Fantasy Football 2011 Preview: Kickers

The start of the 2011 NFL season is only a few weeks away, and that means fantasy football owners everywhere should be preparing themselves for their upcoming drafts if they hope to make a strong run for their league’s title this year.  We here at know that it is important to get an edge on your opponents prior to draft day, and we want to give you that edge with our Fantasy Football position-by-position previews.

Today we take a look at the kicker position.

The Top 5:

1. Matt Bryant, ATL -Matt Bryant had himself a solid season in 2011, making 28 of his 31 field goal attempts and all 44 of his extra point attempts.  That was good enough to rank him fifth among all kickers in fantasy points.  With the Falcons’ offense expected to be among the best in the league in 2011, that could be enough to make Bryant the top fantasy kicker in 2011.

2. Neil Rackers, HOU – Rackers made 27 of his 30 field goal attempts last season, including three from over 50 yards.  He was also a perfect 43-for-43 on extra points.  A strong leg and a potent Texans offense should translate into another big season for Rackers.

3. Stephen Gostkowski, NE – Gostkowski suffered through a quad injury in 2010, but in 2009 he finished fifth among kickers in fantasy points.  He has looked healthy thus far in the preseason and should produce big numbers behind a potent Patriots offense.

4. Josh Brown, STL – Brown had a great 2010 season, making 33 of his 39 field goal attempts, including three from over 50 yards.  With the Rams offense expected to be even better in 2011, we expect Brown’s number to improve as well, and that could mean big things for fantasy football’s third-best kicker from last season.

5. Mason Crosby, GB -The Packers are expected to have one of the highest scoring offenses this season, and if that does turn out to be the case, that should translate into plenty of kicking opportunities for Mason Crosby.  Last season he attempted only 28 field goals, making 22 of them.  Look for both numbers to increase in 2011.

Sleeper Candidate:

Alex Henry, PHI -Last season David Akers had 38 field goal attempts and 47 extra point attempts as the Eagles kicker.  He is now in San Francisco, so it is Alex Henry’s turn to step in and reap the benefits of the Eagles high-powered offense.  Look for the rookie out of Nebraska to get plenty of opportunities to show off his strong leg as he should put up solid point totals in 2011.

Bust Candidate:

Sebastian Janikowski, OAK – Janikowski led all kickers in points last season, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Raiders’ offense take a step backwards in 2011.  And if that is the case, it should mean a decrease in production for their kicker.

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