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Fantasy Football Tips - Kickers

In Pro Football Prospectus 2007, the Arizona Cardinals chapter contains an article by Aaron Schatz titled, "Is Field-Goal Percentage Useless?".  In it, Mr. Schatz makes a convincing argument that FG% on kicks greater than 40 yards is a meaningless metric in terms of predictive value.  As a matter of statistical fact:

...the year-to-year correlation of field goal percentage on kick of 40 yards or more is -.10.  In other words, a kicker who is above average on longer field goals in one year is actually more likely to be below-average the following year.

In demonstrating this application to real-life NFL decisions, Mr. Schatz hits upon two fantasy sleeper kickers, New England's Stephen Gostowski and New Orlean's Orlindo Mare.  Building up to this, he provides this factoid to segue into both kickers.

...the year-to-year correlation of average kick-off distance - looking at the same time period [1999 forward], with the same mminimum of ten kicks per year, is .61.  That makes average kick-off distance one of the most predictable individual stats in the entire NFL, at any position...The Patriots replaced [Adam] Vinatieri with rookie Stephen Gostowski, and the New England media ripped the team after Gostowski missed four of his first 12
professional field-goal tries.  The rookie stabilized after that, going 12-for-14 the rest of the year.  More importantly, he was a beast on kick-offs...These mistaken decisions [using FG% to determine a change in kicker rather than kick-off distance] continued in the most recent off-season. Olindo Mare was awful on field goals last year, hitting just 72% of his attempts, so Miami dealt him to New Orleans for a sixth-round pick.

Am I the only fantasy player who read that last sentence and thought about the explosive New Orleans offense and about plenty of scoring opportunities for Mare - and inside a dome for home games!  I checked Mare's PFP2007 projection and was somewhat deflated to only see Mare projected for 101 points and 38 XPs.  However, Gostowski is projected to be the best kicker in 2007 with 148 pts and 48 XPs.  Fortunately, neither kicker is coming off the draft boards early ridiculously early.

The article concludes with this:

We don't know whether field-goal accuracy is a true skill.  What we do now is that the statistic we currently use to measure it, field-goal percentage, is almost completely useless as a predictor of future performance on a year-to-year basis.

For fantasy that means ignoring the success of last year's kickers when looking at FG% on 40+ yard kicks and paying attention to the least successful amongst them.  From last season's figures, Rob Bironas (50%), Phil Dawson (50%), Jeff Reed (57.1%) look good.