by Ray Kuhn
The fact that it was a relatively quiet week at the kicker position is a good thing. In the nicest way possible we want our kickers to be seen, but not heard. Go out there when called upon, produce and call it a day. Let’s take a look at how our options rank for this week when it comes to the much adored kicker position:
- Will Lutz – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Brett Maher – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
- Ka’imi Fairbairn – Houston Texans – vs. Tennessee
- Stephen Gostkowski – New England Patriots – at NY Jets
- Justin Tucker – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Oakland
- Mason Crosby – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
- Matt Bryant – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
- Matt Prater – Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
- Robbie Gould – San Francisco 49ers – at Tampa Bay
- Jason Myers – NY Jets – vs. New England
- Dan Bailey – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
- Jason Sanders – Miami Dolphins – at Indianapolis
- Josh Lambo – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Buffalo
- Ryan Succop – Tennessee Titans – at Houston
- Last week we had a clear number one option at the position (when it came to production), and in most cases it came under the radar. After a multiple week absence due to injury Matt Bryant returned against the Cowboys and proceeded to put up 17 fantasy points. The veteran showed no ill effects from his hamstring injury as he converted his lone extra point attempt and all four field goals. Distance also wasn’t a problem, as he converted kicks from 41, 45 and 53 yards (along with a 21 yard kick), and I see no issues moving forward. Some fantasy owners have caught on, as of Wednesday night he had a 33.6% surge in ownership in ESPN leagues, but he is still available in just about half the leagues. The one problem is that the Saints have allowed the fewest points to opposing kickers. That is not because they have a great defense, but in fact just the opposite as they allow so many touchdowns. Either way Bryant is back, healthy and figures to be busy.
- Conversely one team who has a strong defense is Minnesota. By that token the Vikings have allowed the second most points to opposing kickers so far this season. Aside from his one horrendous week against the Lions Crosby has been a solid option with just two other missed field goals. Ranked as a Top 10 kicker based on production, Crosby has 20 field goals with 10 of those coming from beyond 40 yards (six with a distance of greater than 50 yards). I would expect Crosby to have multiple chances this week after three straight weeks of just one field goal, although he has nine extra points in that span.
- If you find yourself searching for a kicker there is a very good chance (about 99.4%) that Jason Sanders is available. Coming off his bye week Sanders is owned in just 0.6% of ESPN leagues as he faces the Colts from the comfort of their dome this week. It certainly is a good thing for Sanders that Indianapolis has allowed the fourth most points to opposing kickers so far this season as he comes off a four field goal effort. On the season we certainly have been able to count on Sanders for efficiency as he has missed just two kicks all season, one of 16 field goals and one of 21 extra points. He has also been busy over the last three weeks converting all nine of his field goal attempts as he looks to continue that trend this week.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings: