A look at the top 10 kickers for fantasy football as the start of the 2017 NFL season draws near.
1. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
On the NFL’s leading scoring offense, Bryant made a league-high 56 extra points on 57 attempts. He also hit 92 percent of his field goal attempts, his best since 2011. Bryant was 34-for-37 and and had the most fantasy points among kickers in standard scoring leagues. With Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman leading the way, the Falcons’ offense won’t be slowing down this season, giving Bryant ample opportunities.
2. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
Bailey hasn’t missed an extra point in his six-year NFL career, going 46-for-46 last season, even after it was backed up to 33 yards. But by his standards, 2016 was a bit of a down year. He went 27-for-32 on field goals for a career-worst 84 percent. His only misses came on field goals 40 yards or longer, so he’s still nearly automatic from short range. Bailey is one of the league’s best kickers with a 90 percent field goal rate for his career.
3. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
Tucker finished second behind Matt Bryant for the most fantasy points among kickers in standard scoring leagues last season. The Ravens’ kicker was nearly perfect on field goal attempts (38-for-39), with his lone miss coming in a Week 14 loss to the Patriots. Tucker remained perfect for his career on extra points after going 27-for-27. The sixth-year kicker also was a perfect 10-for-10 from beyond 50 yards last season, making him one of the best big foots around.
4. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
Before last season, Gostkowski hadn’t missed an extra point since 2006. At the new distance of 33 yards, he went 46-for-49 last season. The 12th-year kicker also had a down year on field goals, going 27-for-32 (84 percent), after registering at least 92 percent the previous three seasons. While he dropped to ninth among kickers in standard scoring leagues, Gostkowski had finished as the top scoring fantasy kicker the previous three seasons.
5. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
There are players in the NFL who weren’t even born when Vinatieri started his career in 1996, but the 44-year-old still is one of the best. Vinatieri was 44-for-44 on extra points, and while his field goal percentage was down to 87 compared with 95 over the previous two seasons, his volume was way up at 40 yards or more. Vinatieri attempted 21 field goals from 40-plus and went 17-for-21. Vinatieri finished third in fantasy points among kickers in standard scoring leageus last season, and he should be a top-five finisher again.
6. Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints
After going undrafted, Lutz impressed as a rookie, going 28-for-34 on field goal attempts and 49-for-50 on extra points to finish seventh in fantasy points among kickers in standard scoring leagues. From Week 12 on, Lutz was perfect on field goals and extra points, which has him trending in the right direction heading into 2017. Lutz benefited from an offense that finished first in yards and second in points per game last season, and with Drew Brees leading the way, the Saints’ offense should set up Lutz for plenty of opportunities.
7. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
Crosby continued his upward trend, increasing his field goal rate for a third straight season to 87 percent after going 26-for-30. The new extra point distance troubled him a bit as he went 44-for-47. In a high-powered Green Bay offense, Crosby has had at least 42 extra point attempts in all but one of his 10 seasons. That volume should continue.
8. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
Throughout his career, Prater has been known for his big foot. He went a perfect 7-for-7 on field goal attempts from 50 yards or more last season. Only Tucker was better from that range. Prater went 31-for-36 on all field goal attempts (86 percent) and 31-for-33 on extra point attempts for 124 points, his best since 2013.
9. Dustin Hopkins, Washington Redskins
Hopkins wasn’t quite as effective as he was as a rookie — his field goal percentage dropped from 89 to 81 — but his volume increased significantly with a league-high 42 field goal attempts. He went 25-for-28 on field goals in 2015 and just 34-for-42 in 2016. Hopkins should continue to get a high volume of field goal attempts, but unless his accuracy improves, he’s a lower-end fantasy starter.
10. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
The 19-year veteran is a long way from being considered one of the best kickers in the league anymore, but now he has the benefit of a top offense. Janikowski went 29-for-35 (82 percent) on field goals and 37-for-39 on extra points for 124 points, his most since 2011. His 35 field goal attempts also were his most since 2011. The increase in volume gives him a chance to be a top-10 fantasy kicker.