First of all, if you are drafting a kicker before the last round, you’re doing it wrong.
I know I’ve stated in previous posts that (insert position here) wins championships. None of the positions inserted above include kickers. The later rounds are where you pick up the Arian Foster (2010) or Alfred Morris (2012) of your draft. Unless your league has some bizarre kicker point categories, you can’t honestly tell me you’d rather have Blair Walsh than Arian Foster.
The point differential between the first and tenth ranked kicker was 26 points. That might seem like a lot, but if you average it out, it translates to an additional 1.625 points a game. That’s nothing compared to the points you could be getting with an RB or WR stud you snagged from under your friends’ noses in the 12th round.
Draft a defense before your kicker. There’s a big difference between drafting Chicago and Arizona (by 2012’s numbers, a 70 point) by the same 1-10 comparison from above.
Also, unless your league requires it, don’t you dare keep a backup kicker on your roster. If you do, you might as well go out and buy a backup wheel for your razor scooter. It will serve about the same purpose.
I would like everyone to observe a moment of silence for Harvard “Kickalicious” Rugland, whom the Lions cut this offseason. I think we can all agree, he was the real reason anybody would have watched the Lions this season.
Alright, there’s really not much else to say about kickers, so here are your rankings.
1. Blair Walsh- “I am so scared… when we don’t give the ball to Adrian Peterson.” – The Blair Walsh Project. Plus, he has range and kicks in a dome.
2. Stephen Gostkowski- Pats still have a prolific passer in Brady, but if the offense stalls early in the season, Gostkowski could be called on a fair amount. Let’s all agree two Ks is too many for one last name.
3. Matt Bryant- Kicks in a dome. Might be related to Kobe????????
4. Phil Dawson- The pride of Cleveland, Ohio. Don’t worry Phil. You are on what people call a “winning team” now. He won’t have the numbers Akers did two years ago, but he doesn’t miss and he will have plenty of opportunities.
5. Matt Prater- Mile high stadium. The ball travels further through the thin air.
6. Sebastian Janikowski- The only Raider you can actually count on to do his job.
7. Justin Tucker- Without Pitta to help Flacco move the chains, expect plenty more opportunities for Tucker.
8. Greg Zuerlein- After a downgrade in their running and no significant improvement to their receivers, Greg the Leg will have plenty of opportunities in the St. Louis dome.
9. Josh Brown- When your QB is Eli and your running game is unproven; you need a kicker. And that kicker; is Josh Brown.
10. Dan Bailey- As long as he doesn’t kick too high and hit the Jerry Jones Jumbotron of Jubilee, he should have a good season.
11. Kai Forbath- Sounds like a bathhouse in Asia, actually a kicker on the Redskins.
12. Rob Bironas- M-M-M-MY BIRONAS. How many times have you heard that in the past three years?
13. Adam Vinatieri- He kicks field goals good.
14. David Akers- I had the biggest man crush on David Akers after during first year in SF. Last season, I covered my eyes and prayed to Jesus, Allah, Oprah and any other deity I could think of when the 49ers called him on the field. This year for Lions, he will either be amazing, as it is his first year with a new team, or he will make what’s left of expectations in Detroit, disintegrate like that house in 8 Mile.
15. Mike Nugent- I met him once. What a great guy.
16. Robbie Gould- Every one of the Bears fans readers will scoff at the notion of ranking Robbie outside of the top-one, but when you kick in an arctic spaceship in the windy city, conditions don’t exactly favor fantasy dominance.
Tomorrow: Predictions for the NFL season by team!