Fantasy Football Kicker Primer Week 15 (2019)
Jason Sanders has had a busy December. Just one week after scoring a touchdown on a fake field goal in Miami’s shocking upset of the Eagles, the former University of New Mexico Lobo star came within one field goal of tying the late Rob Bironas for the NFL record with eight field goals in a game.
Sanders finished with 22 points on the week to lead all kickers and could have finished with 27 points and a share of the NFL record had he not shanked a relatively easy 34-yard kick in the second half against the Jets.
Week 14 Stud Performances from Widely-Available Kickers
Jason Sanders (MIA) vs. New York Jets: 0% ownership on Yahoo
To put into perspective just how impressive Sanders’ 22-point performance was against the Jets, he scored as many fantasy points in Week 14 as he did between Weeks 1 and 7 combined. It was the second straight week with over ten fantasy points and the third time this season in which he topped double digits in points. His K Score continues to place him outside of the range of players to recommend because the Miami offense ranks well outside the top 15 in average yards per game, but if Fitzmagic continues to take advantage of subpar defenses as he has done over the last two weeks, Sanders could be a sneaky play this week against the Giants.
Younghoe Koo (ATL) vs. CAR: 0% ownership on Yahoo
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Koo might be one of the best kickers to add for the playoff stretch based on his above-average K Score and the upcoming schedule of indoor games for the Falcons. That prediction has proven to be correct with Koo scoring the fourth-most points at the position over the last five weeks, including an 18-point monster game against the Panthers on Sunday.
Randy Bullock (CIN) vs. Bengals: 0% ownership on Yahoo
Bullock joins Sanders as a player with less than 1% ownership on Yahoo, who finished as a top-5 kicker this past week. Bullock made four field goals and an extra point to finish with 15 points on the week – his first double-digit performance since Week 5 against Arizona. While his performance was impressive and the Bengals offense appears to have more life with Andy Dalton back under center, I would not recommend playing him this week.
Week 14 Dud Performances from Heavily-Owned Kickers
Greg Zuerlein (LAR) vs. Seattle: 98% ownership on Yahoo
Greg the Leg has been a massive disappointment this season with seven or fewer points in five of his last six games. His attempts are down, and his 75% field goal percentage ranks 22nd at the position. While it is possible he breaks out of his slump this week on the road against the Cowboys, I would not fault someone for pivoting to Koo or Michael Badgley in the playoffs.
|Rank||ECR||Name||TEAM||Opponent||Spread||O/U||OPP RZ D||RZ EFF*||OFF RNK||K Score**||Weather|
|1||1||Justin Tucker||BAL||vs. NYJ||-14||44||13||4||2||19||31F, 5 PMH Wind|
|2||5||Harrison Butker||KC||vs. DEN||-13||47||1||21||6||28||20F, Overcast, 8 MPH Wind|
|3||4||Greg Zuerlein||LAR||at DAL||PK||49||5||15||8||28||Dome|
|4||2||Wil Lutz||NO||vs. IND||-9||44||15||19||12||46||Dome|
|5||3||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. CHI||-7||41||17||3||23||43||6F, 14 MPH Wind|
|6||6||Matt Gay||TB||at DET||-4||48||29||8||3||40||Dome|
|7||7||Robbie Gould||SF||vs. ATL||-11.5||46||27||24||4||55||55F, 5 MPH Wind|
|8||8||Jake Elliott||PHI||at WAS||-6||40||18||6||17||41||47F, 13 MPH Wind|
|9||9||Dan Bailey||MIN||at LAC||-3||46||19||2||11||32||67F, 3 MPH Wind|
|10||12||Michael Badgley||LAC||vs. MIN||3||46||4||26||10||40||67F, 3 MPH Wind|
|11||10||Austin Seibert||CLE||at ARI||-2.5||47||16||20||19||55||Dome|
|12||11||Jason Myers||SEA||at CAR||-4.5||49||26||9||5||40||53F, 4 MPH Wind|
|13||26||Stephen Hauschka||BUF||at PIT||1||37||9||10||20||39||26F, 8 MPH Wind|
|14||13||Ka’imi Fairbairn||HOU||at TEN||1.5||48||30||5||9||44||35F, 4 MPH Wind|
|15||23||Younghoe Koo||ATL||at SF||11.5||46||8||22||7||37||55F, 5 MPH Wind|
|16||14||Nick Folk||NE||at CIN||-10.5||40||3||27||15||45||27F, 6 MPH Wind|
|17||15||Zane Gonzalez||ARI||vs. CLE||2.5||47||12||30||24||66||Dome|
|18||16||Joey Slye||CAR||vs. SEA||4.5||49||21||11||21||53||53F, 4 MPH Wind|
|19||17||Chris Boswell||PIT||vs. BUF||-1||37||20||30||28||78||26F, 8 MPH Wind|
|20||18||Jason Sanders||MIA||at NYG||3.5||48||11||16||30||57||45F, 14 MPH Wind|
|21||19||Aldrick Rosas||NYG||vs. MIA||-3.5||48||22||23||28||73||45F, 14 MPH Wind|
|22||20||Ryan Succop||TEN||vs. HOU||-1.5||48||31||1||18||50||35F, 4 MPH Wind|
|23||21||Josh Lambo||JAC||at OAK||4.5||45||32||29||16||77||52F, 3 MPH Wind|
|24||22||Matt Prater||DET||vs. TB||4||48||14||18||13||45||Dome|
|25||32||Randy Bullock||CIN||vs. NE||10.5||40||6||0||25||31||27F, 6 MPH Wind|
|26||24||Daniel Carlson||OAK||vs. JAC||-4.5||45||25||13||14||52||52F, 3 MPH Wind|
|27||25||Eddy Pineiro||CHI||at GB||7||41||7||12||29||48||6F, 14 MPH Wind|
|28||27||Chase McLaughlin||IND||at NO||9||44||24||7||22||53||Dome|
|29||28||Sam Ficken||NYJ||at BAL||14||44||2||14||31||47||31F, 5 PMH Wind|
|30||29||Kai Forbath||DAL||vs. LAR||PK||49||28||17||1||46||Dome|
|31||30||Brandon McManus||DEN||at KC||13||47||10||25||27||62||20F, Overcast, 8 MPH Wind|
|32||31||Dustin Hopkins||WAS||vs. PHI||6||40||23||28||32||83||47F, 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 15:
Michael Badgley (LAC) vs. Minnesota: 12% Ownership on Yahoo
Badgley continues to deliver with 28 points in his last three games, including ten points last week against Jacksonville. If you are looking for a kicker who has a solid floor with the chance of being a week-winning play in the playoffs, Badgley could be your guy.
Stephen Hauschka (BUF) vs. Cincinnati: 8% ownership on Yahoo
Hauschka ranks sixth in fantasy points over the past five weeks, yet he continues to have a low ownership percentage on Yahoo and other fantasy platforms. In an important game against a Steelers defense that ranks 9th in red zone defense, Hauschka could be in line for a big game.
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.
Robbie Gould (SF) @ New Orleans: 18% Ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 15
My Rank: 5
Week 14 Finish: Tied for 4th
The game between the 49ers and the Saints went exactly the opposite of how most people projected. Instead of a defensive struggle between two of the top defenses in the NFL, we were all treated to a shootout and the first time in NFL history that a game ended with a score of 48-46. Instead of benefiting from a low-scoring game with multiple field goal attempts, Gould made six extra points and to field goals to finish with 13 fantasy points.
Austin Seibert (CLE) vs. Cincinnati: 8% ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 12
My Rank: 7
Week 4 Finish: Tied for 6th
Seibert posted his second big game in the last three weeks with 11 fantasy points on the road against the Bengals. I would not be surprised to see another strong performance this week on the road against the Cardinals.
Michael Badgley (LAC) vs. Minnesota: 12% Ownership on Yahoo
I have been writing for weeks that Michael Badgley should be owned in all formats, but he continues to be overlooked in most leagues despite no fewer than nine points in each of his last three games. If you are in need of a kicker with a solid floor and a high ceiling in your semi-final matchup, Badgley at home against Minnesota is your guy.
Other players to consider:
Stephen Hauschka (BUF) @ Pittsburgh: 9% ownership on Yahoo