2017 fantasy football rankings: Kickers

Continuing our series of position rankings for the upcoming 2017 fantasy football season, we’ll take a look at the top 12 kickers before we update our higher-valued positions next week. We’ve ranked the quarterbacks 1-32running backs from 1-36, wide receivers 1-36, tight ends 1-24 and defenses 1-12. Kickers will be ranked 1-12.

If there were a position I would eliminate from fantasy football, it would be kickers. As it stands, however, most leagues force you to draft at least one. Here are our rankings for the 2017 season.

1. Justin Tucker, Ravens—You can’t go wrong with a guy who can hit from 60+ with historic accuracy. He went 38-of-39 last season and was 10-for-10 from beyond 50 yards.

2. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots—He’s consistent and so is the Patriots offense. Gostkowski attempted 49 extra points last season, third most in the league.

3. Dan Bailey, Cowboys—If the Cowboys continue to control the ground game and Dak Prescott stays efficient, he’ll be kicking a lot of extra points. He was perfect from 39 yards and under.

4. Matt Bryant, Falcons—He was 34-for-37 last season and was 15-of-17 from beyond 40 yards. The Falcons high-octane offense should still be effective. Bryant connected on 56-of-57 extra points last season, best in the league.

5. Adam Vinatieri, Colts—I expect the Colts offense to improve a bit, allowing Vinatieri to benefit from good field position. He was 17-of-21 from beyond 40 yards last season and made 44 extra points.

6. Mason Crosby, Packers—He hit 87 percent of his field goals last season and was 25-of-28 from 49 yards and under.

7. Matt Prater, Lions

8. Cairo Santos, Chiefs

9. Steven Hauschka, Bills

10. Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders

11. Will Lutz, Saints

12. Chris Boswell, Steelers

Fantasy football: To tinker or not to tinker?

Full disclosure, I went 0-2 in my leagues this week. It’s not the kind of start you want to see out of your trusted fantasy guru. In fantasy football there is the right play and there’s the winning play. They’re not always one and the same.

In one league I faced Drew Brees and Spencer Ware. Brees was the second-highest scoring quarterback, behind Andrew Luck, while Ware was the second highest scoring running back in Week 1.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with 1:03 remaining against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with 1:03 remaining against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS)

In another league, the Office Football League here at the Statesman, I went up against DeAngelo Williams, the highest scoring running back in Week 1, in addition to Brandin Cooks and Antonio Brown. Cooks was the highest scoring receiver of the week while Brown was third best. Congratulations to Kirk Bohls on his near record-setting performance (191 points!) in the OFL.

Losing both of these games had me originally thinking about making some pickups or changing my lineup. Call me crazy, but I don’t think I’m going to touch a thing in one of these leagues.

Here’s my lineup from Week 1 in the OFL (standard + 6-points for TD passes, one point per two receptions):

QB: Jameis Winston
RB: David Johnson
RB: Ryan Mathews
WR: Mike Evans
WR: Brandon Marshall
TE: Antonio Gates
Flex: Demaryius Thomas
K: Dan Bailey
DST: Chiefs

Bench: Philip Rivers, DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles, Laquon Treadwell, Tyler Boyd, Tajae Sharpe, Michael Thomas, Tyler Eifert.

There’s a lot of youth on my bench in this keeper league, but I don’t see replacing what I’ve got in my lineup. Maybe I could go with DeMarco Murray instead of Thomas at my flex, but is the top receiver in Denver really going to be held to 48 yards again? Benching Marshall seems like a bad move as well since he was targeted a decent amount of times (8) on his way to just 32 yards receiving.

New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) runs past Cincinnati Bengals' Karlos Dansby (56) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) runs past Cincinnati Bengals’ Karlos Dansby (56) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

In the other league I’m in I may actually end up tinkering a little bit.

Here’s that league’s lineup (standard + 6-points for TD passes):

QB: Derek Carr
RB: David Johnson
RB: Mark Ingram
WR: Dez Bryant
WR: Jordy Nelson
WR: Jeremy Maclin
Flex: Christine Michael
K: Chris Boswell
DST: Chiefs

Bench: Melvin Gordon, Ben Roethlisberger, Tyler Lockett, Sterling Shepard.

Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers rushes the ball on his way to his second touchdown of the game during the second quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G Aiken/Getty Images)
Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers rushes the ball on his way to his second touchdown of the game during the second quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G Aiken/Getty Images)

I went with Michael in response to him getting the start over a recovering Thomas Rawls. Rawls did end up playing, however, and had just two fewer touches than Michael. I had to see Gordon produce well before I started him in my lineup. He did great in Week 1, though he had fewer touches than Danny Woodhead, so I’ll probably give him a shot in Week 2. I also like Sterling Shepard’s matchup with the Saints so I may sit Maclin this week.

Dez Bryant had a week to forget, but you’d think the coaching staff would make sure he gets a lot more targets in Week 2.

Let me know what you think @AAS_Cat. Would you tinker with either lineup?