasn’t tough to offset a second straight decline in extra point attempts. There’s still enough offensive firepower in Cincy to keep Graham’s numbers among the elite, but six of the Bengals’ final seven games will be played outside in Ohio and Pennsylvania, so weather could be a concern.

Phil Dawson - CLE YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 8
Keeper: 8
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CLE 16 29 27 93% 44 21 19 100
2006 CLE 16 29 21 72% 51 25 25 88
2007 CLE 16 30 26 87% 51 43 42 120
Avg   16 29 25 86%   30 29 104
Proj CLE     26       35 113

Surprised to learn that Dawson finished among the NFL’s top 10 scorers last year, ahead of the likes of Adam Vinatieri and Nate Kaeding? The key, as you might imagine, was a resurgent Browns offense that yielded 43 extra point attempts—roughly 42 percent more than Philly Dawg has averaged during his tenure in Cleveland. If you’re convinced the Browns have turned the corner with Derek Anderson at the helm, then Dawson will be more valuable to you than he’s ranked here. A downtick in PATs and a regression closer to Phil’s career 83 percent accuracy rate may take Dawson out of the top 10 scorers, though he’d still find himself on the fringe of fantasy relevant kickers.

David Akers - PHI YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 9
Keeper: 13
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 PHI 12 22 16 73% 50 23 23 71
2006 PHI 16 23 18 78% 47 48 48 102
2007 PHI 16 32 24 75% 53 36 36 108
Avg   15 26 19 73%   36 36 93
Proj PHI     25       38 113

Which Akers is to be believed—the fantasy stud who averaged better than 120 points per year from 2001 through 2004, or the injury-prone hack who hasn’t topped 108 points in a season since? In addition to his own quad and hamstring issues, Akers’ numbers have been impacted by Donovan McNabb’s maladies and the subsequent suffering of the Philly offense. Was Akers’ horrendous two-of- 10 performance from 40 yards and out last season due to injuries or has he jumped the shark? Will a healthy McNabb lead to more multiple field goal games (20 NFL kickers had more than David’s six MFGGs) or just spike his PAT totals? Akers is no longer a fantasy kicker to be reached for, but you could certainly do worse than having him fall into your lap in the final round.

Neil Rackers - ARI YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 10
Keeper: 11
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 ARI 15 42 40 95% 54 20 20 140
2006 ARI 16 37 28 76% 50 32 32 116
2007 ARI 16 30 21 70% 52 48 47 110
Avg   16 36 30 83%   33 33 123
Proj ARI     25       37 112

Rackers booted almost as many PATs last season as the previous two years combined; on the flip side, his 21 field goals were a 25 percent drop from 2006 and slightly more than half of his gaudy 2005 total. You don’t have to be smarter than a fifth grader to figure out that counting by ones does not add up as quickly as counting by threes, which is why Rackers has fallen from the first kicker off most draft boards to a borderline fantasy starter. The Cardinals’ offense kept its most important parts intact, so Rackers will once again be seeing more PAT opportunities than field goal tries. With an accuracy rate that’s been under 76 percent four of the past five years (and six of Neil’s eight pro seasons), it’s tough to bank on a significant bounceback for Rackers. Sure, you may miss the occasional seven-field goal game, but… when is he going to make it back to Mexico?

Mike Nugent - NYJ YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 11
Keeper: 10
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 NYJ 16 28 22 79% 49 24 24 90
2006 NYJ 16 27 24 89% 54 35 34 106
2007 NYJ 16 36 29 81% 50 24 23 110
Avg   16 30 25 83%   28 27 102
Proj NYJ     28       28 112

About the only excitement involved in spending a fantasy pick on Nugent is the opportunity to scream “Wango Tango!” or “Cat Scratch Fever!” or another selection from the Motor City Madman’s collection. The Jets’ offense is nothing to get worked up over, Nugent doesn’t bring a remarkably big leg to the table, and his selection will be largely met with yawns and a request to pass the beer nuts. But your league likely requires you to stock at least one former soccer player on your roster, and you could do worse than Nugent.

08-26-08 Update: More trickle-down from the arrival of Brett Favre in the Big Apple. If there's going to be more offense, it only makes sense that there will be more opportunities for Nugent—of both the one- and three-point variety. Hey, last year Favre's kicker led the NFL in scoring; why not take a flier on the Nuge at the end of your draft or auction?

John Kasay - CAR YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 12
Keeper: 20
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CAR 16 34 26 76% 52 44 43 121
2006 CAR 16 27 24 89% 54 28 28 100
2007 CAR 16 28 24 86% 53 27 27 99
Avg   16 30 25 83%   33 33 108
Proj CAR     26       33 111

Seventeen years in the league and Kasay is still alive and kicking. Kicking from way downtown, too, with 26 attempts from 50 yards and out since 2003. He’s even made more than half of those tries, barely. What has really killed his numbers of late is Jake Delhomme’s penchant for injury and the Panthers’ subsequent inability to move the football into scoring position. A healthy Delhomme, augmented by the addition of Jonathan Stewart, could bump Kasay back into the 120-point range he used to inhabit. If you’re sensing a Carolina bounceback, adding Kasey as your endgame kicker could pay solid dividends.

Kris Brown - HOU YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 13
Keeper: 12
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 HOU 16 34 26 76% 53 24 24 102
2006 HOU 16 25 19 76% 49 27 26 83
2007 HOU 16 29 25 86% 57 40 40 115
Avg   16 29 23 79%   30 30 99
Proj HOU     26       33 111

It only took six years for Brown’s move from Pittsburgh to Houston to make sense, as his 115 points last year were his best since leaving the Steel City. Truth be told, the Texans’ offense was almost too good last year; they ranked fourth in touchdown percentage inside the red zone, leaving Brown to count by ones instead of threes. Houston’s offense once again brims with potential, so if you’re big on Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson you’ll likely find Kris a palatable fantasy kicking option.

Tier 3
Jeff Reed - PIT YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 14
Keeper: 14
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 PIT 16 29 24 83% 44 45 45 117
2006 PIT 16 27 20 74% 50 41 41 101
2007 PIT 16 25 23 92% 49 44 44 113
Avg   16 27 22 81%   43 43 109
Proj PIT     23       42 111

Thanks in no small part to his mastery of the winds at Heinz Field—where he missed a third of his field goal attempts over the previous two seasons but converted 13 of 14 tries last year—Reed posted a career-best 92 percent accuracy rate in 2007. The Steelers added some moving parts to their offense this season, though their line is certainly a question mark in the wake of Alan Faneca’s departure. There should be plenty of points to be had in Pittsburgh, with an offense that stumbles just enough in the red zone to provide the 25- plus field goal attempts and 40-plus PATs Reed has had each of the past four seasons. He’s not a sexy fantasy option, but there’s nothing wrong with a steady diet of Chuck Woolerys (two and two) from your kicker.

Rob Bironas - TEN YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 15
Keeper: 9
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 TEN 16 29 23 79% 53 32 30 99
2006 TEN 16 28 22 79% 60 32 32 98
2007 TEN 16 39 35 90% 56 28 28 133
Avg   16 32 27 84%   31 30 111
Proj TEN     27       30 111

What happens when you combine a 10-percentage point jump in accuracy with the league’s least efficient touchdown-producing team in the red zone? You get an NFL-record eight field goals in one game, which is what Bironas produced in Week Seven. You also get a league-leading 11 multiple-field goal games and 133 points, good for fourth in the NFL. It’s not as if the Titans have addressed their offensive woes this offseason, which very likely leaves Bironas in the same boat as last year: finishing the majority of Tennessee scoring drives from beyond extra-point range. If the Titans didn’t rank in the bottom third of the league in points or offensive efficiency that would be a bigger cause for celebration; as it stands, Bironas is the kind of kicker you pick up in the last round of your draft when the other guys you like are already off the board.

Brandon Coutu - SEA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 16
Keeper: 15
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007                  
Avg   0 0 0   0 0 0
Proj SEA     24       38 110

(-Risk) (+Upside) The gig held by Josh Brown for the past five seasons has produced an average of 114 points, and the decline/departure of former touchdown machine Shaun Alexander likely translates into fewer PATs—and more field goal attempts—for the Seahawks’ kicker. Coutu’s competition is Olindo Mare, who has missed a quarter of his field goal tries since 2002 and hit on an abysmal 59 percent last year. NFL teams generally don’t waste draft picks, making Coutu the favorite as Brown’s successor. Accurate and solid in the clutch at Georgia, Coutu battled hamstring problems that kept him from kicking off much during his final two collegiate seasons. If the Seahawks can afford to carry a kickoff specialist, Mare ranked third in the NFL in touchback percentage. That would leave Coutu to focus on putting points on the board, which is all that concerns fantasy folks. It’s worth noting that most of Brown’s misses in 2007 could be attributed to poor snaps, which explains why the Seahawks followed up their selection of Coutu by taking a long-snapping specialist in the next round.

08-26-08 Update: The more we see of the Seattle offense this preseason, the less inclined we are to believe they'll put points on the board at a rate similar to what they afforded Josh Brown. Also, with Coutu failing to distance himself from Olindo Mare there's an element of risk in drafting him prior to final cutdowns.

Martin Gramatica - NOS YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 17
Keeper: 21
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006 DAL 8 9 7 78% 48 23 23 44
2007 NOS 3 5 5 100% 55 8 8 23
Avg   6 7 6 86%   16 16 34
Proj NOS     23       40 109

Gramatica was able to hold off the rookie Mehlhaff to win the Saints kicking job.

Shaun Suisham - WAS YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 18
Keeper: 17
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 DAL 3 4 3 75% 22 8 8 17
2006 WAS 8 11 9 82% 52 14 14 41
2007 WAS 16 35 29 83% 50 30 29 116
Avg   9 17 14 82%   17 17 59
Proj WAS     25       33 108

Suisham’s first full season as a regular NFL kicker was anything but a disappointment. The Redskins weren’t afraid to use him from 40 yards and out— only four kickers had more attempts from that range; in fact, they weren’t afraid to use him period, as only four kickers tried more field goals in 2007. The offense added a couple of big receivers and a helmsman in new coach Jim Zorn, so there’s nothing to suggest Suisham’s numbers will backslide in 2008. Before you get too giddy, however, note that his numbers are firmly on the fringe of fantasy relevance so he’s at best a late-round addition or weekly matchup play.

Ryan Longwell - MIN YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 19
Keeper: 16
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 GBP 16 27 20 74% 53 31 30 90
2006 MIN 16 25 21 84% 49 28 27 90
2007 MIN 16 24 20 83% 55 40 39 99
Avg   16 25 20 80%   33 32 92
Proj MIN     24       35 107

You’d think an experienced kicker on a team with a great defense and a shaky offense could do more, especially given the climate-controlled conditions in which he spends half his season. But the difference between having Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson move your offense into scoring position is the difference between the 120 points per year he averaged as a Packer and the 95 he’s averaged in two seasons in purple. On the bright side, Longwell’s 39 PATs were a big step up and the Vikings’ offense appears headed in the right direction. The selling point in making Ryan your endgame kicker might be Minnesota’s weather-friendly post-bye schedule: five dome games and southbound trips to Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Arizona.

Josh Brown - STL YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 20
Keeper: 18
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 SEA 16 25 18 72% 55 57 56 110
2006 SEA 16 31 25 81% 54 36 36 111
2007 STL 16 34 28 82% 54 43 43 127
Avg   16 30 24 80%   45 45 117
Proj STL     25       31 106

Blame it on the rain. Or perhaps that Brown’s battery-powered pants won’t be necessary within the friendly confines of the Edward Jones Dome. Or just maybe the $14.2 million the Rams waved in front of Brown to woo him from soggy Seattle. Whatever the reason, one of fantasy’s more reliable kickers (at least 109 points in each of his five pro seasons) takes a step down in offensive firepower this year with his move to St. Louis. No longer the Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams have ranked an average of almost six spots lower than the Seahawks in points scored—and were 28th in scoring last season. So while the roof may be nice, it won’t be enough to shelter Brown from a precipitous drop in scoring; plan accordingly.

Robbie Gould - CHI YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 21
Keeper: 19
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 CHI 13 27 21 78% 45 20 19 82
2006 CHI 16 36 32 89% 49 47 47 143
2007 CHI 16 36 31 86% 49 33 33 126
Avg   15 33 28 85%   33 33 117
Proj CHI     25       30 105

Three years ago Gould was working for a construction company in Pennsylvania. This past May the Bears made him the highest-paid kicker in NFL history. Who says Jerry Angelo is cheap? Trouble is, Chicago’s offense fell off dramatically from a 2006 campaign that allowed Gould to score 143 points and punch his ticket to the Pro Bowl. Unless you’re of the opinion that Rex Grossman and/or Kyle Orton will lead an offensive resurgence in the Windy City, Gould is likely destined for a season similar to last. The good news is, that means a bunch of field goal attempts; only two kickers tried more treys last season than Robbie. The bad news is, Chicago’s offense not only won’t provide PAT opportunities, there’s every reason to believe they may even struggle to get Gould close enough for threes. He’s a decent endgame fantasy kicking option, but odds are you’ll find another booter you like better when your final pick rolls around.

John Carney - NYG YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 22
Keeper: 32
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 NOS 16 32 25 78% 49 22 22 97
2006 NOS 16 25 23 92% 51 47 46 115
2007 KCC 13 14 12 86% 41 28 27 63
Avg   15 24 20 83%   32 32 92
Proj NYG     22       38 104

No analysis available.

Jason Hanson - DET YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 23
Keeper: 22
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 DET 15 24 19 79% 52 27 27 84
2006 DET 16 33 29 88% 53 30 30 117
2007 DET 16 35 29 83% 53 36 35 122
Avg   16 31 26 84%   31 31 109
Proj DET     25       29 104

You know how the departure of Mike Martz will impact Detroit’s passing game, but you may be surprised to learn it will impact Hanson as well. Consider that Hanson has had 30 or more PATs just thrice in the past decade—and two of those came with Martz directing the offense. Jason also tried 30 or more field goals in two of the past six seasons—and again, those were Martz years. With Detroit revamping its offense, expect points to be down all around. Hanson’s only saving grace is that even after 16 years in the league he’s still money from way downtown, having knocked through 12 of his last 18 tries from 50 yards and out. Distance leaguers could tab Hanson at the end of their draft, but even with the bonus he may not do enough to warrant the selection.

Jason Elam - ATL YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 24
Keeper: 26
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 DEN 16 32 24 75% 51 44 43 115
2006 DEN 16 29 27 93% 51 34 34 115
2007 ATL 16 31 27 87% 50 33 33 114
Avg   16 31 26 84%   37 37 115
Proj ATL     26       25 103

Elam has reached triple digits in each of his 15 NFL seasons, but his decision to take the seven figures the Falcons offered him this offseason may bring that streak to an end. It won’t be the Mile High air Elam misses so much as a competent offense. Not only have the Falcons failed to finish higher than 14th in scoring in any of the past five seasons, they’ve ranked in the bottom third of the league six of the previous nine years. Elam still has some leg for an old guy— he’ll be 41 at the end of the four-year, $9 million contract he signed with Atlanta—but there are far too many questions associated with the Falcons offense to bank on Jason maintaining the marks he posted in Denver.

Matt Stover - BAL YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 25
Keeper: 25
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 BAL 16 34 30 88% 49 23 23 113
2006 BAL 16 30 28 93% 52 37 37 121
2007 BAL 16 32 27 84% 49 26 26 107
Avg   16 32 28 88%   29 29 113
Proj BAL     26       25 103

Stove Top remains a reliable, if somewhat boring, fantasy option who toils for an offense few expect to set the world on fire. It’s unlikely anyone will be fighting over the opportunity to call his name at the end of your draft, given that the Ravens will be helmed by a) a rookie, b) a second-year sixth-round selection, or c) Kyle Boller. Even with all of Baltimore’s offensive woes Stover has cobbled together five straight 100-point seasons, but his defense doesn’t shorten the field like it used to and there are far too many questions on the other side of the ball for most fantasy owners’ comfort levels. You may find yourself turning to Stover when your kicker is on a bye, but as an every-week starter it won’t be difficult to find more upside somewhere else.

Rian Lindell - BUF YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 26
Keeper: 27
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 BUF 16 35 29 83% 53 26 26 113
2006 BUF 16 25 23 92% 53 33 33 102
2007 BUF 16 27 24 89% 52 24 24 96
Avg   16 29 25 86%   28 28 103
Proj BUF     25       26 101

Pinning your fantasy kicking fortunes to a cold-weather team helmed by Trent Edwards isn’t exactly the recipe for a championship. Lindell is a solid kicker, consistently accurate, but the Bills’ offense is giving him a fraction of the opportunities presented to, say, Scott Norwood. Even if you like what Buffalo has going, keep this in mind: after playing in Miami the final Sunday of October, the Bills play six games in the potential snows of New York and make trips to Foxboro, Kansas City, and Denver. Oh the weather outside is frightful…

Matt Prater - DEN YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 27
Keeper: 23
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007 DEN 4 4 1 25% 45 1 1 4
Avg   4 4 1 25%   1 1 4
Proj DEN     22       34 100

The Jason Elam era has ended in Denver; so has the Todd Sauerbrun era. Prater, who pulled double duty in college as a top kicker and punter, may wind up filling both roles in Denver. For the moment he’s the leading candidate to fill Elam’s tiny shoes, though he’ll have to fend off a training camp charge from undrafted rookie free agent Garrett Hartley. Kicking in Denver yielded 15 consecutive 100-point seasons for Elam, an average of 119 points per campaign, and the bulk of the elements remain in place for a competent Broncos offense. If Prater does in fact snag the gig, he’d be an intriguing endgame fantasy kicking option.

Matt Bryant - TBB YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 28
Keeper: 28
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 TBB 15 25 21 84% 50 31 31 94
2006 TBB 16 22 17 77% 62 23 22 73
2007 TBB 16 33 28 85% 49 34 34 118
Avg   16 27 22 81%   29 29 95
Proj TBB     22       32 98

After bouncing from the Giants to the Colts to the Dolphins, Bryant has carved out a home in Tampa. Thankfully, the Bucs don’t ask him to do much more than hit chippies, which works on multiple levels: it plays to the strengths of a kicker who has made just two of seven career tries from 50 yards and out, and it plays to the weakness of an offense that finished 26th in the league in red zone touchdown efficiency. Last year’s 128-point outburst feels like a spike for Bryant, coming on the heels of 74- and 94-point efforts; plus, it’s not as if the Bucs’ offense did much if anything to suggest an improved output in 2008. Bryant’s just another kicking option at the end of your draft, and at least you know he’ll hit the shorties.

Joe Nedney - SFO YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 29
Keeper: 29
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 SFO 15 28 26 93% 56 19 19 97
2006 SFO 16 35 29 83% 51 29 29 116
2007 SFO 16 19 17 89% 50 22 22 73
Avg   16 27 24 89%   23 23 95
Proj SFO     22       30 96

Here’s all you need to know: Nedney has made all 70 of his extra point attempts since coming to San Francisco in 2005; Stephen Gostkowski made 74 PATs last year alone. Joe can still hit the occasional 50-yarder, which is necessary because no team ventured into the red zone less frequently last season than the Niners. Nedney also posted fewer multiple field goal games than any NFL kicker who held his job for all 16 games, and there is little reason to think Mike Martz can squeeze significantly more point production out of the 49ers offense this season. As such, when it comes to fantasy kicking options Nedney is definitely a below-average Joe.

Dan Carpenter - MIA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 30
Keeper: 24
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005                  
2006                  
2007                  
Avg   0 0 0   0 0 0
Proj MIA     23       26 95

Carpenter flew under the radar this preseason, which is exactly how Bill Parcells likes his kickers—and why he and not the more vocal Jay Feely will be handling Miami's kicking chores this season. There's little fantasy upside to the two-time All-American from Montana, who will go undrafted in any league that doesn't include an immediate relative.

Sebastian Janikowski - OAK YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 31
Keeper: 31
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 OAK 16 30 20 67% 49 30 30 90
2006 OAK 16 25 18 72% 55 16 16 70
2007 OAK 16 32 23 72% 54 28 28 97
Avg   16 29 20 69%   25 25 85
Proj OAK     21       25 88

Signs of life in the Oakland offense have been reported this offseason—positive news for Janikowski, who has averaged a paltry 26 PATs per season over the past five years. Magnifying the problem is Sebastian’s anemic 70 percent accuracy rate since 2005. Even his big leg has failed him of late; the Raiders have provided 21 opportunities from 50 yards and out the past three seasons— 11 last year alone—but Sea Bass has only connected on nine of them. If you feel the urge to call out Janikowski’s name at your drauction, best check your drink for a roofie first; passing out would most certainly be the more advisable option.

Nick Novak - FA YEAR TM GMS FGA FGM FG% LONG XPA XPM PTS
Huddle Rank: 32
Keeper: 30
Auction 10: 1%
Auction 12: 1%
2005 ARI 10 10 8 80% 40 15 15 39
2006 CHI 6 10 5 50% 47 10 10 25
2007                  
Avg   8 10 7 70%   13 13 34
Proj FA     14       25 67

The honor of tacking on points for the Kansas City offense—what few points they'll have, anyway—appears to have fallen to Novak, who has bounced through the Washington and Arizona organizations since leaving the University of Maryland. The good news is, he hasn't had to dramatically change his wardrobe given that each of his employers' primary color is red. The bad news is, he's quickly running out of NFL teams who wear that hue.

   
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