The veteran kicker was added by the Giants in training camp to compete with Aldrick Rosas. The 35-year-old Nugent owns an 80.8 percent career accuracy rate on field-goal attempts across 13 seasons with the Jets, Buccaneers, Cardinals and Bengals, but he saw his performance slip a bit in 2017. In particular, Nugent missed six of his 29 extra-point attempts.
While Nugent has been a serviceable kicker during his time in Cincinnati, he's never been overly accurate, hitting more than 83 percent of his field-goal attempts just once (2011) in the last six seasons. The Bengals' offense also hasn't had much of an effect on Nugent's fantasy value, as the team's kicker production finished 15th last year, 16th the year before and 23rd in 2013 despite the overall scoring coming in at seventh, 15th and seventh, respectively, over that span. So, while Nugent has been good enough to keep his job – his contract is up at the end of this season – his struggles with accuracy make him a fairly uninteresting option in many fantasy formats.
Nugent is usually not much of a fantasy producer, as he has the tough combination of not being terribly accurate (less than 83 percent four of the last five years) and not being all that good from distance (5-of-13 from 50-plus yards over that span). He missed all three attempts from 50-plus last season, and his 78.8 percent conversion rate was his lowest since joining the Bengals in 2010. Cincinnati also ranked in the top 10 in red-zone touchdown efficiency last season, which kept Nugent on the sideline so often that he had only six attempts from inside 30 yards. Nugent finished 15th in scoring last season, and that was with the second-most points of his career.
Behind a Bengals offense that was outperformed in the red zone only by the Broncos, Nugent wound up with 52 PATs in 2013, by far the largest total of his career. Unfortunately, it came at the cost of fewer field goals, as Nugent’s 22 attempts ranked last among kickers who logged 16 games. The Bengals should remain strong in the red zone so long as A.J. Green is around, but some regression in their touchdown rate is inevitable, aiding Nugent’s cause. Even so, Nugent has ranked below the league average in field-goal percentage in seven of his last nine seasons, and playing his final four games in cold-weather climates will make it difficult to reverse that trend.
Nugent was on track for another stellar campaign before a calf injury cost him the final four games. Combining Nugent's 92 points with replacement Josh Brown's 41, the 133 points allowed the Bengals to finish in the top-10 in kicker scoring for the second straight season. Despite missing the four games, Nugent's PAT totals from 2012 actually surpassed those from 2011, illustrating the positive strides made by offensive cornerstones Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in Year 2. Things should only improve this year, likely allowing Nugent to retain his high scoring without having to be overly dependent on field-goal attempts, which tend to fluctuate. Kicking in AFC North climates remains less than ideal, but Nugent has held up well so far – 83.7 percent in three years with the Bengals.
Nugent might have been the biggest fantasy surprise among kickers last season as he finished seventh in scoring with 132 points. Nugent lived off an offense that couldn't sustain drives. Not only did the Bengals rank 26th in red-zone touchdown efficiency at 45.1 percent, but they made Nugent the league-leader in the 40-49-yard range as he hit 14-of-16. That could change this season, however, as Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have a full year under their belts. Additionally, Nugent's long was just 49 yards last year, further dimming his luster. A marginally improved offense this season could reduce Nugent's overall production.
In nine games last season with the Bengals before a season-ending knee injury, Nugent was a decent 15-of-19 on field goals and scored 62 points. However, Nugent was just 3-of-7 from beyond 40 yards last season and is just 4-of-11 from beyond 40 yards the last two seasons. Couple this with the uncertain future of Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, the declining production of Cedric Benson and major questions at wide receiver and the Bengals offense could suffer a major drop from what was already an average unit at best. While the Bengals addressed needs in the draft with wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton, the thought of two rookies starting cannot give fantasy owners hope that this will translate into production for Nugent this season.
While the AFC North-champion Bengals
showed great improvement as a team in 2009,
the offense still struggled, resulting in just 97
kicker points. Long time Bengals kicker Shayne
Graham is a free agent at press time, so
Cincinnati likely will have a new kicker for the
first time since 2003. Nugent kicked for both
the Bucs and Cardinals in 2009 and made just
4-of-8 field goals, while Rayner was released by
Washington early in the season and did not
have any attempts.
Nugent should have the edge as he's the
more accurate kicker and has the stronger leg
- he made nine field goals from beyond 50
yards in three years as the full-time Jets kicker.
For either kicker to make a fantasy impact,
though, the team will need to increase both its
touchdowns and field-goal attempts. With nine
games this season against teams that were in
the top-11 in scoring defense, that appears
The Buccaneers brought in Nugent to compete with Matt Bryant for the team's kicking job. Nugent was 29-of-36 in 2007, (6-of-8 from 40-49), before missing most of last season in New York with a thigh injury. Bryant put up some good numbers with the team last year, but fewer red-zone trips might be expected this season for Tampa Bay, as the candidates to replace the departed Jeff Garcia include the likes of Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich and rookie Josh Freeman. The team, however, signed Derrick Ward to revamp the running game.
Nugent was one of the better offensive players
the Jets had last season. The team scored a
meager 26 touchdowns, while Nugent made 29
field goals. Whether it's Chad Pennington or
Kellen Clemens, the Jets offense probably can't
get much worse, so we see a slight increase in
touchdowns and fewer field goal attempts, which
will keep Nugent from being anything more than
a free agent pickup at best.
Nugent had an excellent second season, hitting 24-of-27 field goal attempts and doing a solid job on kickoffs. He'll probably never justify when the Jets drafted him back in 2005, but that doesn't mean he can't be a good fantasy pick - in the final round please - for you. The Jets don't have an elite offense by any means, but they can support a fantasy kicker just fine.
He was shaky in the first month of 2005, but the rookie placekicker finished with a nice kick, making 18 of his last 21 field goal attempts (and two of the misses were from over 50 yards). The main things that work against Nugent's fantasy value: he's tied to a mediocre offense, and he'll be working in the New Jersey wind tunnel for half of the schedule. Nugent's Week 10-14 stretch is no picnic either, with the Jets facing five straight games that could be weather affected (three at home, and trips to New England and Green Bay).
Nugent was the highest-rated kicker in the 2005 draft after setting an NCAA record for field goal percentage (81.8 percent, 72-of-88) at Ohio State. He was 24-of-27 in his senior season and connected on five field goals of at least 50 yards. The Jets have been pretty good at getting their kickers opportunities. The team has surpassed 100 kicking points in four consecutive seasons.