A remarkably high number of kickers -- ten, to be precise -- emerged from Week 9 with double digit fantasy performances, prompting anti-kicker truthers to ask the question that must be asked: Why are kickers we letting kickers determine our fantasy matchups?
Similar queries were throw into the ether after Week 1 and 2, when 11 kickers broke the ten-point barrier in both weeks.
I should say -- as someone well compensated by the kindly suits at Big Kicker Inc. -- that we might probe deeper with this question posed by those who despise the presence of kickers on fantasy football rosters. Why stop with that one query when we can blow this thing open like Woodward and Bernstein sitting on their couch screaming at their fantasy scores on a beautiful Sunday afternoon?
Why do we allow quarterbacks in the heart of garbage time determine a fantasy matchup with a touchdown toss as time expires? Said quarterback has thrown three picks in the game. Said quarterback had 95 yards passing at halftime, but now has 290 yards and two scores. Said quarterback was abysmal for reality football but fantastic for fantasy utility.
Why do we let tight ends -- one of the game's most maddeningly unpredictable positions -- sway the outcome of a neck-and-neck matchup? A tight end has one catch on one target for one yard and one touchdown and that's the difference between a fantasy win and heartbreak? There is no justice in the world (and there never was).
Why are team defenses proving the difference in a weekly matchup? Why do we allow it? Team defense, after all, has more variance than any other position. It's close to impossible to project because turnovers are close to impossible to project. It's a travesty that team defenses are influencing the outcomes of our fantasy games. It's a national -- nay, international -- scandal with no equal.
I'm not being a repetitive ass for no reason. I'm ceaselessly curious as to why fantasy footballers lose their minds when a 16-point kicker outing proves a difference maker in a head-to-head matchup. I have my theories, but I'm offering permission to @ me (@CDCarter13) if you have your own taek on why big-time kicker performances are seen as a subversion of one's fantasy destiny.
Now let's get into Week 10 kicker plays on FanDuel.
Stephen Gosktowski (NE) vs. Seattle Seahawks ($5,100): New England's kicker has averaged a meager 1.8 field goal tries per game this season, putting him at 23rd in per-game opportunity. But no matter: the Pats come into Week 10 with another gleaming Vegas implied total and Seattle is giving up 2.4 weekly field goal attempts -- sixth most in the NFL. The hope with spending a little extra cash on Gostkowski in Week 10 is that daily gamers are off the #elite kicker thanks to a (very) sluggish first half of the season. As long as Richard Sherman isn't allowed to hunt for kicker ACLs for the remainder of the season, Gostkowksi should have solid opportunity in this one.
Josh Lambo (SD) vs. Miami Dolphins ($4,700): Our boy Lambo gets his crack at a Miami team giving up 2.5 field goal attempts per game in Week 10. Lambo is sixth in both field goal tries per game and field goals made per contest. That's good, per sources. Lambo has posted five double-digit performances in 2016. He's had three or more field goal attempts six times. I'd side with this week's low-priced plays, but Lambo has proven a reliable floor play who has yet to have high ownership, making him viable for differentiation in a Week 10 GPP.
Nick Novak (HOU) at Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,500): Novak has made a second home in this degenerate space. I'd be remiss to omit pretty much any kicker taking on the Jaguars, who have now allowed 14.2 fantasy points per game to kickers over their past six contests. That's a stunning average. The Jags are hardly be sliced and diced through the air, as I mentioned in Week 9, but they continue to bleed red zone opportunities to opponents, and kickers have reaped the benefits. And speaking strictly about opportunity, Jacksonville is giving up 2.9 field goal tries per game, more than all but two teams. Novak has three or more field goal attempts in five of his seven games this season. He appears to be the minimum priced option on FanDuel's Week 10 main slate.
Will Lutz (NO) vs. Denver Broncos ($4,500): Lutz, mentioned in this space last week, came through with 12 fantasy points as the Saints dismantled the ghost of the 49ers. He has another nice matchup in Week 10, as New Orleans takes on a Denver team that is suddenly among the league leaders in field goal tries allowed (2.3 per game). Lutz is notching 2.3 field goal attempts per contest, putting him just outside the top-10 in kicker opportunity. Lutz has scored 9.2 fantasy points in home tilts this year. He strikes me as something close to a no-brainer play in Week 10, though I could see his ownership percentage being sky high against Denver.
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