Kickers and random and everybody knows this. But that doesn't mean we can't obsess about the best way to take advantage of their randomness and score the most points, even if it's a futile obsession. You can take the easy way out and draft kickers who play on elite offenses, or guys with the strongest legs, or be a little sneaky and take guys who play for teams that kick a lot of field goals because they can run the ball but can't throw. (ie. Bironas on the Titans). Or, you can do what I did last year and pick the guys who play the most indoor games, because statistics show that it's much easier to kick indoors with no wind or rain. But Kris Brown didn't work out for me last year, despite 11 indoor games. So I have a new strategy, one that I employed through most of last season and it fared me well.
I'm going to play kickers week by week. No emotional bonds, no attachment whatsoever. I'll pick a guy up, use him once, and throw him away like a used diaper. Only kickers with favorable matchups will be in my roster, and never will I be one of those idiots who has two kickers on the roster even for a second. If my guy is facing the Ravens, he's gone. Playing in the snow, gone. Playing at Heinz Field, gone. I don't care if he just kicked 8 field goals the week before. I don't care if he booted one in from 75 yards. No attachments. I'll cut him like a wrist.
So when drafting a kicker, I'll wait until the last round, as always, and even then I won't have a cheat sheet or even pay attention to what the other drafters have done. I hope some dummy will take a kicker in the 10th round and brag about how they landed the league's best kicker (like that means anything), and then when it's my turn to make my final pick, I'll glance at the list of kickers remaining, and take whoever has the most favorable week 1 matchup. That's it. That's the only criteria. Because week 2, I'll pick up someone else.
Here are my kicker rankings:
1. Arizona's kicker (week 1 @ St. Louis)
2. Chicago's kicker (week 1 vs. Detroit)
3. Cleveland's kicker (week 1 @ Tampa)
4. Miami's kicker (week 1 @ Buffalo)
5. San Diego's kicker (week 1 @ KC)
And if none of those guys are available, I'll just take whoever is at the top of the list. But I'm fairly sure Cleveland's kicker will not be a valued commodity on draft day. So I guess it's me and you, Phil Dawson.
Stay tuned for the final Rankings: Defenses/Special Teams.