2016 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?
There’s a good chance you accidentally clicked on a link to our 2016 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings page. Maybe you flinched at the last second, maybe you thought it read “Jim Kiick’s 2016 Fantasy Football Rankings,” – either way, we’re happy you’re here!
Let’s learn something about the current kickers position in Fantasy Football! Believe it or not, there have been some major changes in the past calendar year!
Last year was our first official exposure to the long extra points (moving out to the 15-yard line), which was not exactly fun for Fantasy Football owners desperate for one point! (Remember when Bills K Dan Carpenter missed his sixth PAT of the season, then slammed his helmet on the sidelines only to have it bounce back and smack him in the face? Good times!
As a matter of fact, according to the Monday Morning Quarterback at SI.com (MMQB), placekickers missed 71 PATs in 2015, which is quite a lot. Consider that from 2010 to 2014, there were only 37 missed PATs! According to their research, the 71 missed extra points in 2015 ranked as the highest number of misses since 1977 (72). My guess is that was back when cocaine first gained some real traction among kickers. Those crazy sons-a-guns. Last year also had the lowest conversion percentage since 1982!
It’s also important for Fantasy owners to realize that those missed extra points messed with kickers’ heads enough (according to themselves) to affect their ability to make regular field goals, too.
The extra point being pushed back caused a rise in two-point-conversion attempts, as well, but not as much as we all expected. Really, the Steelers (11) were the only team to temporarily bail on PATs and go for two on a regular basis. But seven different teams tried for two at least five times last season, compared to an average of just 2.6 teams trying that many in a season between 2010 and 2014.
All of this discussion really just burns in what we’ve all been saying for the past 20 years in Fantasy Football: Don’t draft a kicker until the last round of your Fantasy draft.
There are a couple caveats to that, however, and I will explain!
First, I’m fine with taking a kicker in the second-to-last round when you have a late pick in that second-too-last round. Say you have the 10th pick in a 12-team league with 14 rounds, then you’ll have the 10th pick in Round 13 – go ahead and grab Stephen Gostkowski, leapfrogging the two players that have two picks before your final pick.
Second, if you are in a limited keeper league, which means you can only keep players selected after a specific round, then that might be a reason to take a kicker earlier. For instance, if you are in a deep 12-team keeper league that allows you to keep five players, and you can only keep players picked after Round 10, then that means by the time your Round 11 pick comes around, there are already has 60 keepers held over and 120 players selected. That means your keeper picks are much more valuable than that 10th-round pick that you can’t hold over. So take a kicker in Round 10 – and a defense in Round 9 or earlier.
Don’t be like the Buccaneers, taking Roberto Aguayo in Round 2. Also, don’t be like the Buccaneers and draft Bo Jackson, even though he swore he would never sign with you. Also, don’t be like the Buccaneers and draft Vinny Testaverde when you already have Steve DeBerg and Steve Young on your team. Also, don’t be like the Buccaneers and try to rescind a first-round draft pick, like they did in 1982.
Throughout the 2016 NFL Preseason, players will get hurt and depth charts will shift, so we’ll be updating our 2016 Fantasy Kicker rankings regularly. Here are some reasons for changes in some of our rankings.
There are a few key kicker battles going on that you’ll want to keep close attention to this preseason.
Philadelphia Eagles: Cody Parkey vs. Caleb Sturgis
A groin injury kept Parkey sidelined for much of 2015, and Sturgis, the former Dolphins kicker, made 18-of-22 attempts, finishing better than he started. The front office hopes Parkey wins the job back, but they’ll move on if Sturgis outkicks him.
Buffalo Bills: Dan Carpenter vs. Jordan Gay vs. Marshall Morgan
The Bills had two kickers on their team last season, with Carpenter scoring points and Gay kickoff off a tee. But Morgan, a rookie out of Georgia, could unseat both of them this preseason, saving the Bills a roster spot, and giving them a stronger leg for both field goals and kickoffs. Carpenter led the NFL with six missed extra points last season – yikes!
2016 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings
These Fantasy rankings are based on standard, non-PPR Fantasy leagues.
The 2016 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings aren’t the sexiest players to consider for your Fantasy team. But in the end, getting the right kicker, with plenty of field-goal opportunities and extra points, could mean the difference of two or three points per game.
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