Picture yourself at your fantasy football draft at the end of August. You’ve done your research and put together a killer team full of studs at the starting spots and a bench stocked with potential. You’ve got an All-Pro quarterback, two dynamic running backs, and three great receivers. Before the draft draws to a close, you look at your roster in amazement.
Then you remember you have to pick a kicker.
We’ve all been there. It’s the chore saved for the final round (or earlier, for fantasy football novices). No one likes having to pick or play kickers in fantasy football. But there are actually some compelling arguments as to why fantasy football should do away with the position altogether.
The kicker’s performance is dependent on his team’s offensive prowess
You may have the best kicker in the world on your fantasy football roster. If his team’s offense can’t get the ball past the 50-yard line, he’ll have little chance to score any extra points or field goals. This can be maddeningly frustrating, especially when your kicker spends pregame warmers drilling 60-yarders with ease.
Sure, you could make the argument that every offensive player benefits in fantasy football when his team has a productive offense. But at least those players have a significant role in that offense. Kickers need the offense to get them into position to score. A good wide receiver or running back can score the ball himself. Kickers need to rely on their offense (and typically, their quarterback) to enable them to score.
Knowing this, you may think it makes sense to just select the kickers from the league’s best teams. While this can work part of the time, it’s not always true.
The kicker’s performance varies wildly from week to week
Kickers, even ones on a good team, can kick multiple field goals one week, then miss an extra point the next week. A kicker can have a mental lapse after missing a high-pressure field goal that leads to them losing confidence. Or multiple misses in consecutive weeks could lead to them getting cut by their team, leaving you scrambling for a waiver wire pickup.
Additionally, no position is more closely impacted by the weather. A cold front can make it slightly harder on quarterbacks and receivers, but the elements don’t affect any of them nearly as much as they do a kicker. Wind and rain make it significantly harder to do their job. Because kickers are used relatively infrequently, they can’t adapt to the weather like position players.
The point is, a kicker’s performance is unpredictable no matter how good or bad he is. Selecting a “good” kicker then removes the skill of fantasy football drafting and relies more heavily on luck.
Removing kickers from fantasy football could pave the way for adding an additional flex spot
Leaving kickers off your league’s fantasy rosters would open up an additional spot. That could be filled in a number of ways, but adding an additional flex spot would probably be the most creative way to fill the gap.
This lets your league teams draft more wide receivers, running backs, or tight ends. It creates more intriguing matchup considerations, which is one of the most fun parts of the fantasy football drafting experience. Now instead of plugging in a kicker who’s struggling with Green Bay weather, you have a number of different viable options to consider. It makes setting your roster more intriguing.
If you’re the commissioner of a fantasy football league, put it to a vote before your draft this season: ask your league if they’d consider abolishing the kicker position. Replace them because they’re totally reliant on their team’s offense, wholly unpredictable, and they’re standing in the way of adding more receivers or backs.