The correct theorem for drafting a kicker

Remember in high school when you had to take some courses that taught lessons you would never actually need in real life? How many of you still use Euclidian geometry theorems in daily life? Some might call such lessons useless, just like drafting fantasy kickers.

Many leagues have dropped the kicker altogether for fantasy purposes. Some still desperately cling to traditional roster formats. For those holdout leagues, here’s some advice on what kickers to draft and when.

First, don’t draft a kicker, any kicker, until at least the last two rounds. The only scenario in which you should draft a kicker with anything other than your last pick is if you are reasonably certain that your target for your final relevant pick will still be available — essentially, if you’re targeting a backup at another position who almost always goes undrafted.

If you run into this very specific scenario, there is one other caveat that a kicker target is available who has a chance of separating from the pack. What you’re looking for is someone who plays on a team with a decent offense but could struggle in the red zone. For this, you want inexperience or change at key positions, no definitive or effective goal-line running back and ideally, a team with a quarterback who isn’t especially mobile.

Graham Gano
Placekicker Graham Gano of the New York Giants.

You can narrow it to this criteria because, chances are, the top kickers who rely primarily on high volume, high-scoring offenses — like Justin Tucker and Harrison Butker — likely will be gone because some fantasy owner made an ill-advised pick too early. Instead, we will wait until the end, or very close to it, to target Robbie Gould (49ers), Jason Sanders (Dolphins), Matt Gay (Rams), Jake Elliott (Eagles), Graham Gano (Giants) or Joey Slye (Panthers).

We’re not going to get upset if our favorite among this bunch gets taken, because we just don’t care that much. If all of them are gone, no big deal, just pick from the remainder on the most potent offense, knowing if none of those are available, that’s OK too, since bad offenses kick more field goals.

It’s as simple as that. That’s our theorem on drafting kickers, and ours requires much less thought than Euclid’s did.

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