Fantasy Football Kicker Guide Week 4 (2020)
The 2020 NFL season has been a roller coaster ride for Stephen Gostkowski. In his first game with the Tennessee Titans, the former New England Patriot great missed three field goal attempts and an extra point before kicking a game-winning field goal against the Broncos.
Gostkowski then hit both of his field goal tries Week 2 against the Jags, only to hit the upright on one of his four extra point tries.
The roller coaster hit a massive high this past week with a 25-point explosion against the Vikings at US Bank Stadium. Gostkowski hit six field goals and one extra point to help the Titans win a 31-30 shootout against the Vikings.
For the 10% of owners who were brave enough to continue to play Gostkowski after his Week 1 debacle, staying the course proved to provide fantasy riches this past week. For those owners who think Gostkowski’s production is a mirage, consider that no other kicker in the league has more field goal attempts, and Gostkowski’s K Score indicates sustained future success.
Week 3 Stud Performances from widely available kickers
Joey Slye (CAR) vs. LA Chargers: 14% ownership on Yahoo
In one of the more surprising results of the week, the Panthers went into Sofi Stadium and beat the Chargers 21-16 for head coach Matt Rhule’s first win as an NFL head coach. Slye made five short field goals as the Chargers defense did a solid job keeping Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers out of the end zone.
Graham Gano (NYG) vs. SF: 1% ownership on Yahoo
I identified Gano as a possible strong play last week based on his K Score. The former Panther kicker came within one missed 50-yard attempt from finishing as a K1 against the Bears. His K Score indicated another strong play this week against the 49ers, and the veteran kicker came through with three field goals, including a 50 yarder to finish with 13 points on the week.
Week 3 Dud Performances from widely-owned kickers
Jason Myers (SEA) @ Green Bay: 90% ownership on Yahoo
Russ cooked too much for Myers fantasy owners this week, as the Seattle offense put up 38 points against the Cowboys in a shootout at Century Link Field. The floor his four extra points provided was decent, but the lack of field goal attempts was a disappointing development for his fantasy managers.
Harrison Butker (KC) @ Baltimore: 100% ownership on Yahoo
The Chiefs had everything working for them in their impressive win over the Ravens on Monday Night Football. Mahomes threw for 385 yards and five total touchdowns and the defense shut down the Ravens potent offense. The only part of the team that struggled was special teams, as the Chiefs gave up the first kick return touchdown on the season and Harrison Butker missed a field goal and an extra point. Although he burned his owners this week, he still is a top play the remainder of the season and should not be dropped.
|Rank||ECR||Name||Opponent||Spread||O/U||OPP RZ D||RZ EFF*||OFF RNK||K Score**||Weather|
|1||2||Harrison Butker (KC)||vs. NE||53.5||-8||9||21||5||35||61F 9 mph wind|
|2||1||Justin Tucker (BAL)||at WAS||52||-12||11||8||23||42||65F 5 mph wind|
|3||4||Mason Crosby (GB)||vs. ATL||57.5||-5||28||13||2||43||TBD|
|4||3||Wil Lutz (NO)||at DET||56||-4||19||12||18||49||Dome|
|5||5||Greg Zuerlein (DAL)||vs. CLE||54||-4||27||23||1||51||Dome|
|6||12||Rodrigo Blankenship (IND)||at CHI||45||-2.5||3||9||12||24||54F, Light Rain|
|7||6||Jason Myers (SEA)||at MIA||54||-6.5||32||31||9||72||88F 12 mph wind|
|8||7||Zane Gonzalez (ARI)||at CAR||51||-3.5||22||24||10||56||62F 6 mph wind|
|9||8||Robbie Gould (SF)||vs. PHI||45.5||-3||21||16||14||51||77F 5 mph wind|
|10||14||Joey Slye (CAR)||vs. ARI||51||3.5||2||2||16||20||62F 6 mph wind|
|11||13||Tyler Bass (BUF)||at LV||49.5||-3||15||19||4||38||Dome|
|12||24||Jake Elliott (PHI)||at SF||45.5||3||7||11||24||42||77F 5 mph wind|
|13||9||Matt Prater (DET)||vs. NO||56||4||30||5||19||54||Dome|
|14||10||Sam Sloman (LAR)||vs. NYG||47||-9||18||18||3||39||Dome|
|15||11||Chris Boswell (PIT)||at TEN||47.5||-1.5||29||7||13||49||61F 8 mph wind|
|16||21||Michael Badgley (LAC)||at TB||45.5||4.5||6||10||6||22||75F, Light Rain|
|17||16||Nick Folk (NE)||at KC||53.5||8||13||14||8||35||61F 9 mph wind|
|18||19||Stephen Gostkowski (TEN)||vs. PIT||47.5||1.5||4||25||11||40||61F 8 mph wind|
|19||15||Ka’imi Fairbairn (HOU)||vs. MIN||49.5||-4||8||26||28||62||Dome|
|20||17||Ryan Succop (TB)||vs. LAC||45.5||-4.5||1||27||25||53||75F, Light Rain|
|21||18||Randy Bullock (CIN)||vs. JAC||48||-3||25||4||27||56||59F 5 mph wind|
|22||20||Dan Bailey (MIN)||at HOU||49.5||4||5||26||22||53||Dome|
|23||22||Cairo Santos (CHI)||vs. IND||45||2.5||20||6||17||43||54F, Light Rain|
|24||23||Cody Parkey (CLE)||at DAL||54||6.5||10||28||20||58||Dome|
|25||25||Jason Sanders (MIA)||vs. SEA||54||6.5||24||20||26||70||88F 12 mph wind|
|26||32||Graham Gano (NYG)||at LAR||47||9||26||1||31||58||Dome|
|27||26||Brandon McManus (DEN)||at NYJ||41||-2.5||16||3||29||48||64F, 4 mph wind|
|28||27||Daniel Carlson (LV)||vs. BUF||49.5||3||17||15||15||47||Dome|
|29||29||Younghoe Koo (ATL)||at GB||57.5||5||23||13||7||43||TBD|
|30||30||Stephen Hauschka (JAC)||at CIN||48||3||12||30||21||63||59F 5 mph wind|
|31||31||Sam Ficken (NYJ)||vs. DEN||41||2.5||16||0||32||48||64F, 4 mph wind|
|32||33||Dustin Hopkins (WAS)||vs. BAL||52||12||11||22||30||63||65F 5 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 24th in red zone efficiency; therefore Justin Tucker has a RZ EFF score of 8. 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.
**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 4.
Tyler Bass (BUF) @ Las Vegas: 2% Ownership on Yahoo
I wanted to go with Rodrigo Blankenship for a third time, as he has another excellent scoring opportunity this week against the Bears. Instead, I will pivot to Tyler Bass on the road against the Raiders in the Death Star. Bass has provided a solid floor of production but has yet to post a double-digit game this year. Oakland gives up the fourth-most points to kickers, and their red zone defense ranks 15th in the league.
Joey Slye (CAR) vs. Arizona: 14% ownership on Yahoo
Sly has two double-digit performances in three weeks and continues to project as a strong play based on a K Score of 29. There is the threat that the Cardinals offense could create a negative game script, but based on what we saw last week from Kyler Murray, this game could be closer than you think.
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.
Rodrigo Blankenship (IND) vs. NYJ: 6% Ownership on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 13
- My Rank: 9
- Week 3 Finish: T10
I stayed in the flames with Hot Rod Blankenship and was rewarded with 11 fantasy points. The undrafted rookie kicker from Georgia made two 40-plus yard kicks and all four of his extra points in the Colt’s blowout win over the hapless Jets. Blankenship would have had a massive day had he not pushed a 45-yard attempt wide right.
Michael Badgley (LAC) vs. Carolina: 12% ownership on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 15
- My Rank: 8
- Week 3 Finish: T23
This game turned out to be a huge disappointment for the Chargers in a matchup they should have dominated. A negative game script created by turnovers and suspect quarterback play limited Badgely to just one field goal and one extra point for five fantasy points. In a week in which 14 players hit double-digit fantasy points, Badgley proved to be a huge dud.
Jake Elliott (PHI) vs. San Francisco: 48% Ownership on Yahoo
Elliott posted his first double-digit performance this week against the Bengals and could be in line for another solid game against a 49ers team that is seventh-best in the league in red zone defense.
Other players to consider:
Rodrigo Blankenship (IND) vs. NYJ: 27% Ownership on Yahoo
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