In this breakdown, I will focus on matchups and game scripts with a special focus on the games I project to be the highest-scoring on the week. Remember that most kickers are tough to depend on week-to-week, and it’s important to optimize your chances for success at the position with weekly management. I’m going to assume guys like Justin Tucker, Wil Lutz, and Harrison Butker are already owned and started in your league without hesitation, so I’m focusing on lesser-relied upon players here.
Daniel Carlson: With the Raiders capable of moving the ball but often not able to cap off drives with touchdowns, Daniel Carlson has gone 7/7 on field goals inside the 30-yard line, making the second-most in the NFL from that range. This week, the Raiders play the Broncos who have allowed opponents to finish drives with touchdowns just 48.2% of the time, the 2nd-lowest percentage in the NFL. That has translated to Denver allowing kickers to score the 5th-most fantasy points per game. Carlson should be in for another very strong outing.
Jason Sanders: Miami’s third-year kicker has suddenly become one of my favorite streaming options at the position as he has surpassed 10 fantasy points in four of his eight games. This week, the Dolphins face the Chargers who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing kickers this season. Their red-zone defense has actually been pretty solid, allowing the seventh-lowest touchdown percentage, but they still have a below-average scoring defense. That’s a recipe for kicking success and Sanders should take advantage.
Cairo Santos: I constantly have to remind myself that the Bears have resolved their kicking situation as it feels like it’s been years since Chicago has had a reliable kicking game. Santos has made 88.2% of his field goals and all of his PAT attempts. The Vikings have played the type of bend-don’t-break defense that lends itself to kicking opportunities as they’ve allowed the 6th-lowest red-zone conversion rate this season. Minnesota has allowed the most fantasy points per game to kickers this year so I’m in on Santos in this matchup.
Kai Forbath: If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel at the kicker position, you could do a lot worse than Kai Forbath, the Rams’ new kicker, this week. Forbath did miss a field goal last week in his debut, but this Rams-Seahawks game has one of the highest over-under totals on the week, and Seattle’s defense has been putrid this year. The Seahawks have allowed 10.9 fantasy points per game to kickers, the 4th-most, so I’m expecting a solid top-15 performance by Forbath this week.
Chris Boswell: The Steelers’ kicker has yet to surpass 10 fantasy points this season as the Steelers have converted with a touchdown on a vast majority of their drives, leaving Boswell with just 11 field goal attempts all year. This week, Pittsburgh faces Cincinnati who has allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 72.4% of red-zone trips, the sixth-highest rate allowed, so field goal opportunities could be few and far between. Additionally, the forecast for Pittsburgh shows heavy wind for Sunday, so the scoring could dip a bit this week.
Mason Crosby: This is a tough one as Crosby has been very productive this season, but I have concerns about the overall scoring output in this matchup as the Green Bay forecast shows 27 mph wind for Sunday. I’m not benching Crosby for just anyone, especially since the Jaguars have allowed the 4th-most fantasy points per game to kickers, but that weather is very concerning in regards to the kicking game and is well worth keeping a close eye on this week.
Michael Badgley: 5 missed field goals and 2 missed PATS by Badgley have certainly not helped the Chargers win games this season, although he has scored 8+ fantasy points in each of the past three games. However, this week the Chargers face the Dolphins who boast the 4th-best scoring defense and have allowed opposing kickers to score just 4.6 fantasy points per game, the fewest in the NFL. Badgley’s been a solid fantasy option, but I’m looking elsewhere this week.
Ka’imi Fairbairn: The Texans’ uptick in offensive productivity has led to increased fantasy output for Fairbairn as of late, but the weather in Cleveland this weekend is being described as “dangerously windy”. We saw how much the weather affected the Browns’ game before their bye week and I’m expecting similar results if that forecast holds up. Fairbairn should see a significant hit if the weather is bad, especially since the Browns have been an above-average fantasy defense against kickers this season.