Fantasy Football Kicker Guide Week 7 (2020)
The Stephen Gostkowski roller coaster took a turn for the worse this weekend with the former New England Patriot star missing two field goals in Tennessee’s overtime thriller against the Houston Texans. Gostkowski shanked a 35-yard attempt wide right, while the second was blocked by the Texans special teams unit.
In the previous two weeks entering Sunday’s game, Gostkowski scored a combined 31 fantasy points, including a league-winning 25 points against the Vikings in Week 3. Depending on league scoring, Gostkowski finished this week with negative points in a league-losing performance.
Gostkowski projects to have more boom or bust games going forward based on his K score and erratic play. If you feel nauseous and want to get off the roller coaster, I recommend picking up kickers with safer floors like Youghoe Koo, Ryan Succop, Brandon McManus, or Chris Boswell.
Koo is by far my favorite option and my preseason breakout candidate on my Kicker Draft Primer that I wrote this summer. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense has been historically terrible in the red zone while almost always ranked in the top ten in total offense. Koo has three games of double-digit fantasy production, including 20 points last week against the Vikings.
Week 6 Stud Performances from Widely-Available Kickers
Brandon McManus (DEN) @ New England: 8% ownership on Yahoo
For my K Score prediction this week, I targeted the game between the Broncos and Patriots as a low-scoring game that would produce a large number of field goal opportunities. Unfortunately for me, I recommended Nick Folk as a player ranked outside of the top-12 as a strong play. While Folk did come through with a decent performance of two field goals and seven fantasy points, McManus was the star of the day, with an impressive six field goals in an upset win by the Broncos. McManus’ matchup next week against the Chiefs may have a negative game script, but after that, he has numerous chances to be a top-performer and a viable fantasy option in the second half of the season.
Cairo Santos (CHI) @ Carolina: 0% ownership on Yahoo
Santos made three field goals and two extra points to finish with 13 fantasy points on the day. It was the first double-digit performance of the season for the journeyman kicker and only the third time this year in which Santos topped five fantasy points. Of the two stud performances by widely available kickers this week, I would recommend adding McManus over Santos.
Week 6 Dud Performances from Widely-Owned Kickers
Dan Bailey (MIN) vs. Atlanta: 64% ownership on Yahoo
Bailey has six or fewer points in four of his six games this season and just one game of double-digit fantasy points. He continues to be plagued by negative game scripts with the Vikings going down big early in games, effectively killing his opportunity for field goal attempts. The Vikings are on bye this week, and Bailey owners should drop him for another option like Youghoe Koo or Brandon McManus.
|Rank||ECR||Name||Opp.||O/U||Spread||OPP RZ D||RZ EFF*||OFF RNK||K Score**||Weather|
|1||1||Harrison Butker (KC)||at DEN||49.5||-10||4||23||3||30||23F, 6 mph wind|
|2||4||Younghoe Koo (ATL)||vs. DET||56.5||-1.5||23||7||4||34||Dome|
|3||2||Wil Lutz (NO)||vs. CAR||51||-7||16||19||12||47||Dome|
|4||5||Mason Crosby (GB)||at HOU||56||-3.5||9||21||7||37||Dome|
|5||3||Matt Prater (DET)||at ATL||56.5||1.5||28||11||24||63||Dome|
|6||12||Zane Gonzalez (ARI)||vs. SEA||55||2.5||17||30||5||52||Dome|
|7||7||Daniel Carlson (LV)||vs. TB||53.5||-2.5||10||18||6||34||Dome|
|8||10||Tyler Bass (BUF)||at NYJ||48||-11||14||25||15||54||55F, 6 mph wind|
|9||6||Greg Zuerlein (DAL)||at WAS||49||-3.5||8||15||1||24||57F, 6 mph wind|
|10||16||Randy Bullock (CIN)||vs. CLE||52||4.5||19||3||25||47||49F, 6 mph wind|
|11||8||Jason Myers (SEA)||at ARI||55||-2.5||2||31||8||41||Dome|
|12||15||Graham Gano (NYG)||at PHI||45||7||27||1||32||60||67F, 4 mph wind|
|13||9||Ryan Succop (TB)||at LV||53.5||2.5||24||28||20||72||Dome|
|14||20||Nick Folk (NE)||vs. SF||45.5||5||3||8||13||24||50F, 5 mph wind|
|15||13||Joey Slye (CAR)||at NO||51||7||31||4||11||46||Dome|
|16||14||Brandon McManus (DEN)||vs. KC||49.5||10||21||2||29||52||23F, 6 mph wind|
|17||17||Ka’imi Fairbairn (HOU)||vs. GB||56||3.5||29||17||17||63||Dome|
|18||22||Sam Sloman (LAR)||vs. CHI||47||-7.5||1||12||10||23||Dome|
|19||21||Robbie Gould (SF)||at NE||45.5||5||6||20||16||42||50F, 5 mph wind|
|20||11||Michael Badgley (LAC)||vs. JAC||48||-7.5||12||22||9||43||Dome|
|21||18||Chris Boswell (PIT)||at TEN||52.5||1||32||13||21||66||71F, 3 mph wind|
|22||19||Stephen Gostkowski (TEN)||vs. PIT||52.5||-1||13||29||2||44||71F, 3 mph wind|
|23||23||Jake Elliott (PHI)||at NYG||45||-7||11||24||27||62||67F, 4 mph wind|
|24||24||Cody Parkey (CLE)||at CIN||52||-4.5||18||26||19||63||49F, 6 mph wind|
|25||25||Dustin Hopkins (WAS)||vs. DAL||49||3.5||20||16||31||67||57F, 6 mph wind|
|26||27||Jonathan Brown (JAC)||at LAC||48||7.5||5||10||23||38||Dome|
|27||26||Cairo Santos (CHI)||at LAR||47||7.5||15||6||28||49||Dome|
|28||28||Sam Ficken (NYJ)||vs. BUF||48||11||25||0||30||55||55F, 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 Cardinals rank second in red-zone efficiency; therefore Zane Gonzalez has a RZ EFF score of 30. 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 7.
Zane Gonzalez (AZ) vs. Seattle: 71% ownership on Yahoo
I like both kickers in this matchup between two high-powered offenses in the NFC West. Gonzalez has yet to score a monster game this season for fantasy owners, but he has provided a nice floor of six fantasy points in all but one game this year. This game is indoors, and the Seahawks defense continues to struggle.
Randy Bullock (CIN) @ Cleveland: 4% ownership on Yahoo
If you are looking for a kicker with a boom or bust matchup, it is Randy Bullock against the Browns. Bullock has four games of double-digit fantasy production, sandwiching a three-point dud against Baltimore. Assuming that the Browns do not blow out the Bengals, Bullock could have multiple opportunities for field goals and could have another 10-plus point 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.
Nick Folk (NE) vs. Denver: 2% ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 9
My Rank: 9
Week 6 Finish: T12
This game projected to be a low scoring game with a ton of field goals. Unfortunately for me, it was Brandon McManus who came through with a monster six-field goal day and not Folk. Folk did kick two field goals and posted seven fantasy points to sneak into the top 12 at the position for the week.
Jason Sanders (MIA) vs. NY Jets: 5% ownership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 11
My Rank: 10
Week 6 Finish: T14
Sanders had an attractive matchup based on the fact that the Dolphins faced off against an 0-5 team at home. As expected, the Dolphins destroyed the Jets and shutout Adam Gase’s team on a rainy day in South Beach. Sanders scored six points, but he did not have the big game that I expected against a bend but don’t break Jets defense. I still like Sanders going forward with a floor of six fantasy points per game well within reach.
Younghoe Koo (ATL) vs. DET: 38% ownership on Yahoo
Koo is the must-add kicker of the week and should have an ownership percentage of close to 90% after waivers run tonight. Koo was the breakout kicker that I wrote about in my draft preview this summer, as Atlanta continues to be a top-10 offense while also terrible in the red zone. It also helps that Koo plays more than half his games indoors. If he is out there, he is a must-add player.
Other players to consider:
Matt Prater (DET) at Atlanta: 35% Ownership on Yahoo
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