While special teams may not be something you look at on a weekly basis, but it might be something to do moving forward. With kickers being a part of the fantasy world, finding which teams who are making more extra points and field goals than others is key. You can also view which teams allow more field goals, qualifying them as the bend don’t break defenses of the league. Finding teams that allow kick off and punt return yards can give an edge to those defenses for fantasy purposes when trying to breakout for a kickoff touchdown or setting up field position.
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We live in an era where kickers are better than ever before, and offenses are moving the ball at will. With the passing attacks leading teams down the field, attempts are higher in this era of football. We have seen kickers like Justin Tucker and Stephen Gostkowski emerge as top end kickers, and of course we still have Adam Vinatieri who is still kicking over the age of 40. You are going to look for volume when it comes to kickers and fantasy. Volume generally leads to more production, although teams have been quicker to cut kickers so if they are inefficient, then they are going to be on their way out very good. Extra points were once an easy task, and now with the recent changes moving it back, it makes it a more of a notable stat to check in on. Teams might start moving towards going for two more often. We have seen Pittsburgh adopt that style a bit more, and it heightens your chances of more expected points.
Teams that have a dangerous return man have a pretty big advantage. We saw it for years with a guy like Devin Hester, who not only put Chicago in excellent field position most returns, but also put points up on the board. Overall yards can be a look at the success, but also the volume that returns are being brought back. Good defenses will force teams the punt more, and bad defenses will have the opposite effect.
When diving into the special teams allowed column, opposing extra points made can be a pretty good indicator of bad defenses and also teams that play up in pace. Defenses that limit touchdowns are also going to extra points and overall special teams stats like returning yards. Offenses that play up in pace or are very efficient can lead to more opportunities in special teams for opposing teams. These can be tricky stats to figure out, so tying in other stats can help explain the story better. For example, the Rams offense has been one of the better ones over the last few seasons, and are top ten in the league in punt returns and overall production. When you flip to their production, they rank inside the top ten in special teams stats, but they also have had a very good return game over the last few seasons.