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 14 Results
Randy Bullock (3 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 2 XPs, 8 points)
The Titans never really needed to push the pace against the Jaguars, who are seemingly falling apart at the seams. Despite missing a 47-yard attempt, Bullock scored 8 points, which ordinarily would be a pretty good showing but only tied for 16th in a strong week for kickers overall.
Brandon McManus (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 5 XPs, 8 points)
The Denver Broncos joined the rest of the league in running up the score against the Detroit Lions, finishing with the 3rd-most points in Week 14. Unfortunately for McManus, most of those points came from touchdowns instead of field goals, so he "only" scored 8, tied with Bullock for 16th.
Dustin Hopkins (3 FG attempts, 3 FGs, 4 XPs, 13 points)
While our top two options had solid games that didn't stand out in a very competitive week, our third choice had no such issues. Hopkin's 13 points against the Giants led all kickers.
Mason Crosby (1 FG attempt, 1 FG, 6 XPs, 9 points)
Crosby had the same problem as McManus. The Packers put together 7 scoring drives, but because 6 of them were touchdowns, Crosby "only" finished with nine points, tied for 12th among all kickers.
Matt Prater (3 FG attempts, 3 FGs, 2 XPs, 11 points)
Prater really demonstrates how strong the week was. He scored 11 points and trailed the week's leader by just 2, yet somehow still only finished tied for 8th in a week with a lot of players clustered between 10 and 13 points.
Results To Date
To date, Rent-a-Kicker has made 70 weekly recommendations. Those 70 kickers have averaged 8.44 points, compared to 7.39 in 2020 and 7.65 in 2019. That average would currently rank 3rd at the position. Our top weekly recommendation averages 8.71 points, while every highlighted kicker with a great matchup averages 8.75, both of which would also rank 3rd after giving every other kicker 7 points in their bye week.
The top 12 kickers by preseason ADP were Harrison Butker (106 points), Justin Tucker (115 points), Younghoe Koo (88 points), Greg Zuerlein (115 points), Tyler Bass (114 points), Ryan Succop (105 points), Jason Sanders (83 points), Rodrigo Blankenship (103 points), Jason Myers (69 points), Matt Gay (123 points), Brandon McManus (94 points), and Matt Prater (109 points) (after giving each kicker 7 points for every game he missed). Despite the extra draft capital expenditure (and the relatively generous bonus for missed games), only Matt Gay is outperforming the average of our highlighted "great plays", and his edge is just half a point. (Not per game; total.) The twelve kickers have scored an average of 102.0 points compared to 122.5 from the average of our available "great plays".
Week 15 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.**
**Dolphins (Jason Sanders)
**Colts (Mike Badgley)
Chiefs (Harrison Butker)
Bills (Tyler Bass)
Eagles (Jake Elliott)
Chargers (Dustin Hopkins)
Broncos (Brandon McManus)
Patriots (Nick Folk)
Packers (Mason Crosby)
Bears (Cairo Santos)
Saints (Brian Johnson)
Ravens (Justin Tucker)
Seahawks (Jason Myers)
Falcons (Younghoe Koo)
Browns (Chase McLaughlin)
Giants (Graham Gano)
Jaguars (Josh Lambo)
Raiders (Daniel Carlson)
Football Team (Chris Blewitt)
Avoid at All Costs