Ok, lets put our cards on the table here. For the vast majority of you guys, it’s playoff time. These are the times where champions are crowned. The times where memories that last a lifetime are made and friendships are irreparably broken. So don’t gloss over the kicker here. He could be the difference between an offseason of misery and immortality.
Anyways, it’s time to get down to the important stuff. Just a reminder for all you still in contention for your fantasy playoffs, we’ve got three levels of kickers, FG’s, Touchbackers and Squibs. Anyone not listed is someone you should avoid.
1. Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints (Vs. New York Jets) The Jets are officially dunzo. Bryce Petty is slated to start for them and, well, the offense isn’t going to do their D any favors. On the other side of it, you have The Saints are in the midst of a playoff push in probably the tightest division in the NFL. He should have a monster day this upcoming Sunday.
2. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens (@ Cleveland Browns) Poor, Poor Cleveland. Last week’s overtime loss is a crushing as it gets, and it’s not going to get any better this week. Last week was Tucker’s first game in a month not getting double-digit points. Against the worst team in the NFL, look for Tucker to get back there and hell, maybe into triple digits ( I’m kidding but seriously who knows with this Browns franchise).
3. Greg Zuerlein, LA Rams (@ Seattle Seahawks)Seahawks got a little chippy at the end of last huh? Guess that’s what happens when you lose to a better team. Anyways, as of this writing, Tackle Andrew Whitworth is slated to return this Sunday with a “mild” MCL sprain. We’ll see how that holds up, but if he’s alright then the Rams offense will have a huge day and thus, so will Zuerlein.
4. Jake Elliot, Philadelphia Eagles,(@ New York Giants) No Carson Wentz? No problem. Nick Foles played pretty well coming in cold last week, against a superior opponent. The one possible foil to this situation is that Foles is not as mobile as Wentz. And now that Wentz is out, we could really start to see how the loss of tackle Jason Peters effects this line. But not this game. The Eagles still have the most balanced offense in the NFL with that stable of running backs, and they should be able to move the ball at will. Big day for Elliot coming up.
5. Kai Forbath, Minnesota Vikings (Vs. Cincinnati Bengals) So this is a volume pick. Forbath hasn’t had a great last couple of weeks. In fact, he’s missed 5 out of his last 9 attempts. So why am I ranking him so high? Because one, two of those kicks were from over 50, and two, like I said before I think the Vikings are going to dismantle the Bengals. Case Keenum is obviously playing amazingly well( considering how everyone thought he would) and the Bengals are one of the worst in the NFL. Korbath should get plenty of chances this week.
6. Matt Prater, Detriot Lions ( Vs. Chicago Bears) Dah Bears. Do I need to say more? At this point in the season, you’re going to start seeing teams play hard because of playoff implications, and I think that’s what’s going to happen here with the Lions. They have the offense to churn out 30 points a game, and against this bears D, I bet they do.
7. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Falcons are making the playoff push, Bucs are just trying to make it through the season. As a Julio Jones owner those of us who made the mistake of taking him remember that it was against the Bucs that he had his monster game this year. If the Falcons can do just half of that this time around, Bryant should have a great outing
8. Travis Coons, “LA” Chargers” (@ Kansas City Chiefs) Coons has had two fantastic outings since coming into to relieve the injured Nick Novak (13 and 12 points respectively). Against a fledging Kansas City Chiefs, expect more of the same. The Chiefs have completely floundered their great start, and Phillip Rivers and the Chargers have a chance to take charge in the division. I think the Chargers O comes out guns blazing, and Coons has another great outing.
9.Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (Vs. New England Patriots) Steelers At home. With first place in the AFC on the line. Against any other team, I’d say start Boswell and forget it. That being said. The Patriots under Bill Belichick always come out strong with something on the line and the Pats defense I think will rebound well. So really this is a toss-up.
10. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots (@ Pittsburgh Steelers) The Patriots have lost 3 out of their last 4 in Miami, so don’t put too much stock in their loss last week. That being said, the Patriots have a short week, on the road, against a team with just as much on the line. Again, toss – up for Gostkowski.
11. Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers (Vs. Green Bay Packers) Regardless of if Aaron Rodgers plays this weekend, that shouldn’t take anything away from Gano’s opportunities this weekend. Greenbay’s Defense is NOT up to par and Lambo should get plenty of chances this week.
12. Josh Lambo, Jacksonville Jaguars (Vs. Houston Texans) Lambo should be a good play here. Although they played earlier in the year, both of these teams are drastically different. The Texans are basically a shell of the team they were and are completely out of playoff contention. Lambo should get chances, but don’t look for a ton seeing as this Jags O the epitome of ground & pound.
13. Robbie Gould, San Fransico 49ers (Vs. Tennesse Titans) At this point in his career Jimmy Garrapolo has a better winning percentage than Tom Brady. Just saying. Seriously though, Jimmy G has clearly been playing very well, and the Titans…. Well, they’re beating who they are supposed to, but aren’t anything exciting. Could this be the week that Jimmy G finally gets slowed down? Maybe. Maybe not.
14. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers (@ Carolina Panthers) This, of course, is only a real option if the Packers decide to start Aaron Rodgers. Otherwise, stay away.