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There are always a handful of kickers each week that get picked up or dropped because of their particular matchup. If you’re like me, you try to start a kicker who is facing an average at best defense. Opportunity is everything for a kicker in fantasy, so you must trust that the kicker’s offense can move the ball against the opposing defense. Choosing a kicker is as much strategy as it may be gut-feeling. There is no perfect science on predicting which kicker will produce, however by looking at quality of offense, matchup, and kicking proficiency, here are the top 10 kicker waiver wire pickups.
Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts (Own 20%)
Yes, it is well known the struggles that Adam Vinatieri has had so far this season. The kicking legend has missed 2 field goals to go along with 3 extra points in just 3 games of play. Yikes. On the bright side, all those misses came in the first 2 games, and last contest he went 5 for 5 on kicks. Vinatieri has been kicking for 24 seasons running, and I believe his early season slump is more of a fluke than it is a trend. Of all the waiver wire kickers, I have to feel the most confident in the future hall of famer.
Austin Seibert, Cleveland Browns (Own 5%)
The rookie kicker has bounced back after going 1 for 2 on extra points in the season opener. So far, Seibert is kicking perfect on field goal attempts, an impressive 5 for 5. In week 4, Seibert’s Cleveland Browns get a stiff test against the Baltimore Ravens. Mayfield has enough weapons to move the ball against the Ravens, but scoring touchdowns may come at a premium. Seibert should have scoring opportunities, I’d grab him if I had the chance.
Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings (Own 12%)
Opponent: Chicago Bears
Minnesota’ Dan Bailey has a very interesting matchup in week 4. Many people would wince at the idea of having a kicker against the Chicago Bears, but here’s why it may be a good thing. The Vikings offense has enough weapons with Dalvin Cook in the backfield, as well as Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs on the perimeter to move the ball against Chicago. While they may struggle to convert drives into touchdowns against such a stout defense, they can easily end up kicking a lot of field goals. In this hypothetical scenario, Dan Bailey will be a fantasy owner’s dream. He’s not my first choice to pick up, but he is the most exciting one.
Matt Gay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Own 3%)
Tampa Bay’s kicker is an attractive waiver wire option because of his opportunity. Gay has kicked more than 2 field goals in a game twice this season, giving him a total of 9 field goals on the season. He is 7 for 9 on those attempts, as well as 5 for 7 on extra points. I am quite surprised his owned % is so low, granted that he receives so many scoring opportunities. Matt Gay has scored the 7th most points among all kickers so far this season. That statistic puts him above Baltimore’s Justin Tucker, who is owned by 100% of all leagues. Due to his opportunity, I’d look into picking up Matt Gay.
Josh Lambo, Jacksonville Jaguars (Own 4%)
Josh Lambo is perfect on kicking opportunities in 2019, and may see an increase in opportunity with the rise of rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II. He has been a consistent contributor so far this season, scoring a pair of field goals in all three of his contests thus far. Due to his consistency, he is seen as a safe bet amongst the other kickers on this list.
Eddy Pineiro, Chicago Bears (Own 3%)
Chicago’s savior of a kicker Eddy Pineiro, should be considered on the waiver wire this week. Similar to Dan Bailey’s situation against the Bears, I believe the same can be said about Pineiro against Minnesota. The 9th best defense in points allowed per game last season, has improved with an even more impressive 5th ranked defense in that same statistic. While this is true, Trubisky and the Chicago offense was able to finally come alive against Washington in week 3. Although it was just the Redskins, it’s a great sign to see Trubisky make plays. Pineiro should be in for a few field goal opportunities, considering Minnesota is hard to score touchdowns on. Pineiro is an attractive waiver wire pickup in week 4.
Dustin Hopkins, Washington Redskins (Own 2%)
Washington’s kicker has had minimal opportunities to score points for fantasy owners. Hopkins’ has attempted just 4 field goals on the season. While that is all bad news, he does get favorable matchup against the Giants defense. The G-Men have yet to hold a team under 28 points through 3 games. Case Keenum should have a field day against the Giants secondary, who just allowed Jameis Winston to throw for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hopkins will have a high floor given the likelihood of Washington scoring, he should be in consideration for your kicker spot this week.
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (Own 34%)
I like Prater’s prospects this week due to his matchup. Not necessarily because of Kansas City’s defense, but more so their offense. I expect Mahomes and company to put immense pressure on the Lions to score this upcoming Sunday. The Chiefs have not held a team under 28 points on the season so far. The number of points scored against Kansas City has a lot to do with the fact that teams have to play particularly aggressive to keep up with Andy Reid’s aerial attack. Prater should have his chances to score in week 4.
Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants (Own 10%)
Giants’ kicker Aldrick Rosas may see a spike in opportunity if Daniel Jones continues to play the way he did against the Buccaneers. Jones accounted for 4 touchdowns and 336 passing yards in his NFL debut. Rosas has been used sparingly so far, just attempting 3 field goals. I’d expect that to change considering they play the Redskins. Mitchell Trubisky’s miserable play came to an end against the Redskins, he threw for 3 touchdowns against Washington. Rosas is another strong candidate to start for your team this week.
Randy Bullock, Cincinnati Bengals (Own 0%)
Veteran kicker Randy Bullock has received steady work through 3 games. He has attempted 6 field goals and 6 extra points so far on the season. He has been able to convert 4 of those field goal attempts into points, and is perfect on extra point attempts. Bullock gets a favorable matchup against Pittsburgh, who have struggled defending against capable offenses. The Steelers have yet to hold a team under 24 points on the season. I would look for Dalton to move the ball against Pittsburgh, which will give Bullock scoring opportunities. I like him if I was in a pinch at my kicker position.
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