No position is more unpredictable in fantasy football than kickers. Year after year after year, no position has a lower correlation between where they're drafted before the season and where they finish after the season. No position has a lower correlation between how they score in one week and how they score in the next. No position has a lower correlation between projected points and actual points.
In addition, placekicker is the position that has the smallest spread between the best players and the middle-of-the-pack players for fantasy. Finally, most fantasy owners will only carry one kicker at a time, which means there are a dozen or more starting kickers sitting around on waivers at any given time. Given all of this, it rarely makes sense to devote resources to the position. Instead, owners are best served by rotating through whichever available kicker has the best weekly matchup.
Every week, I'll rank the situations each kicker finds himself in (ignoring the talent of the kicker himself) to help you find perfectly startable production off the waiver wire.
WEEK 3 RESULTS
Dan Bailey (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 0 XPs, 0 points)
This is why we try our best to avoid kickers on significant underdogs, because teams pass up field goals and extra points when they're far behind. Of course, Bailey and the Vikings were one of the largest home favorites in recent memory. Football is a funny sport.
Sam Ficken (1 FG attempt, 0 FGs, 5 XPs, 5 points)
We had two opportunities last week to grab kickers on high-powered offenses who were only available because of an injury to the regular starter, and both players wound up laying an egg. Ficken, like Bailey, was a case of "good process, bad outcome"-- the so-called "Battle of Los Angeles" was a shootout, as expected, but the Rams were just a bit too efficient at converting opportunities into touchdowns, capping Ficken's output.
Chandler Catanzaro (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 3 XPs, 9 points)
It was touch-and-go for a minute as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell behind big to Pittsburgh early, but Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bucs managed to rally and keep their improbably offensive hot streak alive. Catanzaro finished the week sixth at his position in scoring.
Cody Parkey (3 FG attempts, 4 FGs, 1 XP, 10 points)
Chicago's offense continues to stall out in 2018, and Parkey continues to be the primary beneficiary. He finished week 3 ranked 4th at his position, and likewise now ranks 4th among kickers for the entire season.
Jason Sanders (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 4 XPs, 4 points)
If a team scores four times in a game, their kicker could wind up with as many as 12 or as few as 4 points depending on whether those scores are touchdowns or field goals— fewer if the team attempts a two-point conversion. Sanders caught the bad side of variance against Oakland as a pair of 50-yard touchdown passes in the fourth quarter cost him any chance at a field goal attempt.
WEEK 4 SITUATIONS
**Since streaming kickers is so popular and ownership can vary, here is a list of how favorable every kicker's situation is based on Vegas projected totals and stadium. Quality plays who are especially likely to be on waivers based on NFL.com ownership percentages are italicized and will be highlighted in next week's column.**
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