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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
2014 Fantasy Football: Kicker Rankings
By Matt Horkman

1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
Outlook: Gostkowski missed just three field goals last season, while converting every extra point. New England’s offense prides itself on running many plays, so opportunities shouldn’t be scarce for the veteran kicker.

2. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos
Outlook: Last season, Peyton Manning wasn’t the only record setter in Denver. Prater actually set an NFL record with 75 converted extra points. He also missed just one field goal.

3. Mason Crosby, Green Bay PackersMason Crosby
Outlook: Not only did Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone influence the fantasy status of Green Bay’s offense, but it also affected Crosby. Without Rodgers, the Green Bay kicker saw his opportunities drop. He made just 42 extra points last season, the lowest of his career. A healthy Rodgers, however, puts Crosby back into the elite kicker conversation so long as his accuracy remains true.

4. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
Outlook: Two seasons into his career and Tucker has established himself as one of the best kickers in football. He finished last year tied with Gostkowski for the most field goals.

5. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
Outlook: Because of their woeful defense, Dallas will find themselves in several high-scoring contests. As a result, Bailey should have plenty of opportunities to establish himself as one of fantasy’s best kickers.

6. Shayne Graham, New Orleans Saints
Outlook: Whoever kicks for the Saints will have value. Lately, however, New Orleans has had trouble identifying a kicker. Graham enters training camp as their likely week one kicker, but his leash may be short.

7. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
Outlook: Last year, Hauschka made all 44 of his extra points, and connected on 33 of 35 field goal attempts. He should post similar numbers this year.

8. Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers
Outlook: In the AFC, only Adam Vinatieri connected on more field goals than Novak. The San Diego kicker will need an encore in ‘14, as the Chargers’ offense will have to overcome their defense.

9. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
Outlook: The Falcons have a good offense, play indoors, and are destined for several shootouts given their defensive woes. Bryant is a sneaky good fantasy kicker.

10. Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers
Outlook: Dawson started slowly in ‘13, but rebounded nicely down the stretch. Given the potential of San Francisco’s offense, he could finish much higher than No. 10.

11. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
Outlook: The ageless wonder continues to kick well into his 40s. Vinatieri led the AFC in field goals a year ago and connected on all 34 of his extra point attempts.

12. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
Outlook: Weather could be a factor for Gould, who plays in windy Chicago. Chicago’s offense, however, won‘t be a factor. The Bears enter the season with one of the conference’s best offensive attacks.

13. Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings
Outlook: You’d think Minnesota would be a poor team to find your fantasy kicker, but you’d be wrong. Walsh finished seventh in extra-point attempts in ‘13 and also attempted 30 field goals. There’s upside in Minnesota’s kicking game.

14. Nate Freese, Detroit Lions
Outlook: Freese is the frontrunner to win Detroit’s kicking job. He’ll compete with Giorgio Tavecchio who was beat out by Mason Crosby in Green Bay last August. Whoever is Detroit’s kicker will have tremendous upside, given the scoring capabilities of the Lions' offense.

15. Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles
Outlook: An up-and-down campaign in ‘13 has Henery somewhat on the hot seat this August. He has good upside because the Eagles are likely to score a ton of points, but Chip Kelly may not hesitate to make a change.

16. Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams
Outlook: It’s easy to overlook Zuerlein because he plays in a defensive-minded division, but he also plays indoors and has one of the league’s strongest legs. There’s upside here, especially if the Rams get their act together on offense.

17. Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers
Outlook: Pittsburgh is a tough place to kick, so Suisham comes with some risk. In addition, he had zero field goal attempts from 50 or more yards. Nonetheless, he connected on 30 of his 32 field goal attempts.

18. Dan Carpenter, Buffalo Bills
Outlook: Despite playing in bad weather Buffalo, Carpenter had a good season in ‘13. He hit on 33 of 36 field goal attempts, including going four of six from 50-plus yards. It’s hard to imagine him topping those numbers in ‘14, though.

19. Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins
Outlook: Sturgis attempted a respectable 34 field goals in ‘13, but he hit just 26 of them. That’s 76 percent, which ranked him No. 30 in football.

20. Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs
Outlook: Just two other kickers (Mike Nugent and Prater) attempted more extra points than Succop did in ‘13. However, the Kansas City kicker managed to make just 22 field goals because the Chiefs did a fine job of finishing many of their drives.

21. Jay Feely, Arizona Cardinals
Outlook: The 49ers, Rams, and Seahawks all play excellent defense, so the Cardinals may find themselves in several low-scoring contests. As a result, Feely is a risky fantasy pick, though his week one matchup with San Diego is enticing. 

22. Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals
Outlook: Nugent’s 18 field goals last season were last among kickers who played in all 16 games.

23. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
Outlook: There’s no denying Janikowski’s talent, but Oakland’s offense will hold him down for yet another year.

24. Nick Folk, N.Y. Jets
Outlook: Folk’s a fine kicker, evident by his 33 field goals last season, but the Jets’ offense is horrendous. How many opportunities will he have at scoring points?

25. Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers
Outlook: Gano was a mediocre fantasy kicker last season. His mediocrity will continue, as the Panthers enter the season with question marks on the offensive side of the ball.

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