38-Year-Old Kicker – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Neil Rackers in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Neil Rackers Contract Information:
Released by the Redskins in August of 2012.
Rackers will be one of three kickers brought in by the Texans for a tryout Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Neil Rackers: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Neil Rackers.
Rackers signed with the Redskins this offseason following two successful campaigns in Houston where he made more than 84 percent of his field goals both years. Holdover Graham Gano ranked second in the league last season with 41 attempts, but struggled with accuracy (75.6%). Highly-touted rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III could be good right away, but young quarterbacks often struggle, regardless of pedigree, so itís unclear how consistent the offense will be or whether it will bog down in the red zone, generating as many field-goal attempts as last season. In any event, Rackers is the favorite to win the job.
Poor field-goal accuracy has scared off fantasy owners most of Rackers' career Ė he failed to top 75 percent in six of his first eight years. But he was 27-of-30 (90 percent) in 2010, and he is an equally impressive 68-of-75 (90.6 percent) since 2008. Part of the reason for his improvement is fewer long-range attempts. (Rackers totaled six 50-yard attempts the last three years after averaging eight a year the previous four seasons.) But even when excluding 50-yarders, his accuracy has improved nearly 12 percent the last three seasons vs. the rest of his career. Rackers' first season in Houston saw him post an impressive 124 points, good for seventh in the league, behind a balanced Texans offense. The Matt Schaub-Andre Johnson passing game and Arian Foster rushing attack should again provide Rackers with scoring opportunities. And it's possible he increases his 30 field goal attempts if the Texans regress slightly from their 62.3-percent red-zone touchdown rate (fifth in the NFL). Coupled with a favorable December schedule that features three indoor games (Weeks 13-16), this figures to make Rackers one of the more dependable fantasy kickers in 2011. And even though he's attempting fewer long-range kicks these days, he still made three from beyond 50 yards last season.
Rackers signed with Houston in the offseason after Kris Brown missed 11 field goals in 2009, including some potential game winners. Rackers was limited by a groin injury last season with Arizona and attempted just 17 field goals. His accuracy remained intact, though, as he made 16 field goals, giving him just four misses in 45 attempts the last two seasons.
Gone are the days of Rackers bombing from long range ó heís attempted two 50-yarders in two years, none last year, after averaging eight a season the previous four years. But with the Texans offense, Rackers should get a lot of attempts as the Matt Schaub-to-Andre Johnson combination is developing into one of the leagueís most lethal. For his part, Brown still scored 106 points last season, but his 65.6 FG percentage was by far a career low. He also missed a PAT for the first time in three seasons. At press time both kickers are on the roster. If a training-camp battle ensues, expect Rackers to win the job because of his accuracy.
After consecutive years in the low-to-mid 70s, Rackersí field-goal percentage (89.3) bounced back last season, though the improved efficiency mostly came from attempting fewer long-range kicks. After going 4-of-16 from beyond 50 yards the previous two years combined, Rackers kicked just two 50-yarders last season, making one. Donít expect the long-range bombs anymore, but Rackers still has plenty of upside in coach Ken Whisenhuntís offense. The Cardinals have averaged 46 touchdowns the last two years under Whisenhunt, and a fresh set of legs in rookie running back Chris Wells only helps matters. The Arizona climate doesnít hurt, either.
Rackers made a surprisingly high 47 extra points last season, an increase of 15 from the previous year. Rackers' field-goal accuracy (21- of-30 last season) keeps him from being an elite fantasy kicker, as his nine misses caused his point total to drop to 17th in the league. Rackers has had consecutive years of nine misses, and four of five years kicking no better than 75 percent. Most of those misses, though have come from long range. After connecting on 11- of-16 field goals from 50-plus yards in 2004-05, Rackers has made just 4-of-16 the last two years from that range. Rackers has two potential bad weather games late in the year. After eight years in the league, Rackers probably won't see his long-range accuracy improve significantly, but if the Cardinals are as prolific offensively in coach Ken Whisenhunt's second year, Rackers should again be a useful fantasy kicker.
Rackers has been a star the last two seasons, scoring 265 points during that time. However, Rackers was just 1-of-7 from 50-plus in 2006 after going 11-of-16 the previous two years. New coach Ken Whisenhunt has weapons in the emerging Matt Leinart at quarterback and the trio of Edgerrin James, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. With these pieces, the Cardinals could have one of the more improved offenses in the league. That could mean more touchdowns and fewer field goal attempts for Rackers, but given his recent history, heís still worth drafting.
Itís hard to ignore his 44 FGA, 140 points and accuracy from beyond the 50 in 2005 (6-of-7). But donít forget Rackers was a less than ordinary kicker before that, converting just 69.4 percent of his attempts. We like the addition of Edgerrin James and think that will help the offense improve. Probably to the point where some of those drives yielding FGAs turn into TDs. The Cardinalsí 45 FGA in 2005 sat far to the end of the bell curve. Expect a decrease in field goals, but more extra points.
Rackers manages to hold a full-time job despite kicking less than 70 percent for his career. To be fair, heís connected on 78 percent (46-for-59) the last three years, but thatís still not in an NFL coachís comfort range. Heís also missed 12 kicks in his career between 30 and 39 yards (22-for-34, 64.7 percent). Rackers returns as the Cardinals kicker in 2005 mostly on the strength of his 23 touchbacks on kickoffs. Marked improvement from the teamís 29 offensive touchdowns and 26th-ranked scoring offense last season isnít expected.
Rackers has nothing in front of him but will have to improve his mid-range field goal percentage. He may benefit from the new regime's offensive thinking but it would be a shock to see him in the top half of the league.
Rackers finally improved his accuracy in 2002, hitting 83.3 percent, but only had 18 field-goal attempts. In three seasons with the Bengals, Rackers has hit 65.7 percent and averaged just 22 attempts per season. The offense figures to struggle again in 2003, which will limit his scoring opportunities. Rackers needs more than 18 kicks at better than 80 percent to recommend him as a fantasy kicker.