Make kickers great again. That's what I say.
NFL kickers in Week 11 stumbled and bumbled their way to an extraordinary 11 missed extra points -- a league record. The spectacle of kickers shanking extra points left and right was shameful. It was truly an embarrassment to the NFL shield and all it stands for.
I've never been so ashamed to be a football fan.
But I'm here to tell you that we can make kickers great again. We can restore kickers' former glory despite the sad (sad!) state of the position.
The eggehads tell me that NFL kickers have improved at every distance over the past half century. These pointy-headed stat spewers crawl out of their mothers' basements, these 400-pound hackers, and they tell me that NFL kickers in 1970 barely made one in four attempts from 50 yards. They babble on and on about how kicker accuracy from 30-39 yards has skyrocketed since 1980. These losers -- who probably have tiny hands and read the failing New York Times -- claim that kickers in the late-1930s made just 82 percent of their extra point tries.
Sure. Whatever. That's their opinion, in my opinion.
Who are you going to believe: the numbers, or your gut, which correctly tells you that the position has changed for the worst since the good old days when men were men and kickers approached the ball straight on. Now we have European-style kickers infiltrating the ranks of our great game. I have news for these fancy-footed folks: this is America. This is the NFL. France is that way.
The kicker position is in crisis. My promise to you is that kickers like that Tampa Bay fellow will stop taking the jobs of hardworking kickers who have for too long been ignored and left behind.
Make kickers great again. It starts in Week 12.
Justin Tucker (BAL) vs. Cincinnati Bengals ($5,100): Tucker, FanDuel's highest priced kicking option for Week 12, has been brutally efficient with his chances. Tucker has the ninth most field goal attempts this year, but is tied for first in field goals made. That's what happens when you go 23-for-23. The Bengals don't represent a sterling matchup for any kicker, but the striped ones have given up 2.3 field goal tries per game over their past three. The Ravens have one of the league's worst red zone touchdown percentages (52.1 percent), potentially bolstering Tucker's per-game opportunity. I suspect Tucker this week will have a much lower ownership percentage than fellow high-priced kicker Matt Bryant. That could make him the more interesting large-field tournament play.
Sebastian Janikowski (OAK) vs. Carolina Panthers ($4,700): Sebass has the sixth most field goal tries in 2016 (24). That's helped propel him to solid outings in all but four games this season, two of which he failed to capitalize on ample opportunity. And that's all we care about in this space: opportunity. Kickers are notching 2.4 field goal attempts per game against Carolina and Oakland comes into this one with a dandy 26-point Vegas total. The Raiders should have a nice time shredding a Panthers' secondary allowing the sixth most passing yardage per game. I'm more than a little bullish on Oakland's rotund kicker in Week 12.
Dan Carpenter (BUF) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,500): And here's the part of the taekfest in which I recommend the kicker facing off against the Jaguars, who are allowing 2.8 field goal attempts per contest (second most in the NFL) and haven't held a kicker to less than nine fantasy points since September. Carpenter is only attempting 1.8 field goals per game -- 19 kickers average more opportunity -- so he's not a must-play by any stretch. I would consider fading Carpenter if Sunday forecasts show that winds are whipping in Buffalo. But with the Bills seeing a 26.25-point Vegas total, the matchup doesn't get much better.
Ryan Succop (TEN) at Chicago Bears ($4,500): Climb aboard the Succop Death Train once again in Week 12. Come on. It's nice in here. You can barely feel the flames licking at your charred shoes. Here's what the Titans' kicker has going for him this week: He will assuredly have bottom-barrel ownership after defecating in the bed last week, and he gets the ghost of a Bears' team allowing the fifth most fantasy points per game to kickers. Perhaps due to game script issues, Succop is only trying 1.5 field goals per game. I suspect he doesn't have much of a ceiling here, but several signs -- including Chicago giving up the fifth most field goal tries -- say he has a something of a floor, barring a Tennessee offensive collapse.
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