Week 1 consisted of a lot of scoring for some teams and very little for others. Some kickers did not even score (Matt Bryant and Kaare Vedvik, who is no longer a starting kicker). The real goal of choosing a kicker is to pick one on a high scoring offense. This is shown through in Week 1 where the top kickers, in terms of fantasy points, were Butker (KC), Gostkowski (NE), Zuerlein (LAR), and Lutz (NO). In this article, I will be analyzing matchups this week and pull out which kickers are most likely to score the most.
Gostkowski was busy in the Patriots win over the Steelers in Week 1. He converted 4 field goals on 4 attempts with his longest coming from 41 yards out. This was added to 3 extra points which combined for a total fantasy total of 15 points, 2nd highest among kickers. Impressive, right? Now let’s look at who the Patriots have as a Week 2 matchup. The Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins gave up 59 to the Ravens. The Dolphins’ defense cannot stop anything and with Tom Brady leading the Patriots’ offense, nothing will stand in the way of Gostkowski putting up tons of points. Justin Tucker, the Ravens kicker, only put up 11 fantasy points in the stomping of the Dolphins, but if the Dolphins were to get a couple stops short of the goalline, Gostkowski could put up similar numbers to Week 1.
As noted above, the Ravens slammed the Dolphins in Week 1. Tucker made his only field goal attempt from 34 yards which combined with 8 extra points for a grand total of 11 fantasy points. The field goal attempts are lacking but the Ravens have shown that they have a high powered offense. Yes, they faced a poor defense in the Dolphins, but for Week 2, they are set to face an even worse defense in the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals gave up many field goals to the Lions in their first matchup. With Lamar Jackson coming off an elite performance, and again facing a low ranked defense, expect Tucker to be used a lot whether that be through field goals or extra points.
This pick is more of a stretch than others. Santos was actively used against the Browns, converting on both of his field goal attempts. He even showed off the power in his leg on a 53 yarder. While it is important to have the kicker of a high octane offense, it can also be beneficial to have one in an offense that just cannot finish drives, hence ending in a field goal. That is where I would take Santos. The Titans have tools to put together drives, but Mariota is just not a great quarterback to lead stellar drives that end in the endzone. Against the Browns he was successful, but I see the Colts stopping him short with their better defense, leading to more field goal attempts. Santos is not owned in many leagues and is a good pick up if you are streaming kickers.
Let’s be honest here, it doesn’t matter who the Chiefs are playing. They will score tons of points regardless. Their defense has a hard time stopping the ball, so the offense has many possessions, and those possessions are being led by Patrick Mahomes. What more can you ask for? Yes, many of these drives end in touchdowns which do limit Butker’s field goal opportunities, but one point is better than none and the Chiefs are bound to be stopped occasionally. Butker scored the most fantasy points for kickers last week with 16 (4/4 FG and 4/4 XP). The Raiders have a very low ranked defense this year with an offense that lost Antonio Brown. The Chiefs will get the ball a lot in this game. Expect a ton of points from Butker.
If you missed out on the first Monday Night game, you truly missed out. The end of the game resulted in two lead changes in the final minute. Lutz did miss one field goal earlier in the game but came through big in the final seconds of regulation with a game-winning 58-yard field goal. That marked the longest of his career. It can be said that Sean Payton should have plenty of trust in Lutz when deciding to take field goals in the future. The Saints do find themselves playing a highly ranked defense in the Rams this week but a high powered offense like the Saints should be able to put up big numbers along with Lutz.
There were several questions about how good the 49ers offense would really be this year. Jimmy Garropolo is back, but the lead back, Tevin Coleman, went down with an ankle injury. Week 1 showed the 49ers are not playing around. Robbie Gould made 3 of 4 attempts but his one miss was over 50 yards. He ended with an impressive 11 fantasy points in Week 1 and is playing a Bengals defense that does not look complete but can put together stops. If these stops take place around the 30-yard line, that would be huge for Gould who has a long history of knocking down plenty of field goals.
I will be honest that Zane Gonzalez is only this high because I am all for the air raid. In the Cardinals game against the Lions, the Cardinals looked like absolute garbage for the first 3 quarters. I even heard the announcers say that calling the Cardinals’ offense garbage was disrespectful to garbage itself. But the 4th quarter was something else. The Cardinals got their offense together, and Kyler Murray looked unstoppable, eventually leading to a comeback overtime battle which ended in a tie. But if this offense can put together 4 quarters of fast-paced offense, there will be a lot of scoring for the Cardinals which correlates to a lot of points for Gonzalez.
I have to put Greg “The Leg” in here somewhere. He was rated the top kicker in the league and is on a high-powered offense. He put up the 3rd most fantasy points from a kicker this week with 14 and can be expected to repeat this almost every week. He did miss one attempt, going 3 of four, but did hit a booming kick from 56 yards out which looks nice in terms of fantasy points. The Saints are a defense that has the tools to succeed, but it is always a question of will they. In the last game, the Rams put together a lot of drives ending in scoring position, resulting in many points for Zuerlein. I expect the Saints defense to falter in the face of Jared Goff and all his targets, leading to lots of opportunities for Greg “The Leg” to come up big.
Matt Prater is just a good established kicker that can hit 60-yard field goals, not that it matters for fantasy points, but the guy has a leg. If the Lions get stuck between the 33 and the 40, you can expect Prater to get out there and nail it through the uprights. The Lions offense is known for not finishing drives which greatly contributes to Prater’s value as a kicker. He is a solid option against practically anyone, especially the Chargers who have an average defense. I would feel safer with any of the other kickers listed above but Prater is one that can slip under the radar for most people.
10. Sam Ficken, New York Jets
The Browns just gave up 43 points to the Titans. Yes, the Tennessee Titans. What is stopping the Jets from doing the same thing? I’d take Darnold over Mariota in a heartbeat. Now I was very hesitant to go with a Jets kicker after seeing last week’s performance. If you do not know what I’m talking about, just google “Jets kicker.” You will find that the Jets have used four different kickers since training camp. Ficken is a new free agent signing who has not looked good on his previous team, the Rams. He played in four games, making 3 of 6 field goals and 14 of 15 extra points. We will see if the Jets will be a good fit for him or if the Jets’ continued kicking struggles will continue.
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