Streaming Kickers: Week 1 Fantasy Football Targets
If you’re like most fantasy football players, kicker is a position you put zero thought into, and wish wasn’t a part of the draft altogether. Some leagues have done away with the kicker position, but for those who haven’t, there are actually a few ways to get an edge over your opponents when it comes to streaming kickers weekly.
Projecting a kicker’s output isn’t as difficult or random as you may think—in fact, taking a look at Vegas odds is the best way to accurately predict a kicker’s weekly potential. By focusing in on the team implied point totals, we can get a cumulative idea of how that offense will perform when it comes to settling for field goals, distance of kicks, and the like. For a more detailed explanation on using Vegas odds for successfully streaming kickers, I suggest checking out 4for4’s DFS Playbook Strategy article, which is packed with info on the most profitable way to predict the position.
Another metric useful in projecting a kicker’s output is 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed or aFPA. By removing the schedule bias, we can compare matchups in an apples-to-apples manner. By Week 4, there’s a solid sample size to work from, and the info gets more trustworthy with each data-filled week.
In order to provide advice that you can actually implement, candidates for streaming must be owned in no more than 40% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. As always, check 4for4’s rankings when making weekly decisions on any position.
Top Streaming Picks
Daniel Carlson (Vikings) vs. 49ers
Minnesota traded up to get the rookie, so they are expecting him to step right in and do his job well. With an implied team total of 26 points, expect the Vikings to throw him in early and often in Week 1, translating to points for your squad. Carlson is available on 66% of Yahoo’s waiver wires and has two great subsequent matchups, so grab him if you need him.
Adam Vinatieri (Colts) vs. Bengals
Despite his advanced football age, Vinatieri can still kick a ball and is coming off an 85.3 field goal percentage last season. The Colts play Cincinnati at home, with an over/under of 47, and an implied total of 25 for Indy. Also in the 45-year old’s favor, the Bengals rank second-to-worst in kicker aFPA to open the season, projected to yield 9 points per game to the position weekly.
With a healthy Andrew Luck driving the bus, we should see more scoring from the 20 percent rostered Vinatieri this season. Another check in the plus column—Week 2 sees the Redskins, who were rank 30th in kicker aFPA, so holding on to Vinatieri for another week is highly favorable.
Caleb Sturgis (Chargers) vs. Chiefs
The former Dolphin turned Eagle, Sturgis has found a new home in Los Angeles. He’s on an offense with solid scoring potential in 2018 and gets to start the season at home versus Kansas City. The Chargers are favored by three in this AFC West matchup, with an implied team total of 25.25 points.
Sturgis is owned by only 2 percent of Yahoo drafters out there, so he’s on the waiver wire if you need a streamer with a hefty potential to start off the season.
Deep-League Streaming Picks
Phil Dawson (Cardinals) vs. Redskins
Washington is the third-worst DST in kicker aFPA to open the season, expected to give up 8.5 fantasy points per contest to opposing kickers. Week 1 should be a good one for Dawson, as Arizona is expected to post 22 points at home under a retractable roof. On just 2 percent of Yahoo rosters, he should be there for you in larger leagues if you’re in need.
Josh Lambo (Jaguars) @ Giants
Jacksonville travels to New York to face a Giants’ team who ranks 23rd in kicker aFPA gong into Week 1. The Jaguars are favored by three on the road and boast an implied team total of 23.25 points. Lambo is rostered in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues thus far, and could a be good play this week in leagues with shallower waiver wires.
Jason Sanders (Dolphins) vs. Titans
Add another rookie to the mix this week, as Sanders could have a decent coming out party. I don’t love the Dolphins’ offense, but they get a home opener versus the rock bottom in kicker aFPA. As the 32nd ranked DST versus opposing kickers, the Titans are expected to allow 9.1 fantasy points to the position per tilt. Rookies are tough to bank on, but at a 0 percent ownership, Sanders is worth a shot in deeper leagues this week.
Kicker to Bench
Harrison Butker (Chiefs) @ Chargers
Over 80 percent of drafters rostered Butker and are prepared to play him every week. You may want to reconsider to start the season, as he boasts a tough road game in Los Angeles on Sunday. The Chiefs are only expected to score 22.25 total points and are projected to lose the matchup by four. Los Angeles was the fourth-stingiest DST to opposing kickers in 2017, allowing just 5.8 fantasy points to the position on a weekly basis.
Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images.