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 3 Results
Rodrigo Blankenship (3 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 4 XPs, 10 points)
As expected, the Colts rolled to a dominant win over the New York Jets and their kicker scored double-digit points in the process. A 41-yard attempt that hit the upright was the only blemish on an otherwise great day, as Blankenship finished the week tied for 10th.
Jason Myers (0 FG attempts, 0 FGs, 4 XPs, 4 points)
It's rare for a team to score 38 points and their kicker to only account for 4 of them without any misses to explain it, but that's what happened to Myers. Seattle reached the end zone on every scoring drive and attempted a 2-point conversion after the last touchdown to take a 3-point lead late, leaving Myers with just four extra points to show for all the offensive fireworks. Myers finished the week tied for 25th.
Ryan Succop (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 2 XPs, 8 points)
Succop had an extra point attempt blocked, but otherwise hit a mix of field goals and extra points as Tampa cruised to an easy victory. His eight points tied him for 13th at the position.
Nick Folk (3 FG attempts, 3 FGs, 3 XPs, 12 points)
Folk didn't attempt a field goal longer than 33 yards, benefiting from an offense that tended to stall out in the red zone. Despite missing an extra point, all those short kicks help him finish tied for 5th among all kickers last week.
Mike Badgley (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 1 XP, 4 points)
The kicker model produces plenty of ties, and when that happens for the fifth slot of the week, I generally choose the last featured kicker at random. This was the case last week, where the final slot came down to either Badgley or Gostkowski. Badgley, the pick, mustered a field goal and an extra point, finishing 25th for the week. Gostkowski would go on to threaten the record for field goals in a single game, scoring 19 points in the highest weekly effort of the entire season so far. It would have been nice to count him in my averages, but in reality, if you're following along at home it is extraordinarily unlikely you had to scan this far down the list to find an available kicker, anyway, so there's no practical difference other than pride.
Results To Date
To date, Rent-a-Kicker has made 15 weekly recommendations. Those 10 kickers have averaged 7.27 points, compared to last year's 7.65 weekly average. That average would currently rank 18th at the position. Our top weekly recommendation averages 8.33 points, while every highlighted kicker with a great matchup averages 8.25, both of which would rank 12th.
The top 12 kickers by preseason ADP were Justin Tucker (31 points), Harrison Butker (23 points), Wil Lutz (28 points), Greg Zuerlein (22 points), Robbie Gould (27 points), Matt Gay (cut before the season), Zane Gonzalez (23 points), Younghoe Koo (30 points), Matt Prater (28 points), Dan Bailey (13 points), Jake Elliott (23 points), and Ka'imi Fairbairn (15 points). Despite the extra draft capital expenditure, only five of these kickers have outperformed the average of our highlighted "Great Plays". Excluding Gay, the remaining kickers average 23.9 points, which trails the average of "Great Plays" that were available on waivers (24.8 points).
Week 4 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 on waivers in over 50% of leagues 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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