NFL Betting: Best Values to Lead the NFL in Kicking Points
Predicting production from kickers in football is a frustrating tradition for fantasy football players. For years, kickers like Mason Crosby and Chris Boswell showed up each week to accurately boot the oblong ball through the yellow posts. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, they struggle to the point of almost losing their jobs.
Such is life as an NFL kicker.
However, there are some predictive stats when it comes to kicking league leaders. This will help us place some educated bets over at the FanDuel Sportsbook.
|Justin Tucker||+900||Chris Boswell||+2900|
|Stephen Gostkowski||+900||Dan Bailey||+2900|
|Will Lutz||+900||Eddy Pineiro||+2900|
|Giorgio Tavecchio||+1200||Jason Myers||+2900|
|Greg Zuerlein||+1200||Matt Prater||+2900|
|Harrison Butker||+1200||Chandler Catanzaro||3400|
|Jake Elliott||+1300||Josh Lambo||3400|
|Ka'imi Fairbairn||+1500||Matt Gay||+3400|
|Michael Badgley||+1500||Ryan Succop||+3400|
|Adam Vinatieri||+2000||Aldrick Rosas||+4400|
|Brett Maher||+2000||Zane Gonzalez||+4400|
|Robbie Gould||+2000||Danial Carlson||+5000|
|Graham Gano||+2300||Dustin Hopkins||+5000|
|Austin Seibert||+2600||Randy Bullock||+5000|
|Mason Crosby||+2600||Stephen Hauschka||+5000|
|Brandon McManus||+2900||Jason Sanders||+8000|
You're going to see some familiar names on this list, especially among the favorites. But are the favorites the best bets? Let's take a look at the last ten seasons of kicking leaders and see what stands out.
|Year||Kicker Name||Team Points Per Game Rank||Yards Per Game Rank|
Last season, the league leader in kicking was Ka'imi Fairbairn. He led the league in scoring even though his team was outside of the top ten in points per game as well as yards per game. The Houston Texans finished eleventh in team scoring. Among league leading kickers over the past decade, Fairbairn's team ranked worst in points per game. In fact, the average points per game rank for the top kicker's team has been 4.2. Fairbairn's year as well as David Akers' 2011 season were outliers.
Based on this data, yards per game rank isn't as important as points per game. The league leader's teams ranked 9th in yards per game.
Ideally, we want to bet on kickers that are projected to play for a top-five scoring offense.
Greg Zuerlein (+1200)
Legatron is a pick that makes sense for several reasons. Since Sean McVay took over as head coach in 2017, the Rams have been explosive on offense. In 2017, they ranked first in points per game and Greg Zuerlein led the NFL in scoring. Last season, the Rams ranked second in points per game. Zuerlein missed five starts due to injury, but in his eleven games, he averaged more points per game than any player in the NFL.
Our power rankings have the Rams ranked second among offenses. If Zuerlein can stay healthy, he has a very good chance at cashing this bet.
Harrison Butker (+1200)
For many similar reasons, Harrison Butker is another reasonable pick to win this bet. In his first two seasons, Butker ranked 2nd and 4th among kickers in points per game. Prior to Butker's arrival, Cairo Santos finished 6th in points per game. The Kansas City Chiefs had the best offense in the NFL last season. Our power rankings have them at the top of the list for total offense.
Andy Reid also coached David Akers, who led the league in scoring in 2010 and 2011.
Just for Kicks
If you want to take a chance on a longshot, there aren't too many that stand out. There's an argument to be made for Austin Seibert if he wins the starting kicker job for the Cleveland Browns. Their offense is set to soar this season and he is +2600.
Another kicker who is +2600 is Mason Crosby. Our power rankings list the Green Bay Packers as the 5th-best offense. This seems optimistic to me but with Mike McCarthy being replaced and Aaron Jones supposedly in line for the lion's share of touches, the Green Bay offense may be back in business. Even in a down season last year, Crosby ranked 10th in kicker scoring.