Fantasy Football Kicker Primer Week 6 (2019)
For the second consecutive week, fantasy football owners benefitted by monster games by kickers, with ten different players scoring ten or more fantasy points. By comparison, only five kickers reached double-digit figures in Weeks 2 and 3. Both Justin Tucker and Dan Bailey posted 16 fantasy points, with each player notching four field goals and two extra points.
Mike Nugent took over the kicking duties for the New England Patriots against the Redskins with Stephen Gostkowski out for the season due to injury. The former Jet and Bengal hit both of his two field-goal attempts but did miss an extra point.
Here are a few Week 5 strong performances from widely-available kickers:
Randy Bullock (CIN) vs. Arizona: 1% ownership on Yahoo
Bullock posted his first big game of the season with 12 fantasy points on three field goals and two extra points. The game between the Cardinals and the Bengals proved to be a monster game for fantasy kickers, with Bullock and Zane Gonzalez combining to score 24 fantasy points. Bullock could be an interesting play this week on the road against a Baltimore team that has been surprisingly bad against the pass, and will likely continue to struggle with the season-ending knee injury to safety Tony Jefferson.
Chris Boswell (PIT) vs. Baltimore: 11% ownership on Yahoo
In the past, Boswell was a fantasy staple at the kicker position due to the fact that he was the beneficiary of playing for one of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL. Those days are gone, but Boswell has been a fantasy stud this year with an average of 10 fantasy points per game dating back to Week 2, as the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers have struggled to convert drives into touchdowns. It may be a risky play to start Boswell now that the Steelers are down to their third-string QB, but you cannot deny the fact that Boswell has been great on an otherwise disappointing offense.
Zane Gonzalez (ARI) @ Denver: 17% ownership on Yahoo
The 17% of owners who stayed with Gonzalez through his two-point stinker against Seattle were rewarded with 12 fantasy points on the road against Cincinnati. Gonzo is not a particularly good kicker compared to the other top players at the position, but he continues to lead the league in field goal attempts and will likely continue to be a valuable fantasy asset with the Kyler Murray-led offense struggling to convert red zone drives into touchdowns.
Week 5 dud performances from heavily-owned kickers:
Joey Slye (CAR) vs. Jacksonville: 83% ownership on Yahoo
Sunday was a day to forget for Slye, with two missed field goals and a missed extra point against the Jaguars. It was only the second time this season in which Slye failed to reach double figures and the first time since Week 1 that the rookie missed a field goal.
Robbie Gould (SF) vs. Cleveland: 61% ownership on Yahoo
A new holder and long-snapper proved to be devastating for Robbie Gould and his fantasy owners, with the usually automatic kicker for the 49ers missing three field goals against the Browns on Monday Night Football. I anticipate the team will address this issue over the week, and Gould will once again be a solid play against the Rams on Sunday.
|Rank||ECR||Name||TEAM||Opponent||Spread||O/U||OPP RZ D||RZ EFF*||OFF RNK||K Score**||Weather|
|1||3||Harrison Butker||KC||vs. HOU||-8.5||54||7||9||2||18||Dome|
|2||2||Greg Zuerlein||LAR||vs. SF||-5||49||1||23||5||29||80F, 6 mph wind|
|3||1||Justin Tucker||BAL||vs. CIN||-8.5||48||7||24||3||34||63F, 6 mph wind|
|4||7||Wil Lutz||NO||at JAC||1.5||44||13||6||20||39||84F, Light Wind|
|5||4||Robbie Gould||SF||at LAR||5||49||25||7||4||36||80F, 6 mph wind|
|6||12||Matt Bryant||ATL||at ARI||-2.5||47||8||21||10||39||Dome|
|7||5||Ka’imi Fairbairn||HOU||at KC||8.5||54||4||30||9||43||Dome|
|8||6||Mike Nugent||NE||vs. NYG||-14||47||16||10||11||37||51F, Rain, 21 mph wind|
|9||21||Chase McLaughlin||LAC||vs. PIT||-5.5||44||3||8||13||24||72F, 8 mph wind|
|10||8||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. DET||-5.5||47||12||27||25||64||TBD|
|11||14||Josh Lambo||JAC||vs. NO||-1.5||44||28||4||6||38||84F, Light Wind|
|12||9||Joey Slye||CAR||at TB||-2||46||10||16||14||40||55F, 6 mph wind|
|13||13||Matt Prater||DET||at GB||5.5||47||17||14||8||39||TBD|
|14||10||Brett Maher||DAL||at NYJ||-7||45||31||28||1||60||68F, 6 mph wind|
|15||11||Zane Gonzalez||ARI||vs. ATL||2.5||47||24||2||16||42||Dome|
|16||15||Matt Gay||TB||vs. CAR||2||46||19||11||17||47||55F, 6 mph wind|
|17||24||Aldrick Rosas||NYG||at NE||14||47||2||13||15||30||51F, Rain, 21 mph wind|
|18||16||Jake Elliott||PHI||at MIN||3||44||5||26||24||55||Dome|
|19||17||Jason Myers||SEA||at CLE||-2.5||46||30||31||7||68||56F, 13 mph wind|
|20||18||Austin Seibert||CLE||vs. SEA||2.5||46||15||12||23||50||56F, 13 mph wind|
|21||19||Dan Bailey||MIN||vs. PHI||-3||44||11||20||18||49||Dome|
|22||20||Chris Boswell||PIT||at LAC||5.5||44||26||3||29||58||72F, 8 mph wind|
|23||22||Brandon McManus||DEN||vs. TEN||-2.5||40||29||22||19||70||69F, light wind|
|24||23||Dustin Hopkins||WAS||at MIA||-6.5||41||32||15||28||75||83F, 11 mph wind|
|25||26||Randy Bullock||CIN||at BAL||8.5||48||18||1||26||45||63F, 6 mph wind|
|26||27||Jason Sanders||MIA||vs. WAS||6.5||41||20||0||31||51||84F, Light Wind|
|27||28||Sam Ficken||NYJ||vs. DAL||7||45||9||25||32||66||68F, 6 mph wind|
*Red Zone Efficiency is based on the inverse of how well the kicker’s offense does in the red zone. For example, the Ravens rank second in red zone efficiency; therefore Justin Tucker has a RZ EFF score of 31. The lower number, the better for kickers, as playing on a team that struggles to score touchdowns in the red zone equates to more field goal opportunities.
**The K Score is the sum of a player’s opponent red zone, the red zone efficiency of his offense, and the overall rank of his respective team in terms of total yards. A low score indicates that a kicker has variables working in his favor for a good fantasy kicking performance.
Kicker rankings are based on numerous factors, including matchups, Vegas lines and score projections, weather conditions, the ability of a kicker’s team offense and their ability to move the ball into field goal range, offensive red zone efficiency, and how well the opposing defense limits touchdowns in the red zone. These factors are a guide, but not a definitive way to predict kicking success, as other variables and negative game scripts significantly impact the outcome.
Based on all of the variables mentioned above, the following two kickers are players ranked outside of the FantasyPros ECR top 10 who could be an excellent play Week 6:
Chase McLaughlin (LAC) vs. Pittsburgh: 1% Ownership on Yahoo
McLaughlin made two of his three field-goal attempts against the Broncos last Sunday and appears to be the guy once again this week against the Steelers. Whoever kicks for the Chargers this Sunday has one of the best K Scores of the week at 24, with the Chargers offense struggling as of late in the red zone.
Matt Bryant (ATL) @ Arizona: 24% ownership on Yahoo
The wily veteran has been a bust this season with six or fewer fantasy points in all but one of his games. Instead of being an every week set and forget kicker as in years’ past, Bryant is only a spot starter in certain situations in which the K Score shows a higher probability of a big game. On the road against Arizona is one of those situations, making Bryant an excellent streaming option this week.
Each week I suggest two kickers ranked outside the FantasyPros ECR top 10, who I believe will be solid performers based on the variables described in the K Score section. The following is a review of my picks from the previous week to see where I was successful and where I missed the mark.
Aldrick Rosas (NYG) vs. Minnesota: 13% Ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 15
My Rank: 8
Week 5 Finish: Tied #23
This was the riskier of my two picks this week based on the fact that rookie QB Daniel Jones faced an uphill challenge against the Vikings on the road. My hope was Jones will still be able to move the ball, and Rosas would benefit from stalled drives. Instead, Rosas received just one field goal opportunity and one extra point.
Josh Lambo (JAX) @ Carolina: 9% ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 19
My Rank: 10
Week 5 Finish: #11
Lambo continues to be a reliable fantasy kicker with the Gardner Minshew-led offense moving the ball well and putting up points. With an ECR of 19, the fantasy industry has still not come around on the veteran kicker despite 34 total points in the last three weeks.
Mike Nugent (NE) vs. NY Giants: 24% ownership on Yahoo
The Nuge scored eight fantasy points in his debut with the Pats and should be owned in most leagues. This week’s weather report for Thursday night does not look great with wind and rain in Foxboro, but Nugent should be a top-12 kicker for the rest of the season.
Another player to consider:
Chase McLaughlin (LAC) vs. Pittsburgh: 1% ownership on Yahoo