Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings and Guide Week 13 (2021)
For the first time this season, two kickers finished with 20 or more fantasy points on the week. There have been four games of over 20 fantasy points this season (kicker scoring varies widely in leagues), and three of them have come in the last two weeks.
Nick Folk entered Week 12 as the No. 1 ranked kicker in fantasy and extended his gap over No. 2 Justin Tucker with 21 points against the Titans. The way Folk was kicking, it seemed that he was on pace to tie the late Rob Bironas for the most fields goals all-time in a game. It would have been fitting for Folk to achieve the feat against Bironas’ old team, but he fell short a few kicks.
Joining Folk atop the kicker list was Daniel Carlson, who reportedly told his head coach he would wear adult diapers if that is what it took for him to play while dealing with a stomach bug. Instead of soiling himself on Thanksgiving in front of a national tv audience, Carlson matched Folk with 21 points and a perfect 5 for 5 on his attempts. It should be noted that Folk missed a 53-yard try the would have given him a ridiculous 26 points on the day.
Week 12 Stud Performances from widely available kickers
Evan McPherson (CIN) vs. Pittsburgh 13% roster percentage on Yahoo
For the second straight week, rookie Evan McPherson posted a top-5 performance. The former Florida star scored 13 points in Cincinnati’s rout of divisional foe Pittsburgh. I wrote last week that the K Score metrics of the Bengals are starting to point in the direction of fantasy goodness for McPherson. He should be on a shortlist for adds this week.
Cairo Santos (CHI) @ Detroit: 3% roster percentage on Yahoo
Santos scored 11 points to finish as a top-10 kicker this week, taking advantage of a great matchup indoors against a terrible Lions team. While it is nice to see Santos put up a solid day, he produced a goose egg one week prior in a low-scoring game against the Ravens. Unlike McPherson, I would not recommend adding Santos this week.
Week 11 Dud Performances from widely-rostered kickers
Greg Joseph (MIN) at San Francisco: 63% roster percentage on Yahoo
Game flow did not work out in Joseph’s favor this week, and he did not make the most of his extra-point floor with a shanked PAT. Considering the fact that he has a seven-point floor going back to Week 6 and a fairly easy matchup on the road against a Lions team that just gave up 11 points to Cairo Santos, I would stick with Joseph this week.
Week 13 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 21st in red zone efficiency; therefore, Tyler Bass has an RZ EFF score of 11. 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 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 13.
Harrison Butker (KC) vs. Denver: 72% roster percentage on Yahoo
I'm not entirely sure why the fantasy industry has Butker outside the top 10 this week. Denver ranks 10th in red zone defense, the Chiefs have the second-best offense in yards per game, and their red zone efficiency is 16th out of 32 teams. Assuming there are favorable weather conditions, this should be an excellent week for Butker.
Graham Gano (NYG) at Miami: 8% roster percentage on Yahoo
Gano possesses one of the best K Scores of the week, with the G Men taking on the Dolphins. As long as this game does not go sideways with Daniel Jones being the turnover machine, Gano projects to post eight fantasy points with a ceiling in double figures.
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 (IND) vs. Tampa Bay 29% roster percentage on Yahoo
Badgley came through with a solid eight-point performance and could have been much better had the Colts not turned the ball over so many times vs. Tampa Bay. Badgley has at least seven points in each of his last five games while also providing two 11-point performances. This week's game could go sideways with a ton of extra points vs. Houston, and then the Colts are on a bye.
After the bye, Badgley has three gams indoors and matchups that should make him a top 10 kicker for the remainder of the year.
ECR Rank: 19
My Rank: 6
Week 11 Finish: 10
Joey Slye (WAS) vs. Seattle : 3% roster percentage on Yahoo
A hamstring injury and a blocked extra point killed any value the Slye had in this game against Seattle. However, there were multiple opportunities in the second half in which Ron Rivera would have kicked a field goal had Slye been healthy. The K Score cannot account for injuries.
ECR Rank: 16
My Rank: 11
Week 12 Finish: 32
Michael Badgley (IND) @ Houston: 29% roster percentage on Yahoo
For multiple weeks in the middle of the year, I told everyone I could that Nick Folk's K Score and Mac Jones' struggles in the red zone make Folk a stud kicker. It took a while, but Folk's roster rate is up to 87%, and he has the most points in fantasy football at the position. While I don't think Badgley can get to that level, everything indicates he will be a top-10 kicker for the remainder of the season, and his floor is one of the best in fantasy.
Other players to consider:
- Harrison Butker (KC) vs. Denver: 72% roster percentage on Yahoo
- Evan McPherson (CIN) vs. LA Chargers 7% roster percentage on Yahoo
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