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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Guide to Drafting Kickers (2024)

Kickers are people, too. However, they are arguably the least important position in fantasy football. Furthermore, more and more fantasy leagues have removed the kicker position from their lineup and replaced it with a second flex spot over the past few years. Yet, other leagues refuse to get rid of the kicker spot.

While kickers won’t make or break your fantasy football season, they could be the difference between winning and losing some weeks. Let’s look at our fantasy football draft strategy to help you figure out the kicker position.

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Guide to Drafting Kickers

Last year, the top five kickers scored an average of 155 fantasy points. By comparison, Javonte Williams was the RB30, scoring 155.7 half-PPR fantasy points in 2023. Similarly, Jaylen Waddle was the WR34, totaling 162.6 fantasy points last season.

The problem with kickers is that they score very similarly. Brandon Aubrey was an outlier as the top scoring kicker last year, totaling 177 fantasy points. Behind him were Cairo Santos (160), Matt Gay (150), Justin Tucker (149), Jake Elliott (149) and Harrison Butker (147). Furthermore, five of the other six top-12 kickers scored at least 139 fantasy points in 2023.

Yet, only five kickers drafted in the top 12 ended the season as a K1. Tyler Bass (K16), Younghoe Koo (K16), Jake Moody (K18) and Daniel Carlson (K25) were drafted as top-10 kickers last year but finished outside the top 15. Meanwhile, Brandon Aubrey was the K16 in FantasyPros’ average draft position (ADP) last year.

While kickers won’t make or break your fantasy season, they could be the difference between winning and losing some weeks. Let’s look at a few tips to help you figure out the kicker position.

Kickers on Good Offenses

Your kicker can’t score fantasy points if their team can’t cross the 50-yard line. Two years ago, 50% of the top 10 fantasy kickers played on teams that ranked in the top 12 in points scored per game. Furthermore, three of those kickers played on teams that finished in the top six in points scored per game that season — Brett Maher, Robbie Gould and Tyler Bass.

Furthermore, the offense matters more than the kicker. Harrison Butker is one of the top kickers in the NFL. Unfortunately, he struggled to stay healthy in 2022. Yet, Butker and his replacement, Matthew Wright, combined to score 162 fantasy points that season. That means the duo would have been the K1. For reference, the Kansas City Chiefs were the top-scoring team in the NFL that year.

Big Leg Kickers

When your running back or wide receiver scores a touchdown, you receive six fantasy points for the score. Meanwhile, most leagues will give you five fantasy points when your kicker makes a 50-yard or longer field goal and six from 60 or more yards away. Sometimes, fantasy players can get lucky and get 13-15 fantasy points from their kicker on only three field goal attempts.

However, your kicker must have the leg strength to make long-distance field goal attempts. Everyone will point to the Broncos’ kicker because of the altitude in Denver, making kicking from longer distances easier. Yet, there are big leg kickers who can consistently hit from 50 or more yards away without the altitude.

Do NOT Draft Justin Tucker

I’ve already mentioned Tucker several times throughout this article. He was a top-four fantasy kicker last year, averaging 8.8 points per game. The former Texas star is the top kicker in the NFL and a likely Hall of Famer. However, fantasy players should avoid drafting him because of his ridiculous ADP.

While it should drop over the next few months, Tucker’s ADP on ESPN is currently 104.4 overall, making him the highest-drafted kicker. That makes him a ninth-round pick in a 12-team league. Meanwhile, Matt Gay was the second-highest-scoring kicker in 2023. Yet, his ESPN ADP is 167.1 overall, making him the 13th kicker drafted on average. Remember, drafting a kicker before the final round is a horrible idea.

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Streaming is Your Best Friend

Remember, kickers are people, too! Unfortunately, sometimes you have to tell people in your life to get lost because they are no longer good for you. That also applies to your kicker. Instead of drafting one to play all season long, fantasy players should wait until the final round of the draft to select a Week 1 kicker.

Better yet, don’t draft a kicker if you don’t have to. If your fantasy draft is more than a week before the start of the regular season, use that last-round draft pick on a high-upside handcuff like Blake Corum or Kendre Miller.

On the slim chance Kyren Williams or Alvin Kamara suffer a torn ACL on the last day of practice before the start of the regular season, you drafted an RB2 with your final pick. If the star running backs are healthy heading into Week 1, drop the handcuff and add a kicker right before opening day.

The most important thing to remember from this article is that kickers aren’t that important. You are better off streaming all season long and playing the matchups based on the opponent, weather and the over/under total than sticking with one kicker all year. Furthermore, you don’t want to have to roster two kickers and burn a roster spot in Week 14 when Justin Tucker is on his bye. Stream the position and let a league mate be the foolish one to spend an eighth-round pick on a kicker.

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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