KANSAS CITY STAR

We're creeping closer to the beginning of the 2020 NFL Season.

With the busiest weekend for fantasy football drafts fast approaching, let's dive into some Kicker tiers for 2020.

I personally do no draft a kicker or a defense until the last three rounds of any of my fantasy drafts. I tend to stream defenses weekly, or I will pair two defenses together for a season and play the better match-up. When drafting, don't spend any more than one draft pick on a kicker and one on a defense. Drafting more than one is a massive mistake, and could keep a high ceiling player off your roster that could help later on in the year.

We've grouped our kickers into tiers, this way during drafts, you can see what options you have left in each tier as managers start drafting them for their teams. Each player/team will be ranked left to right for simplicity. Let's get to it:


Tier 1: Set It & Forget It

Justin Tucker (BAL), Harrison Butker (KC), Greg Zuerlein (DAL), Wil Lutz (NO), Robbie Gould (SF).

You really can't go wrong with any of these kickers in the top tier. Each is going to be part of an elite offense in 2020 with plenty of scoring opportunities. Tucker and Butker are a bit higher than the other 3 just due to how explosive each of their respective offenses are, Zuerlein is kicking in Dallas in 2020 and should get a bit of a boost with kicking indoors for half of his games. Lutz and Gould round out the top five, and both should produce excellent fantasy campaigns in 2020.

Justin Tucker lines up a kick Justin Tucker is the #1 Kicker in our rankings for 2020BaltimoreRavens.com

Tier 2: Solid Starters

Matt Gay (TB), Zane Gonzalez (AZ), Younghoe Koo (ATL), Ka'imi Fairbairn (HOU), Matt Prater (DET), Dan Bailey (MIN).

You could make the case for Matt Gay being in Tier 1 with the addition of TOm Brady at QB this year in Tampa Bay. I think he'll be overlooked slightly in drafts and could be a great catch as the 6th or 7th kicker off the board. He's a guy I am targeting in redrafts this year. Gonzalaez should benefit from offensive additions and another year under Kyler Murray's belt. Koo and Fairbairn are both in top 10 offenses and should see plenty of opportunities at points. Prater and Bailey are both solid contributors as well in this group.

Tier 3: Match-up Dependent Starters

Michael Badgley (LAC), Joey Slye (CAR), Chris Boswell (PIT), Brandon McManus (DEN), Austin Seibert (CLE), Tyler Bass (BUF), Jason Myers (SEA)

Badgley could be a really nice streamer in 2020 due to the Chargers taking a step back, offensively in my opinion. Joey Slye had several excellent weeks in 2019 with Kyle Allen as his QB in 2019 and should have a chance to repeat in 2020. Austin Seibert could be another diamond in the rough as well with a bounce back campaign for Cleveland's offense. Tyler Bass is a rookie with a massive leg, and he was just handed the starting job in Buffalo for 2020. McManus and Myers will most likely be solid,but not have too many spectacular weeks.

Austin Seibert could be a sleeper with a revamped Cleveland offense. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Tier 4: Streamers

Dustin Hopkins (WAS), Greg Joseph (TEN), Eddy Pineiro (CHI), Jason Sanders (MIA), Sam Sloman (LAR), Graham Gano (NYG), Justin Rohrwasser (NE)

Another late round target this year that intrigues me is Rohrwasser from NE. Belicheck & Co. were impressed enough to not sign Gostkowski in the off season and all reports point to Rohrwasser having a very strong training camp to this point. He's a lottery ticket that has top 10 potential. Sam Sloman will take over for the Rams, and if they can return to more of a 2018-like offense, he could be another player that ends the year in the top 10.

If the Rams can return to previous form, Sloman will have plenty of chances. Los Angeles Daily News

Tier 5: Desperation Plays

Randy Bullock (CIN), Brett Maher (NYJ), Daniel Carlson (LV), Josh Lambo (JAC).

Very little upside here with any of these last four. Lambo my have some streaming appeal due to Jacksonville playing from behind most of the year, but you can do much better than these players.

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Booms

Kyle Anderson Forward Memphis Grizzlies

The former UCLA star might have taken the tale of the tortoise and the hare a little too seriously, but the "slow and steady" mantra has given him a successful NBA career and impressive fantasy numbers. For the past week, Slow Mo has averaged 16.3 points on 48.9 percent shooting, seven rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.3 made threes, two steals and one turnover a game.

Anderson has been a consistent contributor throughout the season and it's tough to see his numbers take a hit even when Jaren Jackson Jr. returns at the end of the month. If you haven't rostered him yet, it would be a huge mistake.

Jalen McDaniels Forward/Center Charlotte Hornets

Staying on the court has been a problem for McDaniels this season, but the absence of Gordon Hayward has forced the Hornets to look for other options on the court and the second-year player has been one of the beneficiaries. In the last three games, the San Diego State product averaged 16.3 points on 62.5 percent shooting, two made threes, five rebounds and 3.3 assists. He even threw in 1.3 steals and one block per game.

Hayward is expected to be out for at least three more weeks. Until he's back, expect McDaniels to continue his more proactive approach on this team.

Miles Bridges Forward Charlotte Hornets

McDaniels isn't the only one who has taken advantage of Hayward's injury. Bridges has cranked his game up a notch, averaging 21.7 points on 60.5 percent shooting, three made threes, six rebounds and one steal in the last three games. He may have even had the dunk of the year, posterizing Clint Capela on Sunday.

Until Hayward is back, Bridges will get a lot more freedom to operate and that means more fantasy contribution in the coming weeks.

Reggie Jackson Guard Los Angeles Clippers

Depth has not been a problem for the Clippers the last few seasons, but it has been trouble for fantasy managers looking for consistent contributors on that team. Rest and injuries haven't slowed the Clippers' winning ways this week because Reggie Jackson stepped up for them and gives fantasy participants a short-term high performer to lean on for the week.

In a week where Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Paul George missed time, Jackson thrived, averaging 17.3 points on 61 percent shooting, three made threes, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 turnovers in four games.

With Beverley out with a fractured hand and Rondo/George/Kawhi undoubtedly taking games off to save themselves for the playoffs, Jackson may not be a bad desperation option in standard fantasy and worth tracking in daily fantasy formats.

Busts

Tim Hardwaway Jr Guard/Forward Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks' recent success has not translated into numbers for all players. Tim Hardaway Jr. is one of them.

The Michigan product averaged 12 points on 37.5 percent shooting, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in four games last week. He did make two three-pointers per game in that span, but that is like threading a silver lining on a used rag.

Hardaway is still the third scoring option on the team, so he will get more chances to increase his production, but this week was a tough pill to swallow for a lot of fantasy managers.

Derrick Rose Guard New York Knicks

Rose has found a home with the New York Knicks, but his role has not been kind to fantasy managers. We all know the former MVP can still score, but head coach Tom Thibodeau hasn't asked him to do much else.

In the last four games, Rose has averaged 14.3 points on 43.1 percent shooting, 0.8 made threes, 1.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. That kind of one-dimensional play is a killer of many fantasy teams looking for a more diverse portfolio of contributions.

If you need a boost in scoring, Rose isn't a terrible option to consider, but if you need anything else, you should leave him on the waiver.

Lou Williams Guard Atlanta Hawks

Like Rose, Williams isn't asked to do anything other than score at this point in his career. But even in the past week, he can't even do that at an elite fantasy level. Only averaging 11.8 points per game, 1.8 made threes, 2.8 assists and basically non-existent in every other category in fantasy sports.

It's safe to say that Lemon Pepper Lou's effectiveness as a fantasy star is gone.

Jusuf Nurkic Center Portland Trail Blazers

Okay, I know Trail Blazers have been trying to ease Nurkic back into the lineup and giving him restricted minutes. However, with the fantasy managers looking for that final push to the postseason, there might have to be an executive decision on whether Nurkic needs to be played or pitched.

Teams firmly in playoff position can hold out for him to be used properly again, but other managers won't be able to stomach another week of missed games and low-end production.

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