1. Caleb Sturgis, Florida
Sturgis only made 73.3 percent of his field goals last year, but he receives so many attempts that he remains in the top tier. Sturgis went 22-of-30 and is in an offense that will be similarly explosive in 2010, meaning he should receive a similar number of opportunities. Another point that makes Sturgis a top-tier kicker that he has some range Ė he hit all three of his kicks in the 40-yard range and was 2-of-5 beyond 50 yards.
2. Grant Ressel, Missouri
Ressel was ridiculous in 2009, making all but one of his 27 field goal attempts, which put him at 96.3 percent for the year. He also made all 39 of his PATs. The Missouri offense should be relatively strong again in 2010, and Ressel's consistency means his team will have no reservations at all about putting him on the field. The one issue with Ressel is that he didn't attempt any kicks over 50 yards in 2009, so his range is probably limited.
3. Alan Gendreau, Middle Tennessee State
Gendreau is heading into his third year as Middle Tennessee's starting kicker, and he showed good improvement during his sophomore year in 2009. He made 18-of-22 field goals (81.8 percent) and made all but one of his 51 PATs. The main reason he's ranked this high is his team's offense figures to be very good this year, and he should have a bunch of opportunities.
4. Ross Evans, TCU
Evans has been very good since taking over the kicker spot at TCU in 2008. He made 80 percent of his field goals as a freshman and then made 15-of-18, good for 83.3 percent, in 2009. The TCU offense should be at least as good as it was last year, and so it wouldn't be surprising if he got a few more field goal opportunities this year. At the very least, you know he'll be kicking a lot of PATs (he was 61-of-63 last year).
5. Kai Forbath, UCLA
In the real college football world, Forbath might be the best. He made 28-of-31 field goals last year (90.3 percent), and all three of his misses were from 50 yards or more. He was 22-of-22 from 49 or less, and still hit three of his attempts from beyond 50. If the UCLA offense were better, Forbath would be ranked No. 1.
6. Justin Kahut, Oregon State
Although Forbath is easily the best in the Pac-10, Kahut is no slouch, either. He made 22-of-27 in 2009, registering 81.5 percent. He also showed a bit of range, going 1-of-3 beyond 50 and 9-of-11 from beyond 40. The Oregon State offense will provide plenty of opportunities as long as the Rodgers brothers are around.
7. Blair Walsh, Georgia
If there is a kicker who can compete with Forbath in the real world, it's Walsh. He was also spectacular last year, hitting 20-of-22 field goals (90.9 percent) and making all but one of his five attempts from beyond 50 yards. Look for the Georgia offense to improve in 2010, hopefully resulting in more opportunities for Walsh.
8. Matt Hogan, Houston
We'd have ranked Hogan higher, but there's a bit of an odd instability to his situation. He somehow made all 12 of his field goal attempts from 2009, including one from beyond 50 yards, but he managed to miss five of his PATs. That sort of unreliability could result in a kicker rotation of some kind, making Hogan a high-risk/high-reward selection, though the emphasis is probably on the reward end of that.
9. Brandon McManus, Temple
McManus was respectable in 2009, making 17-of-24 field goals for a success percentage of 70.8. Considering he was a true freshman, the results are encouraging. The reason we have him ranked this high is because he should see a good amount of opportunities in 2010. The Temple offense will run wild this year, and the teamís disruptive defense will get the ball to the offense often.
10. Joe Phillips, Utah
Phillips was excellent in 2009, making 20-of-22 field goals and all but one of his 39 PATs. He didn't show any range beyond 40 yards, but his reliability from within that range means he should see lots of opportunities in what should be a good Utah offense.
11. Phillip Welch, Wisconsin
Welch had an excellent debut for the Badgers in 2008, hitting 20-of-24 field goals and finishing as a Lou Groza award semifinalist. He regressed slightly last season as his accuracy dropped, but he has superb range and should bounce back this year. He deserves top consideration in all league types.
12. Cade Foster, Alabama
Foster is the expected starting kicker for the national champions, and heís one of the top kicker recruits from the 2010 class. It would be surprising if he didnít put up sizable numbers. Alabama attempted 36 field goals last year, so this is a team that will give Foster plenty of opportunities. Donít expect him to be Leigh Tiffin, but look for Foster to put up nice numbers right away.
13. Kevin Fitzpatrick, Tulsa
Tulsa attempted few field goals in 2009, but it doesn't make any sense to stick to that plan in 2010. Fitzpatrick made all but one of his 14 field goal attempts last year for 92.9 percent. The one kick he missed was from more than 50 yards, so he was extremely reliable from shorter ranges. But he also made one from beyond 50, so itís not as if he doesnít have range. The Tulsa offense should be better in 2010, and with that, Fitzpatrickís opportunities should increase significantly.
14. Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
Hopkins did fairly well in his freshman year in 2009, making 19-of-27 field goals, but missing four of his 44 PATs. Florida State historically gives lots of opportunities for its kickers, so Hopkins' year looks promising in that regard, but he needs to be more consistent. If you're willing to take the leap of faith that Hopkins will be more accurate in 2010, go ahead and rank him among your top kicker candidates.
15. Josh Jasper, LSU
Jasper was very good as a junior in 2009, making 17-of-20 field goals and all 34 of his PATs. The LSU offense hopes to improve this year, so he'll hopefully get more opportunities in 2010. He's a good kicker option, but not exceptional.
16. Dan Hutchins, Pittsburgh
Hutchins should be one of the nation's better fantasy kicker options in 2010. He hit 23-of-29 field goal attempts as a junior last year and made 46-of-48 PATs. The Pittsburgh offense should be good in 2010 and so Hutchings should get plenty of opportunities once again. His upside seems a bit limited in the Pittsburgh offense, but the combination of Pittís ground game and tough defense means heíll consistently be brought into field goal range.
17. Erik Soderberg, Air Force
Soderberg is a pretty good fantasy kicker option this year because he received tons of opportunities in 2009. Air Force gave him 30 field goal attempts last year, and though he only made 22 of those, he should see a similar amount of opportunity in 2010. Expect him to make about 40 PATs.
18. Nate Whitaker, Stanford
Whitaker was automatic on PATs as a junior last year, making all 53. Unfortunately, he only made 16-of-22 field goals. If he improves just a bit in 2010, he'll be one of the nation's best fantasy kickers. The Stanford offense will be high-powered this year and the opportunities will certainly be there for him.
19. Alex Tejada, Arkansas
Tejada was okay as a junior, hitting 16-of-22 field goals and 58-of-59 PATs. He's not terribly efficient, but as the kicker in an elite offense he's worth a shot for your fantasy kicker position. He had one week in 2010 where he only posted a single PAT, but in his other games he averaged 8.2 points per week.
20. Erik Folk, Washington
Folk performed very well in 2009, hitting 85.7 percent of his field goals and making all 35 of his extra point attempts. Look for his opportunities to increase in 2010 on what should be a very good Washington offense. Folk could turn out to be one of the better fantasy kickers nationwide in 2010, as he put up double-digit points in four games last year.
21. Trey Farquhar, Idaho
Farquhar was decent as a freshman, hitting 13-of-19 field goals and all but one of his 51 PATs. He's in a super-powered offense and will be a very good option this year if he can improve his accuracy a bit. Even as an inconsistent freshman last year, he had three weeks with double-digit points.
22. Alex Henery, Nebraska
Henery did very well as a junior last year, making 24-of-28 field goals and all 38 of his PATs. He should get a good amount of opportunites and capitalize on them efficiency, but don't expect quite as many field goals this year, because the Nebraska defense won't give the offense as great of field position as last year. Still, Henery should be one of the country's more reliable kicker options.
23. Matt Bosher, Miami (FL)
Bosher was excellent as a sophomore in 2009, making 14-of-16 field goal attempts and all 50 of his PATs. He'll be one of the best in the nation as far as efficiency goes, and hopefully an improved Miami offense will give him more opportunities. He was on fire in the second half of the year, averaging nine points per game in the last six weeks.
24. Kyle Brotzman, Boise State
We highly doubt Brotzman will match his 2009 total of 117 points. We think heíll drop to around his 2008 total of 101. It doesnít have much to do with him ó heíll remain a very reliable kicker from 40 yards and less, and heíll kick more than 60 PATs, too. But look for the Boise State offense to be so unstoppable that it almost never needs to kick field goals. Furthermore, Brotzman only made 68.6 of his field goals the past two years, so itís not like heís necessarily a much better option than just going for it on fourth down.
25. Kevin Goessling, Fresno State
Goessling was brilliant as a sophomore last year, making all but one of his 16 field goal attempts and all 55 PAT attempts. He'll hopefully have more opportunities in 2010 now that he's proven his accuracy. He was very consistent last year, scoring seven or more points in eight games.
26. Matt Nelson, Louisiana Tech
Nelson did well as a freshman in 2009, making 12-of-16 field goals and all but one of his 43 PATs. The reason his production should really pick up in 2010 is that Louisiana Techís new offense will be run by new coach Sonny Dykes, who previously coordinated offenses at Arizona and Texas Tech. The Bulldogs have plenty of playmakers on offense to make the new spread system a success, and Nelson should be kicking many more PATs than he did in 2009.
27. Dan Conroy, Michigan State
Conroy will be a sophomore in 2010 and is the early favorite to be the primary kicker for the Spartans. He has decent midrange ability but has yet to prove himself at the college level. If Conroy struggles, don't be surprised to see freshman Kevin Muma get a chance. In any case, the Michigan State offense figures to be fairly profitable for whoever ends up kicking.
28. Devin Barclay, Ohio State
A former MLS player, Barclay decided to give football a shot after injuries derailed his soccer career. Barclay made 7-of-10 field goals in 2009 when starting kicker Aaron Pettrey went down, including the game-winner against Iowa. He'll be the primary kicker for the first time in his career this season; and while the Buckeyes' offense should be able to put up more points, Barclay is unlikely to reach the 100-point mark.
29. Ricky Drake, Nevada
Given the offense he kicks for, you might have assumed that Drake would be a top fantasy kicker. Unfortunately, despite kicking 64 PATs last year, Drake was only allowed nine field goal attempts. He hit only six of them, so he didnít exactly give Nevada a reason to give him more chances. Still, the PAT points that Drake puts up will make him a solid kicker option.
30. Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
Bullock was less than impressive as a sophomore last year, missing seven of his 19 field goal attempts. He did, on the other hand, drill all 51 of his extra point attempts. He remains an intriguing fantasy kicker option because Texas A&M figures to be a historically prolific one, and he seems pretty good at hitting extra points. The worry with a player like Bullock is whether heíll be able to keep his job.
31. Mitch Payne, BYU
Payne hit 10-of-14 field goals as a junior last year while making 59-of-61 PATs. He's somewhat efficient and gets tons of PAT opportunities, but you can probably do better at the kicker spot. The BYU offense is in a rebuilding mode with players like Max Hall, Harvey Unga, Manase Tonga, Dennis Pitta and Andrew George no longer around, so Payne might not see as many opportunities this year.
32. Matthew Williams, Texas Tech
You might remember Williams as the guy who found himself as Texas Tech's kicker after, as a fan, hitting a 30-yard field goal in a halftime contest. Now he's one of college football's most consistent fantasy kickers because of how often Texas Tech gets into scoring range. His upside is limited, however.
33. Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia
Bitancurt was superb as a freshman, missing just two of his 15 field goal attempts and making 41-of-42 extra point attempts. The West Virginia offense could take a step back with a new starting quarterback, but Bitancurt is difficult to beat as far as accuracy goes.
34. Justin Tucker, Texas
After serving as the kickoff specialist a year ago, Tucker will take over the full-time kicking duties in 2010. Though he lacks experience, he has a chance to put up some big point totals thanks to the Longhorns' high-powered offense.
35. Will Snyderwine, Duke
Snyderwin did a very good job as a junior in 2009, making 17-of-20 field goals and all 24 PATs. He's an efficient kicker who should do at least okay as a fantasy kicker, but it's not clear how many opportunities he'll have.
36. Wes Byrum, Auburn
Byrum was superb in 2009, making 15-of-16 field goals and all 54 PAT attempts. The Auburn offense might not give him a ton of opportunities, but a kicker as efficient as him is usually useful, and if Cam Newton can create an effective offense at Auburn, Byrum could wind up being one of the better kicker options this year.
37. Matt Weller, Ohio
Weller did relatively well as a freshman in 2009, hitting 72.4 percent of his field goals, but he missed four of his 36 PAT attempts. He should improve in 2010, and the Ohio offense gave him a good amount of opportunties last year with 29 field goal attempts in 14 games. He's someone to keep an eye on, as he could emerge as a good kicker option in most formats.
38. Matt Szymanski, SMU
Szymanski was probably a bit below average in 2009, missing five of his 16 field goal attempts but making 47-of-48 PATs. His consistency is in doubt, but his opportunities won't be. The SMU offense will be very good in 2010.
39. Jake Rogers, Cincinnati
Rogers should be an okay kicker option in 2010, but we think he'll see fewer field goal attempts this year than he did the past couple years. Rogers has made less than 70 percent of his field goal attempts in all three years he's been at Cincinnati, so it only makes sense that the team would be a bit reluctant to use him on three-pointers in 2010. He kicked for 102 points in 2009, but we think the totals of the previous two years (84 and 82) are more likely for Rogers.
40. Joe Houston, USC
It's difficult to predict what Houston has in store for USC this year, but he did make the only PAT he attempted last year. The senior figures to inherit a decent offense, but he shouldn't be much better than average as far as fantasy kickers go.