Follow the author: @Thee_CurtMaGurt
Every year, you have that one friend in your fantasy league who selects a kicker in round seven and he gets ridiculed for the rest of the night, for supposedly being an idiot and picking a kicker so early. But is he/she really that dumb?
The fact is, having a good kicker can be the simple difference between winning and losing on a weekly basis.
Even in the NFL, picking a kicker early is becoming all the rage. Look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers second round selection of Florida State kicker Robert Aguayo in this year’s draft as an example.
In the fantasy world, if you draft someone like New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, you are looking at a steady point producing player that has shown to be remarkably consistent when it comes to his fantasy point production.
*Keep in mind I am in no way advocating for you to pick a kicker early in your draft, even I’m not that crazy, but Gostkowski’s success does however warrant a mid-round selection*
For this case study. we will use Gostkowski, as he is widely considered to be the league’s best kicker, and is the only one worth trying out this theory with.
According to NFL.com, in 2015 the Pats kicker put up a very respectable 159.00 fantasy points, and looking at his output over the past five years, Gostkowski averages 157.40 fantasy points, including a whopping 168.00 points in 2013.
That may not seem like a lot, but when you cross reference Gostkowski’s point total with other fantasy players then you begin to notice that the kicker is sneakily productive.
The list of well-thought-of fantasy players outscored by Gostkowski last year includes: top WRs Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Emmaunel Sanders, top RBs LeSean McCoy, Jonathan Stewart and Mark Ingram, and top TEs Greg Olsen, Travis Kelce and Tyler Eifert, along with countless other mid-round draft choices.
Bear with me here: my thinking is, why waste a pick on, say Travis Kelce, who is a top-five TE in round eight, when he only put up 117.50 points all year last year in a Chiefs offence that loves to run the football? Instead, you can pick Gostkowski, and rest easy knowing you are going to get consistent 150.00+ points and pick a tight end like Benjamin Watson, who puts up numbers comparable to Kelce, later in the draft.
At the end of the day, whoever picks the first kicker in your fantasy draft is going to be mocked without mercy, regardless of who that kicker is. However, before you unveil your best kicker chirps this year remember: kickers are people too. Just like in real life football, they can be the difference between winning a championship, and a losing season.