We have put up several articles and tips primarily to help you prepare for your fantasy football drafts. They included Sleepers, Players to avoid drafting, Backup running backs you should roster, Rookies to consider drafting, and a post on Tight Ends and Defense & Special Teams. We have saved the least important for last; the position player you should always draft last; the Kicker.
Like we did with tight ends and Team defense, we have put together a list of kickers to consider drafting AFTER those in the top tiers are off the board. Those, of course, would include David Akers, Stephen Gostkowski, Sebastian Janikowski, Mason Crosby, and Garrett Hartley-the top five in most leagues. We left out Dan Bailey because he finished third in the league last season in his rookie year and should be considered a top-tier K.
And we even threw in some sleepers in this category-perhaps the next Akers or Crosby- because at one point in their careers that’s exactly what they were!
1. Matt Prater-Broncos- Field goal opportunities were at a premium for Prater last season as Denver ranked second in punts in the league. Can’t kick too many F.G. when your team has problems on offense and is forced to punt repeatedly. Once the Broncos brought Peyton Manning on board, they wisely franchised Prater realizing the tremendous talent that he possesses. With a much more potent offense at the ready this season, we think Prater will be a Sleeper candidate. Remember in ’09 he finished the season with 122 fantasy points, just 7 behind Crosby and 27 behind Janikowski, so we know he has the potential.
2. Matt Bryant-Falcons-A team with an explosive offense led by QB Matt Ryan and with weapons such as Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez, Bryant will have ample chances to bring your team fantasy points this season. Among active players, he has led the league in field goal accuracy (91.7%) since 2010. Couple that with the fact that the Falcons will play 10 games indoors this season and there is an excellent case to wait for Bryant who will probably be the 8th-9th Kicker to go off the boards.
3. Alex Henery-Eagles- First and foremost, the Eagles CAN score points! Especially if Michael Vick can remain healthy for most of the season..Henery set an NCAA record last year with Nebraska in field goal accuracy (88.9%) which is why Philly made him their fourth round selection in last year’s draft. Look, he’s on a team where David Akers thrived for years, so there’s no reason to believe that Henery won’t either given his collegiate pedigree. Definitely Sleeper material!
4. Robbie Gould-Bears- Gould, an accurate and reliable kicker in his own right, finished last season with 121 fantasy points on a farily anemic offensive team in the Bears. They went out and jacked up their offense for this season by bringing in back up running back Michael Bush, WR Alshon Jeffery, and then reuniting Jay Cutler with WR veteran Brandon Marshall. And, of course, they still have a beast in Matt Forte. The move should vastly increase Gould’s opportunities this year and make him a solid tier 2 kicker on fantasy charts.
5. Randy Bullock-Texans- We picked Bullock as one of our sleeper candidates several weeks ago and are standing by our selection. As the winner of the Lou Groza award at Texas A&M last year, the Texans selected Bullock in the fifth round of the draft as the replacement for Neil Rackers, who is now with the Redskins. Rackers finished sixth in scoring in the league last season so there is every reason to believe that the rookie can do the same or better, making him another potential Sleeper candidate for ’12. The key, of course, is for Bullock to get the starting nod over veteran Shanyne Grahm who kicked for Miami and Baltimore last season.