Week 8 K Start, Sit: Who to Play at Kicker

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Who to start a kicker? Most of the time I just stick to one kicker the entire year, but there can be a method to the madness. Some kickers do have an advantage in certain matchups. There are teams that allow more field goals than most teams. I will be going through the kickers that face those favorable matchups. These are my starts and sits for kickers for Week 8.

Start ‘Em

Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams

Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

Greg Zuerlein should be started every week as he is one of the top kickers in the league, but this week serves as the best matchup for a kicker. The Bengals have allowed the most field goal attempts in the league with 20. 17 of those attempts have been successful. Greg “The Leg’s” ability to hit 50-yard field goals adds to his value in this game. He is set to have a lot of work in this game, especially since the Rams have been struggling to find the endzone.

Cody Parkey, Tennessee Titans

Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cody Parkey has had his ups and downs but he now finds himself as the Titans’ kicker. He made his one field goal attempt last week against the Chargers with 2 extra points. This week, the Titans play the Buccaneers who have allowed the most points per game to kickers with 9.8. In the Buccaneers’ last game, Joey Slye had 5 field goal attempts. The odds of Parkey getting plenty of chances to convert are very high which makes him a good start this week.

Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts

Opponent: Denver Broncos

Last week, Adam Vinatieri hit all four of his extra-point attempts but didn’t have a single field goal attempt in the win over the Texans. This week, that is likely to change. The Broncos have allowed the second-most number of field goals with far lower extra points. The Broncos possess a good defense which shows in how they prevent touchdowns. That is good for Vinatieri owners because he will be kicking lots of field goals.

Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants

Opponent: Detroit Lions

The Giants haven’t kicked many field goals on the season which has dramatically decreased Rosas’ value. I think that is likely to change this game as the Lions have let up the fourth-most points to kickers this season on average at 9.2 per game. After them, there is a little bit of a drop-off. The Lions’ defense has been getting torn apart in their recent games which the Giants have the opportunity to continue. With the return of Saquon Barkley, Rosas and the Giants will be scoring more.

Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers

Opponent: Carolina Panthers

Robbie Gould has been used a lot this year as the 49ers are not a high-octane offense. They are far more defense-focused. This has resulted in many field goal attempts for Gould. The one problem is that he is very inconsistent with his attempts. He has missed the most in the NFL but gets 3 attempts per game on average which have covered the misses up. The Panthers are one of the few teams that allow more field goals than touchdowns which is in line with how the 49ers’ offense works. Gould will have a busy game yet again.

Sit ‘Em

Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

All season long, Boswell has been consistent. One of the only consistent kickers in the NFL these days, but he hasn’t been used very extensively. While you may think the Dolphins are a great matchup because they let up so many points, they are actually not the best matchup for kickers. They allow so many touchdowns that you will only be getting extra point value out of Boswell this week. They have let up very few field goals for the number of points they have allowed. I don’t think Boswell is a good option this week.

Jake Elliot, Philadelphia Eagles

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

Jake Elliot has yet to miss a field goal which is impressive, but he doesn’t take many tries. He has never had more than 2 in a game, plus there is a game where he had no attempts. The Eagles are much better at finding the endzone when they get close. On top of that, the Bills are tied for the least amount of converted field goals. Kickers have attempted 8 field goals against them but have only made 2. The 25% conversion rate is not good for opposing kickers.

Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans

Opponent: Oakland Raiders

This is nothing against Ka’imi Fairbairn. He is an excellent kicker and looked good last week with 3 field goals and 2 extra points. The Texans have shown that they have been able to finish off most of their drives with a touchdown which takes away from Fairbairn’s potential. This week’s game will be more of that as the Raiders have allowed 21 extra points, but just 8 field goal attempts. Almost all of Fairbairn’s points this week will be from extra points which won’t add up to much in terms of fantasy points.

Zane Gonzalez, Arizona Cardinals

Opponent: New Orleans Saints

The Cardinals use Zane Gonzalez a ton as they are one of the worst teams at finishing drives this season. Many of his attempts are in the red zone. The Saints’ defense will be the best defense they have faced so far this year which we will see how they are able to perform, but the likely outcome will be very few points. The Saints have allowed the second-least number of field goal attempts so far this season which will likely not get broken by the Cardinals this week.

Eddy Pineiro, Chicago Bears

Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

Last week against the Saints, Eddy Pineiro made his one field goal attempt and tacked on two extra points. The Bears just haven’t been able to move the ball consistently which has resulted in many low scoring affairs. The Chargers have been a problem for kickers for whatever reason. They lead the league in missed attempts for opposing kickers. Kickers have missed 7 of 13 field-goal attempts and missed 4 of 17 extra points. Whether that is luck or not, it’s not worth chancing. It is an interesting statistic though.

I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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