The Bills made a simple statement about whatever concerns they might have over the way Carpenter struggled last season. They signed Marshall Morgan, an undrafted free agent from Georgia, to compete with him in training camp. This after Carpenter had major problems adjusting to the extra-point distance being extended from 20 to 33 yards. His six PAT misses were the second-most in the NFL. Carpenter also missed four of 27 field-goal attempts. It's not that Carpenter is incapable. In 2014, Carpenter made 34 of 38 field goals and 31 extra points. Assuming he wins the competition, he might be serviceable (the Bills' offense should be potent enough to afford ample opportunities to satisfy fantasy owners), but nobody should be in a hurry to rely solely on Carpenter as their primary kicker. He's better viewed as a bye-week filler, a streaming option or a DFS value play.
Dan Carpenter 2015 Outlook
Is there reason to believe the new, longer-distance PAT attempts will work out better for some teams than others? Apparently so according to Alex Pentis of ValuePenguin. Pentis conducted a study that concluded NFL teams would have lost an average of five points per season if the rule had been implemented in 2014. The Bills would have lost just 1.75 points, though. Pentis calculated that by taking the number of extra points Carpenter attempted in 2014 (32) and multiplied it by Carpenter’s career percentage on field goals between 30 and 39 yards (the new distance of the extra point). That came out to 30.25, just 1.75 points shy of the 32 expected from 32 extra point attempts. Only two other kickers, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker and Denver’s Connor Barth, would have been better in 2014. Of course, as Syracuse.com’s Matthew Fairburn pointed out, Carpenter’s advantage is only useful as long as the Bills give him as many extra point attempts as possible. They have to score more touchdowns in order to do that. They’ve added plenty of weapons. But QB remains a question.