No matter what fantasy football league you’re a part of, every point counts. When you don’t have a good receiving corps or a top receiver is on bye, you can already see the writing on the wall, as you patiently wait for next week to come. When this happens, you need to find a player to put a decent amount of points on the board, but guess what, no ones’ available. So what do you do? How about finding a player that no one’s thinking of?
Fantasy Football Secret Weapon
Kickers can play an important role, and a reliable one is vital. The best part is that so few people care to draft one, knowing that they can just pick one up later. This is where you swoop in.
It’s almost, ALMOST impossible for a kicker to get zero points, but how often has your receiver or tight end earned you the fat zero? The answer: too many times.
Why A Kicker?
Kickers are valuable in fantasy…more than you know. Because no matter what, teams are going to score, whether their defense scores or their offense does, and when they do the kicker is the one that has to kick the extra point. And in fantasy one point can make all the difference. You also have an opportunity for them to give you points for field goals made when the offense is trying to find the end zone.
So, How Should You Select This Secret Weapon?
Pick a team with a bad quarterback. Why? A team that can’t rely on their passing game needs to find another way to put points on the board. Their option is to either run the ball, kick it, or both. Last season, the Eagles were one of those teams. Carson Wentz threw the ball a lot, but only completed 62% of those passes, and with their starting RB, ranking 25th in total rushing yards, their only reliable option was to kick the ball. As a result, their kicker, Caleb Sturgis, scored 135 of the team’s 365 points.
The Ravens’ Justin Tucker scored the 2nd most points for kickers as a result of his team’s dismal passing game as well as the porous running game. He accounted for 41% of the team’s total points for the season (141 of 343 points).
One thing to note: With so many tough defenses in the league and shaky quarterback play, if running the ball is a team’s only option that leaves plenty of opportunity for the kicker.
Teams Allergic To The End Zone
It’s not very prevalent, but every once in a while there is one team that just can’t score. Nothing ever goes their way and they have to rely on their kicker to put up points. You may think this is the perfect kicker, but this is actually the one kicker you want to avoid. If the team is having trouble scoring then there’s a good chance the reason why is a lack of ball movement. If you can’t move the ball, your kicker’s chances of scoring fall.
Instead, you want a team that has the opportunity to score but no means to do it as a result of poor efficiency. This is the perfect opportunity for a kicker. Washington and Houston both suffered from poor red zone efficiency due to various offensive woes, triggering top 10 fantasy kickers for both teams.
High Powered All The Way
Another avenue to take, and probably the more obvious, is to pick a kicker from a high scoring offense. Atlanta’s Matt Bryant was the #1 kicker in points last fantasy season. Even if a lot of field goals aren’t required of the kicker, they should see plenty of extra point opportunities due to the high volume scoring (ie. Green Bay’s Mason Crosby #17, Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski #9, and Saints’ Wil Lutz #7).
Reliable offenses are a good way to find reliable kicking. Their kickers may not be called upon with such desperation to make every 40-yarder or 50-yarder, but with a consistent offense, points are sure to follow by way of extra points. Five TDs equals five potential points, and with teams like the Packers, Saints, Falcons, and Patriots it’s very doable.
While kickers may be an afterthought to most, this creates the prime opportunity for you to get a good one. So when you’re stuck in the draft looking for a receiver but there’s nothing but bench warmers left, think of getting a kicker. He just might save your season.
They’re definitely valuable when games become a kicking fest and can become even more valuable when a wideout or tight end put up a goose egg. Worst case scenario, your kicker can add to your score, bringing you one step closer to winning the week and ultimately your league.