Kickers are not necessarily going to be your first, second, or even third pick but they can be very valuable and the difference between a win and a loss. Obviously, kickers on high scoring offenses are going to naturally get a lot of points. Extra points are not as important as field goals for obvious reasons so the balance between both ways of scoring is important. A team who scores a considerable amount more in the endzone versus setting up for field goals often may not be the best choice.
Playoff caliber teams typically can score the ball in multiple ways and also take their shots in terms of field goals very strategically.
Below, we will take a look at this years 5 best options heading in to the year in 2016…
STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI (NEW ENGLAND)
Nobody knows what the Patriots will be with Jimmy Garapolo behind center for the first few weeks during Tom Brady’s suspension so it’s quite conceivable that the Pats are kicking more field goals than ever in the first four games. Gostkowski was the #1 kicker and scorer at the kicker position in 2015 and nothing considerable has changed to think that he would not repeat that success this season.
GRAHAM GANO (CAROLINA)
Carolina will be on a mission to show their dominance offensively once again in 2016. With that, Gano will get his chances to go berserk in terms of scoring and fantasy. As the #2 ranked kicker last season, he will have just as many, if not more opportunity in the up coming year.
BLAIR WALSH (MINNESOTA)
While Walsh had a few kicks last season that he would like to have back, from a fantasy stand point he was a stud. He was one of the more consistent kickers of last year despite lacking in the clutch department. Look for Walsh to bounce back with a vengeance. The Vikings offense has gained some pieces but they will still be setting up for 3’s as much as they did last year. I just believe that Walsh will be more consistent as he has put in the work this offseason.
STEVEN HAUSCHKA (SEATTLE)
It’s not always ideal conditions for kicking in Seattle with all the wind and rain but the Seattle kicker might just get more chances to score in 2016 considering that the Seahawks have depleted their entire offensive line from just two seasons ago. They’re kind of an unknown and with unknowns, it takes time to gel. Initially this season, Hauschka might just be getting a workout.
JUSTIN TUCKER (BALTIMORE)
Baltimore’s offense struggled in 2015. With those struggles came a ton of kicks. While Flacco is back and the Ravens are, on the surface, primed to do better, they in the past five years have relied a bunch on the kicker. Nothing should change in that sense. Tucker is going to kick the ball a lot in 2016. He might not score as much as last season but if he comes close, he is still a Top 5 option.
There are obviously a few more options to consider. Players like Robbie Gould (Chicago), Josh Brown (New York Giants), and Chandler Catanzano (Arizona) could also filter in to the Top 5 but all things considered and changes to rosters and personnel in the upcoming fantasy year, we will stick to the 5 aforementioned … for now.