Just like in a real fantasy football draft, the last position most teams will try and fill are the ones that don’t get the most play. The defenses and special teams, and yet again the lonely kickers, but don’t underestimate the value of a good one. This is our look at those positions in our Fantasy Football Preview.
Let’s face facts, your not going to win your league by having Nick Folk or the Chicago Bears on your team. No. You will win your league by a little bit of luck, very solid planning, and well thought out draft picks. Having a great kicker won’t likely get you much unless the rest of your team is very good.
A kicker and/or DST can however be the difference between a win and a loss in head to head leagues. Wating literally until the last two or three rounds to take your first at either could prove costly should your season or even your league standing depend on a long field goal attempt or an interception. In fantasy football we all know that close weekly match-ups can get you second guessing your draft and scouring the FA wire for the latest fill in. While a well placed drafted kicker can get you those exta points you might need to win that week and close in one step closer to the playoffs.
Whatever you do though, do not fall into the normal early run that always tends to happen. Stick to your game plan and let the others draft K’s and DST’s early. If they are drafting those positions, then someone is available as a solid backup.
Unlike the other FF previews, the Fan-Sided bloggers really didn’t have much to say about kickers and defense. In fact only one, Jeanne from BlackandTeal, made mention of the Jaguars kicker, Josh Scobee. She pointed out he has a “nice leg”. While Jeanne does have a bit of crush on the kicker (yes, she is a girl), she does drive home a simple yet good point. Scobee does have a nice leg.
Josh Scobee - You will not see Scobee’s name on the top of the FF kicker rankings. He is further down on the rank list and can be drafted in the 12th round or later. A good value kicker who has a strong leg and is capable of scoring you some needed points in heated weekly match-ups.
Rob Bironas – Much like Scobee, Bironas is an after round 11 selection who is a valuable addition in those rounds as a starter.
Nick Folk, Stephen Gostkowski, Shane Graham, and Adam Vinatieri - The top 4 on almost all FF ranks. These 4 are the top for a reason, consistency. However, they also tend to be drafted just before round 10. Which in comparison to guys like Bironas and Scobee can often be 3 or 4 rounds earlier.
Unlike Kickers, there is usually a bit more value in drafting a special team unit and/or a defensive unit. The reason is that unlike kickers, they can score TD’s. While that is true, many FF’ers tend to draft defenses a little high. Sometimes as early as round 5 or 6 when the best value target should be rounds 8, 9, or 10.
It would be nice to have teams like Green Bay, Dallas, and New England on your roster, but in reality those teams are usually taken when you still have solid positional choices still left and possibly even a starting roster spot. So be aware that although you may not get the big name on the rank board, there is still some value to be had later…sometimes much later.
Most leagues will use a combination of the teams defensive units and special teams combined. Only Chicago really jumps off the page at you with Devin Hester and his ability to return punts. However, you are coupled with that teams defensive unit as well and that defense may not be very good, so be wary.
One important note to remember when drafting Kickers, defenses, and ST’s is to scroll the other managers’ drafts. If you notice that 90 percent or more have already drafted a kicker and/or defense, you have a better idea of when you can realistically need to draft one. If say 10 teams in a 12 team league have already drafted, one or both and you have not, there is a better than not chance that you will get your pick of whats left as most teams will not draft speciality positions back-ups until the final 2 rounds.
Where they may fall:
Minnessotta, Jacksonville, Green Bay, Dallas, New England, San Diego – Rounds 5 through 8.
Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Tennessee – Rounds 8-9
Indianapolis, Tampa Bay – Round 10