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 1 Results
Brett Maher (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 5 XPs, 5 points)
Maher came right out the gate and demonstrated why kicker is the most unpredictable position in fantasy. The number one indicator of which kicker is going to score well in a given week is which offense is going to score well in any given week. The signs pointed to Dallas being one such offense, and Dallas actually delivered— only Kansas City and Baltimore scored more points on offense last week (Tennessee also outscored Dallas but nine points came from their defense). Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Dallas' offense was a bit too good; historically more than a third of scoring drives are typically field goals, but the Cowboys never stalled out and Maher settled for extra points, finishing tied for 17th at the position.
Dan Bailey (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 4 XPs, 4 points)
Bailey's problem was similar to Maher's— an offense that reached scoring range plenty but never stalled out— compounded by the Vikings running one of the slowest-paced, run-heaviest game plans in modern league history. Bailey finished tied for 21st.