Josh Brown, one of fantasy’s worst kicking options through 14 weeks, put up an inexplicable 20-spot last week against the Jaguars. I hope you noted his presence in this space, and ignored my preference for Caleb Sturgis and Randy Bullock.
This kicker recommendation gig ain’t easy.
Thousands of fantasy semifinal bouts will be determined by kicker outputs in Week 15. That’s a horrifying prospect for anyone who understands the maddening variance of kicker production, but an emphasis on pinpointing kickers most likely to post a nice line should be triply important this week.
Justin Tucker, who has the week’s best matchup, is primed to determine the outcomes of countless fantasy matchups like he did in 2013’s Week 15 when he went bonkers and scored 22 points on Monday Night Football. Prepare for the worst if you face Tucker in Week 15.
We’re going to continue to look for kickers whose quarterbacks have solid matchups, kickers going against defenses with a solid red zone, and those playing in the week’s highest scoring affairs, as predicted by the degenerate deities in Vegas.
Godspeed in your Week 15 throw downs, and remember, no matter how your kicker fares in this all-important week: It couldn’t have happened any other way. Let philosophy soothe your restless self.
Nick Folk (NYJ) at Tennessee Titans
I said on this week’s “Living The Stream” podcast that the Titans-Jets game holds some of the best fantasy intrigue of semifinal week.
Here’s what I mean: Both teams are terrible defensively and have given up on their coaches. They’re going through the motions, leaving offensive skill position players — if they feel up to it — to go nuclear against each other. I firmly believe the range of outcomes includes a laughable shootout that includes defensive and special teams touchdowns. Send help.
Folk could be the beneficiary of that sort of out-of-control game flow. He was Week 14’s third highest scoring kicker, with 16 points against the Vikings. Folk has been mostly terrible as the Jets’ moribund offense has sunk his opportunity time and again in 2014. Folk has Week 15’s second best kicker matchup, per the Rotoviz Streaming Kicker App.
Matt Bryant (ATL) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Bryant is surprisingly available in 40 percent of fantasy leagues. The Steelers-Falcons game is expected to be one of Week 15’s highest scoring affairs. Playing Bryant is betting that both teams will shred each other’s terrible defenses and give Atlanta’s kicker a few opportunities to rack up points in the comfort of the dome.
Kickers have notched at least eight fantasy points against Pittsburgh an incredible nine times in 2014, though recent kicker production has been stunted by the Steelers’ almost total lack of red zone defense. Pittsburgh opponents have scored on 87.6 percent of their red zone visits over the past three weeks. That’s an amazingly high number.
Teams average two field goal attempts per game against the Steelers when Pittsburgh is on the road. I’ll certainly take my chances with Bryant in a week in which elite kickers — owned in almost every league — have the tastiest matchups.
Shaun Suisham (PIT) at Atlanta Falcons
Why not? I think Suisham will benefit for the same reasons Bryant could go off in Week 15. Unless you think the Falcons’ Swiss cheese defense is going to magically stiffen and stop a Steelers’ offense churning out 428 total yards per contest.
Atlanta allows 2.6 field goal attempts through 14 weeks. That makes it more than reasonable that Suisham could see three cracks in this one, along with more than a couple extra points as Le’Veon Bell makes minced meat of Atlanta’s front seven.
Only two teams allow more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to kickers than the Falcons. Suisham is available in 87 percent of leagues.