In most fantasy football drafts, kickers are about as disrespected as any position. Their job is based on perfection and, this season, perfection has been hard to come by. However, when it comes to scoring fantasy football points, you want someone consistent and capable of the big game as well. That’s why the Magnificent Seven of kickers has been an unsung fantasy star for the owners lucky enough to have them on the rosters. Why? Because most if not all of them were waiver pickups at some point during the season.
Through 14 weeks, seven kickers have scored 117 points or more – putting all of them on pace to score 134 or more. Who are these titans of the toe? Younghoe Koo (133), Daniel Carlson (125), Rodrigo Blankenship (125), Tyler Bass (125), Jason Sanders (122), Joey Slye (117) and Ryan Succop (117).
These are far from household names and none of them are on teams seen as favorites to win a Super Bowl. Respectively, they represent the Falcons, Raiders, Colts, Bills, Dolphins, Panthers and Buccaneers.
There are few things less predictable in fantasy football than kickers and the Magnificent Seven is a current living testament that having a kicker on a light’s out offense doesn’t translate into the value you may think it does.
Here is the Week 16 Fantasy Football Market Report:
Fantasy Football Risers
Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
A month ago, he was on the Fallers list, but, as Julio Jones has been shelved due to injury, he has stepped up in WR1 form. Over his last four games, he has caught 29 passes for 445 yards and three touchdowns – scoring a TD or topping 100 yards in each and doing both in each of the last two. At a time when fantasy owners needed production, Atlanta’s No. 2 guy is playing like a No.1…again.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers
In his first four games, Tonyan caught five touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers, putting him in rare air among tight ends. After a mid-season lull that had fantasy owners thinking he was a flash in the pan, he has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last five games. With all the elite tight ends in the league, there are only two that have 10 touchdown catches – Travis Kelce and Tonyan, who are tied for the league lead.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns
He went three straight weeks in November without a TD pass and 458 passing yards and people started murmuring that, despite Cleveland having a good record, he wasn’t the guy who could take them to the next level. In his last four games – three on the road and one at home against Baltimore — he has thrown for 1,232 yards with 10 TD passes, one TD run and a passer rating of 120. He has made it hard to bench him – even in fantasy tittle games – because, if you had to play him the last month, he’s helped get you to this point by bringing the points every week.
David Montgomery, RB, Bears
On November 16, Montgomery was inactive for the Bears’ prime time home loss to the Vikings. Chicago had seemingly hit bottom after a strong start and it looked as though the season was over. But, Montgomery has returned with a vengeance rarely seen – even in a RB centric city like Chicago. Over his last four games, he has rushed for 434 yards and has scored six total touchdowns. He was brought on rosters at auctions and drafts to be a starter. He has proved more than worthy of that and has been as important to Chicago staying alive as any player on the team.
Hollywood Brown, WR, Ravens
When you’re a receiver on one of the most prolific rushing teams in the league, it’s hard to expect consistency. If defenses can’t stop Lamar and his backup singers, bad things happen. However, Brown has put together a month for the books. In his last four games, he has notched three touchdowns in three of them and had six catches for 98 yards in the one he didn’t. That’s starting material for daily or league players…and somehow he still flies under the fantasy radar.
Fantasy Football Fallers
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
The one thing fantasy players have always known about Lockett is that, when he’s hot, he’s as hot as anybody for a three- or four-week stretch. He put a lot of fantasy owners in a good spot. But, when things run cold, they run very cold. His high water mark for yardage has been 67 and that was a month ago. In his last eight games, he has one touchdown. The problem with that is that, unlike marginal players, he was in the starting lineup every week because nobody wanted to see a repeat of his 200-yard, three-touchdown game against Arizona with him sitting on your bench. It is the price of loyalty.
Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
Singletary broke off a 51-yard touchdown run against Denver Sunday, but nobody had him in their lineup. There were some hesitance on the belief system of fantasy owners that that drafting of Zack Moss would damage Singletary’s fantasy value. Moss hasn’t torn things up, but Singletary has been a weekly disappointment. 100 yard rushing games? None. 20-carry games? None. In his last 10 games, those with more than three receptions? None. Receiving touchdowns? None. Rushing touchdowns before he was long-since benched Sunday? One. Whoever ended up with Singletary on their roster this year, only one thing is for certain – he won’t be next year.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs
In an offense as prolific as Kansas City’s one would have to search to find a turd in the punchbowl. Watkins is that guy. The de facto No. 2 wide receiver for Patrick Mahomes, he missed five games due to injury at midseason, but, when he came back there was hope that he could be a flex play star. Nope. In the four games since he missed five, he has caught 14 passes for 185 yards and no touchdowns. The best thing can be said about Watkins is that at least he didn’t hurt you when he wasn’t in your lineup when he was inactive.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans
When Smith came out of the gate on fire, scoring five touchdowns in the first four games. He became cemented in fantasy lineups. Since then, he has topped 32 yards receiving just once and has two receiving touchdowns. The problem with a guy who comes out hot is that the tendency is not to give up on him when things go south. That has been a problem and Jonnu has found himself almost unplayable.
Travis Fulgham, WR, Eagles
Remember when Fulgham was the greatest thing since slice bread? Neither do I. For the record, in the first five games, he played, he caught 29 passes for 435 yards and four touchdowns. In the last six games? Six catches, 62 yards and no touchdowns. A meteoric rise and a fizzled meteoric fall.