Kickers rarely get the spotlight. in NFL. But when they do, you know things are about to go down.
Kickers are also notorious for being highly unpredictable. Sometimes bad kickers can upgrade to the next level, and good kickers can become underhwlehimg for no apparent reason. For instance, Younghoe Koo got cut off from the Chargers due to his underperformance in the team. But now, he has become the lifeline for Atlanta. That's why selecting kickers for your fantasy team isn't as easy as stocking up on other positions. You need someone that can take pressure scoring goals in a win-or-lose situation.
Furthermore, you are not only looking for the kicker's potential but also analyzing the team's performance as a whole. Is the offense line powerful? Will the kickers get the chance? Will he be able to kick? Will he maintain the consistency? There are plenty of answers to look for.
Here we have compiled the names of 10 NFL kickers with their projected fantasy points (in no particular order) to include in your fantasy team in 2022. The list might save you from having headaches.
Justin Tucker - Baltimore Ravens [140 points]
Tucker's goal accuracy of 91.1% throughout his professional career is a major testament to his dependability in the field. He is one of the greatest kickers in NFL history, and the safest bet on our list.
Last season, Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson, missed the final six games in the regular season due to an unfortunate bone bruise. Tucker came to save the team with a field goal accuracy of 94.6%, and he bagged every extra point. However, Jackson is back into the game with full swing in 2022. This could decrease Tucker's chances of showcasing his strength this season.
But Raven has a history of having Tucker attempting crazy kicks. Who can forget Tucker's NFL record of 66 yards winning field goals against Detroit Lions?
Justin Tucker’s 66-yard game-winner vs. Detroit is one of four ESPY nominees for Best Play. pic.twitter.com/wLnoASwojZ— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) June 29, 2022
Tyler Bass - Buffalo Bills [135 points]
The Buffalo Bills' kicker is accurate (84.8%), has strong legs, and can even fight against winds.
Since his debut, Bass has scored 256 points in the regular reason, only behind Daniel Carlson with 294 points. As a rookie, Bass scored eight out of nine 40-49 yards and four out of six kicks from 50 yards range. His 3 field goals longer than 54 yards in the same game against the Cardinals is an NFL Kicker record that was previously only achieved by Kris Brown in 2007.
However, the Bills might overlook the kicker due to their powerful offense. Their heavy reliance on quarterback Josh Allen means decreased chances for Bass. Nonetheless, if the kicker gets the opportunity, he won't miss it.
Evan McPherson - Cincinnati Bengals [150 points]
The 22 years old finished his rookie season with 84.8% accuracy (28 out of 33 attempts). Furthermore, 9-of-11 goals were scored from 50+yards, including his personal best record of a 58-yard kick against the Denver Broncos. Considering this was only his debut season, we wouldn't be caught off guard if McPherson upgrades to a higher level this season.
🦵 4 game winners— NFL (@NFL) January 28, 2022
🦵 11 FGs of 50+ yards including playoffs (Most in a single season in NFL history)
🦵 Longest FG in Bengals history (58 yards)
Evan McPherson did ALL of that as a rookie.
📺: #CINvsKC -- Sunday 3pm ET on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/ojJqjzON3A
Besides, the Bengals need a strong leg right now. They hadn't had a great offensive line in 2021 and were ranked very low on almost every chart. If this doesn't improve, McPherson might also have to kick multiple 50+ yard goals this season.
Matt Gay - Los Angeles Rams [140 points]
Despite a slow start, Matt Gay has only shown consistent growth since his debut in 2020. His goal accuracy increased from 77.1% in his rookie season to 94.1% in 2021. In fact, his precision in the latter season ranks second overall, only behind Justin Tucker.
Meanwhile, the Rams are blessed with a strong offensive line and - of course - Matthew Stafford as a quarterback. So, the reigning Superbowl champions might not make use of their kicker to the full potential. Nonetheless, this will not stop Gay from scoring from 40 yards or above 50 yards, if needed.
Daniel Carlson - Las Vegas Raiders [155 points]
Carlson is two NFL times leading scorer, a record he set in both 2020 and 2021. Last season, the 27 years old racked up 150 points, including his 47-yards winning goal against the Chargers. The goal even helped the Rams to squeeze themselves into the playoffs. He also maintained a goal percentage of 93%, ranking fourth in the 2021 NFL chart. Similarly, his career goal accuracy of 87.2% ranks fifth in NFL history.
Furthermore, the Raiders will need a reliable kicker to secure the victory points. With one of the most polarizing NFL quarterbacks, Derek Carr, on the team, Carlson might have more chances to score goals than other kickers on the list.
Daniel Carlson 47-yd FG good#Raiders 3 #Bengals 0 Q1 pic.twitter.com/iqSMt4Koug— Sᴘᴏʀᴛs 24/7 (@Sports_24x7_) January 15, 2022
Harrison Butker - Kansas City Chiefs [135 points]
Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Harrison Butker, is the second most accurate kicker in NFL history. With a 90.1% career average, he only stands behind Justin Tucker on the numbers. Butker can kick not only kick with precision but also aim from a long distance. He is the second kicker in NFL history to score two 58 yards field goals in a single game, a milestone previously achieved by Greg Zuerlein in 2012.
Despite his solid skills, Butker has fewer opportunities in the field - thanks to Cheif's strong offense and quarterback players.
HARRISON BUTKER FOR THE WIN... FROM 58 YARDS! #ChiefsKingdom #KCvsLAC pic.twitter.com/7y4KmCEEiA— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2020
Nick Folk - New England Patriots [155 points]
Considering that the Patriots recently signed Nick Folk for additional two seasons, it is safe to assume that Folk will have more work on the field this year as well. Last season, he ranked no.1 as the fantasy kicker with 150 points in a total of 17 games. He finished with 93.2% accuracy and bagged 42 out of 27 extra points.
Since the departure of the offensive coach, Josh McDaniels, there are uncertainties in the performance of the new offensive line. If the new strategy doesn't work, the Patriots might have to put their trust in the kicker.
Chris Boswell - Pittsburg Steelers [145 points]
Last year, Chirs Boswell converted 36 out of 40 field goal attempts, counting his eight goals from a distance of at least 50 yards. By the season's end, Boswell placed sixth among NFL kickers in fantasy points per game. This all boils down to the Steelers' weak offensive line in 2021 that compelled them to attempt double the amount of kicks compared to the previous season.
This year, the Steelers have changed their gameplay by signing new players like Mason Cole and James Daniels. However, experts have less hope for the team despite the additions. If the plan stalls, Chris could be the one to save the team.
Younghoe Koo - Atlanta Falcons [135 points]
Koo finished his 2021 NFL season with an accuracy of 93.1% and placed as the third most precise kicker. Meanwhile, the Falcons had one of the worst total yards per game offenses. The trading of Matt Ryan did no good to the team.
While trying to improve their offensive line, the Falcons have put their faith in Koo. This is evident from Koo's five-year, $24.25 million contract extension, in 2022. So, we are confident about including the kicker in our fantasy team.
Brandon McManus - Denver Broncos [130 points]
In 2021, Brandon McManus scored 26 of 31 goal attempts. He also set a personal best record of a 61-yard field goal in the match against the Los Angeles Chargers in week 17.
Respect the leg.— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2022
Brandon McManus is good from 61 yards out! #BroncosCountry
📺: #DENvsLAC on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/oqsea7o4sk
McManus might have lesser scoring chances this season due to the newly formed Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett combo in the red zone. This means Broncos will lean towards a catch-and-run strategy in 2022. Nonetheless, we will still put our bets on Brandon's muscular legs as we have already witnessed his true power.