Many people tell me that the kicker does not have much meaning in fantasy football. If you take a look at the statistics, many kickers are comparable and there isn’t much difference statistically between the top 20 kickers in the National Football League.
I however disagree. When selecting kickers week in and week out, it is generally important to select kickers in indoor stadiums and warm weather climates. There is however one exception. Due to the altitude in Denver, it is always alright to pick a Broncos kicker or a kicker kicking any given week at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Why can’t I just write Mile High Stadium anymore)? Before I look at week eight, I just need to thank Broncos kicker Brandon McManus for his perfect kicking last week (two field goals and three converts), to help me improve to 5-2 in my fantasy pool.
Week eight contains four games where both teams are above .500—Detroit at Houston, New England at Buffalo, Green Bay at Atlanta and Philadelphia at Dallas. Two of the matches are divisional games. Expect the Patriots to rebound against the Bills after losing to them 16-0 on October 2. The Bills have a banged up LeSean McCoy, while the Patriots have someone they didn’t have earlier this month. You might have heard of him. His name is Tom Brady.
In the NFC East battle between the Eagles and Cowboys on Sunday night, Philadelphia is significantly worse on the road than they have been at home this season. They have lost so far in Detroit and Washington. Dallas is better than both of those organizations and that is why I like the Cowboys.
The Texans meanwhile did not look good at all last week against the Broncos, but more importantly are coming off a short week as they just played Monday night. The Lions will benefit by playing in warmer conditions and have a serious chance of beating Houston.
The other intriguing matchup is the Packers and Falcons. For some reason, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has had problems throwing the football deep this season, but seemed to minorly turn the corner last week against the Chicago Bears. The Falcons don’t have a lot of confidence at the moment, as they have lost two straight. Green Bay meanwhile is coming off an extended break as they would have had ten days off prior to their contest in Atlanta.
Two players who are worthy of fantasy consideration at the moment are Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Matt Jones has fumbled the football for the Redskins in two of the last three games, and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has indicated that Jones will lose carries if his fumbilitis continues. That will then open the door to Thompson, who had a season high 11.3 fantasy points last week in Detroit. Flacco meanwhile has a juicy matchup against the Cleveland Browns in two weeks time.
My three projected fantasy stars of the week are Matt Ryan and Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and DeMarco Murray of the Tennessee Titans. Expect the Falcons/Packers game to be a shootout with a lot of passing involved. In Tennessee, Murray has had an outstanding season for the Titans to date (has reached double digits in fantasy points) and should feast on the Jaguars defense.