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Corleone

The Importance of Kickers

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Some people will read the Subject title and immediately say "They're not important at all".

I get the reputation of kickers in fantasy. Some people don't believe they're important, and some leagues have even banned kickers altogether. But for those of us in leagues with kickers, we're still counting those points.

This thread is NOT for "Should I start X kicker this week?". There's a separate forum for that. 

But what I'm curious about, is how important have kickers proven to be in your leagues? For those in long-running leagues, are you able to look up the kickers that the league champ has had? 

I'm in a long-running league (10 team, 2QB) that has been going since 2006. I took a look at the rosters of the league champ each season, and these were their kickers:

image.png.35e52a47c63c87bfb8fdebcd75c08891.png

So overall, of the championship teams, 8 of 13 had a Top 5 kicker that season. Only 2 of 13 had a kicker outside of the top 10.
I don't recall if either of those below-average teams (or any others) made kicker changes before Week 16 due to a favorable matchup...though it's not likely anyone grabbed an elite kicker off the WW right before the championship week.

We know that the "experts" say that kickers should only be taken in either the last or second-to-last round of your draft. Or in auction leagues, receive a $1 bid. After all the "experts" say, kickers fluctuate from year-to-year and don't make enough of a difference. But have you seen any type of correlation to winning fantasy teams having good kickers? 

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There's a correlation with having good players at every position when you win the championship. Kickers? Probably even moreso than defense, because there's so little rhyme/reason to picking kickers that you don't swap them week-to-week, whereas, from what I've researched, more championship teams have undrafted defenses than drafted ones on their roster.

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I usually take the guys with a high chance for their drives to stall or get extra points. I usually target 5 kickers every year.

 

Tucker

Lutz

Greggy the Leggy

Butker

Gostkowski 

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8 minutes ago, miasma16 said:

There's a correlation with having good players at every position when you win the championship. Kickers? Probably even moreso than defense, because there's so little rhyme/reason to picking kickers that you don't swap them week-to-week, whereas, from what I've researched, more championship teams have undrafted defenses than drafted ones on their roster.

 

I would even filter out the draft picks in the last 2 rounds of the drafts. At that draft position, it's just a glorified week 1 waiver wire. I can definitely see teams doing better drafting skill position players in the first 13 rounds or so, rather than reaching for a defense or kicker.

 

Also I wonder if it's a viable strategy to stack a kicker with a qb on a high powered offense, something like Lutz/Brees last year, or Leg/Goff. The thinking being pass TD or field goal, you're getting points either way

Edited by WaiverLooter

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I grab the kicker for my RB1 or QB ...just because I love the feeling of seeing the "RZ" pop up and knowing I got a good chance for some pointos 

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1 minute ago, JSA2422 said:

I grab the kicker for my RB1 or QB ...just because I love the feeling of seeing the "RZ" pop up and knowing I got a good chance for some pointos 

 

Ha I was literally thinking the same thing. Although you'd probably wanna smash the phone if they turn it over, knowing that those guaranteed points slipped away. Or a double doink :(

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8 minutes ago, miasma16 said:

There's a correlation with having good players at every position when you win the championship. Kickers? Probably even moreso than defense, because there's so little rhyme/reason to picking kickers that you don't swap them week-to-week, whereas, from what I've researched, more championship teams have undrafted defenses than drafted ones on their roster.

That's true as league champs in general having good/better players at all positions. And some people don't swap kickers from week to week, at least until the kicker has a bye week. On that note, I just checked and of the 13 champs from my league, only 3 of them drafted the kicker that was on their league-winning roster. So paying attention to top kickers and then grabbing them when you have a chance on the WW, that can be a nice way to add a small boost to your team.

 

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2 minutes ago, Corleone said:

That's true as league champs in general having good/better players at all positions. And some people don't swap kickers from week to week, at least until the kicker has a bye week. On that note, I just checked and of the 13 champs from my league, only 3 of them drafted the kicker that was on their league-winning roster. So paying attention to top kickers and then grabbing them when you have a chance on the WW, that can be a nice way to add a small boost to your team.

 

Was just about to ask about if those kickers were owned for full seasons.   Which years was the kicker held on to?   I'm not sure anything can be taken from it but I'd be interested to know.

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I honestly don’t get the leagues who think kickers have so little value that they have eliminated them.  How is making FF easier or less random making it more fun?

 

We start a kicker and a punter in our start 20 IDP league.  Owners have to pay attention.  And in 18 years there has never been even 1 suggestion that either position be removed.

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32 minutes ago, Corleone said:

Some people will read the Subject title and immediately say "They're not important at all".

 

That's what I did.

I've successfully gotten kickers drummed out of every league I'm in, other than dynasty.  It makes sense to have them in dynasty when you're fielding essentially full teams of offense and defense, and their effect is much smaller as a result.

 

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I place a much higher value on kickers than most. I see the kicker as the linchpin to close match-ups - they can drive the dagger home and seal the deal if they're capable of consistently drilling 40 and 50+ yard FGs. Zuerlein saved my bacon again last week in a narrow 6 point victory where he outscored my WR3, TE, and nearly my RB flex.

As you mentioned the reason why they're not valued more is because the majority of fantasy players are sheep and blindly follow a notion that says Kicker and D last two picks because they count less towards your weekly total and it's more important to have a 2nd or 3rd QB sitting on your bench putting up 20-30 points for e-peen points.

I generally take my kicker of choice around rounds 11-12 depending on if I feel like I can wait on getting my depth/flyer guys starting next round or not.

Edited by Shimmer

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4 minutes ago, K197040 said:

Was just about to ask about if those kickers were owned for full seasons.   Which years was the kicker held on to?   I'm not sure anything can be taken from it but I'd be interested to know.

The kickers held onto were:

image.png.712a425220eecfd80ca33c618163e02c.png

Though quickly looking at league transaction logs, in 2016 Gano was dropped during his bye week and later re-added by the original owner.

Hanson and Butker were both kept through their bye week. On that front, I myself do think that if one has a really good kicker, that it can be worth it to hold onto the kicker during his bye week...and even more so if the bye week comes late in the season. Of course this is dependent on each team's situation, as you can only do this if you have a position player (or extra defense) on your team worth waiving to hold onto 2 kickers. I did this in 2017 with Zuerlein for example.

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I don't get too attached to kickers or go high, because I'm not saving a roster spot for the bye. That said, I wait until these teams with the best kickers start dropping them during a bye week. The smarter teams will just sacrifice the defense. Greg The Leg pulling his groin last year was the best thing ever. Picked him up and I rode him all the way to the title game where I eventually lost.

Edited by FitzMagic

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I'd like to find the first guy who decided that "Kicker" should be a standard fantasy position, and kick him right in the nuts. f--- kickers

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I thoroughly despise kickers in FF.  WE all know this is a combo of skill and luck and adding in kickers tilts it further towards luck, IMO

It is nearly impossible to predict a team whose offense will be good enough to move the ball but not good enough to seal the deal and score the TD.

This makes kicker the most random position in the lineup, and depending on the scoring system, the kicker position is way too involved in determining FF wins and Losses.

 

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Just now, cs3 said:

I'd like to find the first guy who decided that "Kicker" should be a standard fantasy position, and kick him right in the nuts. f--- kickers

KICKERS ARE PEOPLE TOO!!! 😭😭😭

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9 minutes ago, KennyWoo said:

That's what I did.

I've successfully gotten kickers drummed out of every league I'm in, other than dynasty.  It makes sense to have them in dynasty when you're fielding essentially full teams of offense and defense, and their effect is much smaller as a result.

I don't mind kickers having a reasonable impact on the game, as I prefer all positions to be able to impact the matchup just as in a real football game. But I know some people do feel different on that.

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As an avid Yahoo user, there are many weeks when I literally never pick up a kicker. I verify there is one playing the Sunday night or Monday night game, then let things ride. I only grab one if I need it to win my matchup.

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12 minutes ago, Bronco Billy said:

I honestly don’t get the leagues who think kickers have so little value that they have eliminated them.  How is making FF easier or less random making it more fun?

We start a kicker and a punter in our start 20 IDP league.  Owners have to pay attention.  And in 18 years there has never been even 1 suggestion that either position be removed.

Agreed in that I personally wouldn't want to be in a league without kickers. To me, they're part of the game (just as they are in a real NFL game). Sometimes it works out with them, sometimes it doesn't.

Using a punter is interesting. Obviously not for everyone, but it's intriguing.

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16 minutes ago, Shimmer said:

I place a much higher value on kickers than most. I see the kicker as the linchpin to close match-ups - they can drive the dagger home and seal the deal if they're capable of consistently drilling 40 and 50+ yard FGs. Zuerlein saved my bacon again last week in a narrow 6 point victory where he outscored my WR3, TE, and nearly my RB flex.

As you mentioned the reason why they're not valued more is because the majority of fantasy players are sheep and blindly follow a notion that says Kicker and D last two picks because they count less towards your weekly total and it's more important to have a 2nd or 3rd QB sitting on your bench putting up 20-30 points for e-peen points.

I generally take my kicker of choice around rounds 11-12 depending on if I feel like I can wait on getting my depth/flyer guys starting next round or not.

I agree with some of this, though towards the mention of Zuerlein outscoring your WR3, TE and nearly your RB Flex, that often is the case for the opposing kicker as well. Sometimes I see comments about X kicker being better than other players on a person's team, but that can be the case for your opposition's kicker. The key to me, is having a kicker that generally will outscore the other person's kicker...and especially to those kickers who can do well kicking 40 and 50+ yards as you mentioned. 

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I just looked and last year our championship match featured K13 Janikowski (winner) vs. K7 Crosby. Year before that it was K14 Jake Elliott (winner) vs. K6 Justin Tucker. 

I've no doubt that kickers are important. But outside the top 2-3 and bottom 2-3 they're mostly interchangeable based on matchups. 

I've always preferred to simply take a kicker on one of the best offenses in the league to ensure scoring opportunities. I'd rather have a kicker who steadily scores 8-10 points than one who is up and down.

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I think they're super important, that there is strategy to finding a good kicker, and I wouldn't want to play (and I have and I missed them) without them.

I just dropped Matt Bryant for Zane Gonzalez. The best is obviously yet to come for MB, but you have to love that Zona team moving the ball up and down the field so much and not having a great red zone success rate.

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11 minutes ago, kball09 said:

As an avid Yahoo user, there are many weeks when I literally never pick up a kicker. I verify there is one playing the Sunday night or Monday night game, then let things ride. I only grab one if I need it to win my matchup.

Which can be risky if your opponent has someone droppable on their bench and can block you from picking up that kicker. I'd only risk that with defense, since those are much more unpredictable.

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In my experience, I highly doubt kickers make much difference for me. My margin of victory usually lends the kickers' contribution inconsequential to the outcome. And in my keeper league, I've won 3 out of the last 4 and I would have won a 4th time had I started AB this one Monday night where they insisted he might not play at all.

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Anyone ever play around with the settings and adjust points for the position? 

Default has it at 0-39 is 3 points, 40-49 is 4 points and 50+ is 5 points. Having a great week and losing because a kicker put up 20+ sucks. 

Anyone ever try something like 0-39 = 1 pt, 40-49 = 2 pts, 50+ = 3 points. This way they're still relevant by adding points but not influencing it greatly like you sometimes see now. 

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