Kicker’s are a dime a dozen. But….its impossible to tell exactly when a kicker is going to have a good week. So having one that is a top tier guy over the course of a season gives you a better chance to win. The best situation for a kicker to be in is a winning one. If a kicker plays for a winning team he obviously gets more chances to kick. But getting nothing but extra points doesn’t really help either. Although it is very difficult to predict how kickers will do, I will still tell you which ones are better to have than others. Here is my list of the top kickers for the 2011 season. I know everyone has been hitting refresh on their computer’s for the last hour waiting for this list to come up.

1. Mason Crosby (GB)
2. Matt Bryant (ATL)
3. Nate Kaeding (SD)
4. Robbie Gould (CHI)
5. Billy Cundiff (BAL)
6. Dan Carpenter (MIA)
7. Garrett Hartley (NO)
8. Stephen Gostkowski (NE)
9. David Buehler (DAL)
10. Rob Bironas (TEN)
11. Neil Rackers (HOU)
12. Connor Barth (TB)
13. Ryan Longwell (MIN)
14. Nick Folk (NYJ)
15. Alex Henery (PHI)
16. Phil Dawson (CLE)
17. Jason Hanson (DET)
18. Josh Brown (STL)
19. Lawrence Tynes (NYG)
20. Sebastian Janikowski (OAK)
21. Graham Gano (WAS)
22. Ryan Succop (KC)
23. Adam Vinatieri (IND)
24. David Akers (SF)
25. Shaun Suisham (PIT)
26. Matt Prater (DEN)
27. Josh Scobee (JAC)
28. Jay Feely (ARI)
29. Jeff Reed (SEA)
30. Olindo Mare (CAR)
31. Mike Nugent (CIN)
32. Rian Lindell (BUF)

Green Bay is a power house. They score a lot of points and get to the red zone a lot. Which means Crosby gets plenty of red zone opportunities. Playing for the world champions and being a good kicker makes you #1 in my book. I would feel good about him getting me a nice number of points every single week.

Matt Bryant kicks for an excellent team. I just envision him getting a whole lot of opportunities. Kaeding, Gould, and Cundiff are all former pro bowlers who play for winning teams. Carpenter does not play for a winning team, but he may have the strongest legs in the league. He makes a lot of long distance field goals which gives him a lot of value. If he were on a winning team he would easily be my #1 guy.

Hartley is in the best situation but hasn’t been completely successful. He lost that job to begin the year last year. So I see him scoring a lot of points, but I also see him losing some. The top guys on my list don’t miss many. The same can be said for Gostkowski. He is in a great situation, but isn’t the most talented guy.

Buehler and Bironas have a lot of talent and that is why they rank so high. They don’t necessarily play for winning teams, but they are very good. Buehler could be a big sleeper because I personally think Dallas will be a good team this year.

The next group of guys are all on winning teams, but are mediocre kickers. Rackers, Barth, Longwell, Folk, and Henerey. Barth and Henerey are both young, but that means they don’t have enough experience yet. They will have growing pains.

All the rest of the guys really shouldn’t be drafted. They are either really old, not good, or play for terrible teams that won’t get many chances. Janikowski is ranked very high by most sites and is typically drafted, but I don’t see why. I feel like last year was that one last good season for him. Plus he plays for an awful team.

Just stick to the top 12 guys. Nobody in your league will carry more than one kicker and if they do you should give them a w2 (or whatever the tax term is) for their charitable donation to you. (Which means they are giving you their entry money…get it?) So there really isn’t a reason to draft anyone under #12. If you stream your kickers and just pick up a guy who is playing a bad team, I don’t blame you. Thats a perfectly good strategy. Even Rian Lindell will have a good matchup or two where he looks like a good pickup. Its a crap shoot.

Team Defenses tomorrow.