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 GMs 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, GMs 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 8 RESULTS
Ka'imi Fairbairn (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 6 XPs, 6 points)
Fairbairn was the latest loser of the field goal lottery, as a Houston team that entered week 8 with the worst red zone offense in the league managed to score six touchdowns without a single field goal attempt. Fairbairn's six points tied for 15th at the position.
Dan Bailey (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 2 XPs, 2 points)
As bad as Fairbairn had it, Bailey had it even worse. Not only did his Vikings score three touchdowns without a field goal attempt, but Bailey— one of the most accurate kickers in league history— missed one of the extra point attempts. His two points resulted in a 27th-place fantasy finish.
Cody Parkey (2 FG attempts, 1 FG, 3 XPs, 6 points)
Parkey scored six points for the Bears, which tied for 15th among kickers in week 8.
Randy Bullock (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 4 XPs, 7 points)
A missed extra point marred an otherwise respectable day, but Bullock's seven points still ranked him tied for 10th in what was a down week for kickers across the league.
Adam Vinatieri (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 4 XPs, 10 points)
Indianapolis' offense has come alive in recent weeks, and Vinatieri has been one of the beneficiaries. His ten points ranked him 6th for the week but also moved him into first place in NFL history for career points scored.
Results To Date
With the fantasy season half over, it's a good time to reflect on how well streaming kickers has performed to this point in the year.
To date, Rent-a-Kicker has made 43 weekly recommendations, (8 in week 1 before settling on the current 5-per-week format). Those 43 kickers have averaged 7.86 fantasy points per game, or about 55 points over the full year, which would rank 12th at the position (after pro-rating kickers who have already had their bye).
So at a bare minimum, it seems our mandate to "find startable kicker production on your fantasy waiver wire" has been met. But many of the kickers ahead of our amalgam were likely not actually used in fantasy for much of the year.
The top 12 kickers by preseason ADP were Stephen Gostkowski, Greg Zuerlein, Justin Tucker, Harrison Butker, Wil Lutz, Jake Elliott, Matt Bryant, Chris Boswell, Robbie Gould, Dan Bailey, Matt Prater, and Mason Crosby. Of those twelve, just six, (Gostkowski, Butker, Lutz, Crosby, Gould, and Prater), have outperformed our Frankenkicker. Meaning someone who streamed kickers has probably gotten league-average results without investing a single resource at the position.
WEEK 9 SITUATIONS
**Since streaming kickers is so popular and rostering 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 rostering percentages are italicized and will be highlighted in next week's column. Also, note that these rankings are kicker-agnostic; teams will occasionally change kickers mid-week, but any endorsements apply equally to whatever kicker winds up eventually getting the start.**
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