I decided the top end and the bottom end between kickers wasn’t enough, so I decided to tweak kicker scoring in my experimental league (it’s a free league for my friends at work, 12 teams, ppr, redraft). Here is what I am trying this season:
Fields goals under 30 yards: 3 points
30-39 yards: 4 points
40-49 yards: 6 points
50+ yards: 7 points
FG’s missed 0-49 yards: -3 points
XP’s: 3 points
XP’s missed: -3 points
For the 2021 season, this would have made Matt Gay the top kicker with 286 points scored (16.8 ppg). The 16th best kicker was Brandon McManus with 221 points (13 ppg). The 20th best kicker was Jason Saunders with 195 points (11.4 ppg).
Checking for side effects, I noticed only one TE outscored all the kickers (Mark Andrews). But the elite TE’s make themselves valuable, and the drop-off is a severe penalty for those who delay drafting TE too long (Andrews was worth 17.7 ppg, while 16th best Tyler Conklin was worth 8.1 ppg). Whether it is a big enough penalty to outweigh top QB’s/RB’s/WR’s is another discussion. But if you wait too long for a TE, it suddenly makes sense to draft a top kicker, if you can predict him.
I might be concerned with WR’s (Stefon Diggs was outscored by Matt Gay), except my league and most leagues typically start 2+ WR’s and only one kicker (if any). Two decent WR’s will quickly bury any advantage a good kicker gives you.
RB’s are a minor concern. RB4 Joe Mixon is the lowest RB to outscore kickers, but I am also moving to an “RB light” roster, with only one starting RB, one flex, and one superflex, so the opportunity to start RB’s is lowered, thereby reducing RB impact on overall scoring. Elite RB’s will still be more valuable, but lesser RB’s will be competing with top WR’s more for flex positions, as it should be.
Because of the superflex, QB’s haven’t changed in value. They don’t reach kicker range until QB12, Ryan Tannehill. Two good QB’s will easily beat one elite kicker.
I haven’t tweaked defenses in this league yet. Maybe next year. Toying with going to a limited IDP, but I’ll wait. It’s an experimental league, so one year at a time.