New PAT rules may change fantasy football strategy

If you haven’t heard yet, the NFL has changed the extra point rule in the NFL. With the feeling that the PAT kick attempt of 17-yards was automatic, the NFL will give teams the option to kick from the 15-yard line (32-yard kick) for one point or go for two points at the opponent’s 2-yard line (no rule change).

According to ESPN, “The conversion rate for 33-yard field goals over the past five seasons is 92.8 percent (154-of-166).” Factor in some bad weather, and that kick may not be as point-blank as it appears.

Check out field goal success by temperature and then by temperature and distance and wind speed according to Advanced Football Analytics’ Brian Burke.FGaccuracybytemperature-1FGSuccessbywind

How will this affect fantasy football? Kickers will likely be kicking extra points less due to bad weather or even team strategy. This means your team’s kicker should be picked based on what you know about where his team’s games are played and who coaches his team. For example, a kicker like Mason Crosby for the Packers may not get PAT opportunities in the Tundra; the team would likely go for two points with a higher reward for the arguably lower risk.

I would put more value on these kickers because of their indoor stadiums AND schedules down the stretch in fair weather situations (starting the week of Thanksgiving):

  • Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
  • Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona Cardinals
  • Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
  • Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
  • Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins
  • Dustin Hopkins, New Orleans Saints

I would put less value on these kickers, but that’s value, meaning I would just draft them later than you may have them right now due to outdoor stadiums AND likely bad weather conditions:

  • Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
  • Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
  • Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
  • Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
  • Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers
  • Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks

If the temperature is falling and wind is blowing, your team is going to go for two points more often. There are plenty of players to take a look at for your two-point conversion needs, but these are just suggestions that will definitely benefit from unfavorable weather and gain a few more points. I won’t be listing any running backs or wide receivers to target less, because these players will not be losing any points in comparison to kickers.

I would put more value on these run-power running backs:

  • Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
  • Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
  • Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
  • DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

I would put more value on these big target wide receivers and tight ends:

  • Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
  • Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
  • Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
  • A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Scott Chandler, New England Patriots

Remember, the bottom line is that I wrote this article because some people will lose their matchup by a few points, and making decisions like this could pay off. These are not going to win or lose your seasons, but it’s important to understand all of the factors that going into constructing a fantasy lineup, especially new strategies like this one.


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