Can I Kick It?: Week 4
Over at Kicker & Kicker LLC, we are constantly crunching numbers to try and give you some tasty kicker picks. Last week was not a bad week here, as the pick analysis was mostly right. Kickers can be a frustrating thing to predict, as totally correct logic can go terribly wrong pretty easily. Teams with early deficits essentially doom their kickers’ opportunities and teams with a high-powered offense going against a porous defense also usually lead to extra point tries and not the more lucrative field goal tries. This makes kicker streaming a highly volatile, and ultimately frustrating experience. But last week I felt pretty good about my picks, and they did not totally disappoint.
Ryan Succop – 13 points (T-3rd)
Garrett Hartley – 7 points (T-18th)
Where I Went Wrong
I knew Arizona was trash, as they have been allowing a ton of points to kickers. The problem is, they were too much trash. Hartley wound up with four extra point tries and in a week where five kickers scored ten points, not getting an extra try or two for Hartley sent him from a reasonable spot to a much worse 18th. I still trust Hartley moving forward and this offense is going to give him more than enough opportunities for good field goal attempts. I am shying away next week, as I think Miami is actually kind of good, especially on defense. Hartley will be a nice play most weeks, but I fear that New Orleans’ aggressive offense might lead to fewer tries than another kickers on an equally effective, but more risk-averse-on-third-down type of team.
Where I Went Right
I watched the entire Philly game in Week 2 and I felt that I had their defense pegged in Week 3. And I was right. Succop actually missed out on a huge day, missing a 50+ yard field goal that, if he made it, would’ve put him at 19 points and the #1 kicker in Week 3. This was much more a defense-related thing than anything else. There is nothing particularly special about Ryan Succop. I’m not as huge of a fan as some of the Week 4 projections for him, but I felt really solid about this play in Week 3 and if you listened, you probably like me right about now. Unfortunately, the next kicker to face the Eagles, Matt Prater, is owned in 100% of leagues, so I cannot recommend him for this article. However, keep an eye on future matchups with Philly. I think there will continue to be solid kicker opportunity there.
Here are my kicker picks for Week 4.
Jay Feely – ARI @ TB – Owned in 6.4% of Fantasy Leagues
I am not particularly a Feely fan, or a big fan of Arizona in general. That being said, Tampa Bay is just awful. They have allowed ten field goal attempts in the first three weeks, giving up double-digit fantasy points to opposing kickers every single week. Tampa Bay has simply been bad this season and with Arizona’s improved pass attack, I like their chances to get in field goal range. This will allow Feely to get some opportunities. Feely is not a guy I would pick-up for the long haul, but if you are a Mason Crosby owner (Packers are on a bye), Feely is a solid fill-in who should be available in your league. Feely’s next three opponents are relatively good defenses, so this is, at best, a one-week option.
Steve Hauschka – SEA @ HOU – Owned in 31.6% of Fantasy Leagues
I was actually surprised Hauschka was owned in so many leagues; he has not been stellar so far. It appears many took the leap of faith, getting the kicker who faced Jacksonville (ownership increased approximately 13% last week). It did not wind up as a terrible play, as Hauschka had nine points against Jacksonville. Six of those points came on extra point tries. He has not had much opportunity to kick field goals this year so far (five total attempts, all successful), but has had his share of extra points (nine through three weeks). Call it a hunch, but I believe Houston (at home) is a little more stout than San Francisco or Jacksonville were in Seattle. I believe this should lead to some nice opportunities for Haushcka to make a few field goals. Seattle’s offense is good, but I do not think it’s other worldly at all. I believe Houston can get a few stops after consistent, but ultimately stalled, drives from Seattle. This should provide Steve, who I think is a very talented kicker, to do his thing and put up some nice numbers here.