Week 14 lineup calls: Kickers
With the advanced weather reports showing high winds, precipitation and dipping temperatures, fantasy owners are spending more time than normal considering the kicker position this week.
Do you dare risk the misses or coaching decisions to eschew a field goal attempt in the elements?
We’ll obviously be monitoring the latest information as the countdown to kickoff winds down. Games indoors become more attractive by the minute. Steal points and minimize risk unless the matchups just overwhelm you.
(Other than Mason Crosby and David Akers)
Matt Bryant at Carolina
Bryant failed to convert a field goal for the first time this season in the Week 13 win over Atlanta. Bryant had converted multiple field-goal attempts and multiple PATs in four consecutive games prior to his four-PAT performance last week. He’s back at the head of the pack this week against the Panthers, a unit that ranks 25th in total defense (25.6 points allowed per game). Turner runs wild, Ryan picks his spots and Bryant drops the hammer.
Billy Cundiff at Houston
Ravens fans are still wondering why Cundiff wasn’t given the opportunity to try a 47-yard field goal late in Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. Did you need the four points to secure a victory in fantasyland?
Cundiff has converted 19-of-22 field goal attempts with 29 PATs this season. He’s been shut out of the field-goal column just once this season. Take the multiple PATs and frequent field-goal tries in Houston on Monday night. They’ll play indoors, so the decision-making process will be much different on the sidelines.
Nate Kaeding vs. Kansas City
Fantasy owners have been reticent to reclaim Kaeding off of the waiver wire following his extended absence, but he’s been valuable in the past three weeks. He’s racked up nine PATs while converted 7-of-9 field goal attempts (both misses came from distances of at least 50 yards). Even in last week’s debacle against Oakland, Kaeding was responsible for two field goals and a PAT conversion.
Matt Prater at Arizona
I understand that this represents a bit of a crapshoot given the coaching change in Denver and the inconsistent production of recent weeks. However, I am optimistic that Prater’s recent push (back-to-back games with two field goal conversions) will continue this week. We can reasonably expect Knowshon Moreno to be featured and chew up chunks of yardage on the ground. The Cardinals rank dead-last in total defense at 28.2 points allowed per game.
Dan Carpenter at New York Jets
Whatever you think of the Dolphins overall, the efforts of Carpenter cannot be dismissed. He’s converted at least one field goal in 10 of 12 games, including seven multi-field goal contests. While I don’t expect another disaster in New York, I don’t believe that the Jets stop the Dolphins altogether. New York has allowed 20 or more points in four of the past five weeks. The running game has been more of an emphasis in the past couple weeks. That bodes well for Carpenter owners this Sunday.
Phil Dawson at Buffalo
Led by the efforts of fantasy legend Peyton Hillis, the Browns have crept back to respectability and Dawson to fantasy relevance. He’s converted multiple field goals in five of his past six games (15 PATs during this period as well). I’m concerned about swirling winds affecting the path of the ball, but Hillis should chew up turf and put Dawson in position for multiple short-distance attempts.
Lawrence Tynes at Minnesota
The Minnesota defense hasn’t been the dominant unit that we’ve seen in past years, but they’ve been quietly effective and have played inspired ball for Leslie Frazier. Opposing running backs have been unable to gain traction in Minnesota and haven’t scored to date.
I don’t expect the Giants to be shut down completely, but this is an unnerving game. Tynes has converted at least one field goal in 11 of 12 games this season with at least one PAT in every game. That run continues this week, but don’t anticipate a huge effort.
Shayne Graham at Chicago
Graham is certainly accustomed to kicking in cold weather given his long tenure in Cincinnati. However, early weather reports indicate that wind and precipitation may be in play for Sunday’s late-afternoon tilt in Chicago. That’s a second opponent you don’t need to face in a playoff matchup. Seek out an alternate option.
Garrett Hartley vs. St. Louis
As with Tynes, it’s difficult to turn away from the seemingly guaranteed point total brought by Hartley because of his frequent PATs. He’s converted multiple field goals in four of the past five games to accompany his frequent PATs. Therefore, he’s set in your lineup. I’m just fearful that you’re left without the field-goal tries in this home tilt (St. Louis allows 19.8 points per game).