Looking for a great NFL kicker? While some of the best ones may be beyond your grasp, if you are in a weekly or season-long fantasy football league, there are also some great sleeper kicker picks. Here are the best ones:
Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams
Going into Week 10, Zuerlein may have dropped off the radar of owners after scoring only one point against New England in Week 8 and having a bye in Week 9. But the rookie drafted out of Missouri Western State in the sixth round this year could be worth remembering for owners in league that offer bonuses for long field goals. Zuerlein was tied for the lead in field goals over 50 yards with five. He hit a 56-yarder and a 60-yarder in Week 4 against Seattle, the first time in NFL history that a kicker had a 50-yard field goal and a 60-yard field goal in the same game. Zuerlein was also a perfect 7 for 7 on field goals between 40 and 49 yards. After the game, some began referring to Zuerlein as “Legatron.”
Zuerlein missed three field goals in Week 6 at Miami while making two, but two of the misses were from beyond 50 yards. One was from 66 yards, which would have set a new NFL record. They were Zuerlein’s only misses in his first eight games.
While Zuerlein was tied for sixth in field goals with 17, he was only 17th in scoring after Week 9 thanks to St. Louis’ inability to score touchdowns. Zuerlein only had 10 extra points. New England’s Stephen Gostkowski, by comparison, also had 17 field goals, but his 29 extra points put him third in scoring with 80 points, compared to Zuerlein’s 61. So Zuerlein’s sleeper status applies more to the leagues with bonsues for long field goals.
Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
Another fantasy football choice is Bailey. After tying for fifth in scoring with 135 points as a rookie in 2011, Bailey had only 58 points through his first eight games in 2012, placing him 19th among kickers. Bailey had 15 field goals in 17 attempts, but just 13 extra points thanks to Dallas’ struggling offense.
Bailey did have three games in a four-game stretch earlier this season in which he kicked at least three field goals and put up double-digit points. Bailey had five such games in all of 2011. So even if Dallas’ offense does not pick up, Bailey has shown the ability this season of finishing off drives that do not reach the end zone with field goals.
Bailey has not shown much value, however, for owners in leagues that award bonuses for long field goals. He only has one field goal longer than 50 yards in three attempts. In 2011, he had just two such field goals in four attempts. Bailey also has just three field goals in three attempts from 40-49 yards in 2012.