Fantasy Football Kicker Guide Week 3 (2020)
The Chiefs are an embarrassment of riches. Not only do they have the best quarterback in the league, the top tight end, one of the best offensive-minded coaches of all time, and three track star wide receivers, they also have one of the best kickers in the league.
Harrison Butker proved his weight in gold in Sunday’s overtime win over the Chargers at Sofi Stadium with a game-winning 58-yard field goal. Not only was the length of the kick impressive, but the fact that it was his third successful attempt at the kick made it more eye-opening.
Week 2 turned out to be a much-better kicking week across the league, with zero missed field goals of 50 yards or fewer, and only three missed extra points. Compared to the 13 missed field goals (kicks under 50 yards) from Week 1, it appears as though kickers have moved on from their first-week jitters.
Week 2 Stud Performances from widely available kickers
Rodrigo Blankenship (IND) vs. Minnesota: 6% ownership on Yahoo
Rookie Hot Rod Blankenship was a busy man on Sunday, with four field goals and two extra points. His 15 fantasy points gave Blankenship the first top-3 finish of his career. The Colts rank 28th in Red Zone efficiency yet 11th in yards per game. Add in the fact that Hot Rod plays in a dome, and you have a recipe for success.
Randy Bullock (CIN) vs. CLE: 2% ownership on Yahoo
I’m surprised that Bullock has an ownership of 2% after shanking what would have been a win for Joe Burrow and the Bengals last week against the Chargers. Bullock bounced back well in Week 2 with three field goals and three extra points against the Browns.
Week 2 Dud Performances from widely-owned kickers
Matt Prater (DET) @ Green Bay: 90% ownership on Yahoo
Prater was a victim of a negative game script in a lopsided loss to the Packers. The big legged kicker for the Lions missed a 50-yard attempt and managed just three extra points on the day. Considering Prater made seven seven field goals in just two games against the Pack last year, I would not drop Prater and would consider this more of an anomaly.
Dan Bailey (MIN) @ Indianapolis: 63% ownership on Yahoo
The Vikings are a hot mess on offense, and their defense has been beaten up in two consecutive games. Bailey now has seven total points in two games, making him a drop candidate in all formats.
|Rank||ECR||Name||TEAM||Opponent||Spread||O/U||OPP RZ D||RZ EFF*||OFF RNK||K Score**||Weather|
|1||1||Justin Tucker||BAL||vs. KC||-2.5||52||29||21||12||62||TBD|
|2||2||Harrison Butker||KC||at BAL||2.5||52||19||11||13||43||TBD|
|3||9||Mason Crosby||GB||at NO||6.5||52||31||8||1||40||Dome|
|4||3||Wil Lutz||NO||vs. GB||-6.5||52||30||17||21||68||Dome|
|5||4||Greg Zuerlein||DAL||at SEA||3.5||56||18||24||2||44||66F 10 MPH Wind|
|6||5||Zane Gonzalez||ARI||vs. DET||-3.5||51||13||19||6||38||Dome|
|7||10||Younghoe Koo||ATL||vs. CHI||-3.5||48||4||20||4||28||Dome|
|8||15||Michael Badgley||LAC||vs. CAR||-6.5||44||23||6||7||36||Dome|
|9||13||Rodrigo Blankenship||IND||vs. NYJ||-7||45||12||4||11||27||Dome|
|10||6||Jason Myers||SEA||vs. DAL||-3.5||55||5||31||10||46||66F 10 MPH Wind|
|11||7||Robbie Gould||SF||at NYG||-6.5||43||17||13||19||49||79F 9 MPH Wind|
|12||8||Matt Prater||DET||at ARI||3.5||51||2||10||17||29||Dome|
|13||12||Chris Boswell||PIT||vs. HOU||-6||45||10||12||14||36||68F 8 MPH Wind|
|14||14||Ryan Succop||TB||at DEN||-3.5||45||11||28||25||64||85F 7 MPH Wind|
|15||11||Jake Elliott||PHI||vs. CIN||-5.5||46||16||16||28||60||78F 12 MPH Wind|
|16||16||Dan Bailey||MIN||vs. TEN||PK||46||26||22||30||78||Dome|
|17||17||Tyler Bass||BUF||vs. LAR||-3||45||15||7||3||25||67F Rain 10 MPH Wind|
|18||22||Sam Sloman||LAR||at BUF||3||45||14||18||5||37||67F Rain 10 MPH Wind|
|19||18||Nick Folk||NE||vs. LV||-6.5||47||22||23||8||53||77F 12 MPH Wind|
|20||19||Joey Slye||CAR||at LAC||6.5||44||3||15||9||27||Dome|
|21||20||Josh Lambo||JAC||vs. MIA||PK||44||28||29||20||77||76F 8 MPH Wind|
|22||21||Stephen Gostkowski||TEN||at MIN||PK||46||7||30||18||55||Dome|
|23||23||Ka’imi Fairbairn||HOU||at PIT||6||45||1||26||24||51||68F 8 MPH Wind|
|24||27||Brandon McManus||DEN||vs. TB||3.5||45||8||3||27||38||85F 7 MPH Wind|
|25||24||Cairo Santos||CHI||at ATL||3.5||48||32||5||23||60||Dome|
|26||25||Cody Parkey||CLE||vs. WAS||-5.5||46||9||27||16||52||70F 9 MPH Wind|
|27||26||Jason Sanders||MIA||at JAC||PK||44||20||9||22||51||76F 8 MPH Wind|
|28||28||Daniel Carlson||LV||at NE||6.6||47||24||25||15||64||77F 12 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 eleventh in red zone efficiency; therefore Justin Tucker has an RZ EFF score of 21. 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 3.
Rodrigo Blankenship (IND) vs. NYJ: 6% Ownership on Yahoo
I’m going back to the well with Hot Rod this week against the Jets, a team that, despite their many issues on offense and defense, is pretty good at keeping opposing offenses out of the end zone. Hot Rod should have a decent floor in a game that the Colts should win easily, and his K Score indicates he could be a top 5 play again this week.
Michael Badgley (LAC) vs. Carolina: 12% ownership on Yahoo
Badgley is tied for 8th in fantasy points over the first two weeks of the season and has an excellent matchup this week at home against the Panthers. Look for Badgley to have a floor of three or four extra points with the upside of a few field goals. His K Score of 36 is one of the better values for widely available kickers.
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. Minnesota: 4% Ownership on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 15
- My Rank: 9
- Week 2 Finish: 3rd
Hot Rod Blankenship came through with a massive 15-point performance against the Vikings. The rookie from Georgia made all four field goal attempts and three extra points. His K Score of 23 indicated a high probability for a big game, and that came to fruition. If the Colts continue to be in the bottom half of red zone efficiency this season while in the top 12 in total yards, Hot Rod could be a top 10 kicker the rest of the way.
Graham Gano (NYG) @ Chicago: 1% ownership on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 29
- My Rank: 12
- Week 2 Finish: T15
Gano was one 50-yard field goal miss from coming through as a top-10 kicker on the week. The former Panther hit two short field goals and one extra point to finish with a respectable seven points on the day. The unfortunate injury to Saquon Barkley hurt the efficiency of the offense and the number of drives that could have resulted in scoring opportunities, but overall, Gano proved to be a decent play.
Rodrigo Blankenship (IND) vs. NYJ: 6% Ownership on Yahoo
I wanted to see the rookie play in a few games before looking to add in on my roster. Although he does have a miss of fewer than 40 yards, the Colts project to be a top-12 offense the rest of the season, yet they have struggled in red zone efficiency. It also is a bonus that Hot Rod plays more than half of his games indoor.
Other players to consider:
Michael Badgley (LAC) vs. Kansas City: 19% Ownership on Yahoo
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