Fantasy Football Kicker Guide, Rankings & Waiver Wire Advice (Week 5)
NFL fans across the pond were treated to an exciting shootout between the Giants Vikings and Saints, with Justin Jefferson returning to form while posting 147 yards on 10 catches, including a rushing touchdown on an end around.
While Jefferson and the offense proved to be exciting, Wil Lutz of the Saints provided nearly as much excitement with a 60-yard field goal to tie the game in the final minutes, and a 61-yard attempt that bounced off both the upright and the crossbar in the closing seconds. The double-doink 2.0 would have sent the game into overtime and given Lutz six more points (depending on your scoring system) and a double-digit performance on the week.
As a whole, scoring for fantasy kickers proved to be solid across the board last week, with 16 players finishing with nine or more fantasy points, highlighted by Greg Joseph, with 17. Four of the most heavily-rosters kickers finished in double figures, led by Daniel Carlson of the Raiders with 13. Carlson would have finished with 15 points and a tie for second place with Brett Maher had he not shanked an extra point.
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Week 4 Stud Performances from widely available kickers
Brett Maher (DAL) vs. Washington: 23% roster percentage on Yahoo
Maher has been nothing short of magnificent as of late, with three games of at least ten fantasy points. Dallas has scored a touchdown on just 55% of their red zone drives during that span, and the defensive unit for the Cowboys has created positive game scripts for kicking. Maher is for real and should be added in more leagues.
Jason Myers (SEA) vs. DET: 1% roster percentage on Yahoo
The Lions are a smorgasbord of fantasy goodness this season, including for kickers like Myers, who finished with 12 fantasy points on the day. It was the second week in a row of 10 or more points for Myers, who is a player to consider starting in the right situation. Week 5 against the Saints may just be that situation, as his K Score of 15 is the lowest on the week.
Week 4 Dud Performances from widely-rostered kickers
Brandon McManus (DEN) @ Last Vegas: 71% roster percentage on Yahoo
After a strong start to the season that included back-to-back games of ten or more fantasy points, McManus has been a dud over the past two weeks. He has missed two of four attempts of 50-yards or more this season and missed a critical extra point again the Raiders. The big leg of McManus is what makes him attractive as a play, but if he continues to struggle, managers should look elsewhere.
|Rank||ECR||Name||TEAM||Opponent||Spread||O/U||OPP RZ D||RZ EFF*||OFF RNK||K Score**||Weather|
|1||1||Justin Tucker||BAL||vs. CIN||-3||48||7||27||12||46||57F, light wind|
|2||2||Tyler Bass||BUF||vs. PIT||-14||17||18||22||3||43||55F, 16 MPH Wind|
|3||4||Evan McPherson||CIN||at BAL||3||48||25||10||16||51||57F, light wind|
|4||5||Daniel Carlson||LV||at KC||-7.5||51||30||4||13||47||68F, Chance of Rain|
|5||11||Robbie Gould||SF||at CAR||-4.5||39||4||1||24||29||65F, Light Wind|
|6||7||Greg Joseph||MIN||vs. CHI||-6.5||44||10||7||17||34||Dome|
|7||23||Chase McLaughlin||IND||at DEN||-3.5||44||1||6||19||26||67, 8 MPH Wind|
|8||8||Matt Gay||LAR||vs. DAL||-4.5||46||5||6||28||39||Dome|
|9||9||Dustin Hopkins||LAC||at CLE||-3||48||21||17||7||45||56F, 10 MPH Wind|
|10||14||Brett Maher||DAL||at LAR||4.5||46||7||13||26||46||Dome|
|11||10||Younghoe Koo||ATL||at TB||8.5||49||27||17||15||59||81F, 12 MPH Wind|
|12||24||Harrison Butker||KC||vs. LV||7.5||51||29||28||4||61||68F, Chance of Rain|
|13||22||Jason Myers||SEA||at NO||5.5||46||3||2||10||15||Dome|
|14||12||Brandon McManus||DEN||vs. IND||-3.5||44||30||0||21||51||67, 8 MPH Wind|
|15||3||Ryan Succop||TB||vs. ATL||-8.5||49||19||26||25||70||81F, 12 MPH Wind|
|16||16||Mason Crosby||GB||vs. NYG||-7.5||42||2||19||6||27||TBD|
|17||17||Wil Lutz||NO||vs. SEA||-5.5||46||13||29||9||51||Dome|
|18||13||Jason Sanders||MIA||at NYJ||-3||43||22||26||10||58||60F, 10 MPH Wind|
|19||15||Riley Patterson||JAC||vs. HOU||-7.5||45||9||17||20||46||78F, 16 MPH Wind|
|20||6||Jake Elliott||PHI||at ARI||-5||50||25||23||2||50||Dome|
|21||18||Cade York||CLE||vs. LAC||3||48||15||17||4||36||56F, 10 MPH Wind|
|22||20||Graham Gano||NYG||at GB||4.5||42||10||9||22||41||TBD|
|23||27||Eddy Pineiro||CAR||vs. SF||4.5||39||5||4||32||41||65F, Light Wind|
|24||19||Matt Prater||ARI||vs. PHI||5||50||17||18||14||49||Dome|
|25||28||Greg Zuerlein||NYJ||vs. MIA||3||43||20||21||8||49||60F, 10 MPH Wind|
|26||31||Dominik Eberle||DET||at NE||2.5||47||22||30||1||53||57F, 10 MPH Wind|
|27||29||Ka’imi Fairbairn||HOU||at JAC||7.5||45||16||13||27||56||78F, 16 MPH Wind|
|28||32||Joey Slye||WAS||vs. TEN||2.5||43||13||21||23||57||60F, 10 MPH Wind|
|29||26||Nick Folk||NE||vs. DET||.-2.5||47||32||11||18||61||57F, 10 MPH Wind|
|30||25||Randy Bullock||TEN||at WAS||-2.5||43||10||31||29||70||60F, 8 MPH Wind|
|31||21||Chris Boswell||PIT||at BUF||14||17||24||26||30||80||55F, 16 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 Ravens rank 4th in red zone efficiency; therefore Justin Tucker has a RZ EFF score of 27. 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 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 in Week 5.
Robbie Gould (SF) @ Carolina: 50% roster percentage on Yahoo
Gould has been anything but gold for the Niners this season, as highlighted by the fact that he has not scored more than six fantasy points in any game, and he missed an extra point on Monday Night that could have extended the San Francisco lead to two scores. While I am not high on Gould for the whole season, this week’s matchup against the Panthers is juicy. The Panthers offense is going to struggle against the 49er defense, yet the Carolina defense in No.1 in the league in red zone offense.
Brett Maher (DAL) vs. Chicago: 21% roster percentage on Yahoo
With 12,12, and 15 fantasy points since week one, Maher has been an excellent fantasy start for owners who bought into him after a disappointing Week 1 performance. The Rams offense is struggling and the Cowboy defense could present a difficult challenge for the beat-up Los Angeles offensive line. Don’t be surprised to see Maher post another 10-plus 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.
Greg Joseph (MIN) @ New Orleans: 56% roster percentage on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 14
- My Rank: 11
- Week 4 Finish: 1
Joseph proved to be the beneficiary of a Kirk Cousins-led offense that struggled to score in the red zone. With 17 fantasy points on a perfect 5-5 on kicks, Joseph proved to be a week-winner for the 56% of managers who started him this week. This was my first K1 pick of the year, with hopefully more to come in the upcoming weeks.
Graham Gano (NYG) vs. Chicago: 16% roster percentage on Yahoo
- ECR Rank: 23
- My Rank: 12
- Week 4 Finish: T20
Eight fantasy points would typically fare better for a pick, but on a week where 16 players managed to score over ten points, Gano’s eight points proved to be disappointing. Gano is available in nearly every league and sits fourth on the season in scoring. If you are not happy with your kicker and are looking to a change, Gano could be your guy.
Brett Maher (DAL) vs. Chicago: 21% roster percentage on Yahoo
Three games of ten or more fantasy points over the past month have propelled Maher into the No.3 fantasy kicker behind Younhoe Koo and Daniel Carlson. With Dak on the sideline, Cooper Rush has led the Boys to three wins, but he has converted just 55% of red zone drives to touchdowns. If you are in need of a play this week that could also be your long-term solution, Maher is worth a pick-up.
Other players to consider:
- Graham Gano (NYG) vs. CHI: 16% roster percentage on Yahoo
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