NFL kickers are great at their jobs.
However, new rules have been instituted for the 2015 NFL season.
Moving extra-point attempts to the 15-yard line—as the NFL did this offseason—will not phase any pro football kickers.
On the other hand, special team units and defenses get the chance to score on PAT attempts or two-point conversions, respectively.
So let’s take a detailed look at the new rule that is in place this season and find out what effect, if any, will be had in the Fantasy community.
The new rule makes the biggest Fantasy impact on ST/DEF units. On a return to the end zone on a block, fumble or interception, the defense will earn two points. Depending on your Fantasy Football league’s format, this stat can earn you four or more points. Blocked PATs are a difficult statistic to predict and will happen seldom, so do not bank on these oddities to secure wins.
Turnovers on two-point conversions are more likely among the elite defenses: Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. In a deep standard league where points are at a premium, you have to decide if acquiring an elite DEF is worth it. More than likely, it’s not. Even in IDP leagues, chasing these blocks is not wise. Rostering cornerbacks over linebackers or defense linemen can hurt you. Great cornerbacks do not see the ball come their way that often, especially in two-point attempts. Stick to tackle-accumulating players. You can find those few extra points from BLKKs and BLKKRTDs elsewhere, especially in PPR formats.
Moving extra-point attempts to the 15-yard line actually means kickers will be attempting PATs from 32 yards away. For the last two seasons, NFL teams have success rates of 90 percent on 30-to-39 yard field goals, according to Pro-Football Reference. Yes, it is possible we’ll see a dip in extra points converted. Mostly, it’s only changed my draft approach for kickers: If I can get a kicker with a dome home at a good value, I will.
The kickers below offer the best value based on their home field.
Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
Dustin Hopkins, New Orleans Saints
Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams
Zuerlein does not play on a high-powered offense team and struggled last year with a FG% of 80, but could return good value at the tail end of your draft. Bryant and Hopkins—because their home fields are domes and they’re division rivals—get 10 games in domes.
The NFL moved extra-point attempts and changed the PAT rules to enhance the entertainment value. These changes have almost negligible effects on Fantasy Football, but will be fun to watch in leagues that reward returns on PATs.
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