At some point in your draft you will need to pick a kicker.
It’s like washing clothes or mowing the lawn. It’s something that everyone has to do, but nobody actually wants to do.
All you need is a list, right? Well this one will tell you where the kickers are going in drafts and which of them are values. Snickering, aren’t you? Good because it is funny. There are people out there picking kickers who aren’t even on active rosters.
OK, time to get serious. … Serious about kickers. OK, let’s not. Here’s the list:
I’m going to write short commentaries here. You likely won’t read them because they’re, y’know, for kickers but it’s our duty to provide insight and to let you know if a player’s average draft position (pulled from www.mockdraftcentral.com) is legit or not.
ADP: Top 30 Kickers
*ADP from 8.11.10
1. Stephen Gostkowski (143.56) — If Brady’s up to form, the Patriots should score plenty of points. If he’s almost up to form, more points will come in the form of field goals. Unless the 15th round is the last round of your draft, his ADP is too high.
2. Garrett Hartley (145.43) — He’s the top kicker in 2010, but like Gostkowski, his ADP is too high. He’s one kicker I might pick with my second to last selection. But he won’t be there because someone will reach for him.
3. Nate Kaeding (148.68) — Folks must be expecting some field goals out of San Diego this season with LaDainian Tomlinson and Vincent Jackson not on the field. I get that. I just don’t get picking him in the 15th round.
4. Mason Crosby (151.54) — The Packers will dump buckets upon buckets of points on teams in 2010. Crosby will benefit and could be 1A to Hartley’s 1. Like Hartley, if you want to reach for him in your second to last round, I won’t be ashamed of you. Just don’t pick him in the 16th if you’ve got four more rounds to go.
5. Rob Bironas (154.06) — When Chris Johnson isn’t knocking home runs out of the park, the offense will do some stalling at the goal line. Bironas has always been able to do well with those chances. If Vince Young is even more effective, Bironas will have better opportunities. However, I wouldn’t reach early for him.
6. Ryan Longwell (155.27) — With more Brett Favre the Vikings will score more points. With less Brett Favre they’ll send Longwell out there a bit more. Either way, Longwell’s a good option this season, if he wasn’t so expensive. Last round, second to last round only here.
7. Lawrence Tynes (162.03) — The Giants are embracing the passing game and Tynes will benefit from the change. I picked him in several leagues last year because nobody else was drafting him. He’s not fooling anyone this year. Don’t reach here.
8. Rian Lindell (170.55) — If the Bills go three-and-out every play will anybody notice? Lindell owners will. Yes, the offense will stall out, but unless Lindell can boot 70-yarders you’d be nuts to draft him as a starter, let alone in the top 8 or in the 18th round.
9. Josh Scobee (178.36) — Completed just 64% of his tries in 2010, but part of that came from an inconsistent David Garrard and the resulting nine tries from more than 50 yards out. Garrard and his receivers could complement Maurice Jones Drew well this season. If that happens, Scobee might be a top five kicker, but he’s still not worth an 18th-round pick.
10. Sebastian Janikowski (207.32) — Now we’re getting somewhere with these ADPs, 21st round is more like it. … If your draft is 21 rounds long. Janikowski has always been able to kick long field goals and last season made 9-of-10 from 40-49 yards and 6-of-8 from 50 yards out or more. He also made all 11 of his other tries in 2009. He tried less than 20 extra points and considering the leaders hit around 50, that’s a huge detriment. However, if Jason Campbell’s arrival lifts the team up like a lot of people think it might, Janikowski will get more extra points and more of those chip shot field goals. For a kicker he makes a decent sleeper.
11. David Akers (231.94) — The offense has super talented home run hitters, but it also has an unproven quarterback. As the offense stalls out, Akers will take his shots. He’ll make them too. He missed only five of his 37 tries last season. But in the end he’ll get less field goals and extra points in 2010.
12. John Kasay (242.74) — If Matt Moore to Steve Smith works as well as it did at the end of last season, Kasay might boot in 20 more extra points than he had last season. And with less Jake Delhomme, there will be less punts and more field goal tries. Kasay doesn’t have a huge leg, but he’s a good option.
13. Adam Vinatieri (268.71) — It wasn’t long ago that Vinatieri was the hands-down No. 1 kicker. His 2009 was not a healthy one, but the kicker for the Colts offense is a must-own in fantasy leagues because he could boot 60 extra points alone.
14. Ryan Succop (279.66) — A former Mr. Irrelevant, Succop is an interesting option this season, which is why he’s being picked here as a starter in 14-team leagues. With the addition of RB Thomas Jones, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and an upgraded offensive line, the Chiefs could keep Matt Cassel off his back more often. A more effective offense that still probably won’t be very effective could be very lucrative for its kicker.
15. Robbie Gould (282.46) — Like the Weis addition in Kansas City, the arrival of offensive guru Mike Martz, should turn the Bears offense into a much more potent one. It might take some time to get everything right. While the offense finds itself, Gould will boot a couple 40-yarders. Eventually he’ll have to settle for setting a career high in extra points. Target Gould this season, especially with his ADP outside the starting 14.
16. Shayne Graham (287.20) — The Ravens are another offense in the midst of a change to a more pass-heavy scheme. Like Gould and Tynes above, any time the Ravens get close and hiccup, Graham gets to kick.
17. Dan Carpenter (291.13) — Did I mention anything about offenses in flux yet? It’ll be interesting to see how effective Chad Henne to Brandon Marshall is, but a better offense helps Carpenter either way. He made 8-of-9 from 40-49 yards and was 1-for-2 from 50 yards out or longer in 2009.
18. Matt Prater (292.11) — A Kyle Orton-led offense is not a death knell for a kicker. In fact, Robbie Gould was one of the top kickers in fantasy for the Orton-led Bears in 2008. Prater has more power than Gould and last year proved that he can be an accurate kicker from any distance. With your last pick there’s no risk in making a risk-reward pick like Prater.
19. David Buehler (294.14) — The rookie out of USC is an interesting kicker. In prep school, he played as placekicker, linebacker and running back. At the 2009 NFL Combine he benched 225 25 times — more than elite offensive linemen Michael Oher, Eugene Monroe and Max Unger. Dudes got beat by a kicker. But these are kicker rankings, can Buehler kick? He wasn’t nearly as accurate as a senior at USC and didn’t take a single extra point or field goal for the Cowboys last season. In the Hall of Fame game, he made 3-of-4 and missed a 49-yarder. You might want to avoid Buehler until we know he’s not more than a safety who can kick.
20. Jason Elam (294.14) — There was a time when Elam was among the most coveted fantasy kickers in the game. Now he’s Prater’s backup in Denver and getting ranked here because of his old job as Falcons starter. Please see 20a below.
20a. Matt Bryant (xxx.xx) — Bryant isn’t even in the ADP top 32 for kickers, but his backup, Steve Hauschka, is. If you need the ADP number, copy Elam’s into Bryant’s slot. That’s who these turds think they’re drafting, Atlanta’s starting kicker. Bryant was 60-for-71 on field goals the last two years while with Tampa Bay and has a career 81.5% FG percentage. If Matt Ryan matures and Michael Turner is healthy, Bryant could be one of the top kicker options off waivers in 2010.
21. Jeff Reed (294.83) — Pittsburgh doesn’t have a favorable schedule, doesn’t have Santonio Holmes and won’t have Ben Roethlisberger for 4-to-6 games. Reed, an accurate kicker, might be busy early in the season.
22. Neil Rackers (295.66) — Made 94% of his field goals for Arizona in 2009, but turned down their contract offer to join Houston’s high-powered offense. Rackers has always been a personal favorite, and at this ADP, I’m sure I’ll roster him on a couple teams this season. For reference, Kris Brown attempted more than 30 field goals and more than 40 extra points for Houston last season. Technically, Brown is still on the roster, but Rackers will own this starting spot.
23. Shaun Suisham (296.45) — Mock Draft Central has him listed in Dallas, where he kicked two years ago. Yahoo has him in Cleveland on his notes page, but he was cut by the Browns. In any case, I’m not sure who it is that’s drafting him, but I want to play in that league. Especially if he’s being picked ahead of the next guy.
24. Joe Nedney (296.74) — Nedney only made 80% of his field goals last season. So what? At least he’s on an active roster somewhere. And he’s also on an active roster for a team that could be ready to break out. Two years ago, Nedney hit 87% and three year ago he hit 89%. Yeah, he’s trending bad, but until the 49ers get a new kicker, Nedney stands to benefit if the offense clicks.
25. John Carney (297.42) — I don’t even know what to say. He’s ancient and not on an active roster, but I’m sure the folks who picked him 158th (his earliest selection in 2010) had a good reason.
26. Jay Feely (297.64) — I don’t care how bad Matt Leinart is, Feely’s going to score way more points than Carney or Suisham in 2010. In fact don’t be surprised if he scores the same chances he had with the Jets in 2009.
27. Nick Folk (298.44) — He missed 10 field goals last season after hitting 20-of-22 in 2008, a follow up to his breakout fantasy performance in 2007. He fell from grace quickly and has a chance to make up for it in New York. Folk blames coming back too early from hip surgery for his struggles. If that’s the case, Folk could be one of the best kickers not drafted in your league in 2010, based on this ADP.
28. Steve Hauschka (298.54) — As mentioned before, Hauschka is Bryant’s backup. Don’t pick him at any ADP unless that changes.
29. Matt Stover (298.74) — He kicked while Vinatieri was hurt for Indianapolis last season. Right now, Stover’s not even on a real NFL team.
30. Phil Dawson (299.13) — Unless there’s a miracle in Cleveland, you don’t want a kicker that has to rely on the Browns offense to get him into field goal range.
The kickers left off this list includes Olindo Mare, Jason Hanson and Josh Brown, who are all top 25 kickers.
For more ADP, redraft, rookie and dynasty rankings — most of which are far less ridiculous than this list — visit our 2010 fantasy football rankings page.