2012 Top 10 Fantasy Ks

Ok, if you’re reading our Top 10 Fantasy Kickers list, one of the following statements is true:  (i) you’re a degenerate gambler (the Machine prefers “sports enthusiast”); (ii) you’re a family member of an NFL kicker, or (iii) you’re really into all things fantasy (saving up for Comic Con 2013 baby!).  Whatever your reason, the Machine likes it.  In fact, we know you’re reading this because drafting the right kicker matters.  Sure, a run on kickers usually starts in round 16 (of 16).  However, did you know the difference between the #1 scoring kicker last year (David Akers) and the #10 scoring kicker (Jason Hanson) was 51 pts, which equals to more than 3 pts each week (how many games did you lose by less than three points last year?).  That’s some knowledge you need to know.  Now, what you need to know is who the right kicker is.  We got you covered for that.  (FGM/FGA/50+/PAT).

1. Sebastian Janikowski (31/35/7/36).  Al may have been crazy for drafting him in the first round (17th overall) of the 2000 Draft, but come on, was there any doubt he’d be a Raider.  We love Seabass.  What’s not to love about a 6’2” 250 lb kicker that drinks vodka for breakfast, loves to get in bar fights, and oh yeah, can kick the ball out of the stadium.  Dude’s got a left foot of gold.  He’s especially gold in leagues that give bonus points for 50+ yarders.  Seabass tied for the league lead with 7 (out of 10) 50+ yarders, including a 63 yard bomb.  He was also consistent…he only missed one FG under 50 yards.  In 2012, da Raiders should have a more potent offense , which equates to more field goals and PATs.  Kick some ass Seabass!

2. Rob Bironas (29/32/6/34)Rob nailed 6 of 7 50+ yarders last year, and only missed 3 FGs.  We like the Titans to be able to move the ball a little better in 2012, but not that much better where they’ll be scoring a ton more touchdowns.  Look for the offense to breakdown in the red zone, as teams put 11 in the box and force Locker to throw (they’ll still run CJ on 3rd and 6).  This translates into more FG opportunities for Rob.

3.  Stephen Gostowski (28/33/1/59)While only making one FG longer than 50 yards, and missing 5 FGs overall, Gostowski made it up with 59 PATs.  The Pats will continue to score in 2012 at will, so look for Gostowski to maintain solid numbers.

4.  Robbie Gould (28/32/6/37).  Robbie was a perfect 6 for 6 from 50+.  That’s impressive, especially playing in the Windy City.  Da Bears should have no problems moving the ball, and Robbie should have no problems cracking the Top 5 in points.

5.  Dan Bailey (32/37/2/39).  As an undrafted rookie, Bailey came out of nowhere, nailing 32 FGs for the Cowboys.  He showed he can hang with the big boys.  The Machine likes youthful exuberance, and this 24 year old’s got a ton of it.  We also like the Cowboys offense, which should give Bailey plenty of opportunities to prove he’s worthy of a Top 5 pick.

6.  Mason Crosby (24/28/3/68).  Mason needs to get his attempts up, but that’s hard to do when the Pack score touchdowns all the time.  He easily led the league with 68 PATs, and the Pack’s offense should be just as potent.  Mason will always be in a position to score.

7.  David Akers (44/52/7/34).  Akers led all kickers last year in points, by a sizeable margin.  Why then, does the Machine have him 7th overall?  Well, for starters, kickers never repeat as league leaders.  And, if you’re David Akers, you had the best year of your career, by far.  He made 44 FGs last year, which covers up the fact that he missed 8 FGs.  His previous career highs was 33.  He also turns 38 this year, which we know is young for a kicker, but still.  Even if last year was a fluke, with the greatest game-manager of all time at the helm (that’s not a compliment), Akers will get plenty of opportunities.  Just don’t be surprised if his numbers are a little south of where he was in 2011.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

8.  Neil Rackers (32/38/4/39). Playing with Houston last year, Rackers had a good season, finishing as the #8 kicker overall.  He can still nail it from downtown (4 of 5 from 50+).  Now with Washington and RGIII, look for Neil to put up similar numbers this year.

9.  Jason Hanson (24/29/5/54).  At the opposite end of the youth scale, Hanson just turned 42!.  He was drafted in 1992, you remember 1992, right?  The Colts took Steve Emtman #1 overall, and the Machine was an extremely awkward teenager.  Holy shit that was a long time ago.  Anyway, that 42 year old leg still has some juice, nailing 5 of 7 from 50+ yards.  Playing in a dome with a high-powered offense will help grandpa stay in the Top 10 for another year.

10.  Matt Bryant (27/29/2/45).  When in doubt, go with a dome kicker.  Although it makes absolutely zero sense why there’s a dome in Atlanta, Bryant’s not complaining.  Although he only took 2 50 yarders, he made them both, and only missed 2 FGs all year.

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