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2022 Fantasy Football: Kickers to avoid in drafts

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By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4

Special to Yahoo Sports

My obligation as one of the few pro-kicker fantasy analysts in this space is to provide helpful information on who to draft, but I’m also here to assist with which kickers you should shy away from this season. I’ve already debunked the randomness of kicker points in a previously written article and using those same data points, this piece will guide you on which legs to avoid in 2022.

More Kicker Resources from 4for4: Fantasy Kickers to Target in 2022 | Debunking the Randomness of Kickers | Full-Season Kicker Projections

The Worst of the Worst

Kickers on squads with high implied team totals who are favored (preferably at home) are best for predicting fantasy outcomes from week to week. The following kickers, who surprisingly are usually among draftable options, are not on such teams and will struggle to put points on the board along with their respective offenses.

Worst kickers for fantasy 2022. (Photo by 4for4.com)
Worst kickers for fantasy 2022. (Photo by 4for4.com)

Based on current 2022 look-ahead lines

Houston is currently not favored to win one single game during the 2022 season and possesses the lowest implied season total in the NFL. There are 12 contests where the Texans are projected to lose by five or more points, with nine of those spreads equaling a touchdown or more. Ka’imi Fairbairn’s offense boasts an implied team total under 20 points in 12-of-17 games which means he won’t have much opportunity to add to your roster. Take an enormous pass on the once-prolific leg this season.

As much as Younghoe Koo has given us some fantastic fantasy performances in the past, this year won’t be added to his positive resume. Atlanta is facing nine contests where they're projected to lose by at least five points, with double-digit spreads in three of those. When you have the fourth-lowest implied team total in the NFL it’s nearly impossible for Koo to deliver much fantasy relevance to your squad.

Younghoe Koo #7 of the Atlanta Falcons
There's a lot working against Younghoe Koo delivering solid fantasy production this season. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Jason Myers has been a pretty solid kicker in previous seasons, but he’s a pass for 2022. The Seahawks are only projected to win four contests this year, with nine of the games estimated losses by over five points. With a massive question mark at the QB position, Seattle is on the books to put up fewer than 20 points in a whopping 10 out of their 17 tilts. Leave Myers for someone else to deal with in 2022.

While the Jets are on the up and up, at least on paper, Greg Zuerlein is not in a great spot this season. We have no idea how this new-look offense will actually perform, so for now, Greg the Leg is best left as a possible streaming candidate if Zach Wilson steps up and crushes New York’s projections of losing eight games by five or more points.

Kickers for Possible Streaming, but Probably Not

Kickers to potentially stream. (Photo by 4for4.com)
Kickers to potentially stream. (Photo by 4for4.com)

Based on current 2022 look-ahead lines

Similar to the guys above, these four kickers are on offenses that aren’t among the best in the league. However, there is some potential for weekly streaming based on matchups and the unknown heading into 2022.

Detroit is the only team in this tier without a major change in their offense, but the Lions are still not going to be very good and are projected to lose six games by 5+ points, with two of those posting fewer than 20 points. If Jared Goff can take this offense in a positive direction, whoever wins the kicker job could be used sporadically based on the matchup, but most likely not.

Cairo Santos is on a Chicago team with a new coaching staff, and hopefully a revamped offensive approach. However, the weaponry is suspect and the Bears are slotted to lose seven contests by over five points, with seven games featuring team implied totals fewer than 20 points. Santos also has a rough go at the end of the 2022 season which never helps for fantasy purposes, as the Bears are projected to lose every game from Week 11 on, with no projected score over 20.75 for Chicago.

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It’s tough to see Chris Boswell on this list, as he’s usually a decent streamer, but times have changed in Pittsburgh and Big Ben is no longer under center. The Steelers are only projected to win four games in 2022, and currently rank 26th in estimated team implied points for the season. We could be surprised as this team certainly has talent in all facets, but Boswell remains strictly on the streaming radar heading into draft season.

The Urban Meyer experiment is thankfully over in Jacksonville and we’re looking at a new era for this young and talented team. There is plenty to be excited about but we need to pump those brakes when it comes to kicker points. Jacksonville has six contests where they’re projected to lose by five or more points, with three games featuring team implied totals lower than 20 points. Ryan Santoso starts out with a brutal stretch where 4-of-10 contests before the Jags’ bye week are all games with a touchdown or more spread in favor of the other team. Leave Santoso on waivers and grab a leg on a more stable, proven offense.

This article was originally published on 4for4.com

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