Stephen Gostkowski heard our (my) skepticism about the Patriots' prospects, and the Vegas line, about kicker fantasy point correlation, and he laughed. He laughed heartily and posted a cool 13 fantasy points -- good for third best among Week 1 kickers.
Process over results. Say it with me: Process over results. I offer cold comfort with process, which pointed to Matt Bryant -- a top-7 Week 1 kicker -- as a rock solid low-priced option on FanDuel. Steven Hauschka, meanwhile, found himself on the wrong side of the Vegas projection coin, as Seattle's offense sputtered to 12 points, or about two touchdowns less than their implied Vegas total.
Week 2's kicker slate is a particularly juicy one, as we have a mind-boggling 13 home favorites, with six of those teams favored by at least six points. We'll usually target kickers on home teams in this space, as I outlined in the list of the best correlations for kicker production. We have no shortage of viable options in Week 2.
Remember though: Total team points is what we're after. That'll always take precedence over home field.
It's worth noting that the league's top kickers, including Gostkowki, have already seen an uptick in their FanDuel price. That creates an even larger gap between FanDuel's most expensive kickers and low-cost options. The $700 difference between this week's priciest and least priciest kicker represents the difference, for example, between Julian Edelman and Markus Wheaton.
Stephen Gostkowski (NE) vs. Miami Dolphins ($5,200): The game's best kicker is your man if you're ready and willing to go all in on a high-priced kicker option in Week 2. The Patriots are 6.5 point home favorites against the Dolphins. Gostkowski in 2015 scored nine or more fantasy points in five or eight New England home contests. I don't think it's ridiculous to think of Gostowski as a differentiated tournament play as daily gamers invest as much of their salary as possible in high-priced receivers and running backs -- many of whom have mouthwatering matchups this week.
Graham Gano (CAR) vs. San Francisco 49ers ($4,900): For $300 less than Gostkowski, you can have a kicker on a team with one of the week's highest implied Vegas totals, taking on a road opponent traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. game. That, for what it's worth, makes a difference in a team's performance. Only two teams allowed more field goal attempts per game than the Niners in 2015. That's hardly shocking considering San Francisco was among the NFL's most atrocious teams last season. I'd prefer Gano over Gostkowski this week.
Brandon McManus (DEN) vs. Indianapolis Colts ($4,700): The Colts could be a big, flaming target for all fantasy positions in 2016, including kicker. Detroit's offense ran roughshod over Indy in Week 1, and the Broncos are comfortable home favorites (-6). The Colts gave up a healthy 2.2 field goal tries per game in 2015. Don't be deterred by Matt Prater getting just one field goal attempt against the Colts in Week 1. All signs point to McManus having plenty of opportunity and an inflated fantasy floor in Week 2.
Sebastian Janikowski (OAK) vs. Atlanta Falcons ($4,600): Seabass, highlighted last week in this space, managed a workmanlike eight fantasy points against the Saints. It could've/would've been more if Oakland wasn't chasing points through most of the game's second half. So it goes. This week the Raiders find themselves six-points favorites against a hapless Atlanta defense that puts no pressure on the passer and is ripe for the picking. The Falcons in 2015 were one of the very few bad teams that didn't allow much kicker production because opponents had such an easy time punching it into the end zone. The Raiders have one of the week's highest implied totals and should spend more than a little time in and around the red zone against their toothless road opponents.
Jason Myers (JAC) at San Diego Chargers ($4,500): The Jaguars are neither home nor a Vegas favorite, but Myers' minimum FanDuel price -- even after a studly 13 fantasy points last week against Green Bay -- and the passing game matchup make him an appealing Week 2 option. The Chargers, coming off the heels of allowing Alex Smith to throw for more than 300 yards for just the sixth time in his 11-year career, takes on the Jacksonville aerial attack anchored by Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, both of whom have favorable matchups against the porous Chargers' secondary. Passing yardage correlates well with kicker points. That makes me bullish on Myers as a sneaky high-ceiling Week 2 option. This contest sports the third highest Vegas total, as of Tuesday morning. I have a slight preference for Myers over Janikowski if you're torn between low-cost kickers this week.
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