Fantasy Football Sleepers – Kicker Rankings in Fantasy Football 2009
Kickers are generally selected in the last 2 rounds of Fantasy Football Drafts. Since most Fantasy Football leagues have 12 owners, your goal is to pick one of the top 12 kicker-to-scorers in the league. There are 32 teams in the NFL, so you have a better than even chance of landing one of the top 12 kickers, even in a blind tie. The difference between the best kicker and the 12th ranked kicker is only 2 points per game. Everyone knows Gostkowski et al, but who are the real sleepers? Read on and get some extra points on sleeping kickers.
Sleeper # 1
Rian Lindell of the Buffalo Bills finished the 2008 season as the 11th ranked fantasy producer at his position. However, that happened in a year in which it had one of its worst conversion rates, 79%. Because of this, it will fall into the eyes of most homeowners. When you take a closer look at his stats, you see that he was forced to attempt as many kicks from over 40 yards last year as his previous 2 years combined! This means that with WR Terrell Owens coming to Buffalo versus Lee Evans, more attempts from 25 to 35 yards are almost guaranteed, due to the fact that Buffalo has the 13th easiest schedule for WR. I’m looking for a production in the 138 point range, a steal like his last draft pick.
Sleeper # 2
Garrett Hartley was perfect as a rookie for the New Orleans Saints last year, while playing in just 8 games. In a standard scoring format, he scored 67 points, which extrapolates to 134 points in a full season. Getting more than 8 points from a kicker that you can get in the last round is great value, and you know that Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Reggie Bush, and Pierre Thomas are going to move the ball. Kicking a dome doesn’t hurt either, and I expect the second-year kicker to score about 135 points this year.
Every year an owner gets itchy and takes a Gostkowski or Akers with 3-4 rounds to go, and runs a kicker run. DON’T get caught up in this, pick your kicker last and take one of the sleepers mentioned above to produce maximum value. Sure a $ 15 steak dinner is fine, but if you can get a burger for a penny, it sure tastes better.