Kicker is often the most overlooked and undervalued position in all of fantasy football.
Even the best kickers in the NFL won’t start coming off the board until at the very earliest, the 8th round. This holds true for most 10-team leagues, although you might have that one rouge manager that sneaks in Denver’s Matt Prater in the 5th round.
Just as it holds true in real life, so it holds true in fantasy football; kickers can win and lose you football games.
This one year that I was playing, my kicker missed a 50-yard field goal wide left, costing me negative points for missed field goals and ultimately, a 1-point loss. Had I stayed with my other kicker (yes, I usually carry two kickers), I would have started the season off with a W instead of an L.
This brings me to San Francisco 49er kicker Phil Dawson, who last season, set career highs in field goal attempts (36), field goals made (32), extra point attempts (44), extra points made (44), and total points (field goals made + extra points made) with 140.
Dawson ranked 5th in all of the NFL in field goals made and tied for 6th in points.
Inside the 30, Dawson was money, hitting 18 of 19 field goals between 20 and 39 yards, good enough for 54 fantasy points. From 40-49 yards, Dawson hit 10 of 11, 40 fantasy points since 40+ yard field goals are ranked as four points, and 4 for 6 from 50 and beyond, good enough for 20 points.
Dawson like the 49ers, struggled through ups and downs the first 11 games of the season, most notably due to the absence of receiver Michael Crabtree.
With a patch-work receiving core, the 49ers offense struggled at times. They were held to single digit points on three occasions and were 7-4 without Crabtree in the lineup.
With Crabtree, the 49ers finished the season 5-0 and Dawson broke double digit points each time.
A healthy 49er offense is a good offense, and it could equal another big season for Dawson, especially if Kaepernick has all his weapons on the passing end of the game.
Dawson should be available as early as the 10th round in most 10-team leagues as most of the other managers will load up at other positions or take kickers such as Stephen Gostowksi and Matt Prater earlier in the draft.
Dawson is a good value pick, especially in auction drafts, and he should be in line for another big season with the 49ers in 2014.