Week 9 K 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 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.

Start ‘Em

Houston TexansKa’imi Fairbairn: The Texans are listed as one of the biggest favorites of the week despite their 1-6 record as they will be taking on rookie quarterback Jake Luton who is making his first career start. I’m expecting a couple of turnovers for Jacksonville to put Houston in good field position and Fairbairn drained 3 field goals the last time he faced the Jaguars. The opportunities have been inconsistent for him, but the Jaguars have allowed the 2nd-most fantasy points per game to kickers, so I’m banking on a strong week for Fairbairn.

Atlanta FalconsYounghoe Koo: The Falcons’ offense has been hit-or-miss this season, but Younghoe Koo has been steady as he’s made 19 of 20 field goals, but just 14 of 17 extra points. He has scored 12+ fantasy points in four of seven games this season and has finished with fewer than 7 points just once. He’ll take on the Broncos this week, who have allowed the third-lowest touchdown percentage in the red zone which has led to several field goal opportunities for opponents. They’ve allowed the 5th-most fantasy points per game to kickers and Koo should take advantage.

Denver BroncosBrandon McManus: It was another strong week for McManus as he finished with 7 fantasy points against the Chargers. He had a couple of weeks against the Jets and Patriots where he averaged 19.5 fantasy points, but he’s scored 7 points or fewer in his other games. However, I’m expecting a strong game from the Broncos offense against this putrid Falcons’ defense and McManus has been incredibly reliable as he’s made 93.3% of his field goals. With more opportunities on the docket, McManus is a strong streaming candidate.

Detroit LionsMatt Prater: I almost removed Prater from the start ’em category as the Lions’ offense could struggle without Matthew Stafford, but whether it’s Chase Daniel or David Blough, this offense should still be able to move the ball some against a weak Vikings defense. They will struggle to convert in the red zone, though, as Minnesota has allowed the eighth-lowest TD% inside the 20. The Vikings have allowed the most fantasy points per game to kickers and I expect Prater to be one of the best plays of the week.

Sit ‘Em

Indianpolis ColtsRodrigo Blankenship: After a start to the season where Rodrigo Rocketship was averaging 11.2 fantasy points per game, but he missed two extra points last week and finished with just 3 fantasy points against the Lions. He hadn’t missed an extra point and had missed just one field goal all year, so you have to imagine he gets back on track this week. However, this is a brutal matchup for him against the Ravens who have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to kickers. Believe it or not, the Ravens’ red-zone defense has given up the 2nd-highest touchdown rate in the red zone, and I believe Blankenship’s opportunities will be limited this week.

Carolina PanthersJoey Slye: The Panthers’ offense took a major step backward last week as they scored just 17 points against the Falcons and Slye finished with just 5 fantasy points. That’s his second straight game with 6 or fewer fantasy points and I’m downgrading him against a Chiefs’ defense that will challenge a limited Panthers’ offensive line. The Chiefs have allowed the eighth-highest TD% in the red zone in the NFL and the Panthers will likely convert with touchdowns instead of field goals. Slye’s opportunities could be few and far between in this matchup.

Buffalo BillsTyler Bass: Tyler Bass was one of the heroes of Week 7 with his 20-point fantasy effort with 6 field goals, but he predictably regressed to the mean and scored just 6 fantasy points last week. This week, the Bills face the Seahawks who have allowed the 6th-most fantasy points to kickers, but I’m expecting Buffalo to be able to convert with touchdowns more frequently given the matchup against a weak defense and the return of John Brown. Bass is hitting just 72.2% of his field goals this season.

Tampa Bay BuccaneersRyan Succop: Converting 88.2% of his field goals this season, Succop has been one of the best kickers in fantasy as he has scored 8+ fantasy points in six straight games. However, I’m fading him against the Saints who have allowed the highest red-zone TD% in the NFL this season as I expect the Buccaneers to convert on third-downs with ease against this defense. It also looks like there could be heavy wind in Tampa (18 mph) which would certainly impact the kicking game. The combination of those factors has me looking elsewhere this week.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. I've been playing fantasy football for as long as I can remember and am now in far more leagues than any person should take part in. There are few things that give me as much joy and excitement as fantasy football, and I'm excited to share my input with you in your journey towards a championship.

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