Every NFL team was forced to trim its preseason roster down to 53 players as of 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 29. As players were moved around rosters, some were also traded. It is uncommon to see kickers traded, but three different deals involved place kickers this year. Whether or not you enjoy rostering kickers in fantasy football, the moves made ahead of Tuesday’s deadline certainly affect how kickers are being ranked in fantasy football.
Cleveland drafted Cade York in the fourth round of last year’s draft and was the first to tell you last season after he would hit clutch kicks. Less than a year removed from boasting, York has been waived. The Browns traded for veteran Dustin Hopkins, who is assumed to be their starting kicker. He only played in five games last year but did manage to finish as the K5 one week, so he may be worthy of a stream later in the season.
The Titans approached the deadline without a kicker on their roster but remedied that by acquiring Folk. The veteran spent the last several years kicking for the New England Patriots. Last season, Folk was a fantasy-worthy kicker five times last year and should be streamable if the Tennessee offense can sustain drives down the field.
One thing to check every season is who is kicking for the Denver Broncos. Playing half the season with thin air should be an unfair advantage. Brett Maher fell apart in the postseason last year, but was still being drafted as the K18 this year because of the fact he played in Denver. The Broncos then released him and traded for New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz. Lutz reunites with former head coach Sean Payton and should get a boost from the move.
What it means for 2023 fantasy football rankings
To summarize all the moving pieces involved in these trades and releases:
- Los Angeles Chargers kicker Cameron Dicker: Rising in stock, should be a top 10 draft pick at the position
- Tennessee Titans kicker Nick Folk: Likely not worth a draft pick, but a popular stream pick if the Titans offense plays well
- Denver Broncos kicker Wil Lutz: Personally, I think Lutz is worthy of drafting in 12-team leagues. If he is too risky for you, put him ahead of Folk amongst kickers to target and stream.
- New Orleans Saints kicker Blake Grupe: If you just read that and went, “who?” you are not alone. He is a rookie kicking for the Saints and shouldn’t be drafted. If anything he could be a mid-season add if he is playing well.
- Cleveland Browns kicker Dustin Hopkins: Don’t draft him, but keep an eye on him as the season progresses. If Cleveland has a cupcake matchup he could be good to stream, but otherwise look Lutz and Folk first.
- Free agent kicker Cade York: It would be surprising if he doesn’t land somewhere, but without knowing his landing spot, no need to look at him in the draft.