How Much Does Wind Affect Kicker Scoring on FanDuel?
In the 1996 movie Twister, Helen Hunt's character throws Pepsi cans into a tornado to save the United States of America from certain destruction.
OK, maybe I am not accurately remembering the movie, but wind obviously played a major role in the tornadic film.
If the wind can affect the final score of a game and a quarterback's accuracy, it would only make sense that it could affect kickers as well. Let's look at just how much they are affected.
Gone With the Wind
Just like quarterbacks, kickers see a decline in their scoring when playing in higher winds.
Of the 256 regular season games played in 2017, 74 were played in either a dome or without wind. In those games, the kickers averaged 8.33 fantasy points per game. The league average for kickers in all games in 2017 was 8.05, so there was a modest increase in their production.
This average score in the eight-point range continues in games with wind speeds of 6 miles per hour or lower. Eventually, we see a decline when speeds reach 7-9 mph before the fall worsens upon reaching 13-plus mph winds.
During the season, the wind was 13 mph or higher in 30 games. It's a smaller sample size, but 60 kickers scored more than a point fewer than the league average. I plotted out all of the kicker scores in 2017 to show a linear forecast of what could be expected as winds increased.
The difference between the league average score of 8.05 and the low of 6.97 when playing in high winds is barely more than a point. This may not seem like much, but 6.97 is about a 14% drop off from the league average. It's also about a 17% drop off from the higher average of 8.38 fantasy points among kickers in games with wind speeds between 0-6 miles per hour.
Of the 60 kickers who played in winds of 13 mph or higher, only 20 kickers scored 9-plus points. While it is possible to score well in high winds, kickers only did it one-third of the time in 2017.
On the contrary, of the 148 kickers who kicked in games without wind, 63 of them scored at least 9 points. So, about 42.5% of kickers scored above average in games without wind compared to 33% in high wind games.
At a position where few points are scored, you want to maximize your chances of outscoring the average. Taking wind speeds into consideration will make picking your kicker a breeze.