Punter Rankings - Week 1
The epic punter battle is over, and young gun Marquette King has emerged victorious over savvy, outspoken veteran Chris Kluwe. Given the questionable state of the Raiders’ offense, it’s a good bet that the big-legged King will be very busy – and highly productive – in his debut season as the punter for the Silver and Black. Meanwhile, by helping King throughout training camp and the preseason, it’s quite possible that Kluwe has planted the seeds for a future career as a coach.
Out in New England, the Patriots pulled off a bit of a surprise move by dropping 2010 draft pick Zoltan Mesko in favor of undrafted rookie free agent Ryan Allen. Allen led the NCAA in punting yards per punt in 2012 and was a unanimous All-American. Even more impressive, he became the first punter to ever win back-to-back Ray Guy Awards. The Patriots’ offense should still be quite formidable, so excitement about Allen’s fantasy potential must be tempered, but there’s a good chance his skill will translate to average fantasy value even if his opportunities are suppressed.
Soon after Mesko was cut by the Pats, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked him up and inserted him as their starter in place of incumbent Drew Butler. There are a lot of unknowns with the Steelers’ offense, as they’ll be embarking on life without Mike Wallace while awaiting the debut of Le’Veon Bell, and Mesko could find himself quite busy in the season’s early going.