I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I spent the last two hours
combing over kicker stats and advanced NFL team stat matrices trying
to identify trends and variables that lead to successful performances
for kickers in fantasy football.
With a critical Week 11 game against my brother in my season-long
league of record, I believe my team will need a huge kicker and
defensive play to combat his stacked lineup.
I was able to pick up my defensive play of the week with the
Dolphins playing rookie Jared Goff and the Rams, but I can’t
seem to decide on a kicker who will give me at least 10 fantasy
It is a deep 12-team league with large benches, giving owners
the roster flexibility to keep more than more than one kicker,
thus reducing the waiver wire to a barren wasteland of mediocre
former soccer players.
So I am left with Graham Gano against the Saints and his unimpressive
stat line of 1,6,15,6, and 6 fantasy points over the past five
weeks, or Ryan Succop and his line of 4,10,11,5,and 13 points
in the same period.
On face value Succop looks like the better play with three double-digit
games, but he mixed in two stinkers and the Colts may allow Murray
to run all over them, resulting in no field goals
Gano has been one of the most inconsistent kickers this season
with seven of his nine games under seven fantasy points. The one
caveat, is that he did score 17 and 15 points in to home games
in which Carolina was forced to score at least 30 points to win.
With the Saints playing on Thursday Night in Charlotte, chances
are it will be a high scoring game, but will that equate to field
goals or a bunch of useless extra points?
Weather conditions, game script, opponent third down success
rate, offensive third down success rate from the 30-yard line
in, and many other variables play into the decision of picking
But flipping a coin would be almost a better option, as evident
by the fact that only one kicker (Matt Bryant) has been the number
one kicker in fantasy more than once in a week this year.
If I had my way, kickers would not be included in fantasy football,
as it is a crapshoot and most fantasy leagues give way too many
points to kickers. In fact, I wrote a piece a few years back promoting
the idea of the NFL getting rid of kickers all together, forcing
teams to always go for it on fourth down or punt.
Needless to say the article did not get much traction, despite
the many logical points (at least I thought they were logical)
presented in the piece.
Now, you might ask yourself, why am I spending so much time in
my intro talking about kickers when I just admitted that almost
no amount of time studying them will lead to a more educated guess?
The answer is simple, it is a recommendation to my fellow DFS
owners who hate kickers as much as I do to stop playing sites
like FanDuel that include kickers and focus on more progressive
sites like DraftKings.
Perhaps a movement away from sites that have kickers will convince
their founders to move on to a better format.
I will now step down from soap box and move onto my picks for
Going back to the well: Look for Brady
to bounce back after his zero-TD performance in Week 10.
H2H/Cash - Tom Brady vs. San Francisco ($7,800
When facing off against a team that boasts the leagues worst
rush defense, it may sound counter intuitive to recommend the
quarterback in that matchup, especially when said quarterback
is the most expensive play at $7,800.
There are two reasons why I like Brady in this game. First, the
passing offense was stymied last week against the Seahawks and
Belichick will use this as an opportunity to get Brady and the
passing game back on track.
And second, Brady is going home to play against his favorite
boyhood team for the first time in his storied career.
Sure, Blount is going to get his points and will dominate the
49ers on the ground, but I think Brady will have a stellar game
with three TDs and 300 yards.
Although he is questionable with a calf injury, I believe Riddick
will play this week in what might be a shootout at home against
When on the field, Riddick has been a PPR monster with 27 points
in two of his last three games, including 27.3 points against
Houston Week 8.
There is a bit of concern in that the Jags are one of only eight
teams that have not given up a receiving touchdown this year to
opposing running backs, but Staffordís heavy reliance on
Riddick in the passing game makes me feel comfortable using Riddick
in GPPs this week.
Fade - Doug
Martin @ Kansas City ($5,400 on DraftKings)
Martin is still trying to get his legs back after an extended
absence with a hamstring injury, and the Chiefs defense is getting
healthy with Justin Houston back to help the pass rush.
I donít see this being a high scoring game and I wouldnít
be surprised to see Winston struggle on the road at Arrowhead.
There are too many favorable matchups for other running backs
this week to risk playing Martin.
Crowder has quietly been one of the most consistent fantasy wide
receivers this season, scoring double digit points in every week
except Week 4 against Cleveland.
The second-year player from Duke has clearly become one of Kirk
Cousinís most trusted target, and should receive multiple
targets and catches against a Green Bay team that has given up
the third-most points to opposing wide receivers.
With 28 targets and 20 catches over his last three games, Crowder
might be the best mid-level value at WR this week for owners looking
to get at least 13 points from a $5,400 wide receiver.
Walker has been one of the beneficiaries of the Titans offensive
surge over the past four weeks, with double-digit points in six
of his last seven games, including 30.4 points last week against
While I donít anticipate Walker having a monster game last
week and the probability of him throwing another TD pass is slim,
there is no doubting the volume of targets and receptions he garners
in the passing game.
Indy has struggled against tight ends this year, with Eric Erbron,
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Travis Kelce and Walker all reaching paydirt.
Look for Walker to reach the end zone again this week in what
could be a high scoring game.
Other options to consider - Travis Kelce vs. Tampa Bay &
Reed vs Green Bay