kicker rankings

2018 fantasy football kicker rankings

I know you’re probably laughing at me right now. Why would anyone waste their time rankings kickers heading into the season? I find myself asking the same questions as I’m writing, but it’s part of the job. When it comes to kickers, there’s only a few that are markedly better than the rest of the group. Let’s find out who those players are in the first edition of my 2018 fantasy football kicker rankings.

Kicker Rankings: 1-5

1. Greg Zuerlein – Los Angeles Rams

Greg Zuerlein a top this list of kicker rankings was one of the easiest decisions yet. Here’s how good Zuerlein was last season. He finished first in points with 180, which was 11 more than the next closest kicker. He was one of six kickers that attempted at least 40 field goals, and attempted the fourth most amount field goals of 50 yards or more. And by the way, he only played in 14 games. While the Rams offense will likely regress, that doesn’t mean Zurlein’s numbers will as well. If anything, it could lead to even more attempts for “Greg the leg”. He’s easily the best kicker heading into 2018.

2. Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Stephen Gostkowski has been near the top among kickers for years. He’s attached to one of the best offenses year in and year out, and has the trust of his head coach to nail long field goal attempts. Even though Gostkowski missed multiple extra points and only attempted four field goals of 50 yards or more, he’ll still likely finish in the top five of total points.

3. Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens

I’m not usually a advocate of allowing kickers into the hall of fame, but Justin Tucker might be the exception. He’s historically accurate as a whole, as well as from distance. Even though he was chained to a terrible Baltimore offense, he finished fourth in total points. Joe Flacco and company are the only reason Tucker isn’t higher on this list.

4. Harrison Butker – Kansas City Chiefs

Harrison Butker was likely a fantasy season saver for some last year. Andy Reid’s trust in a rookie kicker was tremendous, especially to allow him to kick five field goals from 50 yards or more. In my opinion, Butker will produce at an even higher level next season. First, he’ll get to start the season as the Chiefs’ kicker, which he didn’t last season. And second, he’ll likely get more red zone attempts. Reid and his offense struggled in the redzone during the middle and end of the season, and that was with an accurate passer at the helm. Patrick Mahomes is talented, but he still comes with accuracy concerns. Butker will likely benefit from more questionable play calls and quarterback inaccuracy heading into 2018.

5. Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons

The ageless wonder continues to get it done. Matt Bryant, not to be confused with Matt Ryan, is the beneficiary of a tremendous offense in Atlanta and playing over half of his games in either a dome, or warm weather. Bryant is always a safe pick at this position.

Kicker Rankings: 6-10

6. Robbie Gould – San Francisco 49ers

When researching this article, I was shocked to see Robbie Gould so high in total points from last season. Meaning, he was producing before Jimmy Garoppolo showed up, and continued to produce when he was the starter. I’m not sure how it will translate to this season, but I couldn’t keep him lower than sixth on my first round of kicker rankings.

7. Will Lutz – New Orleans Saints

Will Lutz has been a DFS darling for years. He’s attached to one of the best coach and quarterback tandems in NFL history. He also, like Matt Bryant, gets to play over half of his games in a dome, or in warm weather. The only problem with Lutz is that he doesn’t get many opportunities to connect from 50 yards or more.

8. Chris Boswell – Pittsburgh Steelers

Like most kickers on this list, Chris Boswell plays on one of the league’s best offenses. What holds Boswell back is that there are some games where he only attempts extra points. Boswell also has games where he attempts six field goals; however, his production is too inconsistent to warrant higher placement on this list.

9. Ryan Succop – Tennessee Titans

Ryan Succop is a great option at kicker given his upside, and likely, his value. In 2017, he set an NFL record by making 56 straight field goals of less than 50 yards. That kind of consistency is what we want to find at any position. But, Succop missed over half of his attempts from 50 yards or more.

10. Matt Prater – Detroit Lions

Matt Prater, at worst, has the third strongest leg in the NFL behind Greg Zuerlein and Justin Tucker. Prater plays inside a dome and is attached to an above average offense with Detroit. He also benefits from the Lions’ lack of a running game in the redzone. It’s unclear how much Matt Patricia will impact this team and that uncertainty pushes Prater to tenth in these kicker rankings.

Kicker Rankings: 11-15

11. Kai Forbath – Minnesota Vikings

Kai Forbath isn’t particularly impressive or dominant in any category. However, he plays indoors, with an efficient quarterback, and a head coach who does not like to take chances.

12. Jake Elliott – Philadelphia Eagles

Like Harrison Butker, Jake Elliott was impressive as a rookie. Everyone remembers the 61-yarder he hit to beat the Giants. Elliott will likely be a great value at this position. What keeps him from being higher was his overall lack of attempts and inconsistencies inside 39 yards.

13. Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts

If Andrew Luck returns, Adam Vinatieri be a top five scorer at his position. Last season we saw some inconsistencies for the first time in his career, so he just cracks the top fifteen.

14. Graham Gano – Carolina Panthers

Graham Gano plays in a warm-weather division, including two domes. He plays on an above average offense, but does not get many attempts beyond 50 yards.

15. Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers

People forget that Mason Crosby had to deal with Brett Hundley for much of the 2017 season. He will bounce back nicely with Aaron Rodgers back under center.

 

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2018 fantasy football K rankings

The NFL Draft is now over and the next big event for football fans is likely their very own fantasy football drafts. The Game Haus will have rankings by both Joe DiTullio and Braxton Angle, as well as composite rankings, coming out over the coming weeks. The rankings are for standard leagues. These will be adjusted when the season gets closer, but it’s never too early to look ahead. Here are Joe’s K rankings:

Kicker rankings: 1-10

1. Stephen Gostkowski- New England Patriots

Gostkowski ranked second last season and hit the second most PATs. He is still ridiculously accurate, making 37 of 40 field goals. The Patriots’ offense will likely take a small step back this season with the loss of Dion Lewis, Dany Amendola and Brandin Cooks, but will still give Gostkowski ample opportunities to hit field goals.

2. Greg Zuerlein- Los Angeles Rams

The Rams had a spectacular year and that includes Zuerlein. He hit 38 of 40 field goals and only missed one of the attempts deeper than 40 yards. With the Rams offense likely being figured out more as teams have a whole offseason to figure out how to stop it, he should see less opportunity. Being that he was the best fantasy kicker last year, his regression won’t leave him too low in the rankings. He also had back surgery earlier this offseason, which will be something to keep tabs on in the preseason.

Justin Tucker Kicking field goal

Justin Tuckert (Photo by fansided.com)

3. Justin Tucker- Baltimore Ravens

Although he finished third last year, Tucker just simply wasn’t given enough opportunities. Baltimore’s offense should improve slightly with their focus on selecting tight ends in the 2018 NFL Draft. Tucker missed three field goals last season but hit all of his extra points. With more opportunity, Tucker will pay off.

4. Matt Bryant- Atlanta Falcons

Bryant finished second last season, using his long field goals to bolster his scoring. He hit eight field goals of over 50 yards. He plays home games indoors, which helps his value as well. He slides down a spot because he won’t get the same amount of work from deep and he’s 42 years old.

5. Dan Bailey- Dallas Cowboys

A healthy Bailey is a must-own in fantasy. Last year he wasn’t healthy, but he should be back to form this season. He is lethally accurate and will likely be helping an offense that can move the ball, but will struggle with getting it in the end zone from time to time.

6. Robbie Gould- San Francisco 49ers

Gould got good work in last year with the third most attempts in the league. His PATs were relatively low and that should flip this season creating a little bit worse of a year for him. He is going to see the benefit of having Jimmy Garoppolo there though as he posted big weeks at the end of the season with Garoppolo at the helm.

7. Chris Boswell- Pittsburgh Steelers

He might not be one of the top-tier kickers in the NFL, but he should be coveted in fantasy because of the team he plays for. He hit 37 of 39 PATs and 35 of 38 field goals in 2016. His accuracy improved last year, but he could do better by converting all of his PATs. At points, he can be a boom or bust play, as the Steelers can score touchdowns without needing any field goals in some matchups.

8. Will Lutz- New Orleans Saints

Another kicker that befits a lot based on how productive his offense is, Lutz finished eighth in fantasy points last year. To go along with the good offense, he also gets to play in a dome for his home games, which is a nice luxury to have. He led the league in PATs and had six games of double-digit scoring.

9. Matt Prater- Detroit Lions

Prater still has a strong leg and connected on seven field goals of over 50 yards. Four of his seven makes from 50-yard range were in the first three weeks of the season and he really slowed down near the end of the season. That’s something to be cautious about in 2018, but he should have another solid season.

10. Jake Elliot- Philadelphia Eagles

The Jake Elliot story from 2017 is a unique one. He gets drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, gets cut, misses week one, signs with the Eagles, finishes 14th among kickers for fantasy points among kickers and then wins the Super Bowl with the Eagles. What a year. With a full 16 games (he’ll need to stay healthy for this too) and a year of experience, Elliot should finish in the top 10.

Kicker rankings: 10-15

11. Kai Forbath-Minnesota Vikings

Will the Vikings’ offense be as explosive as last year? Who knows, but they do have Kirk Cousins now. The offense should be fine, but Cousins didn’t allow Redskins’ kicker Dustin Hopkins to have a game of double-digit scoring last year (Hopkins was injured for a chunk of games in the middle of the season). Forbath is at best a matchup play for next season.

12. Harrison Butker- Kansas City Chiefs

Butker took his opportunity with the Chiefs and ran with it last season. He benefitted from having a good offense, which may not be the case this season. That mostly rides on the shoulders of Pat Mahomes. He should still be a solid fantasy kicker but to get back up into the top ten, he will need help from the Chiefs offense.

13. Ryan Succop- Tennessee Titans

Succop finished 11th last season but is too feast or famine to finish in the top 10. Five of his first seven games last season he scored in the double digits. The other two weeks he scored two and five points. After week seven he had six weeks of no double-digit scoring and then finished out the year with three more good outings, netting double digits. Concisely put, only play him on a matchup basis.

Adam Vinatieri running out of tunnel

Adam Vinatieri (Photo by colts.com)

14. Adam Vinatieri- Indianapolis Colts

Yes, Vinatieri is back for another season. He finished 16th last season but should see added production if Andrew Luck can stay healthy. Although he is aging, he still hit five of six field goals from over 50 yards last season. He has the leg, the accuracy, the offense (pending Luck) and the indoor stadium to make it another successful year.

15. Graham Gano- Carolina Panthers

Gano rebounded from his bad 2016 season to have a solid 2017 season in which he scored 121 points. He did miss three extra points, but only missed one field goal. With the Panthers adding to their offense the last few offseasons, Gano should get some consistent work.

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week three DFS Dont's

Week One DFS Dont’s: Report Card

With the first Sunday in the books, it’s time to review week one and my predictions. I’ll be reviewing my picks from last week’s DFS Dont’s article series, as well as the picks I made on the Suck My DFS Podcast. Picks aside, I started off the year right by finishing in the money in all 36 of my FanDuel contests. Without further adieu, here is the report card edition of my week one DFS Dont’s.

Quarterback: 1/5

Last week, I stated that Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Stafford should stay off your DFS lineups. I was feeling great about my Stafford prediction after the first quarter, but that feeling quickly subsided. Stafford finished with 28.08 points. Roethlisberger didn’t set the world on fire, but I’ll chalk his 16.72 points up as a loss for me.

On the Suck My DFS Podcast, I chose three quarterbacks I liked in cash games and GPP’s: Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Brian Hoyer. Both Wilson and Hoyer scored single digit points. On the bright side, Wilson didn’t cost me in my cash games. Thankfully, Carson Wentz paid dividends on his $7,100 price tag, as he scored 19.88 points.

I ended up playing three quarterbacks in my cash lineups: Russell Wilson, Derek Carr and Carson Wentz. I couldn’t find a good combination for my GPP contests, so I decided to pull my money out this week and just play cash games. I’m not regretting that decision.

Running Back: 3/6

In my running back DFS Dont’s piece, I advised that you stay away from Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette and Marshawn Lynch. I had know idea the Jacksonville Jaguars would dominate the Houston Texans in such dramatic fashion. I look forward to cashing in on Fournette in the future as he scored 19.9 points in his debut. Elliott’s $8,700 price tag isn’t usually worth 16.5 points; however, I’ll mark it as a loss since that’s much better than how David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell produced. I told you to stay away from Lynch until we know exactly how his workload will look, hopefully you did, as he scored a whopping 9.7 points.

On the podcast, I gushed over LeSean McCoy and Todd Gurley. They scored 18.4 and 18.1 points each. Sadly, I also loved Bilal Powell, who produced a disappointing single digit performance. Once again, I lucked out with my Powell prediction since I didn’t partake in any GPP contests in week one.

Wide Receiver: 1/5

My week one DFS Dont’s at this position included Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Jarvis Landry. I was dead on about Bryant and his personal match up against Janoris Jenkins, as he scored a disappointing 5.3 points. However, I was totally wrong about Golden Tate. He, unlike Dez, found a way to overcome a tough match up and produced 16.4 points. Jarvis Landry had an unexpected bye, so I won’t be counting that prediction at all.

In my podcast picks, I pounded the table on AJ Green, Doug Baldwin and Martavis Bryant. I was wrong on all three as they severely under produced.

Tight End: 3/5

Eric Ebron was awful, so that gives me a mark in the win column. Yet again, my other prediction was set to play in the rescheduled Miami vs Tampa Bay game, so throw out O.J. Howard this week.

The tight ends I liked were Delanie Walker, Zach Ertz, Jack Dolye and Zach Miller. Walker and Ertz finished in the top six among tight ends in week one. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough volume for Doyle or Miller to get a chance to be productive or else they would have hit as well. I’ll take the two losses on Doyle and Miller.

Kicker: 2/2

It’s pretty straight forward, stop paying up for kickers. The position is way too dependent on coaching decisions, weather and offensive competency. Nine kickers scored double digit points in week one, and Justin Tucker was not one of them.

On the other hand, my podcast pick clicked, Ryan Succop. It wasn’t rocket science. Here’s the criteria for which I pick my kicker. Is he less than $4,800? Is he at home? Is he favored? Is the weather good? Succop met all of these requirements.

Defense: 2/4

In my first ever DFS Dont’s piece, I made the case not to play the Pittsburgh or Buffalo defense. Neither one of them paid off like most had hoped, but, neither imploded like I had hoped. Given your defense starts with 10 points, I’ll say I was wrong about the Steelers, since they scored 12, and was right about the Bills, since they only scored nine.

We crushed our defensive picks to click. Both Will and I were all in on Los Angeles in week one and they did not disappoint. On the other hand, I offered the Arizona defense as a potential GPP pivot from the Rams, and they only scored eight points.

Week One DFS Dont’s Report Card: 12/27

On a percentage basis, I was not good. I only connected on 44% of my picks in week one. By my standards, and at almost any academic institution, 44% is a failure. Now, no one gets 100% of their predictions right, but, I need to operate in the 60-70 percentile to feel like it was a good week. You can check out all of my week one DFS Dont’s articles here. We’ll start with week two tomorrow as we break down what kicker and defenses you should avoid.

 

Like what you read? Tune into the Suck My DFS Podcast this Friday and find out who TGH fantasy experts will be playing in their DFS lineups this week. You can find the link to our podcast on the Podcast page.

 

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