Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keeper League Confidential: A Word on Kickers

If you've been reading my previous posts, then you know I'm not too enthusiastic about picking kickers. This is actually the hardest position for me to wrap my head around, mainly because kickers are probably the most unpedictable position there is. The reason for this? A kicker's value is tied to the actions of everyone else on the team.

You'd like to say that a kicker with a good offense will kick butt, but if an offense is too good, you end up with 5 extra points while another kicker ends up with 9 points because his team had to settle for 3 field goals. It's super frustrating. But it's wrong to say that kickers don't matter.

For instance, the Zombies lost this week by 10 points, and my kicker was outkicked by 11 points. There are plenty of other places in which I could point the finger, including Eli Manning's 2 late interceptions instead of 1 touchdown that swung my score 12 points in the wrong direction. Or the Bengals giving a 2-yard TD run to Bernard Scott instead of Cedric Benson. But the kicker matchup is right there and it's obvious that I lost because my opponent's kicker scored 13 points, while mine only connected for 2 points.

Don't blame Bryant for his lack of production.

A loss is a loss, and now the Zombies are 1-4 and tied for the worst record in the league. Such is life when games can be decided by kickers.


Week 6 Tip: Use Bye Weeks to Your Advantage

A lot of owners fret over bye weeks, because their star players have to sit on certain weeks. For instance, I had Ray Lewis and Daniel Thomas sitting in week 5. However, this is the perfect time to see if another owner has a need you can fill with a smart trade--or if you have a bad kicker (not speaking from experience) who has a bye in week 8, you could kick him to the curb now and pick up a kicker who was sitting last week (and doesn't have anymore threat of a bye in the future). Just saying.


Waiver Wire Watch: Week 6

QB: Alex Smith, SF. Nobody, including myself, wanted to get fooled by Alex Smith again, but he's now thrown 2 or more touchdowns in 3 of his past 4 contests. Since his coach is a QBs guru, maybe we're seeing the beginning of a new Alex Smith.

RB: Jackie Battle, KC. Battle is the big surprise who may have earned the majority of KC carries for the rest of the season. Only one problem: He's on bye this week. If you need someone this week, you could roll the dice with Jonathan Dwyer of Pittsburgh.

Could Jackie Battle be the new thing in KC? We'll have to wait at least one more week to find out.

WR: Doug Baldwin, Sea. Baldwin has been on my radar since preseason, and now that he's scored 2 touchdowns and produced 3 games of 80+ yards receiving, I feel confident in throwing his name out there for those in need.

TE: Jake Ballard, NYG. With defenses focusing on Nicks, Manningham and Cruz, Ballard has snuck in two straight games of 30+ yards receiving and a touchdown. That's not poverty, especially with the bye weeks looming.

DL: Greg Hardy, Car. Through 5 games, this unheralded defensive lineman has produced 21 tackles and 3 sacks.

LB: Jacquian Williams, NYG. Another position, another New York Giant. In his past 4 games, Williams has made 31 tackles.

DB: Sean Jones, TB. Outside of a dud in week 4, Jones has done well every week.

Kickers. Bah, humbug.


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