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Fantasy Kickers: Why bother?

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Postby Mercer Boy » Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:25 pm

To me, kickers are a small step up from a defense (I love the matchup defense strategy }:-)). You can keep a kicker for several weeks at the start of the year and get good points from them, and then you can switch to a guy who is randomly getting a ton of opportunities after a few weeks. As you all know, the parity of the NFL allows random bad teams from last year to become potential contenders the next. Those are the teams you want to find kickers from.

Sure, having a guy like Akers or Elam can probably "guarantee" you success, but it could come at the price of a breakout WR. I don't think it's worth it when you can grab someone off the wire who will only score 10-15 total points less than the top guy.
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Postby Kensat30 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 12:15 am

Mercer Boy wrote:To me, kickers are a small step up from a defense (I love the matchup defense strategy }:-)). You can keep a kicker for several weeks at the start of the year and get good points from them, and then you can switch to a guy who is randomly getting a ton of opportunities after a few weeks. As you all know, the parity of the NFL allows random bad teams from last year to become potential contenders the next. Those are the teams you want to find kickers from.

Sure, having a guy like Akers or Elam can probably "guarantee" you success, but it could come at the price of a breakout WR. I don't think it's worth it when you can grab someone off the wire who will only score 10-15 total points less than the top guy.


What about leagues with limited roster moves or transaction fees where it pays to have a consistently good kicker? Who wants to waste their top waiver priority on a kicker?

It's not like you waste a super high draft pick either, the top kicker usually goes in the 12th/13th rounds, people usually have 1 or 2 backups at every position by that time.


Drafting a kicker early is all relative.. but if you have 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 4 WRs, TE, already why not pick Akers?
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Postby VHawk15 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 12:22 am

Actually, Vandy and Wilkins last year were both consistently grabbed in the 9th or 10th. I'd personally rather take a sleeper WR or RB than a kicker, unless I can get Akers in the 12th or 13th.

But, in leagues that start 2 RB's (12 teams), Akers is going mid-9th. In leagues that have a flex, he's going early 10th.
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Postby daullaz » Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:39 am

Wow. Interesting read. The first thing that leaps out at me (although it's nothing more than coincidence) is that the top kicker the last three years has finished either 23rd or 24th. If my memory serves me correct, the top kicker last year was Vinatieri. What's that say about the number of points New England will put up this year?
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Postby Santacruzer » Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:59 am

I will always consider a kicker's situation, and not what he has done the previous year.

There are a lot of factors that make a kicker more likely to have a better year. Does he play indoors? What is his accuracy like? Is his teams offense potent? How good is his running game?

Indoors - or even a southern "weather-friendlier" spot is obviously more attractive. Alone though is not enough. Vinatieri, Akers, Elam and Reed can through this basis out the window alone.

Accuracy - On the surface, it may not be an obvious stat to look at. But a good kicker will get the chance to kick, where as a kicker with a lower accuracy may stay on the sidelines until they get closer, or even punt. If you just skim through the "surface" stats, you can get fooled by a guy with a high % kick, but does he only get the chance from 30 yards out or less?

Team offense - Clearly a team that can move the ball down the field will give his kicker more chances. But are they too good? A team that is really potent (or at least the way we all look at it) almost always scores TDs, not FGs. Sure you may load up on XPs, but for most FF scoring, that will only give you 1 point, where as a FG usually gives you at least 3 pts. Indy, and KC last year!!! are good examples of this. This leads to my next point....

What is the Running Game like on his team? You want a middle of the road type running game. Too good = more TDs instead of FGs, not good enough = too few chances. See Akers, Vinatieri, and Shane Graham.

Either way, your best bet is to wait until very late in your draft to select a kicker. Even if the guy you select doesn't pan out, there are many examples of guys who get left on the Waiver wire, who finish near the top. And you didn't have to waste that 8th to 12th round pick to get him!!!!
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Postby Pete123444 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:17 am

unless the rules state that i have to draft a full starting lineup, i usually don't even draft a kicker.
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Postby MadScott » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:05 am

Kensat30 wrote:
Mercer Boy wrote:To me, kickers are a small step up from a defense (I love the matchup defense strategy }:-)). You can keep a kicker for several weeks at the start of the year and get good points from them, and then you can switch to a guy who is randomly getting a ton of opportunities after a few weeks. As you all know, the parity of the NFL allows random bad teams from last year to become potential contenders the next. Those are the teams you want to find kickers from.

Sure, having a guy like Akers or Elam can probably "guarantee" you success, but it could come at the price of a breakout WR. I don't think it's worth it when you can grab someone off the wire who will only score 10-15 total points less than the top guy.


What about leagues with limited roster moves or transaction fees where it pays to have a consistently good kicker? Who wants to waste their top waiver priority on a kicker?

It's not like you waste a super high draft pick either, the top kicker usually goes in the 12th/13th rounds, people usually have 1 or 2 backups at every position by that time.


Drafting a kicker early is all relative.. but if you have 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 4 WRs, TE, already why not pick Akers?


I'm definitely on board with what you are saying Kensat. If you've filled your roster and the top defenses are off the board, why not go with a guy who has been nothing but consistent the past 8 years? Odds are, if your guy finishes in the top 10, you'll be within a few points of the top guy. Now that being said, if an Akers or Viniateri type are off the board, well then, I'd prefer to wait but still grab someone in the draft. Why waste the waiver priority on a stinking kicker? Last year I gambled on John Hall based on this discussion. I took a chance and crapped out but will do it again this season.

Meshawn, kudos man. You have channeled the spirit of KG this offseason. ;-D
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:15 am

Ill take Jason Hanson in the last rd whenever I can this yr. ;-D
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Postby Mercer Boy » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:39 am

Kensat30 wrote:What about leagues with limited roster moves or transaction fees where it pays to have a consistently good kicker? Who wants to waste their top waiver priority on a kicker?

It's not like you waste a super high draft pick either, the top kicker usually goes in the 12th/13th rounds, people usually have 1 or 2 backups at every position by that time.


Drafting a kicker early is all relative.. but if you have 2 QBs, 5 RBs, 4 WRs, TE, already why not pick Akers?


Guess it just depends on what type of league you are in. If you have FA pools, then why not change to a guy who is all of a sudden getting a ton of chances that is in the FA pool?

I was in a league last year with a 25 move limit. I think I changed my kicker two or three times. I started with Wilkins, but then he got hurt or something, and then ended up using Graham for the last 6-7 weeks of the year because he was getting tons of FG chances. He ended up being the 3rd or 4th best kicker.

The problem was this was a stupid Yahoo autodraft league, so no matter what, I had to pick a K by the 9th round. If I were doing a live draft, I don't think I would take a "top" K unless he fell to the point of me not finding any better sleeper types to take. They just change too much from year to year, and the point differences are not high enough by the end of the year either to justify it.
Last edited by Mercer Boy on Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bennett4prez » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:13 am

Nice read! ;-D

Is there a way that we can look at where the top 5 kickers were the previous year? Or, even look at the top TIER (not top 5) each season and see how they fluctuated. Sorry if I'm a bother, just thought about looking at it from the other side of the fence. :-D
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