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 a dozen or more starting kickers are 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 13 Results
Cade York (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 3 XPs, 9 points)
This is what's known in the industry as a "backdoor cover". The Cade York bet was that Cleveland's offense would be able to move the ball at will against a terrible Texans defense. Instead, the Browns only had one scoring drive longer than 10 yards all day. But thanks to two defensive touchdowns, one special teams touchdown, and an 8-yard field goal "drive", York still scored nine points, which tied for 8th on the week.
Riley Patterson (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 0 XPs, 6 points)
Patterson fell prey to the dreaded blowout curse; Jacksonville fell behind big against Detroit and passed up field goal attempts of 51 and 35 yards as well as an extra point attempt. Patterson finished the day with six points, tied for 20th on the week.
Cameron Dicker (3 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 2 XPs, 8 points)
Dicker missed a 52-yarder (and the team passed on another 52-yarder later), but otherwise performed as expected. His 8 points were 14th on the week.
Mike Badgley (4 FG attempts, 4 FGs, 4 XPs, 16 points)
The model expected the Jaguars/Lions game to be a shootout and slightly preferred the (favored) Jaguars' kicker. It got it half right, as the Jaguars were blown out and Detroit's kicker scored a whopping 16 points, leading all scorers for the week. If Detroit keeps playing like this, we're going to have to go back to targeting all kickers in every Lions game again.
Greg Joseph (2 FG attempts, 2 FGs, 3 XPs, 9 points)
The Vikings could hardly get any offense going after halftime against the Jets, but they scored enough in the first half to hold on for a victory, with Joseph ranking tied for 8th among kickers in Week 13.
Results To Date
To date, Rent-a-Kicker has made 65 weekly recommendations. Those 60 kickers have averaged 6.71 points, compared to 8.45 in 2021, 7.39 in 2020, 7.65 in 2019, and 7.43 in 2018. That average would currently rank 15th at the position (after giving 6 points to every kicker who has had their bye week already). Our top weekly recommendation averages just 6.08 points, and every highlighted kicker with a great matchup averages 6.55, marks that would rank 23rd and 18th.
Here are the Top 12 kickers by preseason ADP along with how many points they've scored to date in parentheses: Justin Tucker (109), Tyler Bass (113), Matt Gay (81), Harrison Butker (92), Daniel Carlson (106), Evan McPherson (92), Matt Prater (67), Ryan Succop (95), Brandon McManus (86), Nick Folk (105), Dustin Hopkins (81), and Rodrigo Blankenship (76). (All kickers are credited with 6 additional points for every week they missed)
So far, the Top 12 kickers by preseason ADP average 91.9 points compared to 85.1 from the average of all of our great plays.
Week 14 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.**
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