Fantasy Football

Reasons For and Against Fantasy Football Kickers

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Regardless of league type, it’s no secret that fantasy footballers aren’t going to take a kicker even close to the first ten rounds of a fantasy draft. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be an important part of your team and help you to fantasy glory!

Let’s take a closer look at the reason for and against the kicker position on the fantasy football roster.

Reasons For and Against Fantasy Football Kickers

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Reasons For 

Even in a standard 12, 14, or even 16-team league, there are enough kickers to go around. The top-10 leaders in NFL history for total points scored are all kickers, one of which is still active. Kicking is part of the game.

In terms of fake football, there is a lot to think about with kickers. Is the game indoors or in a dome? Turf or grass? Home or Away? Which teams have been scoring a lot of touchdowns and which haven’t? A lot of the kicker hype comes from how well the team can move the ball as a whole, and which can’t. This adds another exciting element to finalizing rosters by Thursday night kickoff.

The case for kickers is contrary to popular belief. There are a lot of “haters” who say that kickers are too unpredictable and variable.

…Honestly, this is no different than any other starting fantasy football position.

In 2018, the top ten fantasy kickers (led by the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens) averaged just over 173 fantasy points for the season per FantasyPros.

To put that into perspective, that is good enough for QB25, RB16, WR11, TE2 in 2018 standard leagues.  Wow. Wait a minute, that means that the top of the kicker position scored more points than the likes of Blake Bortles, Marlon Mack, and Keenan Allen? Yes, in fact, that is correct.

In standard leagues especially, kickers become another piece of the puzzle and their points matter significantly. Just as a place holder is a necessary position on the field, the kicker position can have a huge footprint on weekly scoring. Kickers also don’t tend to have injuries plague their season as other skilled positions do, and therefore have a bit more playing time consistency. A double-digit fantasy week from a kicker can be a very important benchmark on a championship team, especially in leagues where scoring is a bit tougher to come by.

Reasons Against

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Still, there is nothing worse than losing your head-to-head week on a last-second extra point by a kicker, or falling short because your fake football opponent had a kicker that put up 21 points. We’ve all been there.

It can be very tough to predict the kicker of the week because the top scorer is always variable in both the point totals and in the kick attempt totals. Let’s look at some numbers;

  • In 2018 the number of field goal attempts at the top was down from 45 (Kansas City) to 42 (Houston). The same goes for the bottom of the list at 19 (Green Bay) in 2017 to 17 (Arizona) in 2018.
  • Extra point attempts were way up in 2018, ranging from 69 (Kansas City) to 23 (Jacksonville).  The 2017 range was from 51 (LA Rams) to 23 (NY Giants), a marked difference.

Again, the variability that draws a lot of scrutiny in fantasy football comes from a team that can’t score from the 1-yard line, and the only fantasy scorer to benefit is the kicker. As the NFL changes and pass attempts and touchdowns go way up, so does the number of extra point attempts.  Scoring variability is important to keep in mind from year to year.

It seems to me that by predicting attempts can predict fantasy kicker success. “Well, DUH!”. To look at it from another view, you basically have to predict the teams that will not score, drop a pass, get sacked, or go nowhere and stay in field goal range. This has to be one of the hardest things to predict in fantasy football.

Summary

Whether you believe that these fantasy kickers should be treated like any other player on the offense because they are a part of it, or you believe that they are just too variable to predict…I can see both cases.  Hopefully, the scales of fantasy kicker justice have been treated equally here and I have opened your eyes to both sides of the argument.

Until we meet again! Laces out, my friends.


Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to prepare for the 2018 season.

About Christopher T. Luft

Christopher Luft is from Connecticut and graduated from Providence College with a BS degree in Biology. He went to Optometry school at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and completed an ocular disease residency at the Wilmington, Delaware VA. Chris loves to cook, spend time with his wife, practice and study jiu-jitsu, and of course, fantasy sports.

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