2011 Fantasy Kicker Rankings

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Kickers...the truth is there is very little difference in fantasy kickers. Last year, the top kicker was David Akers of Philadelphia who scored 143 fantasy points. Meanwhile, the 12th-best kicker was Rob Bironas who scored 110 points. Over a 16-game schedule we're talking about a 2.06 point-a-week difference.

And predicting who will lead the league in scoring from one year to the next is almost impossible anyway.

Nate Kaeding led in 2009 (146 pts), Stephen Gostkowski led in 2008 (148), Mason Crosby in 2007, Robbie Gould in 2006 (143), Jay Feely in 2005 (148), Adam Vinatieri in 2004 (141) and Jeff Wilkins in 2003 (163).

That's eight different kicker leaders in eight seasons.

Worse, even trying to pick a kicker who you think can "guarantee" you top-12 production is not easy.

Over the past five seasons, 33 different kickers have posted a top-12 performance in at least one season, while zero kickers have been in the top-12 in all five years.

There are three kickers who have four top-12s in the past five years which makes them the surest bets - Mason Crosby, Bironas and Kaeding. Behind them are three kickers who have made the list three times - Akers, the new San Francisco 49ers kicker, Vinatieri and Matt Bryant.

What we're saying here is that selecting a kicker is a gamble no matter who you pick and with the upside being just two points a week, you can see why kickers should always go in the final two rounds.

But since they pay me to give my opinions, below you will find my "best guess."

2011 Fantasy Kicker Rankings -

1) Nate Kaeding, SD

2) Sebastian Janikowski, OAK

3) Stephen Gostkowski, NE

4) Mason Crosby, GB

5) Neil Rackers, HOU

6) Matt Bryant, ATL

7) Adam Vinatieri, IND

8) Garrett Hartley, NO

9) Billy Cundiff, BAL

10) Josh Brown, STL

11) Alex Henery, PHI

12) Rob Bironas, TEN

13) Robbie Gould, CHI

14) David Buehler, DAL

15) David Akers, SF

16) Jason Hanson, DET

17) Matt Prater, DEN

18) Dan Carpenter, MIA

19) Nick Folk, NYJ

20) Ryan Longwell, MIN

21) Ryan Succop, KC

22) Jay Feely, ARI

23) Josh Scobee, JAC

24) Lawrence Tynes, NYG

25) Shaun Suisham, PIT

26) Connor Barth, TB

27) Phil Dawson, CLE

28) Olindo Mare, CAR

29) Rian Lindell, BUF

30) Shayne Graham, WAS

31) Brandon Coutu, SEA

32) Mike Nugent, CIN

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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