As SBNation reminded readers, Barth signed with the Bears prior to the 2016 season and was behind the eight-ball the minute he donned a navy blue and burnt orange jersey. He was replacing the Bears' all-time leading scorer, Robbie Gould, and the pressure involved was a likely factor in Barth's rough start to 2016. Barth missed his very first kick and proceeded to make only five of eight attempts (62.5 percent) through Week 5. However, from Week 6 through Week 14, he only missed one kick and was 12 of 13 overall. By the end of the year, he had a career-low, but still respectable, 78.3 percent field goal percentage. But Barth has struggled from 50 yards or longer throughout his NFL career (his success rate from that distance is just 60.7 percent) and Chicago added undrafted free agent Andy Phillips to compete with Barth during training camp. Given the combination of strong Chicago winds and a weak offense, it is not a surprise that some view Phillips as the favorite to win the kicking job in the preseason.
Connor Barth 2016 Outlook
So we don't actually know who the Saints' kicker is going to be. Kai Forbath has been on the roster the longest, but he will have to compete with Barth, who auditioned during the team's three-day rookie mini-camp. They liked what they saw from Barth enough to release Josh Scobee. If Barth wins the job, he will become the Saints' 11th kicker in 11 years. Barth made 23 of 28 field goal attempts and 25 of 26 extra points for the Buccaneers last season after he re-signed with the team in October. He was released earlier this month after Tampa Bay traded up to draft Florida State's Roberto Aguayo in the second round. Barth has made 84.8 percent of his field goals in his career with the Chiefs (2008), Buccaneers (2009-2012, 2015) and Broncos (2014). Forbath, an in-season addition last year, made 9 of 13 field goal attempts for the Saints, including a game-winning 50-yarder against the Giants in Week 8. He made 33 of 34 extra point attempts. Bottom line? Whoever wins this competition will be of fantasy interest. As long as they remain on the roster.
Connor Barth 2015 Outlook
When the Broncos released Matt Prater following Prater’s four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, they traded a conditional draft pick to the Giants -- it ended up being a seventh-round pick -- for Brandon McManus. But McManus missed four field goals in regular-season games after his arrival, and the coaching staff quickly lost confidence in him. They signed Barth to replace him. They got the consistency they wanted on field goal attempts -- Barth had two five-field goal games last season -- but Barth could not kick off, at least not with the touchback consistency the Broncos wanted, so McManus was re-signed shortly after his release to handle kickoffs the remainder of the season. The question for fantasy owners is whether the Broncos decide to keep Barth and McManus both on the roster. Whichever guy is handling the placement work will be of fantasy interest.