Players acquired by new teams:
Steven Hauschka (signed by Buf from Sea) – Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bills are signing the former Seahawk Haushcka to a four-year deal worth $12M.
Fantasy Analysis: Kicker news! After Buffalo let Dan Carpenter walk, the Bills’ elected to make Hauschka the sixth-richest kicker (in terms of total value) in the NFL. Hauschka is going to a less potent offense, but he drilled 89% of his field goal attempts while in Seattle. That is a much stronger rate than Carpenter’s 86.5% field goal rate in his four-year stint with the Bills. As a team, the Bills have attempted 52 field goals over the past two years compared to Seattle’s 68. This is a solid get for the Bills, but Hauschka will be a mid-range fantasy kicker in blustery Buffalo.
Phil Dawson (signed by Ari from SF) – The Cardinals have agreed to terms with the veteran kicker, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Fantasy Analysis: The Cardinals wanted no more of Chandler Catanzaro, who struggled in 2016. Dawson just turned 42, but he’s been a damn good kicker for a long time (he was actually a Cleveland Brown before Tim Couch, if you want to know how long he’s been around). Over the last two seasons, Dawson has drilled 42-of-48 FGs, and now he gets to kick in ideal conditions while staying in the NFC West. And with Arizona, he gets a better chance to win than in San Francisco.
Nick Folk (signed by TB from NYJ) – The Bucs and Folk and agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract with $750,000 guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan.
Fantasy Analysis: What an interesting move for the Buccaneers to make to bring in competition for 2016 2nd-round pick Roberto Aguayo. Folk is coming off a pretty strong season, connecting on 87.1% of his kicks (27 of 31) in 16 games with the Jets. Meanwhile, Aguayo hit on just 70.9% of his kicks (22 of 31) as a rookie, a major disappointment for the investment the Bucs made in him. Aguayo actually has less guaranteed money left on his contract ($428,000) than Folk, which suggests this will be a completely wide-open competition in training camp. If Folk can win the job, he could be a fringe weekly option with the Buccaneers offense on the rise with the signing of speedster DeSean Jackson at WR.
Robbie Gould (signed by SF from NYG) – Gould gets a two-year deal to go to the 49ers, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Analysis: The Niners needed a kicker to replace Phil Dawson, who went to rival Arizona. Despite Gould being 35, the Niners actually got significantly younger at the position. Though he struggled with the Bears early in 2016, Gould was stellar when the Giants brought him in following the Josh Brown fiasco, making every FG he attempted.
Chandler Catanzaro (signed by NYJ from Ari) – The Jets announced they have signed “The Cat Man” to a contract, days after the Cardinals declined to tender him.
Fantasy Analysis: Nick Folk was pretty effective for the Jets last year, nailing 27/31 FGs (87.1%), but he made a ton of money and the Jets ostensibly wanted to go cheaper and younger at the position. Catanzaro struggled in Arizona last year, making just 21/28 FGs (75%) and missing 4 XPs, but he’s just 26 and his track record in his first two seasons is far better than that. His biggest issue is that he’s missed 9 XPs in two seasons with the new distance. Fortunately for him, the Jets likely won’t score many TDs.
Greg Zuerlein (LAR) – The Rams and Zuerlein agreed to a three-year contract worth $6.75 million, according to the NFL Network.
Fantasy Analysis: Greg the Leg bounced back from a tough season in 2015 – he hit just 66.7% of his kicks (20 of 30) – by hitting 86.4% of his kicks (19 of 22) in 2016. Of course, the ineptitude of the Rams offense kept him from being anywhere close to relevant. We don’t think much will change this year with the Rams likely to be among the lowest-scoring teams once again. Zuerlein has also converted just 79.4% of his kicks over his career, so he’s never been a reliable fantasy kicker.
Players re-signed by their 2016 teams:
Nick Novak (Hou) – The Texans are re-signing Novak, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
Fantasy Analysis: Because the Texans’ QB play was so awful last year, Novak’s FG kicking was an important part of their scoring. With 35/41 kicking, he tied Caleb Sturgis for 2nd in the NFL in field goals made, but his 22 XPs were by far the fewest among any decent fantasy kicker. Nonetheless, he finished 8th among PKs with 8.7 FPG, and if the Texans improve at the QB position, he will be a solid fantasy option once again.
Connor Barth (Chi) – The Bears are re-signing Barth to a one-year deal that includes $155,000 in guaranteed money.
Fantasy Analysis: Barth was by no means fantastic in 2016 -- his 78.3% field goal percentage ranked 28th out of 33 qualified kickers -- but Chicago is sticking with him after he beat out long-time Bear Robbie Gould in camp last year. Chicago will likely bring in another kicker this offseason to compete with Barth. Whomever kicks for the Bears in 2017 will be low on the fantasy radar.