Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy 2021 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 16: Kickers

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

Justin Tucker
Baltimore Ravens · K
Cincinnati Bengals
2021 · 8-6-0

I know, Tucker is started in nearly 100 percent of fantasy leagues. However, I just wanted to take a moment to say how much I love John Harbaugh and his willingness to go for it. And let’s for instance, believe for a moment that the Ravens went into overtime against the Packers. There’s a good chance you never touch the ball if you lose the coin flip. I’d rather take my chances on one play from inside the 5-yard line than a coin flip (the percentages are in your favor). And even then, Aaron Rodgers was likely going to rally them in the final, what was it, 40 seconds? I’ve seen that play out way too often.

Evan McPherson
Cincinnati Bengals · K
Baltimore Ravens
2021 · 8-6-0

McPherson has been on quite a roll lately, leading the NFL with an average of 12-plus fantasy points per game over the last five weeks. He’s scored at least 11 points in four of those games, all coming after his team’s Week 10 bye.

Brandon McManus
Denver Broncos · K
Las Vegas Raiders
2021 · 7-7-0

Did you know that McManus ranked near the bottom in points scored among kickers for the last month? So why are we starting him? Well, he’s had 16 points combined in the last two weeks. And the Raiders have allowed the most points to kickers over the last month. I also love starting kickers in a dome this time of year where I can.

Greg Zuerlein
Dallas Cowboys · K

Greg the Leg is available in less than 50 percent of NFL.com leagues. Which is a bit strange given he plays for one of the most popular teams in the league and he’s been pretty consistent since his return in Week 11. He’s averaged just under 10 fantasy points per game, with his lowest total being seven points against the Raiders in Week 12. I love that floor.

Sit 'Em

Dustin Hopkins
Los Angeles Chargers · K
Houston Texans
2021 · 3-11-0

Look, Hopkins is good. I wish somebody would let coach Brandon Staley know that. Look, I love Madden as much as the next guy, but sometimes it’s cool to kick field goals. But for me, this looks like a game where the Chargers score five touchdowns and never kick a field goal. Or the Texans weirdly hold them to 10 points or something. I don’t know. There is something about the Epicenter, where you never know what is going to happen. It’s fun, but I’m staying away.

Graham Gano
New York Giants · K
Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 6-7-0

I really like Gano. He’s a solid kicker and I had him on my team way too long this season. The offense just isn’t consistent enough. And honestly, that isn’t even quarterback dependent. There are way too many issues on this team, so I just can’t get him into my lineup. Especially not with this matchup.

Matt Prater
Arizona Cardinals · K
Indianapolis Colts
2021 · 8-6-0

Prater was fine against the Cardinals on Sunday. Which might not seem like a lot. But I started Ryan Succop, so honestly, anything would have been better than the donut I was served by him. But the Colts have been really good against kickers. And I’m not sure you can just brush off the Cardinals' recent struggles. This is starting to become a trend because this team collapsed last season.

Chris Boswell
Pittsburgh Steelers · K
Kansas City Chiefs
2021 · 10-4-0

Boswell had 13 points on Sunday, and he’s one of the best kickers in the game. Especially at home. But I don’t trust him as much on the road. And no, we’re not going into a thing like “don’t start Ben Roethlisberger on the road” or anything like that. But the Chiefs are very tough against kickers. They have been playing great defense. And I’m going to look for other games that will feature points.  

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter.

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