Much like I say to do for the defenses, same goes for the kickers. Don’t waste time drafting one early, wait till the last couple of rounds. The only way I could see reaching, is if your league carried extra weight in favor of guys who kick the long ones. Then maybe guys like Sebastian Janikowski start to look a little enticing. But generally, take your leagues 2011 results for kickers and compare it to my list. Then adjust accordingly. It’s so easy!
1. SF David Akers - 2011 finish #1
Akers has finished #1, two years in a row. If that doesn’t make him the first picked kicker, I don’t know what you have to do! And he did it finishing 30 points ahead of #2. I see the 49ers being able to score more touchdowns this year, but don’t look for them to change their philosophy. They will play it close to the vest and make the defense win games.
2. CHI Robbie Gould - 2011 finish #10
I believe Gould has the makings of a really great season. He connected on all 6 of his long distance opportunities in 2011 and his offense has be re-loaded with talent. I see big things for Gould in 2012.
3. NEP Stephen Gostkowski - 2011 finish #4
Great offenses often make great kickers.
4. GB Mason Crosby - 2011 finish #6
Isn’t Aaron Rodgers just great. He sure is.
5. DAL Dan Bailey - 2011 finish #5
6. OAK Sebastian Janikowski - 2011 finish #3
The biggest boot in the league will once again be kicking for that elusive 65 yarder! He should get a shot at some point this year.
7. PHI Alex Henery - 2011 finish #17
The rookie missed a couple early on in 2011 but then settled down and didn’t miss for the last 10 weeks. If the offense can resemble more of 2010 and not 2011, Henery could be in for a big year.
8. NO Garrett Hartley - 2011 finish – Injured
Hartley was injured for the entire 2011 season, meaning that veteran John Kasay got to be the star. Kasay finished in the top 5 so Hartley, if healthy, should be in line for a good year with a still explosive offense.
9. DEN Matt Prater - 2011 finish #30
This is exactly why you don’t rush to pick a kicker. Last year, Prater was terrible. So even if you are last to pick one, he probably will still be available. And he doesn’t have Tebow moving the offense this season…
10. DET Jason Hanson - 2011 finish #11
I really hope this is the year that I can get my Jason Hanson jersey! They just don’t make them, but I am just going to pay the extra to get a custom one. It’s worth it. How many guys that were drafted in 1992 are still playing… just one.
11. TEN Rob Bironas - 2011 finish #9
Bironas is just money. His average on kicks of 40+ is tops in the league over the past 4 seasons. If the offense improves just marginally, he could crack the top 5 easy.
12. ATL Matt Bryant - 2011 finish #12
13. MIA Dan Carpenter - 2011 finish #15
14. CIN Mike Nugent - 2011 finish #8
15. SEA Steven Hauschka - 2011 finish #19
16. HOU Randy Bullock - 2011 finish – Rookie
In the offense that made Neil Rackers a starter for the past couple of years, Bullock should be the beneficiary, as long as he can handle the NFL jitters.
• There you go, 16 kickers to choose from. Since none of you are drafting backup kickers, you’ll be fine with this list. GO LIONS!