Week 1 K Start, Sit: Who to Play at Kicker: Trust The Rookie Kicker?

We edge closer to the beginning of the NFL season and that means fantasy football is ready. Sometimes the least thought about position, but sometimes the most important is the kicker. Kickers provide the extra boost of points that can give you the edge in tight games. Knowing who to start could be the difference between a win and a loss. After looking through matchups and past performance, I have come up with a few options that you could target if you did not snag one of the better kickers in the draft as well as some to avoid. For all those streaming kickers, here is your answer. This is the starts and sits for week 1 at kicker.

Start ‘Em

Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: Washington Football Team

News broke about Carson Wentz undergoing an injury, but it appears that it will not affect him much. If that is the case, Jake Elliott will be a great start this week against the Washington Football Team. With the return of their receiving corps including DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey, the Eagles appear set to be a contending team again. Miles Sanders is set to have a more productive season than his rookie season. Jalen Reagor will have to sit out a few games, but that should not be devastating to the offense. There is a lot looking up for the Eagles this season and they have no better team to open up against than the Washington Football Team who do not look very good. Jake Elliott will get plenty of opportunities to score this week.

Justin Rohrwasser, New England Patriots

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

The Patriots will look very different this season without their longtime quarterback, Tom Brady. But as the Patriots do, they signed Cam Newton cheaply which will be a solid replacement to fill in Brady’s empty shoes. While the team will probably not look as good as in the recent past, the Patriots will have production from their offense. When picking a kicker, you want one from a solid offense, and Justin Rohrwasser is one of those guys. Despite being a rookie, Rohrwasser has shown the power in his leg and has beaten out Nick Folk for the starting job. The Dolphins serve as a great opposing matchup for Rohrwasser which finalizes the idea that Rohrwasser is one of the best streaming options this week.

Chase McLaughlin, Indianapolis Colts

Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

Chase McLaughlin made his way to three teams last year, finishing off in Indianapolis. He saw great success in both San Francisco and Indianapolis. With Philip Rivers now in Indianapolis, we could see a spike in their offense. But while there might be a spike, the talent still is not over the top to the point where extra points will be McLaughlin’s only use. We could see a lot of unfinished drives resulting in field goal attempts which is better than if they were to score a bunch of touchdowns. The Jaguars have seen a lot of their top talent leave on their defense which gives way for a lot of scoring opportunities for McLaughlin and the Colts this week.

Sit ‘Em

Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos

Opponent: Tennessee Titans

I have been staying away from the Broncos in general as their team is full of question marks as new parts get put in and taken away. The offense is full of new looks like Drew Lock who began starting at the end of the year last season, Melvin Gordon at running back, and Jerry Jeudy who is a rookie yet the number two receiver on the team. Who knows how this team will work together which is why I am not taking the risk. Brandon McManus’s value comes from the success of the offense which is why I would stay away from him. Give the Broncos a week or two to prove themselves offensively and go from there.

Austin Seibert, Cleveland Browns

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

Like with McManus above, Austin Siebert finds himself in a similar situation, except all the parts of the offense are relatively the same. Everyone talks about how the Browns will be good this season and that it is theirs for the taking, yet we see time and time again how the Browns fail to reach expectations. While this year could finally be the year, there now is a lack of confidence in Cleveland which drives me away from Austin Seibert as a kicker. While his value may go up in terms of field goal quantity because the Browns might have a difficult time scoring touchdowns, there is a load of risk in that selection. When there are several other kickers to choose from, there is no reason to have that high-risk low-reward scenario.

Zane Gonzalez, Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: San Francisco 49ers

The Cardinals have made a lot of changes to their offense as well. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins will help immensely but with the limited time to play before the season along with the cancellation of the preseason, there is no knowing how well he will work with Kyler Murray. The 49ers had one of the best defenses last season and have the capability to return their highly ranked position again. With all that in play, it would be a safe bet to move away from the Cardinals and Zane Gonzalez for this week. He was a great option last year with how poorly the Cardinals were at finishing drives, but for this week, I would go with someone else.

I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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