CBSSports.com Player Ratings
Position: Quarterbacks · Running Backs · Wide Receivers · Tight Ends · Kickers · Defense/STs
Range: 1-15 · 16-30 · 31-32
Stephen Gostkowski was the No. 1 Fantasy kicker in 2012, and we expect him to repeat in 2013 since he plays for a high-powered offense with plenty of chances to succeed. Gostkowski made 29 of 35 field goals in 2012 with 66 extra points. Only four kickers had more than 50 extra points (Gostkowski, Garrett Hartley, Matt Prater and Mason Crosby), but Gostkowski was the only one above 60. He had double digits in Fantasy points in 10 games, and this is now the third time in his career he had had more than 55 extra points. He should post quality stats again in 2013, and he is worth drafting with a late-round pick in all leagues.
Phil Dawson signed with the 49ers in March, giving him a chance to play for a contender after spending his entire career with the Browns. This is a move we like a lot -- Dawson has made at least 82.1 percent of his field goals annually since 2007 and had a very good year with 29 of 31 field goals made in 2012 including a perfect 7 of 7 from 50-plus yards. Over his last two seasons he's made 14 of 15 from 50-plus yards, which is pretty darn good. For the first time in a while, Dawson deserves a draft pick by Fantasy owners. We recommend owners taking him with one of their final two selections.
Matt Bryant had another solid year in 2012, making just over 85 percent of his field goals for the third year in a row. Bryant nailed 33 of 38 field goals (including all four from 50-plus yards) and hit 44 extra points. With the offense expected to remain prolific, there's no reason to doubt Bryant as one of the top kicking options in Fantasy. Consider Bryant a reliable leg worth picking in the last round of your Fantasy draft.
Matt Prater proved to be one of the best Fantasy kickers in 2012, and he will try to build on that performance this season. Prater finished No. 7 in Fantasy points last year with 26 of 32 field goals made and all 55 extra points. He was third in the NFL in extra points behind Stephen Gostkowski (66) and Garrett Hartley (57), and he made three kicks from 50-plus yards. We consider Prater a No. 1 Fantasy option, and he’s worth drafting with a last-round pick in all leagues.
Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson might have been impact rookies in 2012, but so was kicker Blair Walsh. He accounted for 141 points with Minnesota, hitting 35 of 38 field goals including a perfect 10 of 10 from 50-plus yards. He also hit all 36 of his extra points. That's good enough to make him the best kicker you could ask for in Fantasy in 2013. It is worth noting that this was the first time in four seasons the Vikings were among the top 10 in field-goal attempts but with the offense figuring to only add talent and the team having a ton of faith in Walsh, it makes sense to come out of the gate trusting him on your Fantasy team. Use one of your last two picks on him.
The Ravens made a smart move by adding rookie Justin Tucker last season as he stands now as one of the top kickers in football. In 2012 he made 30 of 33 field goals, including 4 of 4 from 50-plus yards. With Baltimore's offense becoming more aggressive, there could be a similar amount of opportunities for Tucker to attempt field goals in 2013. We'd take him with a pick in the second-to-last round of your draft.
Garrett Hartley didn't have many field goal opportunities in 2012, kicking 18 of 22 including 3 of 4 from 50-plus yards. He made 57 extra points, giving him a grand total of 117 Fantasy points. If this was the first time Hartley had attempted under 30 field goals we'd probably be more willing to recommend him as a good Fantasy kicker. But the guy has never attempted more than 25 kicks in a season in his career! And here's another nugget: Since Sean Payton has become head coach, the team has attempted more than 30 field goals in a year once! Hartley might be on a team with an explosive offense but there's not going to be as many opportunities there as there are for other kickers. Expect him to get picked in the final round on Draft Day, but you don't have to be the one to take him
Sebastian Janikowski continues to prove he’s among the best Fantasy kickers, and he should be drafted as a starter with a late-round pick in all leagues. In 2012, Janikowski was 31 for 34 in field-goal attempts and had a long of 57 yards. He actually was 6 for 9 from 50-plus yards this year and posted a double-digit Fantasy total in five of his 16 games on the year. This is the third year in a row Janikowski has made at least 31 field goals, and he should continue to be an excellent weapon for the Raiders and Fantasy owners.
Kai Forbath has the look of a quality Fantasy kicker based on his production in 2012. After joining the team in early October, Forbath became a valuable member of Washington's offense and connected on his first 17 field-goal attempts during the regular season. He missed his only kick in Week 17, and he also added 33 extra points. Fantasy owners should consider him a low-end option at the end of drafts for the 2013 season as the Redskins' offense should continue to improve next year.
Randy Bullock is slated to be the Texans’ kicker after a torn groin wiped out his rookie year. The 5-foot-9, 205-pound Bullock was the first kicker drafted by Houston -- ever. He won the Lou Groza award in college, honoring the nation's top kicker, after connecting on 29 of 32 field-goal attempts in 2011. The Texans should give Bullock plenty of chances to hit field goals, making him a decent final-round pick that other owners might not be educated on.
David Akers landed on his feet after the 49ers cut him in February. He signed with the Lions in April, and that might be a slight upgrade. He joins a high-powered offense and gets to kick indoors at home. This could be the boost Akers needs after his amazing fall from grace. In 2011, Akers was the No. 1 kicker in all Fantasy leagues. Akers had 186 Fantasy points in a standard league and made 44 of 52 field goals with seven kicks of at least 50 yards and 34 extra points. But in 2012, he fell apart with 131 points. He missed eight field goals and his conversion rate of 69 percent was the lowest in his career. He should rebound with the Lions, and Akers is still worth a last-round pick in the majority of leagues. He will once again be a No. 1 Fantasy option this season.
Dan Bailey has been the Cowboys kicker for the past two seasons, and he's been a top-12 Fantasy kicker both times. He was No. 7 in Fantasy points in 2011 with 139, and even though his production dropped last year to 130 points, he finished at No. 12. Last year, Bailey made 29 of 31 field goals and all 37 extra points. He had three 50-yard field goals, and he should remain productive again. Bailey has all the qualities you look for in a Fantasy kicker: good offense, indoor stadium and accuracy. Plan on drafting him with a last-round pick.
Alex Henery has the chance to be an elite Fantasy kicker. He just needs more help from his offense. Henery has made 51 field goals in two years, and he was a solid Fantasy option as a rookie in 2011 when he had 46 extra points. But his extra points dropped to 25 last season, which hurt his value. Henery had just three games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he finished No. 21 among kickers with 106 points for the year. If you give him back the 21 extra points he had from 2011 he would have been No. 13 in Fantasy points for the year, so you can see the potential is there. Henery will likely go undrafted in the majority of leagues, but he's a great bye-week replacement. And if he starts off the season kicking at a high level then don't hesitate to add him off the waiver wire.
Adam Vinatieri remains the Colts' kicker after another fairly rough season. After grinding through a tough 2011, he made 26 of 33 field goals in 2012 including 4 of 7 from 50-plus yards. Though Indy's offense should be potent again in 2013, we wouldn't draft Vinatieri but would recommend him as a one-week replacement.
Bears kicker Robbie Gould was a so-so Fantasy kicker in 2012 thanks to an injury that cost him three games and a lack of opportunities. In total Gould hit 21 of 25 field goals including a perfect 2 of 2 from 50-plus yards. Typically Gould attempts around 30 field goals a year and has fluctuated between 83.3 percent and 89.7 percent accuracy on field goals over his last seven seasons, which is why he's appealing for Fantasy. With Marc Trestman's alleged high-powered offense taking residence in Chicago, the field goal attempts should continue for Gould. Consider him among your options with a final-round pick on Draft Day.