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Fantasy Football Kicker Guide, Rankings & Waiver Wire Advice (Week 4)

by Andrew Swanson | @FFKickerGuy | Featured Writer
Sep 27, 2022
Fantasy Football Kicker Guide, Rankings & Waiver Wire Advice (Week 4)

The first three weeks of the season have not been kind to more than a few first-round picks. Austin Ekeler has yet to score a touchdown, Jonathan Taylor posted back-to-back dud weeks after starting off strong Week 1, and Christian McCaffrey has not returned to his pre-injury dominant form.

The same disappointment can be shared with highly ranked kickers. With three games in the books, only three kickers with a roster percentage over 70% rank in the top 12 at the position. Six players in the top-10 are posted in fewer than 7% of leagues, while heavily rostered kickers like Matt Gay, Tyler Bass, and the great Justin Tucker, do not currently rank as K1’s.

While I do anticipate the cream will rise to the top with fantasy kickers and those heavily rostered players will return to the top of the list, it would not surprise me to see a player like Graham Gano at his 7% roster percentage continue to be a strong play throughout the season.

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Week 3 Stud Performances from widely available kickers

Greg Zuerlein (NYJ) vs. Cincinnati: 2% roster percentage on Yahoo

Greg the leg made all four of his kicks on the day, including two 50-yard attempts, to finish the week as the top kicker. The former Ram and Cowboy now has 27 points in his last two weeks after starting off with just two points Week 1 against the Ravens. Zuerlein does have a favorable ECR this week on the road against the Steelers, and I have him ranked 17th on the week compared to his RCR of 28.

Matt Prater (ARZ) vs. LAR: 46% roster percentage on Yahoo

Prater benefitted from a struggling Arizona offense that could not score touchdowns against the Ram. Just like Zuerlein, Prater made all four of his attempts despite getting zero extra-point tries.

Week 3 Dud Performances from widely-rostered kickers

Tyler Bass (BUF) @Miami: 99% roster percentage on Yahoo

It proved to be an ugly game all around for the Bills down in South Beach, as the surprising Dolphins held Buffalo to 19 points. Bass would have had a fine day had he not missed a short field goal attempt. Don’t panic on Bass, he should return to form and is a strong play this week.

Kicker Rankings

Rank ECR Name TEAM Opponent Spread O/U OPP RZ D RZ EFF* OFF RNK K Score** Weather
1 4 Daniel Carlson LV vs. DEN -1.5 45 1 6 17 24 Dome
2 5 Jake Elliott PHI vs. JAC -6.5 49 6 21 1 28 56F, Light Rain, 11 MPH Wind
3 1 Justin Tucker BAL vs. BUF 3.5 52 31 29 4 64 51F, Light Rain, 11 MPH Wind
4 2 Tyler Bass BUF at BAL -3.5 52 27 21 2 50 51F, Light Rain, 11 MPH Wind
5 3 Evan McPherson CIN vs. MIA -3 48 19 11 20 50 58F, Light Wind
6 7 Ryan Succop TB vs. KC 2.5 45 27 4 27 58 78F, 8 MPH Wind
7 11 Robbie Gould SF vs. LAR -2.5 43 8 5 24 37 TBD
8 8 Dustin Hopkins LAC at HOU -5.5 46 5 14 11 30 Dome
9 19 Austin Seibert DET vs. SEA -6 50 4 30 3 37 Dome
10 9 Harrison Butker KC at TB -2.5 45 18 25 7 50 78F, 8 MPH Wind
11 14 Greg Joseph MIN at NO 2.5 44 2 11 18 31 58F, 15 MPH Wind
12 23 Graham Gano NYG vs. CHI -2.5 40 8 11 21 40 65F, 11 MPH Wind
13 6 Matt Gay LAR at SF 2.5 43 29 18 25 72 TBD
14 10 Brandon McManus DEN at LV 1.5 45 30 0 16 46 Dome
15 12 Younghoe Koo ATL vs. CLE 2.5 48 25 17 14 56 Dome
16 13 Jason Sanders MIA at CIN 3 48 8 28 13 49 58F, Light Wind
17 28 Greg Zuerlein NYJ at PIT 3.5 42 8 11 9 28 60F, 8 MPH Wind
18 24 Nick Folk NE at GB 11 93 8 15 10 33 68F, 9 MPH Wind
19 21 Chase McLaughlin IND vs. TEN -3.5 43 8 4 22 34 Dome
20 27 Riley Patterson JAC at PHI 6.5 49 17 12 7 36 56F, Light Rain, 11 MPH Wind
21 15 Matt Prater ARI at CAR 1.5 44 3 24 15 42 57F, Light Rain, 13 MPH Wind
22 18 Cade York CLE at ATL -2.5 48 23 19 5 47 Dome
23 17 Mason Crosby GB vs. NE -11 39 22 14 12 48 58F, 15 MPH Wind
24 32 Ka’imi Fairbairn HOU vs. LAC 5.5 46 8 11 29 48 Dome
25 16 Wil Lutz NO vs. MIN -2.5 44 19 24 8 51 Dome
26 30 Joey Slye WAS at DAL 3 43 8 27 19 54 Dome
27 29 Eddy Pineiro CAR vs. ARI -1.5 44 23 2 30 55 57F, Light Rain, 13 MPH Wind
28 26 Jason Myers SEA at DET 6 50 32 1 28 61 Dome
29 20 Brett Maher DAL vs. WAS -3 43 16 24 23 63 Dome
30 22 Chris Boswell PIT vs. NYJ -3.5 42 21 16 31 68 60F, 8 MPH Wind
31 25 Randy Bullock TEN at IND 3.5 43 26 31 26 83 Dome

 

*Red Zone Efficiency is based on the inverse of how well the kickers offense does in the red zone. For example, the Ravens rank 3rd in red zone efficiency; therefore Justin Tucker has a RZ EFF score of 28. 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’s 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 kickers 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 in Week 4.

Greg Joseph (MIN) @ New Orleans: 56% roster percentage on Yahoo

Joseph started off strong with 13 points in week one, only to post five combined points in his last two weeks. It would not surprise me to see him dropped in a majority of leagues. While I do not question the frustration of those who played Joseph against the Eagles and Lions, his K Score of 31 does indicate a bounce-back performance against the Saints

Graham Gano (NYG) vs. Chicago: 7% roster percentage on Yahoo

Gano ranks third on the season in fantasy points and is coming off two weeks of at least ten fantasy points. His matchup at home against the Bears is promising with a K Score of 40. If you are looking for a more boom-bust play, Austin Seibert of the Lions vs. Seattle is a strong option. If you are looking for a more accurate kicker who should get at least two field goal tries, Gano is your guy.

Prediction Review

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.

Cade York (CLE) vs. Pittsburgh: 24% roster percentage on Yahoo

  • ECR Rank: 17
  • My Rank: 11
  • Week 3 Finish: 25

I mentioned that if the wind proved to be over 20 MPH on Thursday that owners should move away from this pick. Hopefully, most of you listened, as the wind howled in Cleveland on Thursday Night Football, leading to a missed extra point and a disappointing 4-point finish.

Austin Seibert (DET) @ Minnesota: 2% roster percentage on Yahoo

  • ECR Rank: 23
  • My Rank: 12
  • Week 3 Finish: T19

It is frustrating when the K Score identifies a strong chance for field goal opportunities, only for the player to then miss their chance at converting kicks. Such was at the case with Seibert on Sunday, as the Lions’ kicked missed to long field goal tries that would have propelled him into a top-5 play.

Waiver Wired

Top Add

Jake Elliott (PHI) vs. Jacksonville 37% roster percentage on Yahoo

Elliott has been consistent but not great this season with an average of 6.5 fantasy points per game. If you are looking for a kicker who will provide a solid floor of six points with the upside of being a top-5 play, Elliot at home against a surprisingly decent Jags defense is a strong play.

Other players to consider:


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Andrew Swanson is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his archive or follow him @FFKickerGuy.

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