2013 fantasy football profiles and projections (Ks 1-12)

Statistical projections are provided by EA Sports/NFL.com

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2012 was another successful season for Gostkowski. The Patriots kicker ended the year as fantasy's second-highest scorer at the position -- marking the third time in the past four seasons that he has finished in the top five. As long as New England's offense remains potent, Gostkowski should remain a fantasy favorite at the kicker spot.

2012 was a banner year for Bryant, who set a career-high in points scored while tying a career-high in field goals made. It was good enough for him to be the third-highest scorer at his position last season. The veteran from Baylor will turn 38 in the offseason, but age is rarely an issue for kickers...especially ones that work indoors. The Falcons offense should be just as explosive in 2013 as it was in 2012, so there's plenty to like with this Dirty Bird.

Prater can count himself among the many whose fantasy value was boosted by Peyton Manning's addition to the roster. The veteran from Central Florida failed to crack the top 25 at his position in 2010 and 2011 yet rebounded to be the seventh-highest scoring fantasy kicker in 2012. With Denver's offense expected to avoid any major changes, there's little reason to believe Prater can't once again be a top 10 fantasy option in 2013.

It was one heck of an intro for the Vikings rookie. Walsh was as consistent as they come, connecting on 35 field goals (a league-high) in 38 attempts. Most impressive was Walsh's gaudy number from 50 yards and beyond, nailing 10-of-10 from long range. Duplicating that in 2013 is a tall order. Walsh should be one of the first kickers off the board, but don't expect him to put together an identical season.

It was a heck of a rookie campaign from Tucker. He was among the league's most accurate kickers and showed off his leg with a long of 56. More importantly, he finished with the sixth-most fantasy points at the position and there's little reason to believe he can't replicate the feat again in 2013.

Brown took over kicking duties for the Bengals after Mike Nugent went on injured reserve late in the season. The veteran had one of his most accurate seasons, converting on 11 of 12 field goal attempts -- his only miss came from beyond 50 yards. He now takes over for Lawrence Tynes in New York, working behind an offense that was among the highest-scoring in the league last season. That should make for plenty of kicking opportunities for Brown. As long as he can navigate the often-unfriendly winds at the Meadowlands, he will be a fantasy commodity.

Bullock will have his mettle tested as an NFL kicker for the first time in 2013. Now that Shayne Graham has found his way to Cleveland, the Texans will give the second-year booter a shot. For Bullock, it's a solid opportunity -- at least on the surface. Houston finished in the top 10 in scoring last season, so the chances will be there. Now it's a matter of accuracy and distance.

Last season was a high-water mark for Dawson, landing in the top 15 for the first time since 2008. Now he heads to San Francisco after spending his entire 14-year career with the Cleveland Browns. He's 38 years old and will be kicking in a stadium that is notoriously hard on kickers. Another top 15 finish would be quite an accomplishment for the veteran.

Two seasons, two top-11 finishes for Bailey, who has already established himself as a reliable option. He doesn't have the biggest leg (his career long is 51), but last season he was automatic from inside of 50 yards. Working behind a high-powered Cowboys offense, Bailey should have plenty of opportunities in 2013 and could once again sniff the top 10.

Akers was as good as a kicker could be in 2011. In 2012? No so much. The veteran struggled, making just 69 percent of his attempts, and found himself being challenged in practice by Billy Cundiff. Akers now moves to Detroit, ostensibly to take over for the retired Jason Hanson. He'll have competition from YouTube sensation Havard Rugland, but Akers should figure to have the inside track.

Hauschka snuck into the top 15 at his position for the first time in his career in 2012 and if the Seahawks' offensive additions are any indication, the veteran kicker could continue to be on the upswing. He hit a high-water mark in accuracy last season, which is promising. However, Hauschka has never been known for distance, having made just four of 10 attempts from beyond 50 yards. It's likely he won't come off the board in some leagues, but he does have value as a bye week replacement.

The 2012 campaign was a struggle for Crosby. The veteran made just 63.6 percent of his kicks, laboring the most from 40 yards and beyond. Don't look for the Packers offense to slow down much in 2013, which means Crosby will have plenty of chances to produce. But after his difficulties last season, it's hard to trust him as anything more than a borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy kicker in 2013.

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