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There is no more maligned position in fantasy football than that of the kicker. Yearly, we hear the drumbeat to get rid of kickers from your league altogether. But, if you’re reading this, you have clearly resisted! Kickers have been a part of our rosters for so long; we cannot imagine life without them. They are a gamble, they are inconsistent, and routinely, they are an afterthought. But kickers are also a part of the game and, therefore, a part of fantasy football.
Before we dig into the tiers, let’s address the elephant in the room: When should you draft a kicker? Ideally, never. If your league rules allow you to skip the position, do so in favor of an extra running back or wide receiver. Build depth to survive any preseason injuries. If you must draft a kicker, never do so before your last two rounds.
Unless you secure one of the top-tier kickers, it’s a weekly game. You’re not necessarily playing matchups because facing a subpar defense could be bad for the kicker, and the opposite is also true. Weather plays an important role; look for dome games if you can, and so does the injury status of other players on the team.
Choosing your kicker can be as easy or complex as you want it to be, but there are a lot of fantasy points to be had every week. Sometimes, those points are on waivers, so don’t be afraid to switch kickers and stream the position all season long. And never keep any kicker through his bye week. Your roster spots are more important than that!
The Best of the Best, still only worth your second-to-last pick
Traditionally, the easiest way to find a good kicker is to look for good offenses. This strategy was exemplified in 2019, when the top-five kickers were tied to Patrick Mahomes II, Drew Brees, Lamar Jackson, Jameis Winston, and Kyler Murray. All five of those quarterbacks were ranked in the top-12 in fantasy points per game.
Last year bucked that trend. The top kickers, Younghoe Koo, Jason Sanders, Daniel Carlson, Tyler Bass, Greg Zuerlein, and Rodrigo Blankenship, were tied to middle-of-the-road offenses, except Bass in Buffalo. These kickers benefited from the shortcomings of their team’s quarterbacks.
Predicting the top kickers for 2021 will take a little from both worlds.
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