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Fantasy Football Kicker Primer Week 14 (2019)

by Andrew Swanson | @FFtoday_Andy | Featured Writer
Dec 3, 2019

Brandon McManus had a big game last week for the Broncos.

Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri won three Super Bowl rings together as members of the 2001, 2003, and 2004 New England Patriots, with Vinatieri going on to win a fourth ring with the Colts in 2006.

The two future Hall of Famers continue to fight Father Time as the two oldest players in the NFL. Whether or not you believe Brady is finally starting to slow down and show his age, there is little doubt that the 2019 season is going to be the swan song for Vinatieri.

Vinatieri has looked every bit the part of a guy three years and a few weeks away from joining AARP, with a 68% field goal percentage that is nearly 20 points lower than his career average. He has missed a staggering six extra points, and the blocked kick for a touchdown against the Titans last week was the first allowed block kick for a touchdown in Colts’ history.

Time waits for no one, and it looks like the end is near for Vinatieri, with the next stop for a bust and a gold jacket in Canton. It is just a shame that he did not go out on top.

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Week 13 Stud Performances from Widely-Available Kickers

Brandon McManus (DEN) vs. Los Angeles: 3% ownership on Yahoo
In my kicker planner last week, I wrote about the high probability of a field goal game between the Broncos and Chargers, with Michael Badgley ranked as my No.1 kicker for the week. Badgley came within one doink off the left upright on a 55-yard kick from finishing as the No.2 kicker on the week behind Will Lutz. Instead, his counterpart in the game, Brandon McManus, made three field goals, including a game-winning 50 yarder to finish with 15 fantasy points for the day. I will need more data from the Drew Lock-led Broncos offense before I can assess the fantasy value for McManus going forward, but he does have two games of at least 12 points in his last three games.

Dustin Hopkins (WAS) vs. DET: 1% ownership on Yahoo
Hopkins made the list for stud performances for the second straight week with 11 points on the road against the Panthers, as the Redskins took advantage of playing against one of the two most giving fantasy defenses in the Lions and the Panthers. I like how the offense in Washington is starting to gain momentum, but it is going to be hard for Hopkins to make it a triple this week against the Packers.

Week 13 Dud Performances from Heavily-Owned Kickers

Brett Maher (DAL) vs. Buffalo: 79% ownership on Yahoo
Maher appears to be going through a mental slump with two missed field goals on Thursday against the Bills. His struggles alarmed the Cowboys enough that they brought in other kickers to work out for the team. No kickers were signed, and Maher will be the kicker when Dallas heads to Soldier Field to take on the Bears on Thursday Night Football. It remains to be seen if the move to bring in replacement kickers will motivate Maher or make his mental issues worse.

Kicker Rankings

Rank ECR Name TEAM Opponent Spread O/U OPP RZ D RZ EFF* OFF RNK K Score** Weather
1 2 Wil Lutz NO vs. SF -3 46 2 8 13 23 Dome
2 7 Harrison Butker KC at NE 4 51 8 12 4 24 40F, Overcast 10 MPH Wind
3 1 Justin Tucker BAL at BUF -7 43 19 26 2 47 38F, 13 MPH Wind
4 4 Greg Zuerlein LAR vs. SEA 3 47 15 13 10 38 63, 7 MPH Wind
5 15 Robbie Gould SF at NO 3 46 20 6 6 32 Dome
6 5 Jake Elliott PHI vs. NYG -8 47 10 21 20 51 TBD
7 12 Austin Seibert CLE vs. CIN -10.5 43 3 10 18 31 44F, Overcast 13 MPH Wind
8 6 Matt Gay TB vs. IND -1 51 9 18 19 46 73F, 9 MPH Wind
9 3 Mason Crosby GB vs. WAS -14.5 42 16 29 22 67 39F, 13 MPH Wind
10 8 Younghoe Koo ATL vs. CAR -1 49 27 11 11 49 Dome
11 14 Ka’imi Fairbairn HOU vs. DEN -7 42 1 25 9 35 Dome
12 10 Jason Myers SEA at LAR -3 47 28 24 3 55 63, 7 MPH Wind
13 11 Michael Badgley LAC at JAC -1 45 17 5 12 34 68F, Mostly Cloudy 11 MPH Wind
14 13 Brett Maher DAL at CHI -3 43 13 14 1 28 37F, Overcast 6 MPH Wind
15 19 Josh Lambo JAC vs. LAC 1 45 21 1 15 37 68F, Mostly Cloudy 11 MPH Wind
16 17 Zane Gonzalez ARI vs. PIT 2.5 44 11 2 23 36 Dome
17 21 Matt Prater DET at MIN 14 43 5 15 7 27 Dome
18 16 Joey Slye CAR at ATL 1 49 23 19 21 63 Dome
19 9 Dan Bailey MIN vs. DET -14 43 25 28 8 61 Dome
20 22 Stephen Hauschka BUF vs. BAL 7 43 4 22 17 43 38F, 13 MPH Wind
21 18 Chris Boswell PIT at ARI -2.5 44 18 -1 28 45 Dome
22 20 Adam Vinatieri IND at TB 1 51 14 23 19 56 73F, 9 MPH Wind
23 30 Dustin Hopkins WAS at GB 14.5 42 6 0 32 38 39F, 13 MPH Wind
24 23 Ryan Succop TEN at OAK 2.5 48 32 30 24 86 57F, 5 MPH Wind
25 24 Eddy Pineiro CHI vs. DAL 3 43 7 17 29 53 37F, Overcast 6 MPH Wind
26 25 Daniel Carlson OAK vs. TEN -2.5 48 30 16 16 62 57F, 5 MPH Wind
27 29 Brandon McManus DEN at HOU 7 42 31 25 27 83 Dome
28 26 Sam Ficken NYJ vs. MIA -7.5 44 24 20 31 75 39F, 9 MPH Wind
29 27 Aldrick Rosas NYG at PHI 8 47 26 9 25 60 TBD
30 28 Jason Sanders MIA at NYJ 7.5 44 29 27 30 86 39F, 13 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 14.

Robbie Gould (SF) @ New Orleans: 18% Ownership on Yahoo
Gould came one short 55-yard field goal attempt in the rain short of finishing as a top-7 play last week and should be a great start this week indoors against the Saints. The 49ers boast the No.6 offense in yards per game but continue to rank in the bottom ten in red-zone efficiency. Vegas has this as a relatively high-scoring game, but I believe it will be more of a field goal game with Lutz and Gould delivering solid games.

Austin Seibert (CLE) vs. Cincinnati: 8% ownership on Yahoo
Seibert has 18 fantasy points in his last two games and projects to be a top-12 kicker this week against the Bengals. As bad as they have been this season with just one win on their record, the Bengals have been surprisingly stingy in the red zone.

Prediction Review

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.

Ka’imi Fairbairn (HOU): 69% Ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 17
My Rank: 9
Week 13 Finish: 26
Fairbairn made all four of his extra points to finish with four points on the day, but he did not get a field goal opportunity with the Texans offense putting up four touchdowns against the Patriots. This was a surprising outcome based on the fact that the Patriots entered with the top-ranked defense and red zone defense in the league.

Chase McLaughlin/Robbie Gould (SF) @ Baltimore: 8% ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 22
My Rank: 97
Week 13 Finish: 24th
The weather in Baltimore proved to be more of an issue that I anticipated when I ranked the 49ers kicker playing against the Ravens. The K Score came through with Gould missing a 55-yard attempt that had he made, would have given him 10 points on the day and a tie for 7th place with Harrison Butker. Be sure to check the weather report as we get closer to game time as the initial report for Baltimore did not include rain.

Waiver Wired

Top Add

Michael Badgley (LAC) @ Jacksonville: 15% Ownership on Yahoo
Badgley came through with a solid nine-point performance last week as my top waiver wire add, and could have been a top-4 performer had he not hit the upright on a 50-yard attempt against the Broncos. I am sticking with him again this week as my top waiver addition, as I believe he should be a top-12 kicker the rest of the season.

Other players to consider:

Austin Seibert (CLE) vs. Cincinnati: 19% ownership on Yahoo

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Andrew Swanson is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his archive or follow him @FFtoday_Andy.

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