Who is the most important player on a football team? The kicker, obviously. Okay, that is based purely on the fun metric and a single player’s ability to create absolute chaos in a very specific, but essential role. When it comes to fantasy football, the kicker isn’t exactly going to be your MVP, but if you get one who can reliably produce 10 points or so every week, it’s a nice little addition that can help push you over the top.
When Should You Draft a Kicker?
Probably not in the first round ... or the second, or the third and so on. The truth is that you can probably wait until the last two or three rounds. Personally, I like to take one before I grab a defense, because unless you get one of the top five defenses, the rest are mostly the same, except for the really awful ones.
Even if you just let the computer make the pick for you, you’ll probably wind up with a guy who’ll post around 120 points for the season.
Chances are you’ll have at least three kickers on your roster over the course of the season. Not all at one time—that would be incredibly bad! But because it’s such an interchangeable position, there’s always a guy waiting for you on the waiver wire.
Which Kicker Should I Draft?
Harrison Butker of the Chiefs and Justin Tucker of the Ravens are kind of the Travis Kelce and George Kittle of the kicker position. Last season was the first time since 2014 that Tuckers wasn’t in the top three fantasy producers at the position, and it was the first time in two seasons for Butker.
They should bounce back just fine. Both teams score enough to give them oodles of PAT chances, and the Ravens are conservative enough to settle for some field goals too.
Jason Sanders of the Dolphins and Younghoe Koo of the Falcons were the top two fantasy kickers last year. They tied for second with eight field goals of 50+ yards. There’s no reason to think they both can’t finish near the top again this year. Koo has the added advantage of playing half his games indoors too.
What about some sleepers? You are really a nerd thinking about sleeper kickers. And that’s why we love you! Keep an eye on the camp competitions here, because there’s a twofold effect. Kickers get injured and sometimes they struggle. Into the fold steps another unheard-of leg to make a name for himself. And even if a team doesn’t end up replacing its kicker, the kid who nearly took the job in camp will inevitably wind up on a roster somewhere, booting his way to fantasy fame and fortune.
Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop is near the top of every rankings list this year, but he’s struggling in camp. Rookie Jose Borregales is not struggling though, putting more pressure on Succop. It’s unlikely the Bucs would cut Succop after signing him to a three-year, $12 million extension this season. That means Borregales has a great chance of landing with another team in need of a leg.
There’s a legit kicker competition in Cincinnati, because, hey, even the Bengals deserve a little excitement. Austin Seibert earned the starting job after a relief sting late last season, but he’s doing all he can to hold off rookie Evan McPherson. Both players are drilling 50-yard kicks with regularity in practice. One of these guys is going to be the Bengals’ starting kicker, and the other is likely going to find a starting job somewhere else.
Ultimately, it’s your fantasy team, and you can draft whatever kicker you want with whatever draft pick you choose. But please know that the overall coolness factor of your team will be judged on how well you honor the unsung heroes of the kicking position.