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.
Jason Sanders: This is the last time you’ll see Sanders’s name here. As the Dolphins have continued to excel, Jason Sanders has scored 13+ fantasy points in each of the past two weeks. He’s made 95.2% of his field goals and all of his extra-point attempts this season. This week, he faces the Broncos who have allowed the 3rd-most fantasy points per game to kickers. Denver has held opponents to a touchdown on just 50% of red-zone trips and yet their defense has struggled overall, especially with their turnover-prone offense creating a strong field position for opponents. Sanders is a talented kicker on a surging team in a plus matchup – start him with confidence.
Matt Prater: Last week, Prater delivered the Lions a victory with a game-winning field goal as time expired, and if you had him on your fantasy team he likely helped you win as well with his 16 fantasy points. He’s dealt with a bit of inconsistency in his accuracy, but Detroit has scored a touchdown on just 58.3% of red-zone trips as they’ve struggled to finish drives. This projects as one of the higher-scoring games of the week and Carolina allows the 4th-most fantasy points per game to kickers, so Prater should have another strong fantasy performance.
Chris Boswell: I haven’t been the biggest proponent of Chris Boswell this season as he only has 14 field goal attempts this year. However, he finished with 12 fantasy points last week, his best outing of the season, and his seventh outing in nine appearances with 8+ fantasy points. He’s been very consistent, and this week he faces the Jaguars who allow the fifth-most fantasy points per game to kickers. I’m expecting a blowout win for Pittsburgh and Boswell should end up having several opportunities to score. He provides a solid baseline and an added top-five ceiling given the strong matchup.
Greg Zuerlein: I try to add at least one guy here each week who’s almost certainly available in your leagues, and Zuerlein fits that description. The Cowboys’ early-season inconsistency caused him to be a volatile fantasy option, but I believe you can count on him this week. He scored 11+ fantasy points in each of his two outings prior to the team’s bye week and Andy Dalton returns this week to offer the offense more consistency. Zuerlein faces the Vikings this week who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to kickers so I’m confident in starting him this week.
Brandon McManus: It feels like ages ago that McManus had scored 17+ fantasy points in two straight matchups and over the past four weeks he has topped out at 2 field goal attempts. He’s still hitting on 94.7% of his FG attempts this year, but the Denver offense has stalled out and is going to be in a tough spot this week against Miami who is now allowing just 20.2 points per game, the fifth-fewest. The Dolphins have allowed the 2nd-fewest fantasy points per game to kickers so I’d rather look for a different option.
Joey Slye: After a hot start to the season, Joey Slye has missed three field-goal attempts in his last three games and hasn’t hit double-digit fantasy points in any of his last four games. This week, Slye faces a Lions team that has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to kickers, partially due to their complete inability to stop opposing offenses in the red zone. Detroit has allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 72.2% of red-zone drives, the seventh-most in the NFL. With his production already slipping lately and the tough matchup on the way, Slye is not a top-end option for me this week.
Ryan Succop: Succop hit on a season-high eight kicks, four field goals, and four extra-points, last week as he finished with 16 fantasy points. The high-end performances have been there all year for Tampa’s kicker with double-digit fantasy points in four of his ten games. However, Succop and the Buccaneers face a much tougher defensive test this week in the Rams who allow just 18.7 points per game, the second-fewest. The Rams have also held kickers to just 6.6 fantasy points per game, the sixth-fewest in the NFL. Succop is still better than some available options, but I’m downgrading him this week.
Rodrigo Blankenship: After starting the season as the best fantasy kicker with 10+ fantasy points in four of five games, Blankenship went on a bit of a downturn with an average of 4.6 fantasy points per game over 3 weeks. He bounced back last week with a 10-point performance, but the Colts are starting to figure out their red-zone woes and I don’t see Blankenship as the same must-start option he was early on in the year. Green Bay has struggled to keep opponents out of the end zone which has led to them allowing just 6.8 fantasy points per game to kickers, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. Like Succop, I’m not benching Blankenship in every situation, but there are a handful of better options available this week.