by Ray Kuhn
We are almost there with just two more weeks of paying attention to kickers, though it likely won’t be a smooth ride. Of all the positions we pay the least attention to kicker, until they cost you a playoff victory. So we are here to help make sure that doesn’t happen. Look for efficiency, recent success, favorable weather conditions and a large expected point total to try and cover yourself. With that in mind, let’s jump into the rankings for this week:
- Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons – vs. San Francisco
- Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at Denver
- Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Tampa Bay
- Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Philadelphia
- Sebastian Janikowski – Oakland Raiders – at San Diego
- Kai Forbath – Minnesota Vikings – at Indianapolis
- Stephen Hauschka – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Los Angeles
- Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts – at Minnesota
- Dustin Hopkins – Washington Redskins – vs. Carolina
- Cairo Santos – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Tennessee
- Brandon McManus – Denver Broncos – vs. New England
- Nick Novak – Houston Texans – vs Jacksonville
- Josh Lambo – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
- Chandler Catanzaro – Arizona Cardinals – vs. New Orleans
- Will Lutz – New Orleans Saints – at Arizona
- Am I really going to recommend a kicker who is owned in just 3.7% of ESPN leagues? “Spoiler alert”, I am! After replacing Blair Walsh following his struggles, Kai Forbath has had his share of success. Since joining the Vikings, Forbath has been perfect on all 10 of his field goal attempts including converting four in Jacksonville last week. All is not perfect as he has missed two of his seven extra points, but he is not alone in his misfortune across the league. This week he faces the Colts on the road so he has the advantage of kicking in a dome against the team that has allowed the third most points to kickers.
- Offense. Taking a quick look through the over/under’s will show that there is a combined 51 points expected from the match-up between Atlanta and San Francisco. However, with the Falcons favored by 14 points we can easily see where those points are coming from. By default Matt Bryant will be a very busy man. That is has become a common occurrence, as he has been the second most productive kicker. As an added bonus the 49ers have allowed the fifth most points to opposing kickers. Bryant has already attempted 45 extra points and he has converted 44 of them while missing just two of his 29 field goal attempts (both from beyond 50 yards).
- Another high scoring game will take place in San Diego, but it shapes up to be a lot more competitive. The Chargers are favored by three against the Raiders in a game with an over/under of 49.5. Between the two kickers Sebastian Janikowski gets the advantage as the Chargers have been more hospitable to opposing kickers. He also has been on a roll lately with a combined 50 fantasy points over the past five weeks. In that stretch he has missed just one field goal, but that is not his biggest accomplishment of the season. That would have to be, in a year of continuous struggles, the fact that Janikowski has been perfect in his 33 extra point attempts.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 15 rankings: