TORONTO - While I'm sure many were worried that we wouldn't have an NFL season — or at the least miss some games — danger was averted and all we really lost was a bunch of training-camp time.
We were treated to a warp-speed version of free agency though, which was a lot more fun than any fan should be allowed to have.
But, with those shortened camps and lack of advance work with new players, some guys and teams are going to be at a disadvantage, especially early on.
New coaches in places like Carolina, Cleveland, Denver and Oakland will only have had a month to get their players to learn their new playbooks and really carve out a team identity.
Rookies are at an even bigger disadvantage, especially the multiple young QBs that were drafted this year.
Can a guy like first-overall pick Cam Newton really learn an entire new playbook, form a bond with his new teammates and deal with adapting to being in the pros?
A couple of wide receivers moved around in the off-season, which generally doesn’t bode well for the player in question. When you depend on someone else for your production, it can be pretty dicey.
Guys like Chad Ochocinco and Derrick Mason have been No. 1 guys for their former teams and solid players for your roster.
But arriving in new cities means learning new systems and getting used to new QBs.
They can still contribute, but don’t think they’ll be a good option for a WR1 for you.
There won’t be a player in fantasy football that creates more debate on your draft board than Michael Vick. The Eagles QB had one of the greatest fantasy days ever last season and comes into 2011 as Philly’s unquestioned starter, something that was untrue last year.
He has the potential to be the top point producer in the game, but he also comes with a heavy injury risk. He is also in an offence tailored to his style this time around, not one changing on the fly after he took starter’s duties from Kevin Kolb.
But, defences will be better prepared for him as well. Just know that drafting Vick is the ultimate roll of the dice this season.
The other former convict who’s stirring up a lot of interest is Plaxico Burress.
He’s fresh off a two-year prison stint for accidentally shooting himself in the leg at an NYC club and looking like a threat to start for the New York Jets.
In his pre-season debut this week, he caught three balls for 66 yards and a TD.
He has the size to be a credible red-zone threat, but the Jets are a run-first team and Burress isn’t going to be Mark Sanchez’s main target with Santonio Holmes and Mason around.
There have also been a rule change that won’t have a massive effect on fantasy, but it’s still worth noting.
With kickoffs now being booted from the 35-yard line as opposed to the 30, we’re going to see a lot less returns and, therefore, a lot less return TDs.
That means guys like Devin Hester and Leon Washington lose a lot of value. You can also put a lot less weight on DST decisions, since it’s basically just the defence that you’ll be relying on.
Is this finally the year that Terrell Owens isn’t taken in your fantasy draft?
Not only does arguably one of the best receivers ever not have a team, he’s coming off surgery for a torn ACL. It’s not like he proved he was worth the hassle of having him last year either.
Last season in Cincinnati, T.O. led the league in INTs when he was targeted with 12 and also had 11 drops, the league’s third-highest total. I wouldn’t touch him with a 100-foot pole.
THE WIDE RECEIVERS
BILICKI SAYS: Quite possibly the most frustrating position in fantasy football, receivers have to depend completely on another position for their numbers. But the position is rather sleeper friendly for this reason too, as many guys can have a breakout season by simply befriending the QB.
Consistency is the key though, keeping you in the points week in, week out.
Andre Johnson, HOU 1,216 receiving yards, 8 TDs
Missed three games, was hampered by nagging injury and still produced big numbers.
Roddy White, ATL 1,389 receiving yards, 10 TDs
While first-round pick Julio Jones will take some targets away, he’ll also take some coverage and pressure.
Calvin Johnson, DET 1,120 receiving yards, 12 TDs
Despite playing with three different QBs last season, posted fifth-highest, fantasy-points total.
Hakeem Nicks, NYG 1,052 receiving yards, 11 TDs
With Smith and Boss gone, he’ll be the undisputed No. 1 receiver for the Giants.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 1,137 receiving yards, 6 TDs
Feeling good about Kolb-to-Fitzgerald? Well Kolb’s downfield accuracy was actually worse than Derek Anderson’s.
Reggie Wayne, IND 1,355 receiving yards, 6 TDs
Was second in receptions and third in targets for 2010, but what about Manning’s neck injury?
Vincent Jackson, SD 248 receiving yards, 3 TDs
After sitting most of last season holding out, he’s now happy in San Diego and part of league’s top offence.
Miles Austin, DAL 1,041 receiving yards, 7 TDs
Numbers took a step back in 2010, but with Roy Williams gone, more targets should come to Austin.
Mike Wallace, PIT 1,257 receiving yards, 10 TDs
Perhaps the league’s best deep threat, lead the NFL with 26 catches of 20+ yards.
DeSean Jackson, PHI 1,056 receiving yards, 6 TDs
Training-camp holdout shouldn’t affect production this season. Always a threat for a big play.
Greg Jennings, GB 1,265 receiving yards, 12 TDs
Is averaging more than 1,200 receiving yards over past three seasons.
Brandon Lloyd, DEN 1,448 receiving yards, 11 TDs
Last year’s surprise leader for receiving yards should fall off a little, but remain a good WR1 option.
Mike Williams, TB 964 receiving yards, 11 TDs
Last year’s super rookie receiver could take a step back with a tougher schedule in Tampa Bay.
Jeremy Maclin, PHI 964 receiving yards, 10 TDs
Still yet to return to practice following a mystery illness, should be fine to start regular season.
Dwayne Bowe, KC 1,162 receiving yards, 15 TDs
We figure his numbers will fall back to earth after scoring 13 TDs in a seven-game span last season.
Wes Welker, NE 848 receiving yards, 7 TDs
They say that a torn ACL is a two-year injury in production terms — his two years are up.
Dez Bryant, DAL 561 receiving yards, 6 TDs
Was hampered by injuries starting in training camp last season. Should be a red-zone dynamo.
Marques Colston, NO 1,023 receiving yards, 7 TDs
Had his lowest YPC and YAC averages of his career, but still reached 1,000 yard mark.
Stevie Johnson, BUF 1073 receiving yards, 10 TDs
Won’t be sneaking up on anybody this season. With Lee Evans gone, he’s the undisputed No. 1 receiver.
Brandon Marshall, MIA 1014 receiving yards, 3 TDs
First season in Miami saw declines in catches, yards and a big drop in TDs. Not sure that's going to get better this year.
Santonio Holmes, NYJ 746 receiving yards, 6 TDs
After Holmes returned from suspension last season, the Jets raised their passing rate.
Mario Manningham, NYG 944 yards, 9 TDs
Poised for a breakout season. Ended 2010 with three straight 100+ yard receiving games.
Chad Ochocinco, NE 831 receiving yards, 4 TDs
Joins the Patriots prolific offence, but how much of a share will he receive?
Anquan Boldin, BAL 837 receiving yards, 7 TDs
After a year of adapting to Baltimore, he’s now the No. 1 guy for a likely playoff-bound team.
Austin Collie, IND 649 receiving yards, 8 TDs
Concussion issues are said to be in the past, but those sorts of things never leave you.
Kenny Britt, TEN 775 receiving yards, 9 TDs
Matt Hasselbeck brings stability to the Titans’ passing game until Jake Locker is ready.
Julio Jones, ATL 2011 rookie
Has taken the Falcons training camp by storm. Everybody raves about how NFL-ready he is.
Percy Harvin, MIN 868 receiving yards, 5 TDs
Says he has his migraine issues locked down, but how can he? Playing with McNabb a step up.
Santana Moss, WAS 1115 receiving yards, 6 TDs
A yards-after-the-catch monster; nearly half of his yards were after grabbing the ball.
Steve Smith, CAR 554 receiving yards, 2 TDs
One day, Smith’s wish to leave Carolina will come true. For now, stuck with youngsters at QB.
Mike Sims-Walker, STL 562, 7 TDs
Leaving Jaguars behind for Rams’ fast track will only benefit MSW. Having Bradford over Garrard is nice, too.
Mike Thomas, JAX 820 receiving yards, 4 TDs
Jason Hill will be lining up across from him (Yes, I said 'who?' too) so expect a lot of targets.
Pierre Garcon, IND 784 receiving yards, 6 TDs
Will always get a few looks the way the Colts spread the ball, but really just their fourth option.
Sidney Rice, SEA 280 receiving yards, 2 TDs
It’s really hard to like receivers heading to new teams -- especially this year -- and Tarvaris Jackson followed him to Seattle.
A.J. Green, CIN 2011 rookie
Taken before Jones in reality, but shouldn’t be in fantasy. Cincy looks like a mess for 2011.
Johnny Knox, CHI 960 receiving yards, 5 TDs
Bears speedster averaged a great 18.8 YPC but should lose targets to newcomer Roy Williams.
Roy Williams, CHI 530 receiving yards, 5 TDs
Reports say that the Bears figure Williams for 70-80 catches this season. Should be a red-zone threat as well.
Michael Crabtree, SF 741 receiving yards, 6 TDs
Having Alex Smith throw to you isn’t a desirable scenario, but we prefer the young Crabtree to Braylon Edwards.
Malcolm Floyd, SD 717 receiving yards, 6 TDs
Like every other Chargers receiver, missed time last year. He’s the No. 2 receiver in NFL’s top offence.
Jordy Nelson, GB 582 receiving yards, 2 TDs
The way that the Packers spread around the ball, Nelson could break out. Or he could be a bust.
There are some tiers in the quarterback position, but it's mainly pretty top-heavy with a somewhat sharp decline after the top-8 studs. It's usually a good idea to carry two in case of injury. Just be prepared to know their bye weeks so your two don't take the same week off.
Aaron Rodgers, GB 3,922 passing yards, 28 passing TDs, 11 INTs
Some will bring up last year's concussion, but he has only missed one game in three years.
Michael Vick, PHI 3,018 passing yards, 21 passing TDs, 6 INTs
Huge injury liability, but has a good chance of being the No. 1 player in all of fantasy football.
Tom Brady, NE 3,900 passing yards, 36 passing TDs, 4 INTs
His four interceptions were a league low for starting QBs. He'll be "questionable" every week, but always plays.
Drew Brees, NO 4,620 passing yards, 33 passing TDs, 22 INTs
Since joining the Saints, has averaged more than 4,500 yards and 31 TDs per season.
Philip Rivers, SD 4,710 passingyards, 30passingTDs, 13INTs
Put up amazing numbers playing with scrubs last year, now he has actual weapons.
Tony Romo, DAL 1,605 passing yards, 11 passing TDs, 7 INTs
Completed 69.5% of passes before breaking collarbone last season.
Matt Schaub, HOU 4,370 passing yards, 24 passing TDs, 12 INTs
A better fantasy QB than a real QB, should get into a lot of shootouts, again.
Peyton Manning, IND 4,700 passing yards, 33 passing TDs, 17 INTs
How effective can he be coming off neck surgery? Early reports are not looking good.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 3,200 passing yards, 17 passing TDs, 5 INTs
Will also put up decent rushing numbers, but has only played a full season once.
Matt Ryan, ATL 3,705 passing yards, 28 passing TDs, 9 INTs
Addition of Julio Jones should mean another season of progression for Ryan.
Eli Manning, NYG 4,002 passing yards, 31 passing TDs, 25 INTs
His INT number is obscene, but has hit 4,000-yard mark past two seasons.
Matthew Stafford, DET 535 pass yards, 6 pass TDs, 1 INTs
Has looked great in camp and pre-season play, but must prove he can stay healthy.
Josh Freeman, TB 3,451 passing yards, 25 passing TDs, 6 INTs
Surprisingly, the eighth-highest scoring QB of 2010; the schedule is tougher in 2011.
Jay Cutler, CHi 3,274 passing yards, 23 passing TDs, 16 INTs
Also lost six fumbles in 2010 and his protection hasn't improved much either.
Kevin Kolb, ARi 1,197 passing yards, 7 passing TDs, 7 INTs
After showing flashes in Philadelphia, gets a chance to lead the lowly Cardinals.
Joe Flacco, BAL 3,622 passing yards, 25 passing TDs, 10 INTs
Has yet to take a step back in production terms, but Ravens are a running team.
Sam Bradford, STL 3,512 pass yards, 18 pass TDs, 15 INTs
Had the third most pass attempts in 2010, but ranked 30th in yards per attempt.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF 3,000 pass yards, 23 passTDs, 15 INTs
Bills have been showing off a few five-wide sets in pre-season, could be a sleeper.
Matt Cassel, KC 3,116 passing yards, 27 passing TDs, 7 INTs
Has more weapons around him this year, but Chiefs are going to be a run-heavy offence.
Kyle Orton, DEN 3,653 passing yards, 20 passing TDs, 9 INTs
Leash is going to be short, but should put up decent numbers to start season.
DEEE-FENCE! DEEE-FENCE! DEEE-FENCE!
Because so much depends on schedules and injuries, you should wait until the final picks to take your defence.
Don't feel bad if you lose out on the top teams either. You can always play waiver-wire roulette and pick up a team with a good matchup for the week.
Never overpay for a good DEF.
Green Bay Packers 234 points allowed, 47 sacks, 24 INTs
The Super Bowl champs weren't just all about fantastic offence. Finished second in the league in INTs and TDs.
Pittsburgh Steelers 224 points allowed, 48 sacks, 21 INTs
Always sure to go a few rounds too high, but rarely disappoint in the turnover department.
New York Jets 298 points allowed, 40 sacks, 12 INTs
Rex Ryan is arguably the best defensive mind in the business and has a nice lineup.
Philadelphia Eagles 359 points allowed, 38 sacks, 23 INTs
Picked up Nnamdi Asomugha, but linebacker core leaves a lot to be desired.
Baltimore Ravens 270 points allowed, 27 sacks, 19 INTs
Low sack total is somewhat surprising, but make up for it by keeping scores down.
Chicago Bears 266 points allowed, 34 sacks, 21 INTs
As long as Brian Urlacher is healthy, the Bears defence is going to stay strong.
New York Giants 331 points allowed, 46 sacks, 16 INTs
Defence didn't score a single touchdown last year, but sack totals are always high.
San Diego Chargers 306 points allowed, 47 sacks, 16 INTs
Last year's No. 1-ranked defence in yards against wasn't good enough to make the playoffs.
New England Patriots 313 points allowed, 36 sacks, 25 INTs
Addition of Albert Haynesworth will cause all sorts of headaches for offensive lines.
New Orleans Saints 277 points allowed, 33 sacks, 9 INTs
Nine interceptions was worst in the league last year. Division is getting better too.
Kansas City Chiefs 314 points allowed, 39 sacks, 14 INTs
A solid, young core that is only going to get better.
Detroit Lions 357 points allowed, 44 sacks, 14 INTs
Their secondary is not looking good so far, but there's loads of potential up front.
Dallas Cowboys 404 points allowed, 36 sacks, 20 INTs
Adapting to new coordinator Rob Ryan. Secondary still has to prove itself after last year.
San Francisco 49ers 330 points allowed, 36 sacks, 15 INTs
Lost stud nose tackle Aubreyo Franklin and should have difficulties stuffing the run.
Atlanta Falcons 282 points allowed, 31 sacks, 22 INTs
Didn't do much to help a defence that was exposed by Green Bay in the NFC playoffs.
If you’re wondering why the best backs get drafted at the top of the board when QBs generally score higher, there’s a lot bigger difference between the No. 1 RB and the No. 10 than with any other position. Getting the best early really matters. Also, these guys have the most potential to score TDs, which are worth more than throwing for one.
Adrian Peterson, MIN – 1298 rushing yards, 13 TDs
With Donovan McNabb at QB, defences can’t crowd the box as much. His offensive line has regressed though.
Jamaal Charles, KC – 1467 rushing yards, 8 TDs
Even with Thomas Jones still around, Charles is poised for a huge season. Averaged 6.2 YPC in 2010.
Arian Foster, HOU – 1616 rushing yards, 18 TDs
Went from undrafted free agent to the highest scoring player in fantasy football. He’ll receive more attention this season.
Ray Rice, BAL – 1220 rushing yards, 6 TDs
TD vultures McGahee and McClain are gone, meaning Rice gets some goal line duties in Baltimore.
Chris Johnson, TEN – 1364 rushing yards, 12 TDs
Still holding out from Titans camp, he has the potential to be one of the top RBs, or a guy who sits out a few games.
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT – 1273 rushing yards, 13 TDs
The Steelers will always be a rushing team and he’s the main man. Not many players can claim that.
Michael Turner, ATL – 1371 rushing yards, 12 TDs
He broke the last time he was coming off a 300+ carries season, but has scored double-digit TDs in past three seasons.
LeSean McCoy, PHI – 1080 rushing yards, 9 TDs
A serious threat out of the backfield too, led the league with 738 yards after catch in 2010.
Matt Forte, CHI – 1069 rushing yards, 9 TDs
The Bears offensive line can’t pass protect, but they can run block. Forte stepped up his YPC by almost a full yard.
Darren McFadden, OAK – 1157 rushing yards, 10 TDs
Former first rounder finally had breakout season. Still has durability issues and has yet to play a full season.
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX – 1324 rushing yards, 7 TDs
Last season’s injury troubles and the emergence of Rashad Jennings are a scary prospect.
Shonn Greene, NYJ – 766 rushing yards, 2 TDs
He’ll be the star of the show for the Jets this season, after LDT fell off late in 2010.
Frank Gore, SF – 853 rushing yards, 5 TDs
Defences will keep loading up the box thanks to Alex Smith being at QB, but it hasn’t slowed Gore much so far.
Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG – 1235 rushing yards, 8 TDs
With increased carries came increased fumbles in 2010. Still has Brandon Jacobs to vulture goal-line carries.
Steven Jackson, STL – 1241 rushing yards, 6 TDs
Has only played two full seasons in his career, including 2010. Solid receiver out of the backfield.
Peyton Hillis, CLE – 1177 rushing yards, 13 TDs
Madden 2012 cover boy has already been hobbled in camp. Unlikely to have same impact this season.
LaGarrette Blount, TB – 1007 rushing yards, 6 TDs
Another waiver-wire hero of 2010. Once he was named the Bucs’ starter, was third in the league in rushing yards.
Daniel Thomas, MIA – 2011 rookie
Second-round pick looks like he’ll be the No. 1 guy for the Dolphins. Battling Reggie Bush for carries.
DeAngelo Williams, CAR – 361 rushing yards, 1 TDs
Got a big contract that he’ll likely never live up to. Should split carries with Jonathan Stewart, again.
Jahvid Best, DET – 555 rushing yards, 6 TDs
Training camp injury to Mikel LeShoure means Best is undisputed No. 1. Worried about his 3.2 YPC though.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN – 779 rushing yards, 8 TDs
Denver’s going back to a run-heavy offence under coach John Fox, but Moreno could split carries with Willis McGahee.
Ryan Mathews, SD – 678 rushing yards, 7 TDs
Was over-hyped as Chargers’ No.1 guy in 2010. Big game in meaningless Week 17 buoys overall numbers.
Fred Jackson, BUF – 927 rushing yards, 7 TDs
He might have a low ceiling with Spiller looking at an increased role, but has very little downside, too.
Marshawn Lynch, SEA – 737 rushing yards, 6 TDs
He’s the No.1 guy in the northwest, but he’s not somebody you’d rely to be a RB1. YPC went down after leaving Buffalo.
Mark Ingram, NO – 2011 rookie
Has looked good in pre-season, but Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory are still good options for Saints.
Cedric Benson, CIN – 111 rushing yards, 8 TDs
Of the seven running backs with more than 300 carries in 2010, he has the worst YPC average with 3.5.
Ryan Grant, GB – 45 rushing yards, 0 TDs
Injured in the first game of 2010, he’s fully healthy now. Could be splitting carries with James Starks.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE – 1008 rushing yards, 13 TDs
You have to feel concerned for the one-man law firm after the Pats drafted two more RBs.
Felix Jones, DAL – 800 rushing yards, 1 TD
There’s no way that he’ll repeat his one score performance with Marion Barber gone.
Beanie Wells, ARI – 397 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Departure of Hightower and injury to rookie Williams means a large load for Wells to carry in the desert.
Joseph Addai, IND – 495 rushing yards, 4 TDs
He’s the top dog for the Colts, who could be forced to utilize the ground game a lot more this season.
Mike Tolbert, SD – 735 rushing yards, 11 TDs
When Ryan Mathews didn’t perform, Tolbert gladly ran with added workload. Sure to rack up some goal-line TDs.
Ryan Torain, WAS – 742 rushing yards, 6 TDs
Had some marvellous games in 2010, but injuries are always a big question with him.
Rashad Jennings, JAX – 459 rushing yards, 4 TDs
Showed that he can fill in for MJD when needed. One of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR – 770 rushing yards, 3 TDs
With the amount of money that the Panthers paid to keep DeAngelo Williams, it really shows how they feel about Stewart’s future.
Michael Bush, OAK – 655 rushing yards, 8 TDs
McFadden isn’t too durable, so Bush is a great handcuff for rushing duties in Oakland.
James Starks, GB – 101 rushing yards, 0 TDs
Will likely split carries with Grant in high-powered Packers offence. Playoff hero has tons of upside.
Reggie Bush, MIA – 150 rushing yards, 1 TD
Has never capitalized on immense potential. Much more fun to watch than to own.
Brandon Jacobs, NYG – 823 rushing yards, 9 TDs
Won’t be the main guy for the Giants, but still a threat to vulture a lot of the goal-line carries from Bradshaw.
LaDainian Tomlinson, NYJ – 914 rushing yards, 6 TDs
Tailed off after starting 2010 strong. Will likely be backing up Greene, but former No. 1 fantasy guy still has some legs left.
Pierre Thomas, NO – 269 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Many are down on Thomas due to the drafting of Ingram, but should still get a good share of Saints’ carries.
C.J. Spiller, BUF - 283 rushing yards, 1 TD
Disappointed many with a rough rookie showing, but is poised to breakout in sophomore effort.
Danny Woodhead, NE – 547 rushing yards, 6 TDs
A great receiver out of the backfield, should be featured in many passing sets for Patriots.
Roy Helu, WAS – 2011 rookie
Mike Shanahan loves to spread the ball amongst his backs. A solid sleeper thanks to question marks on Washington’s depth chart.
Montario Hardesty, CLE – DNP in 2010.
Missed entire rookie season with injury. A good sleeper if Hillis can’t start the season.
TIGHT ENDS (15)
With teams trending towards drafting more and more athletic types instead of the traditional blocking tight ends, these guys are now more like overgrown receivers. They’ll get a bunch of looks in the red zone, but remember that they’re not going out on routes every passing play.
Antonio Gates, SD — 782 yards, 10 TDs
The absolute cream of the TE crop; comes with a few injury questions, though.
Jermichael Finley, GB — 301 yards, 1 TD
Was injured early in the season, but don’t let that dissuade you from taking him.
Vernon Davis, SF — 914 yards, 7 TDs
He’ll make whoever the 49ers quarterback is look better than they actually are.
Jason Witten, DAL — 1,002 yards, 9 TDs
Tony Romo’s roommate has averaged more than 1,000 yards in past four seasons.
Dallas Clark, IND — 347 yards, 3 TD
Still wearing a brace after major wrist surgery last season and has never been very durable.
Owen Daniels, HOU — 471 yards, 2 TDs
Hampered by injuries last season, should return to prominence in strong offence.
Kellen Winslow, TB — 730 yards, 5 TDs
He’s not going to put up big numbers, but you can get by with him starting every week.
Jimmy Graham, NO — 356 yards, 5 TDs
He was a sleeper thanks to strong finish to 2010, but now everyone loves him.
Tony Gonzalez, ATL — 656 yards, 6 TDs
Now 35 years old, has seen his numbers decrease four seasons in a row.
Zach Miller, SEA — 685 yards, 5 TDs
Even with heavy blocking duties in Oakland, he managed to be solid fantasy starter.
Dustin Keller, NYJ — 687 yards, 5 TDs
Doesn’t have big numbers but hasn’t missed a game in his career.
Brandon Pettigrew, DET — 722 yards, 4 TDs
Started to produce during his second season, even with a shaky QB situation.
Jared Cook, TEN — 361 yards, 1 TD
Everybody is raving about third-year Titan. Excellent athlete should see lots of targets.
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 546 yards, 10 TDs
Was a beast in the red zone last season, but can he repeat his big TD number?
Marcedes Lewis, JAX — 700 yards, 10 TDs
Signed a big deal thanks to his double-digit TDs, now let’s see him do it again.
Chris Cooley, WAS — 849 yards, 3 TDs
Has only scored six touchdowns in the past three seasons, but the yards are there.
If you’re not taking your kicker in the last round of the draft, you’re probably new to fantasy ball or had your team on autodraft. There’s no reason to splurge for a placekicker, who are really the relief pitchers of fantasy football. They can have a really good year, then fall off completely the next.
Mason Crosby, GB – 22/28 FGs, 46 XPs
You can’t go wrong taking the defending champions’ placekicker.
Nate Kaeding, SD – 23/28 FGs, 40 XPs
Had a very productive 2010 season despite missing three games.
Stephen Gostkowski, NE – 10/13 FGs, 26 XPs
Was cruising along quite nicely until injury derailed 2010 season half way through.
Sebastien Janikowski, OAK – 33/41 FGs, 43/43 XPs
Gets lots of experience kicking in Oakland with mediocre offence usually stumbling.
Neil Rackers, HOU – 27/30 FGs, 43 XPs
He’s automatic within 40 yards, hitting all 29 attempts in the past two seasons.
Matt Bryant, ATL – 28/31 FGs, 44 XPs
A perfect mix of field goal attempts and potential for extra points. Could be a steal.
Garrett Hartley, NO – 20/25 FGs, 40 XPs
Has been a part-time kicker for three seasons now and needs to step up to prove himself.
Alex Henery, PHI – 2011 Rookie
The Eagles believe in the kid so much that they allowed long-time kicker David Akers to walk.
Robbie Gould, CHI – 25/30 FGs, 35 XPs
Kicking in the Windy City isn’t always a breeze, but Gould seems to have it dialled.
David Buehler, DAL – 24/32 FGs, 42 XPs
Missed two extra points last season — buckle your seatbelts when he’s on the field.
Josh Brown, STL – 32/38 FGs, 26 XPs
The young Rams are only going to get better and playing in a dome always helps.
Jay Feely, ARI – 24/27 FGs, 29 XPs
The Cardinals’ offence figures to be better with stability at QB, meaning more opportunities.
Adam Vinatieri, IND – 26/28 FGs, 51 XPs
Led the league in extra points made. It sure is nice playing for the Colts.
Rob Bironas, TEN 24/26 FGs, 38 XPs
He’s the fourth most accurate field goal kicker in history, playing for a mediocre team.
Dan Carpenter, MIA – 30/41 FGs, 25 XPs
Tied for league lead in field goal attempts with Oakland’s Janikowski, but hit three less.