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Week 1 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings


Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season is finally here. The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are kicking off the NFL's 100th season on Thursday night football. After the long wait, we're here today to talk about fantasy football's most important position. That's right. We're talking about kickers.

All jokes aside, the importance of kickers has continued to slide as the years go on, but that's ok. For those of you that are still rocking kickers, I'm here to do the hard work for you. All season long, I'll be here to look at which kickers belong in your lineup based on consistency, matchup, weather or other reasons.

It's Week 1. We don't have to worry about any kicking controversies after all teams got their rosters down to just 53 players. It's August, so, in most places, the weather is still nice. Let's get into it to see who you're playing for Week 1.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 1 Kickers To Start & Stream: Tiers & Rankings

Tier 1 NFL Kickers

1. Greg Zuerlein (LAR) @ CAR
2. Matt Gay (TB) vs SF
3. Wil Lutz (NO) vs HOU
4. Harrison Butker (KC) @ JAX
5. Jake Elliott (PHI) vs WAS

At the top of the list for Week 1, we find a familiar face in the form of Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein. Zuerlein plays for what should be one of the top offenses in the NFL, and they have a matchup against the Carolina Panthers to start the year. The Panthers could keep this game close, and, as they have a decent red-zone defense, that could mean more kicking opportunities. Next, we have a brand new face to these rankings in Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay. If the Bucs offense is everything it's expected to be, Gay could have a monster year. In Week 1, they're going against the San Francisco 49ers that could make the game a track meet. For kickers, we like track meets.

In the three spot, we have New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz. Lutz has a matchup with the Houston Texans at home. I see the Saints scoring a lot of points, and that means a lot of points for Lutz. Behind Lutz, we have one of the top kickers from last year in Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker. Butker plays on another great offense. The only reason he isn't higher is that they're matched up with the Jacksonville Jaguars who could have a stingy defense. Rounding out the top five, we come across Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott. Elliot is on what can be an elite offense, and the Washington Redskins Defense is just good enough to hold the Eagles out of the end zone a few times.

 

Tier 2 NFL Kickers

6. Justin Tucker (BAL) @ MIA
7. Jason Myers (SEA) vs CIN
8. Brett Maher (DAL) vs NYG
9. Matt Prater (DET) @ ARI
10. Austin Seibert (CLE) vs TEN

Justin Tucker from the Baltimore Ravens is the leader for Tier 2 during Week 1. The Ravens head to Miami against what could be the NFL's worst team in 2019. The best kicker of the last five years on an improved offense is stock I'm buying. Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers has a good matchup Week 1 against another lowly team in the Cincinnati Bengals. The Seahawks offense can be fluky at times, but their kickers are usually safe bets especially at home.

Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher comes up next. At home, against the New York Giants that are working on rebuilding their identity, this game could get out of hand in a hurry. Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater is next with a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona plans to play wide open on offense. The only problem is Detroit's players will also be wide open to score points. The Cleveland Browns are relevant finally. Kicker Austin Seibert was given kicking duties. At home for the start of what they're hoping will be a special season, this offense is looking to light up the scoreboard.

 

Tier 3 NFL Kickers

11. Stephen Gostkowski (NE) vs PIT
12. Matt Bryant (ATL) @ MIN
13. Michael Badgley (LAC) vs IND
14. Mason Crosby (GB) @ CHI
15. Robbie Gould (SF) @ TB

Stephen Gostkowski and the New England Patriots are always a great pairing. At home, coming off of a Super Bowl season, give me the veteran against a Pittsburgh Steelers Defense that doesn't strike a ton of fear into me right now. After a miserable kicking preseason, the Atlanta Falcons brought back a familiar face in kicker Matt Bryant. Bryant may be a little long in the tooth, but, in a dome, quarterback Matt Ryan will get points on the board.

Michael Badgley and the Los Angeles Chargers are a team with big aspirations. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, they get a team that will be searching for their new identity after the retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck. Packers kicker Mason Crosby faced some pressure during training camp and the preseason. Despite that, he won the job to return for his 13th season with the team. In Week 1, it's a game against the familiar Bears. The Bears have a lot of defensive talent, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers seems to always do something special in these matchups. Rounding out our top 15 is 49ers kicker Robbie Gould. Head coach Kyle Shanahan finally has his quarterback and a bevy of offensive weapons. Against a Buccaneers team that plans to win games in shootouts, maybe Gould could have some sneaky upside.

 

Kickers to Avoid

Dustin Hopkins of the Washington Redskins is a good kicker. The only problem for him is the offense he's playing with. The quarterback situation is a question mark, and the pass catchers are a similar situation. Against a great Philadelphia Eagles Defense, he can be avoided to start the year.

Eddy Pineiro of the Bears is rattled. The Bears kicking woes are what ultimately doomed them last season, and, throughout the offseason, they have yet to find a kicker that can get the monkey off his back. Until Pineiro shows some consistency, he should be avoided despite how good the offense may be.

Jason Sanders of the Dolphins has a similar situation to Hopkins. He's a good player, but he's playing for a terrible offense. In Week 1, they're up against the Ravens that could pitch a shutout to open the year. Avoid Sanders while the Dolphins offense sorts out the mess that they have on that side of the ball.

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