Fantasy Football Kicker Guide: Week 12 (2020)
Younghoe Koo continues to be a fantasy stud with another double-digit performance in Week 11, with 13 fantasy points and three field goals made. Despite a terrible performance by Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense, Koo made all three of his attempts, including two kicks over 50 yards.
Koo is a perfect five of five on kicks over 50 yards and trails only Jason Sanders for the most made kicks of 50-plus yards.
Sanders and Koo highlight an interesting trend for 2020. There have been nearly 40 more field goal attempts of over 50 yards this season than any season to date, as NFL head coaches have tried a record 111 attempts of over 50 yards this season.
For fantasy managers, the trend for long field goals is a gold mine for fantasy points, as most leagues do not have a negative point accessed for missed long field goal tries, and the bonus for 50-yard or longer made field goals is a nice boost for fantasy scores. Just ask Koo fantasy managers, who had another top-5 performance from their player despite not getting a single extra point on the day.
Week 11 Stud Performances from Widely-Available Kickers
Stephen Gostkowski (TEN) @ Buffalo: 13% rostership on Yahoo
Gostkowski made three field-goal attempts and an extra point to finish with 12 fantasy points on the week. It was the first double-digit fantasy performance since his 25-point breakout game in Week 3. Gostkowski has had plenty of opportunities to be a top-12 kicker this season, but his erratic play and career-worst 65.2% field goal percentage make him too risky to play every week.
Rodrigo Blankenship (IND) vs. Green Bay: 46% rostership on Yahoo
Hot Rod started the season redlining, with four straight weeks of ten or more fantasy points from Weeks 2 through 5. He blew a gasket in with eight points in week six and spent a few weeks in the shop with a five and single-point performance against the Lions and Ravens. Blankenship appears to be back in play as an every-week starter with 26 points in his last two matchups, including 15 points on Sunday against the Packers. Hot Rod came within a few feet of hitting a 50-yard attempt, which would have given him his first 20-point performance of his young career.
Week 11 Dud Performances from Widely-Owned Kickers
Matt Prater (DET) @ Carolina: 77% rostership on Yahoo
Prater gave managers a goose egg on Sunday as the Lions got shut out for the first time since 2007. Fantasy managers who started Prater are no-doubt livid about the zero, but they should not panic and play Prater again this week against the Houston Texans. Prater is just one week removed from scoring 16 points and should be a top-12 play on Thanksgiving at Ford Field.
|Rank||ECR||Name||Team||Opponent||Spread||O/U||OPP RZ D||RZ EFF*||OFF RNK||K Score**||Weather|
|1||1||Younghoe Koo||ATL||vs. LV||3||56||22||4||9||35||Dome|
|2||3||Wil Lutz||NO||at DEN||-5.5||46||2||21||12||35||39F, 3 mph winds|
|3||2||Harrison Butker||KC||at TB||-3||53||24||23||2||49||75F, 11 mph winds|
|4||4||Rodrigo Blankenship||IND||vs. TEN||-4.5||49||25||7||13||45||Dome|
|5||5||Jason Sanders||MIA||at NYJ||-7||47||4||15||29||48||48F, 5 mph winds|
|6||6||Justin Tucker||BAL||at PIT||-4||46||8||10||24||42||54F, 6 mph winds|
|7||7||Daniel Carlson||LV||at ATL||-3||56||31||16||14||61||Dome|
|8||11||Greg Zuerlein||DAL||vs. WAS||-3||47||5||6||14||25||Dome|
|9||8||Tyler Bass||BUF||vs. LAC||-6||54||13||18||11||42||41F, 6 mph winds|
|10||9||Zane Gonzalez||ARI||at NE||-2.5||48||16||29||1||46||47F, 5 mph winds|
|11||15||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. CHI||-7.5||46||1||28||7||36||31, 18 mph winds|
|12||10||Matt Prater||DET||vs. HOU||2||51||12||9||25||46||Dome|
|13||18||Michael Badgley||LAC||at BUF||6||52||17||11||3||31||41F, 6 mph winds|
|14||12||Ryan Succop||TB||vs. KC||3||53||32||27||18||77||75F, 11 mph winds|
|15||13||Chris Boswell||PIT||vs. BAL||4||46||26||25||21||72||54F, 6 mph winds|
|16||14||Jason Myers||SEA||at PHI||-3||54||20||30||4||54||TBD|
|17||16||Ka’imi Fairbairn||HOU||at DET||-2||51||23||17||17||57||Dome|
|18||17||Joey Slye||CAR||at MIN||4||49||7||13||19||39||Dome|
|19||22||Nick Folk||NE||vs. ARI||2.5||48||3||8||12||23||47F, 5 mph winds|
|20||19||Dan Bailey||MIN||vs. CAR||-4||49||10||15||8||33||Dome|
|21||20||Brandon McManus||DEN||vs. NO||5.5||46||30||3||22||55||39F, 3 mph winds|
|22||21||Graham Gano||NYG||at CIN||-5.5||44||29||2||30||61||44F, 3 mph winds|
|23||27||Matt Gay||LAR||vs. SF||-7||47||14||20||5||39||Dome|
|24||23||Randy Bullock||CIN||vs. NYG||5.5||44||6||5||20||31||44F, 3 mph winds|
|25||24||Cody Parkey||CLE||at JAC||-6||47||11||24||23||58||74, 6 mph winds|
|26||25||Robbie Gould||SF||at LAR||7||47||15||22||15||52||Dome|
|27||26||Stephen Gostkowski||TEN||at IND||4.5||49||18||26||10||54||Dome|
|28||28||Dustin Hopkins||WAS||at DAL||3||47||27||12||28||67||Dome|
|29||29||Jake Elliott||PHI||vs. SEA||3||54||28||19||26||73||TBD|
*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 22nd in red-zone efficiency; therefore Justin Tucker has an RZ EFF score of 10. 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 11 who could be an excellent play Week 11.
Mason Crosby (GB) vs. Chicago: 38% rostership on Yahoo
If you are looking for a kicker with an excellent floor of around seven fantasy points off the waiver wire, Mason Crosby is your guy. The Bears boast the best red-zone defense and give up the fourth-most points to opposing kickers. Aaron Rodgers will be able to move the ball against the Bears, but the Packers may struggle in converting those drives into six points. The only caveat is the wind on Sunday Night. It is currently forecasted for 18 MPH. If it goes above 20, I would pivot to another option.
Greg Zuerlein (DAL) vs. Washington: 42% rostership on Yahoo
I liked what we saw of the Dallas offense last week against the Vikings. The team looked much better with Zack Martin at right tackle, and Andy Dalton ran the offense well and appears to be healthy. Like Badgley last week, Greg the Leg has the best K Score on the week and could bring a ton of value to fantasy rosters this Thanksgiving.
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.
Michael Badgley (LAC) vs. Jets: 23% rostership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 12
My Rank: 7
Week 11 Finish: 4
Badgley made all four extra-point attempts, and both of his field-goal tries to finish with the fourth-most points on the week. As bad as the Jets have been this season, their red zone defense has not been terrible, which gave Badgley one of the best K Scores on the week. The metric proved correct, and Badgley proved to be an excellent play.
Randy Bullock (CIN) @ Washington: 17% rostership on Yahoo
ECR Rank: 19
My Rank: 9
Week 11 Finish: 26
The K Score also proved to be correct in predicting scoring opportunities for Randy Bullock this week against the Washington Football Team, with Bullock garnering three field-goal tries and an extra point attempt. Unfortunately, Bullock missed two of those field goals and his lone extra-point attempts. If he makes all of his attempts on the day, he finishes as the No.2 kicker. Instead, he is the second-worst play on the day beside Matt Prater. It also did not help that Joe Burrow left the game with a season-ending knee injury that effectively killed the Cincinnati offense for the remainder of the game.
Jason Sanders (MIA) @ Jets: 68% rostership on Yahoo
As a sign of the disdain for kickers and the lack of effort people put into their lineups when choosing a kicker, Jason Sanders, the No.1 ranked kicker in fantasy points on the season, is available in a third of Yahoo leagues. I am not sure what Sanders needs to do to show he is a great fantasy option, but I will continue to have him as my waiver wire add until he gets his ownership up to 80%.
Other players to consider:
Greg Zuerlein (DAL) vs. Washington: 42% rostership on Yahoo
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