If you listen closely during the darkest, stillest part of the night -- predawn, when nothing stirs -- you can hear it: the cries of those who whine about kicker fantasy scoring being so unpredictable, so maddening.
Follow these cries and catch the tears of these anti-kicker humans in a cup, then enjoy the salty zest of their sadness. The tears of those who hate kickers make for a good alternative to pumpkin spice lattes. You can thank me later.
The incessant griping about kickers being stupid poopyheads who shouldn't be included in fantasy football might come from your local owner of Stephen Gostowki, who remains a popular daily fantasy play despite being 12th in kicker points, just ahead of the legendary Will Lutz. Steven Hauschka, meanwhile, is 21st in kicker fantasy points after six weeks. The former superstars of Elite Kicker Twitter have faded so far in 2016, as we continue to chase opportunity and examine statistics that correlate historically with kicker fantasy production.
It's hardly a coincidence that many teams giving up the most field goal tries every week -- the Giants, Colts, Dolphins, Packers, Bears, and Steelers -- are also among the teams allowing the most yardage on a weekly basis.
Our Week 6 kicker plays on FanDuel got a decent amount of opportunity, though not every kicker mentioned in this space capitalized on said opportunity. Here's looking at you, Graham Gano.
We'll keep chasing opportunity though. Let's get into Week 7 options while you sip at that glass of tears. Delicious.
Stephen Gostkowski (NE) at Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,100): I'm recommending the Pats' kicker minutes after throwing shade in his general direction. The matchup is right: Pittsburgh gives up 2.7 field goal attempts per game, more than any team not named the Colts and Giants. New England is a heavy favorite with a fat implied team total playing a banged-up Steelers' defense that was ravaged by the zombie of the Dolphins one week ago. Kickers have managed double-digit fantasy points in four of six games against Pittsburgh this season. This is (likely) as cheap as you're ever going to see Gostkowski, so if you have salary cap wiggle room, toss him in your Week 7 lineups. He's had at least two field goal attempts in every game but one in 2016.
Cairo Santos (KC) vs. New Orleans Saints ($4,800): I'm not overly bullish on Santos this week, but I'd say he has clear upside as Kansas City's offense -- bolstered by the return of the greatest running back to ever don pads -- gets its crack at the thing we call the Saints' defense. Kickers are averaging two field goal tries per game against New Orleans, as the Saints have seen kickers score 8, 11, 9, 11, and 7 fantasy points against them. While I'd be more comfortable if Santos were a couple hundred dollars cheaper this week, he could make for a (very) low owned tournament option in a game that should see the Chiefs put up plenty of points. Their implied total sits at 28.25 -- the second highest of the week.
Dan Carpenter (BUF) vs. Miami Dolphins ($4,600): Carpenter, the former Miami kicker who has posted double-digit fantasy points in three of six games this season, faces a Dolphins team that has allowed 2.7 field goal attempt per game. Kickers aren't exactly gouging the Dolphins (averaging 8.7 fantasy points), but every other position is having their way with the soft Miami defense. The Dolphins, who have given up more than 140 rushing yards three times in 2016, are primed to be roasted by the red-hot Buffalo ground game. I think Carpenter will benefit as the Bills rough up the visiting Dolphins.
Jason Myers (JAC) vs. Oakland Raiders ($4,500): Myers is hardly a standout fantasy producer, but he's scored 34 fantasy points in three home games this season, and Oakland is allowing a league-high 312.3 passing yards per contest, along with 2.2 field goal tries per game. Vegas likes this game to be among the highest scoring of Week 7. I see Myers as a cheap piece of a contest featuring two exploitable defenses that have given up plenty of yardage in 2016. Myers notched a very healthy 4.2 field goal tries in 2015 Jacksonville wins. The Jags enter Week 6 as a one-point favorite at the time of this writing.
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