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NFL Kickers to Start in Week 16: Fantasy Football Tiers, Rankings & Playoff Matchups

By Johnmaxmena2 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Johnmaxmena2 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsYes, that’s right – kickers. After all, points are points, and even though kickers are very difficult to predict for fantasy points week to week, having the right one in your Week 16 lineup could be a difference maker.

For those of you fantasy football owners out there who are streaming kickers, RotoBaller has got you covered with around-the-league analysis of the Week 16 NFL matchups.  This week is championship week for many fantasy leagues, and there should be plenty of viable waiver wire streamers and sleepers available if that's what you're looking for.

We’re here to give you our analysis to help make your kicker streaming decisions and make your Week 16 lineup decisions a bit easier. Some of these kickers may have good Week 16 matchups, and be available on your league’s waiver wire. Be sure to stay on top of the weekly NFL matchups and kicker opponents right here. Good luck with your playoff matchups RotoBallers!


Tier 1 NFL Kickers: New England Patriots (Stephen Gostkowski), Buffalo Bills (Dan Carpenter), Green Bay Packers (Mason Crosby), Philadelphia Eagles (Cody Parkey), Atlanta Falcons (Matt Bryant), Detroit Lions (Matt Prater), New Orleans Saints (Shayne Graham), Pittsburgh Steelers (Shaun Suisham)

We have made the first 2 tiers especially chunky for your playoff run because lets face it, if you don't have one of the top 10-12 guys doing work in Week 16, you probably won't be winning your fantasy football championship. With that being said, we lead out with the Patriots main leg Stephen Gostkowski. Facing the laughable Jets defense in Week 16 should yield nice results being that give up the 7th most points on average to opposing kickers. The Bills draw the Oakland Raiders and that means another strong matchup for western New York's finest leg, Daniel Carpenter. The men in black are allowing an average of 9.85 fantasy points per game to kickers making Carpenter a must start in Week 16.

Mason "Betha" Crosby is proving he's more than just a pretty face of late and draws the friendly Tampa Bay defense in Week 16. Tampa is allowing 8.77 fantasy points per contest to opposing place kickers, so get the Crosby show into the mix and pray for field goals galore. Cody "Hit It Out The" Parkey has had a tweaked groin the past few weeks and showed poorly in Week 14, but he got right back on track in Week 15 and put up a solid 9 spot for fantasy owners who ran him out there. He's the second leading scorer among NFL kickers and gets to face the Redskins fairly pedestrian defense that has allowed an average of 7.46 points per contest.

Matt "The Fat Cat" Bryant has picked up the pace since Week 10 and is all of a sudden a top 10 kicker each and every week. In Week 16 he has another strong matchup versus a Saints defense that's allowing a hellacious 10.23 fantasy points per game to opposing legs; good for 3rd worst in the NFL. Matthew Prater is suddenly a tier 1 option as the Lions get to face off against the lowly Bears defense in Week 16, a squad allowing the most points per week to fantasy kickers, a disgusting 11 notches per game average.

Shayne "The Pain" Graham was rattled by his head coach after Week 14's showing and comes into Week 16 with a very solid matchup versus the Falcons. Besides the fact that this game will be favorably played indoors, Atlanta also allows 9.69 fantasy points per game to opposing place kickers thereby making the veteran a must start option in what will surely be a high scoring game. Rounding off the largest first tier ever is our main main Shaun Suisham, who is rapidly becoming the poor man's Stephen Gostkowski or Cody Parkey because he benefits so tremendously off of his team's high scoring offense. To make the case even better, he'll be facing the Chiefs defense that is allowing an average of 8.92 fantasy points per game to kickers, so stream him in for Week 16 if you have the chance to make a sneaker waiver wire pickup.


Tier 2 NFL Kickers: Seattle Seahawks (Steven Hauschka), Miami Dolphins (Caleb Sturgis), New York Jets (Nick Folk), Indianapolis Colts (Adam Vinatieri), Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens), Garrett Hartley (Cleveland Browns), Jacksonville Jaguars (Josh Scobee)

To be honest, any kicker beyond this second tier should preferably not be used for a championship round matchup, so let's get right to the last of the solid starts at the place kicker position for Week 16.

Starting us off is the surging Steven Hauschka who's is no the 6th leading scorer among NFL kickers heading into Week 16's matchup with the Cardinals. Arizona is allowing an average of almost 8 points per contest to fantasy kickers making them a decent team to stream a kicker against in a moment of desperation (or clarity). Next up is the undervalued Caleb Sturgis who faces the Vikings in Week 16. Minnesota is allowing an average of 7.62 fantasy points per game, but Sturgis is a top 10 kicker based on total scoring and makes a decent start against a team that can be scored against. "Saint Nick" Folk is playing for pride, but the Jets get a decent matchup for Week 16 as they face the New England Patriots defense that's allowing an average of 7.77 fantasy points per game to kickers. Perhaps it will be lucky 7's for Saint Nick, but we'd advise keeping the veteran on ice due to the Jets offense impotence.

Former Patriots great Adam Vinatieri will be taking his hacks versus the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16 in what should be a pretty high scoring contest. We recommend starting him even against a team that is allowing the fewest points in the league to fantasy kickers. Justin Tucker falls just outside of the top 5 in kicker scoring, but is very stable and can be used in Week 15 versus the Houston Texans. That being said we'd be a tad cautious here as J.J. Watt and company are only giving up an average of 6.38 fantasy points per contest, good for 3rd toughest in the league versus kickers. Newly signed Garrett Hartley was once a member of the Saints, but now he replaces Wilfredo Cundiff as the Browns beleaguered place kicker. Take if for what it's worth, but he draws a favorable matchup versus the Panthers who are allowing an average of 8 points per contest to kickers. He rounds off tier 2 and the short list of kickers we feel very comfortable running out in Week 16. There are a couple below worth considering as well, but we'll have to pick and choose from this point on.


Tier 3 NFL Kickers: Carolina Panthers (Graham Gano), Denver Broncos (Connor Barth), Houston Texans (Randy Bullock), Dallas Cowboys (Dan Bailey), San Francisco (Phil Dawson)

Graham Gano is not gonna be anywhere near our lineup for Week 16, enough said. The Broncos and their rather mediocre new place kicker face the Bengals in Week 16, but Cincinnati is allowing an average of 8.62 fantasy points per game to opposing kickers which is good for 10th worst in the NFL. He is a desperation start at best, but not a recommendable or secure option. Randy Bullock (no relation to Sandra as far as we know) is facing off against a Ravens defense that only lets up an average of 6.92 fantasy points per game. Big red light for this matchup RotoBallers.

Dan "The Man" Bailey is a potentially usable option against the Colts severe defense that only allows an average of 6.15 fantasy points per contest mostly because the game is being played indoors and we expect a bunch of scoring. Rounding off tier 3 is Phil "The Pill" Dawson who has fallen out of fantasy relevance along with literally every single other member of the 49ers offensive unit. Like the rest of their players, use Phil "The Pill" at your own risk and peril, but we recommend looking for a more holistic alternative for the fantasy football finals.


Tier 4 NFL Kickers: New York Giants (Josh Brown), Diego Chargers (Nick Novak), Cincinnati Bengals (Mike Nugent), Tennessee Titans (Ryan Succop)St. Louis Rams (Greg Zuerlein), Kansas City Chiefs (Cairo Santos)

The Giants and Josh Brown get the Rams underrated and stingy defense that only allows an average of 7 fantasy points per game to kickers. Keep him on the waiver wire or your bench. Nick "The Kick" Novak is a no go against the 49ers defense that only allows an average of 7 fantasy points per game and has been a bit spotty of late. The same goes for the extremely unreliable and inaccurate Mike Nugent. Momma always warned us about kickers who show too much leg for no reason and this former Jets great is exactly the kind of leg she was referring to. Make momma happy and keep Mr. Ohio far out of sight for Week 16's game versus the pretty tough Broncos.

Ryan Succop plays for the future holders of the #1 overall draft pick and we won't touch anyone on their offense or special teams at this point in the season because they've shown absolutely nothing thus far. Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein is looking more like PegLegatron lately as he shanked a couple of field goal attempts and even missed an extra point. If we didn't know better, we would think he's got a heft gambling debt to pay off (wink, wink) because we know him to be a much more reliable option. Given his recent funk, we say leave Legatron for another week (or season). Brazilian kicker Cairo Santos has made strides in his first year of professional place kicking, but we'll be avoiding him as usual for his Week 16 matchup against the Steelers.


Tier 5 NFL Kickers: Washington Redskins (Kai Forbath),  Minnesota Vikings (Blair Walsh), Arizona Cardinals (Chandler Catanzaro), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Patrick Murray), Oakland Raiders (Sebastian Janikowski),  Chicago Bears (Robbie Gould)

Bringing up the bottom of the barrel for Week 16 is Washington Redskins great Kai Forbath. He'll be playing the Eagles who only allow a stingy 6.85 fantasy points per contest to kickers, so we say avoid him like the plague for the championship round. Blair "Witch" Walsh must have the same bookie as Legatron because he missed 3 field goals in Week 15, albeit one was a 67 yard hail mary attempt. Patrick Murray gets very little work and therefore deserves very little fantasy attention; let us quickly move on to more interesting guys to make fun of. Keep avoiding Chandler Catanzaro "Everdeen" for Week 16 as he faces the Seattle Seahawks and their extremely dirty defense that only allows a meager 6.54 fantasy points per game on average to opposing kickers. Roberto Gould plays for a joke of an NFL team and the Bears face off against the NFL's best defense in Week 16, the Detroit Lions. Don't even think about it for Week 16 or beyond.

Last but not least is the "Polish Powder Keg" Sebastian Janikowski. Although he's got leg for days and flexes 50+ yarders from time to time like professional alcoholics downing Miller Lite's on a Saturday night at the local watering hole, we still have to avoid this behemoth of a human being as the Raiders get the tough task of playing against the Buffalo Bills in Week 16. The "Western New York Wranglers" are allowing an average of 8 fantasy points per game to opposing place kickers, but generally punish most team's offensive units and keep games close. We anticipate Week 16 will be no different as they desperately attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive.


Good luck on your continued championship runs and choosing your kickers in Week 16 RotoBaller's! Feel free to hit me up on Twitter @RealTalkRaph if you want to discuss these life changing choices any further.