OpinionAugust 23, 2010

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Is this fantasy soccer or fantasy football? - 10 comments

By Michael Hawes

The kicker, the lowly ridiculed kicker. Why are they still a part of fantasy football? Why, in an NFL-based fantasy football game, do we have a guy that kicks the ball for a living as part of our roster? Why? Why? WHY?

Yes, he scores points, but does he add anything of value to the fantasy football experience? The kicker is the guy you have to draft. It’s not a position you research, scouring over stats and news articles to find out if one in is a legitimate pick or not. You don’t get excited when a kicker falls to you, you don’t trade up to get that kicker and you would probably prefer to draft that sleeper RB or WR.

Last season was a slight anomaly to the normal kicker statistics. In 2009, Nate Kaeding led the kicking brigade in scoring with 146 points — way to go, Nate. The #12 kicker came in at 108 points, creating a point differential of 38 points, or 2.375 points per game, between the top kicker and the last starter at the position. From 2006 to 2008, the differentials were 30, 23 and 26 points, respectively, between the first-place and 12th-place kickers, all less than two points per game over the course of a season.

If you want to make the kicker position at least fun, make everyone in your league start a different kicker each week. Don’t draft them, just run a WW each week for kickers, saying you cannot start the same kicker twice in a year.  Even better, eliminate the position and add a flex spot, allowing your league members to actually have to think on who they will draft. Down with kickers in fantasy football!

Michael Hawes is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Michael in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bungle613.
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10 Responses to “Is this fantasy soccer or fantasy football?”

  1. Sticky Spice says:

    AMEN BROTHER! I have been saying this for over ten years now and I rarely participate in a league with kickers.

    Real football players scratch and claw and fight their way up and down the field only to have the score affected by some guy that doesn’t actually play in the game to kick the ball. How insane is that?

    And in fantasy, how do you figure a field goal is worth 3 points, or god forbid, more?! Did the kicker do something to put the ball in that field position? The kicker position has no relevance to individual performance. And individual performance is exactly what fantasy leagues should want because it gives us an opportunity to potentially outplay our opponents.

    Stop letting kickers affect games played by football players!

  2. User avatar Payne Dailey says:

    I use the kicker as a barometer of sorts. Any player that drafts one from anywhere but the last round is an idiot and I’m hitting that player up with trades.

  3. User avatar bungle613 says:

    Interesting idea Payne and I can’t say I have ever thought of that. But yes, if Hartley gets drafted in the 12th round, well I guess that should be the first guy I need to hit up. Nice call.

  4. User avatar djadrock says:

    I created a league this year where I got rid of kickers and added a fex position. That is much more exciting!

  5. RenPastana says:

    This is a rather stupid idea in the sense that you can actually estimate the value of a kicker depending on various things…how good the offense is, dome or not, windy town or not etc…Also, if the kicker position is such a irrelevant one, then why hasn’t the NFL completely dropped it so that it could change the name of the change to something more appropriate than FOOTball haha stoopid americans

  6. RenPastana says:

    “an irrelevant one*”
    “change the name of the game*”

  7. User avatar joejlitz says:

    I’ll pick a kicker in the next to last round to get the kicker I want, but usually because my last pick (RB or WR) is such a big sleeper, I can count on nobody else taking him.

    Trade with me, please ;)

  8. GoCardZ says:

    I like the kicker position. While the few idiots in your money league from work or something are drafting their kicker in the 7th round, thats an extra RB or WR you are able to stash.

  9. User avatar Payne Dailey says:

    There’s a difference of 20-30 points spread over the season in most cases. My league has been together for 12 years and there is someone picking one in the 12-15th round every year. As soon as one of his player busts/ gets injured he gets a trade request from me.

  10. Hippo45 says:

    Believe it or not Kickers are on average (avg. of 2008 and 2009) are the 50th best player to own because they have an average differential of 34.5 points. Who falls below the top kicker? The 13th rb, 22nd wr, 5th def, 8th qb, 5th te. So if you know which kicker will be good they can actually have quite a bit of value. Yes, they are very hard to predict, but every position is very hard to pick except the elites at that position.

    Secondly, you could make it so they have more relevance by giving them the fantasy points they deserve. Why does a running back get 1 point for every 10 yards rushing? Doesn’t a kicker that kicks a 50 yard field goal move the ball for the team 50 yards to score? A kicker should get 1 point for every 10 yards that they kick to make it even. 50 yard field goal = 8 points, etc.


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