by Ray Kuhn
This is it. Just one more week that we need to hear about kickers until next season. Or at least until the debate begins as to whether or not we should eliminate the position for 2017.
But not so fast.
We still should not overlook the position, as the upper level kickers can average about nine to ten points per game with the potential for a 15 point week. That could mean the difference between a championship and a painful second place finish. Let’s take a look at how the kickers rank for this week:
- Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
- Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
- Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – at Cincinnati
- Cairo Santos – Kansas City Chiefs – at San Diego
- Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at Miami
- Stephen Hauschka – Seattle Seahawks – at San Francisco
- Will Lutz – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
- Sebastian Janikowski – Oakland Raiders – at Denver
- Dustin Hopkins – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
- Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers – at Detroit
- Matt Prater – Detroit Lions – vs. Green Bay
- Brandon McManus – Denver Broncos – vs. Oakland
- Dan Bailey – Dallas Cowboys – at Philadelphia
- Roberto Aguayo – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
- Caleb Sturgis – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Dallas
- We are lucky that there is just one kicker per team. This means we don’t have to worry about anyone being rested or having their role limited as we close out the season. Adam Vinatieri completes yet another successful season, he is the third ranked fantasy kicker, at home against the Jaguars. This is a Jacksonville team that has allowed the most points to opposing kickers all season. Vinatieri is perfect on his 41 extra points attempts this season, and he is 26 of 29 on field goal attempts. What also has contributed to Vinatieri’s value is that 16 of his field goals are from beyond 40 yards; with seven past 50 yards.
- If Oakland wins on Sunday, the division is theirs but they will be doing it with a back-up quarterback. The Raiders also will be on the road, in Denver, against a tough defense. That shapes up for there to be multiple field goal attempts for Sebastian Janikowski. If the Raiders have trouble moving the ball, Janikowski will be attempting kicks from lost distance where he will benefit from the altitude.
- Matt Bryant has yet to fail us, and he likely won’t start in Week 17. Bryant has consistently been the top ranked kicker all season, and at home against the Saints, that success will likely continue. New Orleans has allowed the second most points to opposing kickers this season which works perfectly with Bryant’s 91.7% success rate on field goals while missing just one of his 52 extra point attempts.