The next name on the list of the top 25 New York Jets may raise a few eyebrows, but there should be no doubt that kicker Nick Folk is deserving of this spot. Folk had the best season of his career last year and was a vital part of quite a few of the Jets’ wins, and the team rewarded his performance with a 4-year, $12 million contract.
Positional value limits just how high it is reasonable to rank Folk, but you can make a fairly strong argument that only Muhammad Wilkerson is better at what he does on this team. Folk made 33 of 36 field goals, including three game winners, as well as all 27 of his extra points. Folk was also 3-3 from 50+ yards, a big asset for a team that struggled to move the ball as much as the Jets did. Without Folk, it is safe to say the Jets would not have been able to win eight games.
Fantasy football has perpetuated the myth that kickers are all the same or not that important, but the truth is they are often vital to a team’s success throughout the season. Although they may not hold the same value as a star player at other positions, games are often won and lost by one swing of the foot. Having a reliable kicker like Folk takes a lot of pressure off the offense, and it’s even more important on team like the Jets, who like to grind out low scoring, close football games.
Some may argue that no kicker deserves to be discussed as one of his team’s best players, but the simple fact is the Jets have very few players who are better at what they do than Folk. Positional value drops him to No. 12 on our rankings, but one could easily argue he deserves to be even higher.
Previously: No. 25 Bilal Powell, No. 24 Kenrick Ellis, No. 23 Geno Smith, No. 22 Dawan Landry, No. 21 Jeff Cumberland, No. 20 Antonio Allen, No. 19 Quinton Coples, No. 18 Calvin Pryor, No. 17 Michael Vick, No. 16 Willie Colon, No. 15 Dee Milliner, No. 14 Calvin Pace, No. 13 Breno Giacomini