Week 9 Streaming Kickers (Fantasy Football)
Fantasy owners fortunate enough to grab Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater after his Week 7 bye were treated to five field goals on a Sunday Night Football, including a 50-yarder in the first half against the Steelers. Fresh off signing a three-year extension with the Lions, Prater improved on his NFL record of making 78.4% of his field goal attempts of 50 yards or more in his career.
Journeyman veteran Mike Nugent made four of five attempts and three extra points in the Cowboys’ 33-19 win over Washington. Nugent’s time with Dallas is limited as a temporary injury replacement for Dan Bailey, but he could be a nice play over the next two weeks with matchups against Kansas City and Atlanta.
Rookie sensation Jake Elliott came back down to Earth after his torrid start with two missed extra points against the 49ers. The Eagles were in no risk of losing the game against San Francisco, so the missed extra points did not have an impact on the game, but those misses could affect Elliott’s confidence going forward.
With six teams on a bye this week, many owners will be looking for replacement kickers on the waiver wire. The following three kickers are widely available on the wire and could be viable plays this week.
Ryan Succop vs. Baltimore (40% ownership on Yahoo)
Like Prater last week, Ryan Succop was dropped on the Week 8 bye for the Titans and is available in 60% of leagues despite ranking second in fantasy points for kickers behind Greg Zuerlein. The veteran kicker has been excellent this season making 20 of 22 field goal attempts, including 10 for 10 between 40 and 49 yards.
The Ravens own the fourth-best red zone defense in terms of limiting opposing teams to field goals, while the Titans rank just ahead of Arizona as-as the worst red zone offense in football. This formula proved to be fantasy gold for Kai Forbath two weeks ago when he kicked six field goals against Baltimore, and it should pay dividends for Succop owners this week.
Greg Zuerlein @ NYG (67% ownership on Yahoo)
I typically like to recommend players with a 40% or lower ownership percentage, but felt that Legatron needs to be included in this week’s article because he leads the league in fantasy points and is available in 33% of leagues. With so many leagues short on roster spots, owners are faced with the tough decision of using a roster spot on a bye week kicker.
In many cases, owners of kickers like Zuerlein and Succop simply cannot roster two kickers and choose to play kicker roulette in hopes that other owners are not paying attention. When you consider the fact that Zuerlein has 28 more fantasy points this season that the 12th place kicker Graham Gano, using a waiver claim on him might just be a game-changer for the second half of the season.
Ka’imi Fairbairn vs. Indianapolis (8% Ownership on Yahoo)
Name recognition often trumps logic when it comes to selecting fantasy kickers, as owners opt for guys they have heard of like Mason Crosby and Adam Vinatieri, even though those veteran kickers have not been strong fantasy plays this year. Despite playing in one less game, Ka’imi Fairbairn has three fewer points on the season than Vinatieri and 16-more points than Mason Crosby, yet both Vinatieri and Crosby each have an ownership rate of at least 41% compared to Fairbairn’s 8%.
When you consider that Fairbairn plays indoors for an offense that ranks third in points, it is clear that many owners are making a mistake by passing on Fairbairn. Fairbairn’s matchup against Indy this week could be a blowout with only extra points, but he is still an excellent play for owners looking for a decent floor, and his upcoming schedule looks great for the playoff push.
Red Flag Alert
Patrick Murray vs. New Orleans
Owners of bye week kickers may look at the matchup between the Saints and Bucs as an excellent target for kicker points in what could be a high scoring game. I do like Wil Lutz to have a solid game against the Bucs, but a negative game script with the Saints beating up on the Bucs could limit the attempts for Murray.