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 and Harrison Butker are already owned and started in your league without hesitation, so I’m focusing on lesser-relied upon players here.
Michael Badgley: The Chargers’ offense has started to get rolling over the last couple of weeks as Justin Herbert has played some encouraging football, and the team has averaged 29 points per game against two great teams in the Buccaneers and Saints. This week, the Chargers take on the Jaguars, who have a much less formidable defense. Jacksonville has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to kickers this year, so if there’s ever a week for Badgley to deliver a top-five performance, it would be this week. He hasn’t been very consistent this year, but he should still be a strong start in such a plus matchup.
Zane Gonzalez: The Cardinals have one of the hottest offenses in the NFL after their 38-10 thrashing of the Cowboys on Monday night, and they should maintain that momentum this week against a Seattle defense that has allowed the most passing yards per game in the NFL this season. Gonzalez hasn’t had a ton of field goal opportunities this year, but he’s knocked in 19/20 extra points. I’m not confident Gonzalez can finish in the top five this week, but I’m banking on this being one of the highest-scoring games on this week’s slate, so he has a great baseline.
Ryan Succop: Succop is still available in a lot of leagues, and I can’t wrap my head around why. He’s scored 8+ fantasy points in each of his last four games, including 10+ in each of his last two. This week, Tampa plays the Raiders on Sunday Night Football, and Vegas has allowed 30+ points in four of their five games this season. Succop is a top-tier option this week and should be picked up in any leagues where he’s still available.
Jason Myers: The offensive excellence in Seattle hasn’t extended to fantasy success for Myers every week – he’s only had to attempt two field goals all season. However, this week the Seahawks face a Cardinals defense that has been one of the league’s best in the red zone – Arizona has allowed the 2nd-lowest touchdown percentage in the red zone this season, so the Seahawks may have to settle for more field goals this week. Even still, with so many teams on bye, it’s hard to do much better than the kicker for the top scoring offense in the NFL.
Stephen Gostkowski: It’s been a quiet couple of weeks for the Titans’ kicker as he followed up a 6-field goal Week 3 appearance with a combined 10 fantasy points in his last two games. The Titans’ offense is the 2nd-highest scoring group in football, so Gostkowski should have some more great fantasy games this season, but this isn’t the week to play him. Tennessee faces a Pittsburgh defense that has the most sacks in the NFL and will give their offense all kinds of problems. They’ve also allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to kickers, so I’m looking for other options.
Chris Boswell: Across the field from Gostkowski, I’m not thrilled about the Steelers’ kicker this week. The Titans’ defense has been the weakest in the NFL in the red zone as they’ve allowed a touchdown on 87.5% of their red zone drives. Boswell has been very consistent with exactly 8 fantasy points in four of his five games, but he’s attempted just one field goal in three of those games. With the Titans’ defense not looking capable of putting the Steelers in field goal situations, I’m fading Boswell a bit this week.
Joey Slye: It’s been a strong season for Joey Slye as he’s knocked in 10/12 extra points and 16/18 field goals through six games. He even managed to have a strong game still last week as the Panthers faced a tough defensive test against the Bears. However, this week the Panthers will take on the Saints, who have allowed the 2nd-highest touchdown percentage in the red zone. With Carolina finishing more of its drives with touchdowns this week, Slye’s upside could be a bit capped, but he’s not the worst option here.
Ka’imi Fairbairn: Fairbairn has exploded back onto the fantasy scene in recent weeks as he’s scored 12+ fantasy points in two of his last three games. However, I’m not confident the Texans can keep their hot streak going this week. The Packers will come in looking for blood after an embarrassing defeat to the Buccaneers last week. Even if Deshaun Watson is still able to move the ball on the Packers, Green Bay has allowed the fourth-highest touchdown percentage in the red zone. There are better offenses and better matchups to target for kickers this week.