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When I was asked to do kicker rankings, I thought to myself where is Denny Carter? This is what he lives for, at least until FanDuel took his brand and smashed it with a hammer by removing the kicker position. I was given no inside information on why Denny could not do these rankings. It left me pondering some scenarios that are very likely as to why he couldn’t fulfill these duties. Mr. Carter might have had too high of a fee for his rankings. He of course needs to pay off his debt caused by his wife leaving him. The second is that he is too busy owning libs to bother with anything fantasy football related. We are in troubling times, and Denny is fighting the good fight to keep this country moving.
Luckily over the last few years I have either recorded weekly podcasts with Denny about his kicker selections or I have read his work on what to look for in fantasy kickers. It took him a few years to spell Stephen Gostkowski’s name right, but we got there. While we may differ on the takes of the glorious beer style called an IPA, his kicker takes have stuck with me. The torch is being passed to me, or maybe forced onto me is better phrasing. Behold the 2019 fantasy kicker rankings. Denny, look into my eyes, I am the captain now.
Fantasy Kicker Rankings & Stats
|Player||Position Ranking||ADP||Auction Value ($200)||Team||Bye||FG Made||FG Attempts||Extra Points Made||Extra Point Attempts|
What To Look For In Kickers
Many might look at kickers and just say they want the most efficient, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more fantasy points. Matt Bryant hit 95% of his field goals last season, and was K22 on the year. Yes, he missed three games, but it still wouldn’t have put him in the top half. Josh Lambo made 90% of his kicks, and was K28 on the year in scoring. However, Mason Crosby and Brett Maher both were around the 80% mark and were both top ten fantasy scoring kickers. Why is that? Volume. We want guys who are going to get volume. You can find all Kicker Fantasy Stats throughout the season on Lineups.com
There is no surprise to see that the top ten kickers, six of them were on offenses that ranked inside the top half in points per game. What about the other four? We can look at teams that move the ball, but struggle in the red zone. The Giants were one of those teams, which made Aldrick Rosas a top scoring kicker. They averaged 3.4 red zone trips per game, but had some of the worst red zone percentages in football. Of those four kickers, three of them were on teams that were bottom five in red zone scoring percentage.
To summarize and make this simple, we want kickers on great offenses, or we want them on offenses that can move the ball but struggle to punch it in. Defenses also play a part, where teams are more likely to take the points knowing they have a defense to keep other teams at bay. Atlanta wasn’t one of those teams last year where they went for it quite a bit. Baltimore is a perfect team for Justin Tucker, where the offense is good not great, but they play close games where they rely on Justin Tucker’s leg.
Transitioning into the tier one names, you can see how the rankings match up with offenses. The top expected performing offensive teams all bring top tier kickers to the table. Greg Zuerlein is my number one. He finished 11th in kicker scoring last season playing five fewer games then anyone else. The Rams offense was one of the fastest in football last season in terms of running plays, averaging 2.7 field goal attempts per game which was the highest in the NFL. In 2017 they averaged 2.6 per game. Justin Tucker has been a reliable kicking option for the last few years, as he is a combination of efficiency and volume. Baltimore will move the ball again offensively, but will struggle a bit scoring points like the elite teams. Look for the Ravens to continue to use Tucker knowing they can rely on their defense. The Ravens also ranked fourth in seconds per play, and averaged 2.4 field goals per game.
Will Lutz is on a high powered New Orleans offense, and the same goes for names like Harrison Butker and Stephen Gostkowski. This rounds out the tier one options, as they are on high powering offenses, and have a consistency of being a top ten scoring kicker. All three names here are on strong offenses that averaged over two field goal attempts per game. Butker is the only one who didn’t given Kansas City’s efficiency. He was still K3 in scoring.
Moving into the next tier we see mainly kickers on either above average or average offenses. Robbie Gould continues to be a fantasy stud, and San Francisco will be one to move the ball, but field goals will transpire more often than not. They averaged 2.1 attempts per game last season, and 2.6 the year prior. Both the Jets and Giants created top ten fantasy scoring kickers last season, but their production is kinda just noise. I am not banking on similar success, and would much rather take kickers on Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, and Dallas. All four kickers for these teams sit inside the top half in my rankings. Outside of matching up with Ka’imi Fairbairn, most of these names were within 20 fantasy points come the end of the year. This is where the end of the middle tier begins.
If you are passing on this crowd, and looking a bit deeper, Jake Elliot and Giorgio Tavecchio are two names that round out at least the ADP ranked kickers. Elliot should bounce back and get more attempts this season, as the Philly offense wasn’t as sharp last year. Atlanta plays most of their season indoors and on a high powered offense, Tavecchio is the main value from this group that I have the most interest in.
If you are avoiding drafting a kicker of any importance and are set on streaming, you are not alone. Streaming kickers is a popular way to go about the position. Instead of looking at a more seasonal approach, we are going to look weekly at the best options. You will usually have about 15-18 kickers to choose from on a weekly basis. Much of what has been said already will apply to what we look for when streaming. Find kickers in good matchups where an offense can move the ball, and also go ahead and check out what defenses are allowing a lot of field goal attempts per game. Both Cleveland and Cincinnati were teams that allowed over two field goal attempts against them. Philadelphia and the New York Jets allowed the most. Vegas totals will also point you in the direction of potential kicker points, as higher implied team totals correlate with kicker production.
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