Much of the talk in Fantasy Football circles the past few seasons has revolved around whether or not we should eliminate the kicker position altogether. In fact, I know of several home leagues that have. For the most part, kickers are and should be taken last in all Fantasy draft formats; it can be argued that little to no skill is involved when selecting this position. Therefore is there any reason to keep the position, apart from tradition?
This upcoming season, however, the kicking position may once again have Fantasy relevance because of the NFL’s new extra point rule. Starting this season, after each touchdown, extra points will now be tried from the opponents 15 yard line, which will make them the equivalent of a 32-yard field goal attempt.
Should we change our scoring?
Here are two reasons why we may want to adjust Fantasy Football scoring systems to reflect this new change.
1. In 2014 only a handful of all extra points were missed in over 1,000 attempts, which works out to over 99 percent accuracy. Meanwhile, field goal attempts of 30-39 yards were 90.6 percent successful. While the extra point should continue to be completed most of the time, they will no longer be automatic.
2. Some coaches may elect to go for the extra point less often. They may try for the two-point conversion not just late in games when they are behind by eight points, but also in games where the weather is a factor, or even if their kicker has already missed a few attempts that game. No coach would ever elect to go for two points under the old system if their kicker was mired in a slump, but under the new rule change, they might.
But should these factors affect what an extra point is worth in Fantasy Football?
Most scoring systems reward three points for a field goal and offer bonus points for field goals longer than 40 yards. I am not suggesting we make each extra point worth three points like field goals. That would only skew a kicker’s worth to make them as valuable as elite position players. But perhaps 1.5 points could become the new norm. Or even reward a bonus if a kicker makes four or more successful extra points in one game. In my opinion, a Fantasy owner whose kicker who goes 4/4 in 32 yard point after conversions in 2015 deserves to be better rewarded than a kicker who went 4/4 in extra points prior to this year.
How DSTs are affected
Another byproduct of NFL’s new extra point rule change is moving forward, defenses will be allowed to return blocked two point attempts for touchdowns. In turn, this could make teams who are aggressive on defense more valuable in Fantasy Football. That being said, I don’t think Fantasy owners should start drafting defenses any earlier than with their second to last selections. i.e. the pick before their kicker. But it may make streaming defenses a more enticing strategy. It may also play a role in DFS lineup selections.
This is because while at this point, it impossible to know exactly how often coaches will choose the two point conversions over a field goal, midway through the season we might to start to see a trend in what teams do skew this way, and target their opposing defenses on a weekly basis, since they will have increased opportunities to score points.
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