Kickers & Defense
So let’s talk Kickers and Defense! The reason why I like to do these two groups together is because they have one serious fantasy strategy in common- you don’t pick them early in the draft. In fact, you pick your kicker last and your defense is also picked somewhere close to that time. They are at the end of your draft. You’ve solidified your QBs, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers.
Why Are They Last?
The main reason for this is that there are 32 teams in the NFL and in most Fantasy leagues there are 12 to 16 teams at most. There is always going to be an abundance of frontline kickers and top scoring defenses available and not only at the end of the draft but throughout the whole season on the waiver wire. The urgency is lower because the pool of choices remains large throughout the season.
So my top stud defenses are as follows: Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and the Washington Football Team.
My dud defenses are as follows: Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, Charlotte Panthers, Detroit Lions and the New York Jets.
Finally, my sleeper defense: The ones you could probably pick up on waivers after the draft are… Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts.
A hot tip about kickers: There is no better position to gauge based on what a player has produced over the last couple of years because most kickers abilities remain consistent throughout a 3 to 5 year period.
Here are my stud kickers: Justin Tucker from the Baltimore Ravens, followed by Younghoe Koo from the Atlanta Falcons. Next it’s a pick-em with Rodrigo Blankenship, Harrison Butker and Greg Zuerlein.
There really are no duds when it comes to choosing a kicker, so you should be in the clear as long as you don’t pick a team without wins that doesn’t score any points. My main rule of thumb is usually to get the highest ranking guy from last year that also has a bye week or a week off sometime after week seven or eight so I don’t have to worry about that position until nearly halfway through the season.
*Even fantasy leagues with deep benches of five, six or more players don’t usually carry a second kicker because of the bye week. That’s because of the availability on the waiver wire of solid guys throughout the NFL.
My Final Thought For The Week
Finally, keep in mind that both Kickers and Defenses go HOT and COLD during the season and you may drop and pick up defenses based on:
1) Weekly Match Ups
2) Bye weeks
3) Performance during the season