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 13 RESULTS
Sebastian Janikowski (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 4 XPs, 7 points)
Perhaps a surprise as our top pick last week, the optimism around Janikowski proved well-founded as his Seahawks finished week 13 as the highest-scoring team. Unfortunately, the good process led to middling results as the Seahawks scored "too many" touchdowns and Janikowski missed two extra points, to boot, finishing the week tied for 13th.
Graham Gano (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 2 XPs, 5 points)
Another example of a good process leading to a bad outcome. Before last week, Tampa had intercepted one pass all season. Coming into Sunday, they had just three interceptions on the season. Against the Panthers, they picked off Cam Newton four times, more than doubling their season total. Three of those interceptions came with the Panthers in Tampa territory, two of them coming with the team already in field goal range. As a result, Gano was limited to just one field goal attempt for the game and his five points finished the week tied for 21st.
Cairo Santos (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 3 XPs, 6 points)
An anticipated shootout in Tampa failed to live up to expectations, but Santos still managed six points, tied for 16th on the week.
Ryan Succop (2 FG attempt, 2 FGs, 2 XPs, 8 points)
Through three quarters, Succop was having a disastrous day. Tennessee had scored two touchdowns and Succop had had one of his extra point attempts blocked. In the fourth quarter, though, Succop added seven more points on two field goals and an extra point to finish the week tied for 10th.
Chris Boswell (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 3 XPs, 6 points)
A missed extra point early on didn't wind up coming back to haunt Boswell as the team was never forced to go for a two-point conversion to make it up. He finished with a relatively average 6 points, tied for 16th among kickers.
RESULTS TO DATE
To date, Rent-a-Kicker has made 68 weekly recommendations, (eight in Week 1 before settling on the current five-per-week format). Those 68 kickers have averaged 7.38 fantasy points per game, which would rank 13th at the position among regular starters.
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 six, (Gostkowski, Tucker, Butker, Lutz, Crosby, and Gould), have outperformed our Frankenkicker. Meaning someone who streamed kickers has probably gotten league-average results without investing a single resource at the position.
WEEK 14 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.**
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