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 9 RESULTS
Graham Gano (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 6 XPs, 6 points)
Like Fairbairn in week 8, Graham Gano was a victim of his team's success, as the Panthers lit up the porous Buccaneers defense for 42 points, but never got stopped for a field goal attempt. Six extra points still left Gano tied for 12th on the week.
Dan Bailey (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 3 XPs, 6 points)
Minnesota's high-flying offense found it unexpectedly grounded against Detroit, but the Vikings still cruised to a comfortable victory and Bailey's six points this week tied him for 12th at the position.
Brett Maher (1 FG attempt, 0 FGs, 2 XPs, 2 points)
Dallas' offense showed promise in the first half but failed to do much of anything after halftime and Brett Maher wound up as the disappointment of the week; his two points ranked 24th at the position.
Sebastian Janikowski (2 FG attempts, 1 FG, 2 XPs, 5 points)
An injury to running back Chris Carson and a rare off day from Russell Wilson cooled an offense that had been starting to heat up and Janikowski finished tied for 15th at the position.
Ka'imi Fairbairn (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 1 XP, 7 points)
Despite a day marred by a missed extra point, Fairbairn had one of the better kicker performances in a week where only three players reached double digits. Fairbairn's seven points ranked 8th among kickers.
RESULTS TO DATE
To date, Rent-a-Kicker has made 48 weekly recommendations, (8 in week 1 before settling on the current 5-per-week format). Those 48 kickers have averaged 7.58 fantasy points per game, or about 68 points over the full year, which would rank 13th at the position (after pro-rating kickers who have already had their bye).
A 13th-place finish is misleading, however, because 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 12, just seven, (Gostkowski, Tucker, 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 10 SITUATIONS
**Since streaming kickers is so popular and rostered players can vary across leagues, 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 roster 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.**