Not many people understand the strategy to choosing the right kicker for your fantasy football team. Most just follow the projected points or matchups and tend to spend little thought into the intricacies of the position and what it can do for you to really make or break your ability to win your leagues.
First off. You need to ALWAYS pick your kicker based on either your QB or your matchups QB for that week. If you have the same kicker as your starting QB, you won’t be kicking the TV when your QB stalls a drive and out comes the kicker. If you had the QB’s kicker, you are in a position to reap the points anyways and sometimes it will be more than the 4 points in standard scoring that the QB could have gotten for the pass TD. IF a QB gets 4 pts and the kicker gets is 3,4 or 5 points depending on distance. You are in the coveted position to get either one less, the same or one more point than what your QB would have gotten you had he passed for a TD. No worries, If your team runs the ball for the score, You will still get 1 point for the extra point and if your QB passes for a TD you now increase the value of that TD to 5 points, 4 from your QB and 1 from your extra point.
Now suppose, your QB’s kicker was taken in the draft and you can’t get your hands on him. That’s ok, we now look at our weekly H2H matchup and see who they are starting at QB and see if that kicker is available in the waiver pool. If he is, then we are in business to poach points from one of his key players. Now suppose our matchup had Peyton Manning starting at QB and Matt Prater, his kicker was in the waiver pool, we can pick up Prater and get his points on every stalled drive. Also, we benefit that when Denver scores regardless of pass or run, we get credit for the extra point. So, If Peyton passes for a 1 yard TD, he would get 4 points, and we get 1 point for the extra point, thus reducing his TD points to 3 every time. Now, when Peyton stalls a drive on his opponents 40 yard line and Prater comes out to kick the 55 yarder. He gets no points and we get 5 points. How lovely!! I have effectively neutralized some matchups QBs totally using this strategy.
Now suppose, you can’t get your kicker or your matchups which happens from time to time. Don’t just settle for the highest projected kicker. There are so many other factors involved when choosing that perfect kicker that will hang 15 points for you. Look at stadium, open field or dome. Look at weather predicted for the game. So much nicer for a kicker to kick in the Dallas Dome than in Lambeau field in December. Look at the offense of the kickers team and see if they have lots of injuries to their weapons that could stall a drive. Look at the defense and see if they are the type that can stop the 3rd down conversions cause thats gonna make any kicker more valuable. Look at their overall team record and see if they are a losing team that will forgo a field goal as they will be playing from behind and go for it on 4th down reducing the potential ceiling for your kicker. Also look at when the game is played. If two kickers are pretty similar for you and one is playing on Sunday vs another playing the dreaded low scoring shortened week Thursday game. Take the Sunday kicker.
In conclusion, the kicker position has a definite strategy that most people ignore. They will analyze and agonize over which potential WR3 to start on their bye week and just choose any kicker cause he is projected to score X amount of points. The projection rarely takes into account most of the important intangibles like weather, stadium type, home or road game, 3rd down conversion percentage, 12th man, etc. Use the QB-Kicker strategy and it’s one less player to worry about for 15 out of 16 weeks. Stop kicking the cat every time your team stalls a drive and start banking those points. At the end of the year, the kicker could be the difference whether or not you beat a matchup or make the playoffs.