1. Adam Vinatieri(Colts) bye week: 6 age: 34
-for the second year in a row, the Colts’ perennial Pro Bowler tops our placekicking rankings. Still sharp as a nail at 34, Vinatieri is money in the bank inside 50 yards. Playing on the indoor turf, along with being backed by the high-powered Colts offense will ensure that Vinatieri remains at the top of this list for another season. Draft him first if you take your kicker before the last round.
2. Nate Kaeding(Chargers) bye week: 7 age: 25
-Kaeding officially thrust himself into star kicker status with his 26/29 performance last year. San Diego’s high-powered offense will continue giving the strong-legged surfer look-alike plenty of opportunities for three points and more often than not, Nate will deliver. Draft him with confidence.
3. Shayne Graham(Bengals) bye week: 5 age: 29
-Graham took a slight dip backwards last season as his 25/30 showing included some easy misses. Still playing for a high-powered offense has a way of buffering your fantasy ranking if you’re a kicker. Graham will continue seeing many scoring opportunities and his consistency will be better than ever.
4. Jeff Wilkins(Rams) bye week: 9 age: 35
-the favorite kicker of yours truly, Wilkins continually excels year after year on the artificial turf in St. Louis. The fake surface without a doubt aids in his incredibly consistency and he will continue piling up the points playing for the high-scoring, Marc Bulger-led Rams attack. Ultra-accurate beyond 50 yards, Wilkins is a great option for your club. Draft him because I know I will do so if I get the chance.
5. Robbie Gould(Bears) bye week: 9 age: 25
-what a find this kid turned out to be for the Bears. After being perfect through 2/3 of the season in less than ideal kicking conditions in Chicago, Gould went on to finish 32/36 and make his first Pro Bowl. Although kickers in Chicago tend to be inconsistent due to the swirling winds and bitter cold, draft Gould for the first 3 months of the year and then look for a replacement once December rolls around.
6. Matt Stover(Ravens) bye week: 8 age: 39
-the ageless wonder once again was nearly automatic as his 28/30 showing confirms he is still a top dog in this game. Although Baltimore’s offense always seems to struggle to score in the 20’s, Stover always seem to have 3 or 4 FG attempts per game which should buff up his numbers. Draft him and never worry about your kicking situation again.
7. David Akers(Eagles) bye week: 5 age: 32
-another model of consistency, Akers put forth an 18/23 year for the NFC East-winning Eagles. Despite the low number of attempts, I think Akers is still worthy of being a top guy for your club. Predicting how many attempts a kicker will have is impossible to do, so don’t let that allow you to pass him by. Draft him and expect more attempts with great accuracy.
8. Jason Elam(Broncos) bye week: 6 age: 37
-age is beginning to cut into Elam’s long distance efficiency as he no longer is the man who routinely boomed in 54-yarders with room to spare. He is still however extremely accurate and the thin air in Denver should help give him that extra distance he lost in lower altitudes. Still has another top year or two left in him so don’t hesitate to draft this all-time great.
9. John Kasay(Panther) bye week: 7 age: 37
-another one whose age is becoming a factor, Kasay’s 24/27 showing last season was another ho-hum year of excellence for this great veteran. Carolina has made it a habit of struggling to get into the end zone and so Kasay should still see plenty of opportunities to score. Draft him if you miss out on the top guys and be happy you got a solid player you can count on.
10. Neil Rackers(Cardinals) bye week: 8 age: 31
-after making the Pro Bowl in 2005, Neil Rackers went through battles with inconsistency during the 2006 season. Even though he converted 28/37 field goals, those nine misses contained some make able kicks that Rackers drilled during his tremendous prior season. Still the Cardinals will score a ton of points and there will be many opportunities for Rackers as far as attempts go. Draft him as a bargain since he will be downgraded due to last year’s struggles.
11. Olindo Mare(Saints) bye week: 4 age: 34
-this ranking might surprise many considering how bad Mare struggles in 2006 as he converted only 26/36 field goals on the year. However until last season, Mare was one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history so one bad year shouldn’t scare you too much. The main reason I have him ranked so high is the fact he is now kicking indoors for the high-powered New Orleans Saint offense. Figure on plenty of field goal opportunities for Mare with a great deal more success than what he showed last season. Draft him in the last round of your draft or see if he you can grab him off the free agent wire.
12. Josh Brown(Seahawks) bye week: 8 age: 28
-Brown had another decent year in 2006 as he converted 25/31 on the year. The Seahawks are one of the better offenses in the league year in and year out so Brown should continue to see a good amount of opportunities. Has a knack for hitting 50-plus yard field goals so he is a bonus in leagues that give five points for kicks that length. Solid player.
13. Josh Scobee(Jaguars) bye week: 4 age: 25
-after battling inconsistency his first two years in the league, Scobee made a name for himself in 2006 by converting 26/32 field goals. Does throw in the occasional make able miss but Scobee still has the potential to get better. Snatch him off the waiver wire.
14. Stephen Gostkowski(Patriots) bye week: 10 age: 23
-Gostkowski was decent enough his rookie year for the perennially contending Patriots. Having to deal with immense pressure replacing the iconic Adam Vinatieri, Gostkowski showed that he belongs in the NFL by making 20/26 field goals. Has a cannon for a leg so will come in handy if your league has 5-point field goals for those kicks over 50 yards.
15. Jay Feely(Dolphins) bye week: 9 age: 31
-after two solid seasons in the pressure-cooker of New York, Jay Feely takes his act south to more hospitable confines. Feely has always been a very accurate kicker with the exception of one or two games each year where he can’t seem to his the broad side of a barn(such as the three misses against the Seahawks in 2005). Taken as a whole however, Feely is a decent kicker who has a place on your team. Draft him very late.
The Rest(Do Not Draft)
16. Jeff Reed(Steelers)
17. Lawrence Tynes(Giants)
18. Jason Hanson(Lions)
19. Mike Nugent(Jets)
20. Rod Bironas(Titans)
21. Joe Nedney(49ers)
22. Dave Rayner(Packers)
23. Rian Lindell(Bills)
24. Shaun Suisham(Redskins)