Most people (including myself) wait until the last round of their draft to take a kicker. While that will always be my style and recommendation, that doesn’t mean your kicker isn’t important. While Stephen Gostkowski (New England) is typically the first to go, he’s never my favorite. I want field goals, and while Gostkowski is fairly accurate, he leads the league in extra points. If your league is anything like mine, you look for guys like Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis) and Blair Walsh (Minnesota) who have monster legs to brings in the 50-plus yard shots.
However, it’s also important to consider the team’s offense. While Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland) can also kick it a mile, the Raiders don’t exactly have a consistent offense. If they can’t move the ball across midfield, you might end up with no points and that’s something no one can afford.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost by a couple points, so believe it or not, adding a new kicker could help get your team to the next level. Zuerlein is only owned in about a third of all leagues, and I will likely have him in my top five all season. Other widely available guys in my top 10 are Garrett Hartley (NO), who is somehow only owned in about a fifth of all leagues, and Dan Bailey (DAL), who is still available in about a third of leagues.
You might be surprised with who you find below, but remember this: these rankings are week-to-week and not a reflection of the entire season. Make sure you check out our other position rankings. As always, our forums are completely free, and you can engage with our community and writers as we help get your fantasy lineups set for the week ahead.
|1||Matt Bryant||ATL||P||STL||Atlanta’s home opener is against a Rams team|
that gave up 24 points to Arizona. The Falcons
high-powered offense should give Bryant
plenty of chances.
|2||Justin Tucker||BAL||CLE||The defending champs will be out for blood in|
their home opener. This second year kicker
continues to be consistent.
|3||Greg Zuerlein||STL||@ATL||After 4 field goals and an extra point in week 1,|
I expect another solid performance against an
average Atlanta defense.
|4||Stephen Gostkowski||NE||NYJ||Usually everyone’s No. 1, he typically doesn’t|
get the FG chances that he should this week
against a tough NYJ defense.
|5||Blair Walsh||MIN||@CHI||Another young kicker with an absolute boot.|
Led the league in 50-yarders last season.
Should get a few more against Chicago.
|6||Matt Prater||DEN||@NYG||After giving up 36 points to Dallas, at the very|
least Prater will get 7 more extra points.
|7||Dan Bailey||DAL||@KC||Dallas’ offense is clearly good, so Bailey|
should be a safe start every week.
|8||Sebastian Janikowski||OAK||P||JAC||The Raiders didn’t look awful and Jacksonville|
gave up 24 points in week 1. This could be a
field goal battle.
|9||Phil Dawson||SF||@SEA||The most accurate kicker ever is going up|
against a tough defense. That means lots
of field goal attempts.
|10||Garrett Hartley||NO||@TB||Kickers on team’s with great offenses are|
always a safe bet, especially against Tampa Bay.
|11||David Akers||DET||@ARI||Akers will get plenty of chances because of|
|12||Jay Feely||ARI||DET||Arizona’s offense has new life with Carson|
Palmer. Feely is consistent and a safe start.
|13||Josh Brown||NYG||DEN||Brown’s value will fluctuate as the Giants offense|
has some consistency issues.
|14||Nick Folk||NYJ||@NE||Folk was clutch with a game winner in Week 1,|
and should get plenty of kicks this week and
|15||Adam Vinatieri||IND||MIA||The most clutch kicker of all time is now 40.|
That shouldn’t matter though.
|16||Josh Scobee||JAC||@OAK||Remember the field goal battle mentioned|
above? This is the other guy, but only if
the Jaguars can move the ball.
|17||Rob Bironas||TEN||@HOU||Going up against a tough defense, but the|
Tennessee offense is better and Bironas
|18||Caleb Sturgis||MIA||@IND||A nice first game by the rookie, including two|
40-plus yarders. If the Miami offense can
improve, he could move on up.
|19||Randy Bullock||HOU||TEN||Missed 2012 due to injury. High hopes for|
a young kicker with a big leg.
|20||Robbie Gould||CHI||MIN||Minnesota’s defense got destroyed by|
Detroit. Gould should get plenty of action.
P = Probable
Note: Opponents are always taken into account when ranking players week to week.
Find me in the forums before games on Sundays and randomly throughout the week. For a more immediate response on these rankings or any other questions you have, comment below or find me on Twitter: @dhrodgers52