Complete Week 18 Projections

Position: ALL | QB | RB | WR | TE | D/ST | K | FLEX
1. Stephen Gostkowski, NE KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics18/209/132/229/3566/66160
2013 Projections18/209/122/329/3563/63157
2013 Outlook: Gostkowski is our No. 1 bootsman because he gets an acceptable number of field goal attempts, and an extraordinary number of extra points. Since '06, he's been top-five in extra-point attempts in four of six seasons, including '12 when he bested every other NFL kicker by nine. The Patriots offense should continue to number among the league's best, and Gostkowski was an impressive 11-for-15 on kicks 40 yards or longer. But he gets you two-plus fantasy points more than the average kicker each week from extra points alone, and those are points you can put in the bank.
2. Blair Walsh, Min KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics18/197/910/1035/3836/36165
2013 Projections17/1911/126/734/3836/36157
2013 Outlook: As a rookie in '12, Walsh set an NFL record by drilling 10-of-10 kicks from 50-plus yards. His home-dome kicking environment is ideal, the Vikings offense is just stagnant enough to bog down in opponents' territory, and Walsh is obviously the possessor of one hell of a leg. Does an above-average number of long-distance attempts tend to recur from season to season? For Sebastian Janikowski (another consistent long-distance artist) it has, and that gives Walsh added appeal in fantasy leagues.
3. Matt Bryant, Atl KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics19/2110/134/433/3844/44156
2013 Projections19/208/104/531/3545/45150
2013 Outlook: Bryant doesn't have the long-distance cannon many other top NFL kickers do, but in his three seasons as the Falcons' full-time bootsman, he's made 88 of 98 attempts (89.8 percent), the best percentage of anyone with at least 40 attempts in that span. He's also drilled all 133 of his extra-point attempts with Atlanta, and that total is third-most in the NFL. Best of all, we like kickers from high-octane offenses, and with Steven Jackson around to complement the Falcons' other great weapons, this offense is high-octane, indeed.
4. Justin Tucker, Bal KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics16/1610/134/430/3342/42147
2013 Projections15/1612/143/330/3343/43148
2013 Outlook: Not only did Tucker post a sweet fantasy season as a rookie in '12; he also erased painful memories of Billy Cundiff's '11 playoff shank-a-roo that potentially cost the Ravens a Super Bowl berth. In his own signature playoff moment, Tucker sent Baltimore into the AFC Championship with a 47-yard make in overtime against the Broncos. There's little reason to believe the Ravens offense will regress this season, meaning attempts should be plentiful once again for Tucker. His big leg and the ice water in his veins make him a no-brainer fantasy starter.
5. Matt Prater, Den KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics18/195/93/426/3255/55138
2013 Projections18/194/84/526/3260/60144
2013 Outlook: Prater's career mark on field-goal attempts of 50-plus yards is 15-of-20 or 75 percent, which is the best in NFL history. Certainly, some of the credit goes to Denver's mile-high thin air, but you still have to kick the dang thing straight. Prater has booted at least one 50-plus-yarder in all five of his seasons as the Broncos' starter, and has two 59-yarders to his credit (unsurprisingly, both were kicked at home). And let's face it: When you're Peyton Manning's bootsman, you're apt to find yourself with a whole mess of attempts.
6. Phil Dawson, SF KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics16/186/67/729/3129/29134
2013 Projections18/207/104/429/3447/47144
2013 Outlook: Dawson had spent his entire 14-year career lost in a mostly mediocre Browns offense, but now he moves to San Francisco at the same time as the Colin Kaepernick Era truly begins. Dawson converted a league-high 93.5 percent of his field-goal attempts in '12, which should be a refreshing change for a 49ers squad that was saddled with David Akers' 69 percent conversion rate last season. The Niners actually provided Akers with a league-high 42 attempts last year; if great percentage meets elite attempts, Dawson will be a fantasy star.
7. Randy Bullock, Hou KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics0/00/00/00/00/00
2013 Projections18/196/84/628/3348/48141
2013 Outlook: The Texans used a fifth-round pick on Bullock in '12 draft, but he tore a groin muscle in training camp and was lost for the season. In his place, Shayne Graham rode his typical short-range accuracy to a sterling fantasy season, but Houston believes Bullock will give them another dimension. He made 29-of-33 field goal attempts as a senior at Texas A&M, and is regarded as having a long-distance mortar for a right leg. The Texans should continue their high-scoring waysthey've been in the NFL's top third in points scored for four straight yearsand Bullock should thrive.
8. Josh Brown, NYG KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics7/73/31/211/128/845
2013 Projections21/246/82/329/3546/46137
2013 Outlook: The Giants decided six years of Lawrence Tynes was enough (or that Tynes' contract demands were too steep) and so they've moved on to Brown, who spent nine years laboring for the Seahawks and Rams, then subbed in for the Bengals last December. Once considered a big leg, Brown's long-distance attempts and conversion rate dipped over the past few seasons, but with New York he should see a spike in his overall weekly volume: Tynes finished third in field-goal attempts in '12. Make sure Brown beats out David Buehler; if he does, he's likely a fantasy starter.
9. Sebastian Janikowski, Oak KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics20/205/56/931/3425/25132
2013 Projections17/177/87/931/3426/26137
2013 Outlook: Here's a crazy stat: Janikowski has 17 career field-goal attempts of 57 yards or more. The next-highest total in NFL history is five! Suffice it to say that the Polish Cannon has one massive leg, and if you're in a fantasy league that gives big points for longer attempts, he's on your radar screen. Alas, there are weeks where the pedestrian Raiders offense can limit SeaBass' upside: He went from Week 9 to Week 14 last year never breaking double-digit points. We're concerned Matt Flynn won't rescue Oakland's offense, which is what prevents us from considering Janikowski a top-five option.
10. David Akers, Det KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics20/237/132/629/4244/44129
2013 Projections14/168/114/526/3246/46134
2013 Outlook: Want proof that fantasy kickers are very close to random? Take the curious case of David Akers. In '11, he dominated his position to the tune of 44 made field goals and an impressive 7-for-9 performance on 50-plus-yard attempts. In '12, he nearly got himself cut before the 49ers' playoff run, converting just 69 percent of his attempts. Now Akers replaces Jason Hanson in Detroit, meaning he gets to play his home games in a dome, and he's got the NFL's pass-heaviest offense behind him. The potential is huge, but so is the worry that last season will recur.
11. Dan Bailey, Dal KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics19/197/73/529/3137/37135
2013 Projections18/199/102/429/3338/38134
2013 Outlook: Bailey had a stellar '12, converting 29 of 31 field-goal attempts, including all 26 of his tries inside 50 yards. In two seasons as an NFL kicker, Bailey has been stupendous at everything except converting the long ones: His biggest made field goal is 51 yards. But his 68 attempts over those two years ties Stephen Gostkowski for third-most among all bootsmen. The Cowboys offense does lay the occasional egg, but the truth is that Bailey was very consistent last year, avoiding fantasy-killing troughs while providing some nice high spots.
12. Greg Zuerlein, StL KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics9/117/77/1323/3126/26108
2013 Projections12/138/96/726/2935/35130
2013 Outlook: For a while during his rookie season, "Greg The Leg" (or "Legatron," if you prefer) was the best thing the Rams had going for them. He became the first man to make two kicks of 58 yards or longer in a single game, blasting one 58 and another 60. He also made the first 14 kicks of his pro career. Alas, Zuerlein missed half his final 16 attempts and wound up with the third-worst conversion rate among full-time bootsmen. Still, you're allowed to be excited by this kid; if the St. Louis offense makes strides, he'll produce some bombs.
13. Steven Hauschka, Sea KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics18/185/51/424/2746/48122
2013 Projections17/186/71/424/2953/53128
2013 Outlook: Hauschka has been steady in his two years with the Seahawks, and now finds himself on the ground floor of a real growth opportunity. Russell Wilson has lit a fire under the Seattle offense, and now Percy Harvin is around to fan the flames, so scoring opportunities will be there for the 'Hawks. Don't mistake Hauschka for a big-legged son of a gun: He's 4-for-10 from 50-plus yards in his career. But a lot of short attempts and a whole lot of extra points could be in the offing.
14. Garrett Hartley, FA KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics13/152/33/418/2257/57115
2013 Projections14/164/53/421/2558/58127
2013 Outlook: Can an offense be too efficient? For Hartley's fantasy owners, that was the case in '12, as the Saints served Hartley up a grandiose 57 extra points (second-most in the NFL) but only 22 field-goal attempts (fewest among all kickers who played 16 games). The good news is that Hartley finally made it through a full season without injury or suspension. The bad news is that despite the potential Sean Payton sees in him, Hartley is still a player who's converted just 84.5 percent of his career attempts. We're approaching him with caution this season.
15. Robbie Gould, Chi KYEAR1-3940-4950+TOTXPPTS
2012 Statistics12/147/92/221/2533/33103
2013 Projections14/157/104/525/3040/40125
2013 Outlook: Gould hasn't made more than 28 field goals in a season since '07, neutralizing the benefits of his vaunted accuracy. There's hope that Marc Trestman will turn around the Bears offense, and that Jay Cutler will lead an above-average NFL attack. That could lead Gould to the kind of strong campaign he had back in Chicago's '06 Super Bowl heyday. But there are still enough questions and moving parts that we're casting our lot elsewhere in a standard-sized league. Gould is best suited to be a bye-week acquisition.