Kickers in the 12th Round of Fantasy Drafts?
Happy Birthday Mom!
Curiosity led me to check the ADP of the top kickers at Mock Draft Central to see where they were going in fantasy drafts. I always wait until the last round to draft a kicker so I was stunned to find out that not only were there five Kickers (Garrett Hartley, Nate Kaeding, Mason Crosby, Rob Bironas, and Ryan Longwell) going in the 12th round, but Stephen Gostkowski was actually going, on average, with the last pick in the 11th round.
That is staggering to me. A typical fantasy league starting lineup consists of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 DEF. If you are taking a kicker in the 12th round, that means you only have three or four backup QB/RB/WR/TE depending whether or not you have also drafted a defense. With bye weeks and injuries, I think it is more prudent to solidify your depth in those areas before turning to a kicker.
Some of the guys who are going after the run of kickers are Devin Hester, Donnie Avery, Dustin Keller, Toby Gerhart, Golden Tate, Tashard Choice, Arian Foster, Alex Smith, etc. Even defenses like the Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Dolphins, Bengals, and Bears are going later. The Bengals, for example, who were one of the better defense in the league are going with the 186th pick, while the Bears who are adding Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers sit at 210.
There just isn’t enough of a difference in my mind to justify the selection. The average of the top five kickers last year (5 points for 50+ yard FG, 4 points for 40-49 yard FG, 3 points for under 40 yard FG, 1 point for PAT) was 145.8. The average for the 6th-10th ranked kickers was 132.4. That’s a difference of just 0.8 points per game. That’s hardly enough to justify using your pick so early.
I can see maybe getting an elite kicker in the third to last round of your fantasy draft, but the 12th round just seems a little high for my tastes.
What are your thoughts on kickers?