Name: Garrett Hartley
Team: New Orleans Saints
Years Pro: 5
Draft stock: (Rising) Considering the excitement in New Orleans over Sean Payton‘s return, it’s safe to say that fantasy football owners have quite a bit of faith in the Saints’ starting kicker. In fact, Hartley has had no injury issues this offseason and looks primed to be a top-notch fantasy option here in 2013.
2012 fantasy impact: It was a strange year for Hartley last year as he nailed home 57 extra-point field goals — second best in the NFL — and still wasn’t considered a top fantasy kicker. Despite a hefty leg, Hartley only notched 18 made field goals last season, which isn’t what you want from your starting kicker. It wasn’t like Hartley was missing a ton of kicks as he was 18/22, but the opportunities rarely came about.
Best-case scenario: Payton’s return to N.O. gives the offense an added spark, which helps Hartley return to being a top-five kicker. In addition to numerous extra-point chances, Hartley also nails home more than 22 field goals this season.
Worst-case scenario: Hartley is mediocre once again as he fails to attempt more than 20 field goals due to the Saints’ high-powered offense.
Where you should draft him: I haven’t drafted a kicker prior to the 15th round in all of the years that I’ve played fantasy football. Hartley has some potential, but don’t be foolish and take him in the 12th round or something like that.