3 FanDuel Kickers to Target in Week 2
In fantasy football, every point counts, and points are the only way you can win.
You need to maximize output from each and every player on your roster, and "punting" a position is never truly ideal. Sometimes in season-long leagues, you simply are stuck without any better options than who is on your roster already, but in daily fantasy football, where you are in control of every player you pick, there are no excuses.
So when you're making your lineups on FanDuel, don't leave kicker for last and choose whichever minimum-salary player fits in.
Move the position higher up on your priority list and learn to love the kicker. Start by targeting these three guys in Week 2.
Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers
FanDuel Price: $4,900
Graham Gano and the Carolina Panthers are massive favorites in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, who happened to hold their opponent -- the Los Angeles Rams -- scoreless in Week 1. That sure won't be the case for them against the Super Bowl runners-up, as the Panthers are favored by 13.0 points in a game with an over/under of 45.5, giving Carolina an implied team total of 29.25.
Our algorithm sees Carolina winning this game 84% of the time, and kickers on teams that win have averaged 10.0 FanDuel points from 2013 to 2015, compared to 8.2 points on average overall. No team is a more obvious candidate to build a lead and kick field goals if drives stall out, and that makes Gano a prime target at $4,900.
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
FanDuel Price: $4,600
Matt Prater and the Detroit Lions are six-point favorites against the Tennessee Titans in a game we see them winning 69.6% of the time. With an over/under of 47.5, Detroit is penciled in to score 26.75 points, the fifth-highest implied total of Week 2. Prater gets the advantage of playing under a roof, which has resulted in a slight boost in production in the past three seasons for kickers.
Further, kickers with an implied team total of 25.25 to 27 have averaged 9.3 FanDuel points from 2013 to 2015, compared to 8.2 for an average kicker game.
Dustin Hopkins, Washington
FanDuel Price: $4,500
The plan has always been to identify a minimum-salary kicker in case you need to squeeze out every bit of value possible. It's not looking super good this week, but there is a potential option.
Only two minimum-salary kickers are playing for favorites: Josh Lambo for the San Diego Chargers as a 3-point favorite over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dustin Hopkins as a 2.5-point favorite over the grind-it-out Dallas Cowboys.
Both of those offenses have question marks, of course. San Diego lost Keenan Allen, and Washington couldn't convert in the red zone on Monday night. That yielded 11 FanDuel points for Hopkins, though, and even though they're tight favorites, we give them a 64.5% chance to defeat Dallas.
We can't be confident that Washington plays from ahead, but Hopkins is your man if you refuse to spend more than $4,500 for a kicker.