No position is more unpredictable in fantasy football than kickers. Year after year after year, no position has a lower correlation between where they're drafted before the season and where they finish after the season. No position has a lower correlation between how they score in one week and how they score in the next. No position has a lower correlation between projected points and actual points.
In addition, placekicker is the position that has the smallest spread between the best players and the middle-of-the-pack players for fantasy. Finally, most fantasy GMs will only carry one kicker at a time, which means there are a dozen or more starting kickers sitting around on waivers at any given time. Given all of this, it rarely makes sense to devote resources to the position. Instead, GMs are best served by rotating through whichever available kicker has the best weekly matchup.
Every week, I'll rank the situations each kicker finds himself in (ignoring the talent of the kicker himself) to help you find perfectly startable production off the waiver wire.
Week 10 Results
Mike Badgley (3 FG attempts, 3 FGs, 2 XPs, 11 points)
It was Badgley's second consecutive week as our top recommendation and the second consecutive week he came through on that recommendation. The Colts settled for more field goals this week and Badgley's eleven points were third-best among all kickers.
Ryan Succop (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 1 XP, 7 points)
The Buccaneers offense looked surprisingly pedestrian against a struggling Washington Football Team defense and Succop missed an extra point besides, but he still finished the week with a solid seven points, tied for 13th at the position.
Dustin Hopkins (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 2 XPs, 8 points)
The high-flying Chargers offense from early in the season seems to be sputtering a bit, but they're still supporting decent kicker production for now, as Hopkins' eight points were 12th among all kickers
Brandon McManus (3 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 1 XP, 7 points)
McManus was a massive beneficiary of an offense that couldn't finish out drives for touchdowns as he attempted field goals of just 21, 22, and 28 yards. Unfortunately, the 22-yarder was blocked, but his seven points still ranked a respectable 13th on the week.
Chris Boswell (3 FG attempts, 3 FGs, 1 XP, 10 points)
So far in 2021, the three best fantasy kickers have been our top weekly recommendation (9.3-point per game average), Tyler Bass (9.6-point per game average), and "whoever happens to be facing the Detroit Lions (10.0 point per game average). One might expect that the Pittsburgh Steelers, forced to start backup quarterback Mason Rudolph in their juicy matchup against the Lions, might have brought that average down, but their kicker managed to perfectly match the average with 10 points in a game where the team as a whole only scored 16. Boswell was the 7th-highest-scoring kicker overall.
Matt Prater Tracker
I mentioned heading into Week 3 that if anyone wanted off the streaming kicker carousel, Matt Prater looked like a fantastic off-ramp. He was available in 82% of NFL.com fantasy leagues, he was the #2 recommendation the week before so plenty of readers likely already had him rostered, the Cardinals offense was looking like a potential powerhouse, and their head coach was giving Prater a green light to kick from some truly absurd distances. Prater only scored 4 points this week and has fallen to 9th since the recommendation (after adjusting other kickers for byes). Part of the appeal of Prater was the ability to hitch your fantasy team to the potent Arizona Cardinals offense, but that offense looks much less potent without Kyler Murray under center.
If Murray misses another game, consider tossing Prater back into the pool and re-entering the stream.
Results To Date
To date, Rent-a-Kicker has made 50 weekly recommendations. Those 50 kickers have averaged 8.24 points, compared to 7.39 in 2020 and 7.65 in 2019. That average would currently rank 6th at the position. Our top weekly recommendation averages 9.30 points, while every highlighted kicker with a great matchup averages 8.42, which would rank 1st and 4th, respectively, after giving every other kicker 7 points in their bye week.
The top 12 kickers by preseason ADP were Harrison Butker (70 points), Justin Tucker* (78 points), Younghoe Koo* (69 points), Greg Zuerlein* (77 points), Tyler Bass* (93 points), Ryan Succop* (70 points), Jason Sanders (53 points), Rodrigo Blankenship* (75 points), Jason Myers* (50 points), Matt Gay (83 points), Brandon McManus (72 points), and Matt Prater (77 points) (after giving each starred kicker 7 points for every game he missed). Despite the extra draft capital expenditure (and the relatively generous bonus for missed games), none of these kickers are outperforming our top weekly streamer and only one is outscoring the average of all of our highlighted "Great Plays". The twelve kickers have scored an average of 72.3 points compared to 84.3 from the average of our available "great plays".
Week 11 Situations
**Here is a list of the teams with the best matchups based on Vegas projected totals and stadium, along with the expected kicker for each team. The top five players who are on waivers in over 50% of leagues based on NFL.com roster percentages are italicized and will be highlighted in next week's column. Also, note that these rankings specifically apply to situations; teams will occasionally change kickers mid-week, but any endorsements apply equally to whatever kicker winds up eventually getting the start.**
Avoid at All Costs