2015 Preseason Kicker Cheatsheet

If you’ve been a reader of Football Weblog for a while, you already know that we provide the most accurate fantasy football kicker rankings found anywhere. We’ve shown through regression analysis that a kicker’s accuracy or his ability to kick long-range field goals have little bearing on his propensity to score points. The key to finding the highest scoring fantasy football kickers hinges on identifying kickers that hail from teams that score the most points and win the most games. (See “Using the Science of Statistics to Select a Fantasy Kicker”.)

Applying this concept results in Football Weblog’s 2015 Preseason Kicker Cheatsheet (below). As you can see, several kickers are ranked very differently from the so-called fantasy football “experts”. For example, most other generic “cookie-cutter” cheatsheets rank Sebastian Janikowski, Blair Walsh, and Phil Dawson quite high, while Caleb Sturgis, Randy Bullock, and Cairo Santos are low on the totem pole. Time will tell the accuracy of these numbers, but I’ll put my money on the science of statistics and the latter three kickers over the former all day long.

The cheatsheet list (below) is ordered by how kickers grade out using the Football Weblog system. For your reference, the number in parenthesis is the ‘average draft position’ (ADP) that kickers are taken in most fantasy drafts. The number at the end of each entry indicates the kicker’s bye week. Players listed in green are for team owners that aren’t quite sold on our system. They are kickers that are ranked high by both the fantasy football “experts” and by the Football Weblog system.

  1. (10.08) Stephen Gostkowski NE/4
  2. (14.06) Mason Crosby GB/7
  3. (15.11) Brandon McManus DEN/7
  4. (–) Josh Scobee PIT/11  (Garrett Hartley [hamstring] and Shaun Suisham [ACL] on injured reserve list)
  5. (15.09) Dan Bailey DAL/6
  6. (12.09) Adam Vinatieri IND/10
  7. (14.05) Steven Hauschka SEA/9
  8. (15.10) Cody Parkey PHI/8
  9. (21.04) Caleb Sturgis MIA/5  (Battling quad injury.  Accuracy problems throughout career.)
  10. (14.09) Justin Tucker BAL/9
  11. (–) Randy Bullock HOU/9
  12. (17.05) Matt Prater DET/9
  13. (–) Cairo Santos KC/9
  14. (–) Mike Nugent CIN/7
  15. (20.11) Dan Carpenter BUF/8
  16. (–) Dustin Hopkins/Zach Hocker NO/11  (Hopkins leading in competition)
  17. (17.04) Matt Bryant ATL/10
  18. (22.10) Greg Zuerlein STL/6
  19. (20.10) Chandler Catanzaro ARZ/9
  20. (19.09) Nick Novak SD/10
  21. (18.05) Blair Walsh MIN/5  (Struggling.  Selecting Walsh involves some risk.)
  22. (21.07) Josh Brown NYG/11
  23. (–) Graham Gano CAR/5
  24. (21.03) Phil Dawson SF/10
  25. (–) Robbie Gould CHI/7
  26. (–) Kai Forbath WAS/8
  27. (–) Jason Myers JAC/8  (Josh Scobee traded to Pittsburgh)
  28. (–) Travis Coons CLE/11
  29. (19.10) Sebastian Janikowski OAK/6
  30. (–) Nick Folk NYJ/5
  31. (–) Connor Barth/Patrick Murray/Kyle Brindza TB/6  (Barth favored, but Bucs’ kickers should be avoided regardless.)
  32. (–) Ryan Succop TEN/4

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