Just for Kicks: A Punting Fantasy Week 1

Game of the Week:

Top scorer this week goes to Donnie Jones of the Eagles. His line score from the game:

6 38.3 5 4 1 16

Donnie made the most of his middling offense by dropping 3 of his first 4 punts inside the 20. However, 4 of Donnie’s 6 punts came in the first half and once the Eagles started making adjustments they only provided 2 more puntortunities the rest of the game. If Chip Kelly gets his offense rolling, expect Donnie’s points to decline with them.

Brian Anger however earned his second overall selection in our draft. Lets take a look at Jacksonville’s offense from the second quarter on:

13:01 2 01:54 PHI 40 4 8 Missed FG
10:07 2 05:31 JAX 20 12 62 BLOCKED FG
00:50 2 00:22 JAX 9 3 6 Punt
11:44 3 02:15 JAX 14 3 7 Punt
07:19 3 00:22 JAX 20 3 0 Punt
05:37 3 00:28 JAX 19 3 0 Punt
03:18 3 03:13 JAX 15 8 25 Punt
10:55 4 03:45 JAX 20 8 34 Punt
06:59 4 01:03 JAX 20 4 9 Downs
01:57 4 00:34 JAX 20 2 -3 Fumble
01:23 4 0 1:23 JAX 13 5 46 End of Game

That’s 13 yards on 4 possessions ending the second and starting the third quarter. Jacksonville couldn't even get their team down the field far enough to provide inside the 20 opportunities for Anger. I expect Anger to remain a good volume play the rest of the season when you have someone like Chad Henne being asked to throw the ball and run an offense.

Other highlights from week 1:

Marquette King (hereafter known as the Minority Report) put together a strong volume game. Drive summary from the game:

09:16 1 02:46 OAK 20 3 9 Punt
06:00 1 03:17 NYJ 28 6 28 Touchdown
11:04 2 03:49 OAK 4 8 47 Punt
05:51 2 01:20 OAK 41 3 5 Punt
00:30 2 00:30 OAK 13 1 -1 End of Half
15:00 3 02:07 OAK 41 3 -15 Punt
09:06 3 01:42 OAK 13 3 -8 Punt
02:38 3 02:09 OAK 20 4 15 Punt
02:39 4 01:18 OAK 27 6 73 Touchdown

Seriously Raiders? The 73 yd touchdown at the end came with Jets up two scores with approximately 2 minutes to go. At the time the Jets had assumed the type of please-god-don’t-let-us-lose-this-game porous defense which has long been the hallmark of NFL games. Starting off the quarter with two straight negative net yard drives? Oakland, you are everything I ever wanted in a punting league. The Minority Report lives up to his first overall selection in our draft.

Brandon Fields:
Poor game from the Miami punter. Only two punts all game. Closer inspection reveals a fumble-interception-fumble run in the first and second quarter drives that killed some of his puntortunities. In fact, Field’s first puntortunity on the field was in the 4th quarter with the game clearly in the Dolphins favor. I expect Fields to have some bounce-back performances in the coming weeks.

Grass Advantage?
I know what you are thinking, both Seattle and Denver turned in punting duds. This is actually to note 7 of the top 10 punters in scoring this week did so on natural grass. The only 3 who didn't were Anger and Jones (@Phi) and Andy Lee (@Dal). This fact may prove to be useful in future match-ups as weather gets colder, or it might be a anomaly, future weeks will tell us more. .

Injury Report:
The sexiest man in punting has sustained an injury! This is bad for two reasons. First its going to be harder to explain to your female friends why you are drooling over punters. The man has a body that makes Brad Pitt in Fight Club look doughy. Second, he was actually a really good punter. Weatherford would have been a top 5 scorer in all of fantasy punting last year with a great mix of volume and efficiency. He hasn't been ruled out for Sunday, but the Giants have always been less than forthcoming with injury news about their players. I expect him to not play.

Proper Tackling Technique

The kick heard ‘round the world

Punters everywhere take note of the proper tackling technique. Keep your body low, in a stance normally reserved for a chair on a beach, and wait for the returner to kick you in the face.

I want it noted the only reason Lanning got kicked is because Brown thought Lanning was actually going to lunge at him in a football type attempt to slow down his progress or, god willing, tackle him. Always great to see punters on the national stage.

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