by Ray Kuhn
We have had a few weeks of reprieve, but for this week we are going to have to play meteorologist. Since we are in the middle of November it makes sense and is something that will likely continue for the rest of the way. We want to be careful not to overstate the impact that weather will have on the results, but one area in which there is a clear relationship is the kicking game. Since we are completing these rankings a few days prior to Sunday, and the weather has a habit of changing, it is a roster decision you will want to revisit closer to game time. In a vacuum, here is how our options rank:
- Jake Elliot – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
- Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at Oakland
- Greg Zuerlein – Los Angeles Rams – at Minnesota
- Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – at Green Bay
- Will Lutz – New Orleans Saints – vs. Washington
- Harrison Butker – Kansas City Chiefs – at New York Giants
- Matt Prater – Detroit Lions – at Chicago
- Josh Lambo – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Cleveland
- Brandon McManus – Denver Broncos – vs. Cinncinati
- Chris Boswell – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Tennessee
- Blair Walsh – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Atlanta
- Kai Forbath – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Steven Hauschka – Buffalo Bills – at Los Angeles Chargers
- Patrick Murray – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Miami
- Phil Dawson – Arizona Cardinals – at Houston
- One thing I like to do is grab elite, or at least Top 10, kickers as they come off their bye week. For the most part fantasy owners, and rightfully so, only carry one kicker so at times there is some value to be had on the waiver wire. This week’s candidate is Jake Elliot. Coming off the Eagles’ bye week, the sixth ranked fantasy kicker so far this season faces the Cowboys on the road. For starters that means we don’t have to worry about weather, and Elliot is a top option who is available in 30% of ESPN leagues. He has had some problems with accuracy, but based on the sheer quantity of opportunity he has had this season he has been one of the top kickers. Distance hasn’t been an issue as he has converted nine kicks from between 40 and 49 yards while making five kicks from beyond 50 yards.
- At this point we shouldn’t expect much from Denver’s offense. However, that doesn’t mean we should discount their kicker. It hasn’t been the best of seasons for Brandon McManus, but he can still be a solid option. We have to like the fact that he gets the benefit of kicking in the Mile High air this week. It hasn’t been the most efficient year, 76.2%, but two weeks ago he broke through from beyond 50 yards (against the Eagles, he made his first two kicks of the season from that distance). As the Broncos continue to struggle on offense he should have more chances. It is also a good sign that he has been perfect on all 16 of his extra point attempts.
- If we want to play the match-up game to the fullest this week, then Phil Dawson is your guy. So far this season the Texans are allowing the most points to opposing kickers, and the Cardinals’ offense shows some signs of life but not enough to get into the end zone. The problem is that Dawson is really an all or nothing play. So far this season he has missed six of his 19 field goal attempts and has been very streaky. The good thing is that he has only missed one of his 15 extra point attempts, and likely won’t be too expensive.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: