As we are in draft season for fantasy football it’s time to let you in on a secret; you don’t need to draft a kicker or a defense. Some people like to use an earlier pick on a good D/ST and some morons use an early pick on a kicker, (the worst), but I’m not about that life. If you are drafting a month before the season starts and you for example take New York Giants D/ST and Matt Prater with your last two picks just so have a kicker and defense you are letting yourself down. I’m not saying Giants D/ST and Matt Prater are bad picks but there is no point drafting them and letting them take up two spaces on your roster when you won’t need them until the season starts. No one in your league is going to think ‘I need a better kicker, better go trade for one’, (unless your league mates are crazy or you are in a league with Justin Tucker), it’s just not going to happen.
Kickers are the most random position in fantasy football and it’s almost impossible to say if a kicker is going to be a must start all year with the unpredictability of the position. Stephen Gostkowski was the consensus no.1 kicker in 2016 and he was being drafted in the 12th round but instead of wasting your pick on him you could have used that pick on Terrence West, Theo Riddick, Mike Wallace, Dak Prescott or even Rishard Matthews as they were all being drafted after Gostkowski, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. Adam Rank at NFL Network was even advocating taking him in the 5th round, that didn’t end up to well for him, he ended up finishing 9th for the season and only ended in the top 5 three times last season. That’s why we play the matchups and stream kickers. You can get an elite D/ST but if you are one of those guys who drafts his D/ST and kicker in the last two rounds just so you have one I say no.
This is what I propose; draft some high upside deep sleepers. According to Fantasy Football Calculator people are taking Giants D/ST before the backups who could be league winners if the starters get injured;
Cowboys’ backup RB Darren McFadden who may get some games at the start of the year if the NFL ever make their mind up on Ezekiel Elliott.
Bills’ backup RB Jonathan Williams who would be a plug and play starter if DeSean McCoy were to go down but even if McCoy is healthy he will have a role and you could start him in deeper leagues.
Steelers’ backup RB James Connor who was drafted this season has been impressing this off-season and he should be able to fill DeAngelo Williams role from past years.
Some great late streaming options who could have big roles for their teams are being drafted after Giants D/ST;
Julius Thomas who is back playing for Adam Gase again where he was a red zone machine when they were both at the Broncos, Thomas could be an every week starter if he can get back to his old ways.
Tyler Lockett who struggled last season with injuries is back healthy and is being criminally undervalued by the fantasy community.
Both Los Angeles top WRs options Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are available after the Giants D/ST and even though they are being thrown to by Jared Goff, vomit, they could be fantasy relevant.
Twitter’s two favourite rookie WRs Kenny Golladay of the Lions and Chris Godwin of the Buccaneers could turn into the next Odell Beckham Jr.
Buccaneers no.1 TE Cameron Brate the red-zone machine and is a great back up TE.
I’d rather have Josh Gordon on my roster before the season starts rather than waste a spot with a kicker, not Justin Blackmon though. That ship has sailed.
Let’s say Le’Veon Bell gets injured in preseason, (I hope he doesn’t because I want to see him get 16 games), but just say he does, James Connor’s price will fly up and if it were me I would be talking to the Bell owner asking him what he would give to get Conner for his team. He won’t be wanting his 1st round pick to go waste so he’ll give you a fair price. I’m all about the two for one trades to improve my roster so you send him James Connor and a WR 2/3 and get a WR1/2 back then you are winning. Before the season starts there is no way you can send Matt Prater and a WR2 for a WR1 and not be laughed at, trust me I’ve tried. Of course some leagues, not many but some, require you draft a kicker and a D/ST and if they do then when the draft finishes the first thing you do is drop them for some high upside guys.
Injuries are an inherent part of football and most years a top fantasy stud will suffer an injury before the season starts allowing someone to take over and if instead of drafting a kicker you get someone who’s role could turn them into a wide receiver or running back stud, you should absolutely take that chance. It’s all about getting those guys with high upside. There is absolutely no way that drafting a kicker will benefit you before the season starts unless Matt Prater gets a mechanical leg and his kicking accuracy is guaranteed to be 100%, then his trade value will go up, but I can’t see Roger Goodell allowing this. Get some lottery ticket players and you never know one of them might come in and you can laugh all the way to the fantasy championship.
ADPs and Rankings from FantasyFootballCalculator.com
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