Finally the Minnesota Vikings had enough, a it took Blair Walsh missing his fourth extra point for him to finally earn his release. In general kicking has been a disaster this season, but Walsh was the first kicker to truly lose his job for performance issues, even though the argument could be made that the Vikings were too late in parting ways with Walsh. However, there are seven kickers who are doing even worse that still have jobs. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the kickers rank for this week:
Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at San Francisco
Cairo Santos – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Tampa Bay
Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – at Dallas
Matt Prater – Detroit Lions – vs. Jacksonville
Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Baltimore
Dustin Hopkins – Washington Redskins – vs. Green Bay
Stephen Haushcka – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Philadelphia
Chris Boswell – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
Graham Gano – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
Robbie Gould – New York Giants – vs. Chicago
Ryan Succop – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
Caleb Sturgis – Philadelphia Eagles – at Seattle
Will Lutz – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
Mike Nugent – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Buffalo
So far Matt Prater has been a borderline starter. This week he looks slightly more attractive for two reasons. First of all he had his bye last week so you won’t have to worry about the kicking position for the rest of the season. He likely is available in your league since most owners generally carry just one kicker and he he faces the team (Jacksonville) that allows the most points to opposing kickers this season. Prater, who faces the Jaguars at home, has converted 84.2% of his field goals (including four from beyond 50 yards) while missing just one of his 20 extra point attempts.
Kickers are known to be streaky and Dustin Hopkins is certainly trending in the right direction. Hopkins has converted 84.6% of his field goals so far this season and he is perfect so far this month. Extra points have been an issue for kickers across the league, just look at Walsh, but Hopkins has missed just one all year. The weather has generally been pretty good on the east coast so we don’t have to worry about that yet as Hopkins faces the Packers (3rd most points to opposing kickers).
This season has not been kind to Mike Nugent, but he is a veteran kicker with a track record of success. So far he is ranked 21st, but he faces the Bills who are allowing the seventh most points to opposing kickers. While Nugent has missed five of his 21 field goal attempts, he has only missed one of his 20 extra points. That and the fact that he is owned in just 12.5% of ESPN leagues makes him an attractive option if you are filling a bye this week.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: