Week 14 Kicker Start, Sit: Who to Play at Kicker
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 Younghoe Koo, Wil Lutz, and Jason Sanders are already owned and started in your league without hesitation, so I’m focusing on lesser-relied upon players here.
Jason Myers: The Seahawks’ offense is scoring 29.4 points per game this season, the fourth-most in the NFL. Myers has been a strong fantasy option at kicker, and the primary reason for some inconsistency from him has been Seattle’s 73.2% red-zone touchdown percentage, the fifth-highest in football. This week, the Seahawks face the Jets, who have allowed the 2nd-most fantasy points per game to kickers. Myers has hit on 16 of his 16 field goal attempts this season and 39 of his 41 extra-point attempts. With double-digit fantasy points in three of his last five games, Myers is a safe fantasy option, and he has a high ceiling in a matchup against a poor Jets’ defense.
Joey Slye: It’s been an up-and-down season for Joey Slye this season as he’s made just 24 of his 31 field goal attempts, a 77.4% conversion rate, and has missed a pair of extra-point attempts. However, he still ranks inside the top-ten in fantasy scoring for kickers and has a phenomenal matchup this week against the Broncos, who allow the most fantasy points per game to kickers this season. Denver’s defense has surrendered some big plays, but they’ve been stout in the red-zone in allowing opponents to a touchdown on just 47.7% of attempts, the 2nd-fewest in the NFL. Slye’s recent misses may cause some queasiness, but he’s a high-upside fantasy option given the matchup.
Stephen Gostkowski: I said I wasn’t going back to him. I promised you guys that I wouldn’t go back to Stephen Gostkowski in this column. I just can’t quit him. He’s hit double-digit fantasy points just once in his last nine games and has made just 66.7% of his field goals this season. However, the Jaguars’ defense cures all ails as they allow the fourth-most points per game and the fifth-most fantasy points per game to kickers. While they’ve been bad overall, Jacksonville actually does allow the 12th-lowest touchdown percentage in the red zone. Gostkowski’s inconsistency makes him a borderline option, but he’s attached to the third-highest scoring offense in football and has a plus matchup this week.
Ryan Succop: The Buccaneers’ offense has been up-and-down this season, but Succop has been consistent as he’s made 91.7% of his field goals and 94.7% of his extra-point opportunities. Succop has scored double-digit fantasy points in four of his last eight games, and this week; he faces the Vikings, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to kickers. While Minnesota’s defense has struggled overall, Mike Zimmer’s group has held up in the red zone in holding opponents to the third-lowest touchdown percentage in the NFL. With Tampa expected to be one of the highest-scoring offenses of the week and Succop’s consistency providing a strong floor, he’s a safe start with top-five upside.
Harrison Butker: While the Chiefs are the second-highest scoring offense in football with 30.8 points per game, their offensive success hasn’t extended to fantasy consistency for Harrison Butker. The team’s kicker has hit double-digit fantasy points in just four of twelve games and has made 36 of 42 extra-point attempts. This week, Butker faces the Dolphins, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to kickers. Miami is allowing just 17.7 points per game, the 2nd-fewest in football. Butker isn’t a must-sit by any stretch – there are much worse options this week. However, there’s a legitimate case to be made in favor of starting one of the guys above over Butker this week.
Tyler Bass: With an average of 12.8 fantasy points per game over his past four outings, Tyler Bass has turned into an incredibly viable fantasy option. However, he’s not a must-start this week as the Bills have their work cut out for them against the Steelers, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game to kickers. The Bills’ offense is going to struggle a bit in this matchup as the Steelers have allowed just 17.6 points per game, the fewest in the NFL. While Bass does have double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six games, there was a stretch earlier in the year where he failed to hit that mark even one time in six games. I don’t expect him to get there this week, and I’m looking for other options.
Cody Parkey: After dealing with some brutal weather conditions in a stretch of home games with the Browns, Parkey finally got some warm-weather games against the Jaguars and Titans and scored 10+ fantasy points in each of those contests. Parkey is most known for the infamous double-doink that cost the Bears a playoff game a couple of years ago, but he’s overcome that as of late and has made 89.5% of his field goal attempts this season. While his comeback story has been inspiring, I’m avoiding Parkey this week as the Browns face the Ravens who are allowing the fourth-fewest points per game this season. They are also allowing the second-fewest fantasy points per game to kickers, so Parkey is off the radar for me this week.
Justin Tucker: As the Ravens’ offense has struggled all season – they rank middle-of-the-pack in most metrics – Justin Tucker hasn’t been the every-week, locked-and-loaded top kicker option that you drafted him to be. The Browns have allowed just 7 fantasy points per game to kickers, the seventh-fewest in the NFL, and just 4.8 fantasy points per game to kickers since their bye week. Tucker is a lot like Butker to me this week – neither guy is a must-sit option due to their reliability, but the matchup is not ideal. Tucker also has to contend with the Ravens’ offense not being nearly the force it was last season. There are likely better options on your waiver wire this week.