Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings & Guide: Week 8 (2021)
Week 7 proved to be a low-scoring week for kickers as weather negatively affected more than a few games, and opposing defenses blocked multiple kicks this past week.
Only six kickers managed to post more than ten fantasy points last week, led by Austin Seibert and Graham Gano – two players with a combined roster percentage on Yahoo of less than 100%. Not one kicker with a roster percentage of over 75% managed to score more than two points, and Justin Tucker and Harrison Butker, the only two players rostered in nearly 100% of leagues, combined to score just ten fantasy points on the day.
It was an ugly week for kickers and one in which you would have significantly benefitted from reading this article, as two of my favorite kickers on the week finished in the top three. Graham Gano‘s K Score was one of the best this season, and the veteran kicker came through with 15 fantasy points. My other favorite of the week, Nick Folk, managed 13 points despite being available in over 40% of leagues.
As we get further into the season, the weather will start to become more of a factor. As temperatures begin to drop and wind/snow start to become factors, be sure to use this guide to monitor streaming kicker options. However, eight of my top 12 kickers this week play indoors, so weather should not be much of an issue in Week 8.
Week 7 Stud Performances from widely available kickers
Austin Seibert (DET) @ Rams: 0% roster percentage on Yahoo
I had Seibert ranked seven points higher than ECR this week, but I must admit that I did not see 15 fantasy points and a share of the top spot for the journeyman kicker. Although he does have double-digit games in two of his last three contests, I would hold off on picking him up until we see an improvement on the offensive rank of the Lions. Entering last week, the Lions ranked 27th in average yards per game, well outside the top 15 that I prefer when looking for streaming kickers.
Graham Gano (NYG) vs. Carolina: 15% roster percentage on Yahoo
There is a ton to like about Graham Gano from a streaming kicker perspective. He plays on a team that ranks 16th in yards per game but dead last in red-zone efficiency. Daniel Jones and the offense can move the ball, but they struggle punching it in for touchdowns. Also, outside of one inexplicable 35-shard shank, he has been very accurate over the past two seasons. His lack of a large extra point floor makes him more volatile than other kickers, but he has already proven three times this season that he can be a week-winner.
Week 7 Dud Performances from widely-rostered kickers
Harrison Butker (KC) @ Tennessee: 99% roster percentage on Yahoo
If he continues to struggle, I will need to rename this section the Harrison Butker dud award of the week. Butker has six or fewer points in four of his seven games in 2021, and he has not topped ten points once. On the positive side, he does have a floor of extra points each week, but he has not been an elite kicker for nearly two seasons, and people continue to roster him based on name and not by performance.
Week 8 Kicker Rankings
*Red Zone Efficiency is based on the inverse of how well the kicker's offense does in the red zone. For example, the Bills rank 26th in red-zone efficiency; therefore, Tyler Bass has an RZ EFF score of 6. 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 the FantasyPros ECR top 10 who could be an excellent play Week 8.
Chase McLaughlin (CLE) vs. Denver 26% roster percentage on Yahoo
I am doubling down on McLaughlin this week for a couple of reasons. First, he would have been a top-7 kicker this week had his kick not been blocked. Blocked kicks are a flukey occurrence and not something I think will happen again this week. Second, his K Score is the second-lowest of the week, and this game has one of the lowest over-unders on the slate. The weather doesn't look terrible either.
Michael Badgley (IND) vs. Tennessee 12% roster percentage on Yahoo
Badgley's K Score of 22 is the best of the week, and the journeyman kicker is playing at home and indoors. The only risk here is a negative game script in which the Titans go out with a big lead, and the Colts are forced to forgo the kicking game. While that is possible, I think the Colts' defense looked much better against the 49ers on Sunday Night Football and should keep this competitive.
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.
Graham Gano (NYG) vs. Carolina: 15% roster percentage on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 12
- My Rank: 10
- Week 7 Finish: T1
Gano has three boom games of 12 or more fantasy points on the year, including 22 fantasy points in Week 2 against Washington. When you play on a team that ranks in the top 15 in yards per game but dead last in red-zone efficiency, you are looking at a possible monster game for a kicker, as long as the opponent does not create a negative game script. That proved to be the case this week for Gano, with the Giants hosting the struggling Panthers, who have a solid defense but an offense that is not scoring a ton lately. I do not think Gano will fare as well this week against the Chiefs, but he will likely be one of my picks again in Week 9 when they play the Raiders.
Chase McLaughlin (CLE) vs. Denver 30% roster percentage on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 17
- My Rank: 7
- Week 7 Finish: T13
Last week, I wrote that I would pivot away from McLaughlin if the weather looked too windy as we got closer to kickoff. That proved to be the case, although McLaughlin did come one blocked kick away from finishing tied for 5th on the week.
Nick Folk (NE) @ Chargers 60% roster percentage on Yahoo
I have been recommending Folk for the past few weeks, yet he is still available in 40% of Yahoo leagues despite being the top fantasy kicker of the season. If you are a Justin Tucker or Daniel Carlson fantasy manager, look to add Folk on waivers.
Other players to consider
- Randy Bullock (TEN) @ Indianapolis 18% roster percentage on Yahoo
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