(It’s Week 12 of the NFL season. This and every Sunday morning, we’ll wrap up the week in fantasy football content with our Study Session, a last-minute guide to our top advice of the week, featuring the highlights of that week’s analysis.)
I got a tweet the other day from a follower wondering if he should drop Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Larry Fitzgerald so he could add a kicker. “Why not,” I asked, “just drop your existing kicker?” His kicker was Greg Zuerlein, he said, and he didn’t want to drop him since he was an elite kicker.
It’s nice to want to keep one of the best at a position. All things being equal, I’d like to, too. But if you’re rostering a second kicker or defense — even one of the best — you’re doing it wrong almost every time.
Wil Lutz is the No. 1 kicker right now through 11 games. At his current pace, he’d end up with one of the top handful of kicker fantasy seasons of all time — exactly where depends on scoring system, but it’s top 10 no matter what. (This pulls out the George Blanda and Gino Cappelletti types who kicked and did everything else, looking at only pure kickers.) By some measures, he’s on pace to finish second all time, behind only David Akers’ 2011 season, which included a touchdown pass.
Wil Lutz would be the No. 28 fantasy quarterback right now.
Lutz would be the No. 27 wide receiver and the No. 19 running back at a position where the bottom drops out alarmingly fast. In a horrific year for tight ends, he’d be sixth … but almost 80 full points behind No. 1.
TL;DR: Wil Lutz is on pace for an all-time kicker fantasy season, and if you squinted enough you might be able to argue for him as a top-80 fantasy player. Any kickers below Lutz are, well, below Lutz.
Don’t keep two kickers. Not unless Blanda or Cappelletti comes back and starts throwing touchdowns and rushing for a thousand yards. I picked up Justin Tucker after the Ravens’ bye because someone dropped him, but they still made the right call. There just isn’t enough different between Lutz and, say, Jason Myers to warrant dropping an upside play like Larry Fitzgerald. If you find yourself considering dropping a skill player to hold a kicker, don’t. And don’t again.
On to the Week 12 advice.
We’ve added live chats to our weekly repertoire of advice Maybe your questions were answered, or maybe you can just use this resource to find answers to questions you had but never got to ask. We hold four each week — Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tuesday’s through Saturday’s chat are linked below, and Sunday’s will be live two hours before gametime.
Rankings and start/sit
These are the big-ticket items. Our overall look at what we’re doing and how we make those decisions. On Tuesday, Jeff Ratcliffe breaks down the best waiver claims of the week. Wednesday, he publishes his top 150 for that week. Thursday, Scott Barrett attempts to solve some of the top start-or-sit questions. Tuesdays also feature Mike Castiglione and Walton Spurlin offering advice for the key streamers (QB and DST, respectively). And Saturday (this week) is the big blowout, where Jeff Ratcliffe highlights all the key lessons of the week and prepares fantasy players for the weekend to come. If you only read one piece of fantasy advice a week, it’s that.
There’s no good blurb to pull from this, because the whole thing is gold. Just click. Trust me on this.
10. Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs SEA (RB7) — What he doesn’t do with his legs, McCaffrey does as a receiver.
11. Nick Chubb, CLE @ CIN (RB8) — Chubb has been fantastic this season and gets a plus matchup against the Bengals.
12. Adam Thielen, MIN vs GB (WR4) — While he’s trended down just slightly, Thielen is still in play as a strong WR1.
13. Odell Beckham Jr., NYG @ PHI (WR5) — The Eagles secondary is scraping the bottom of the barrel.
START Josh Adams in medium-sized leagues: In a 48-7 beatdown, Adams played on 55% of the team’s snaps, drawing 70% of the team’s carries (seven of 10) and 75% of the targets out of the backfield (six of eight). I like him quite a bit more this week, in a much better matchup, as 6.0-point favorites against a Giants defense that has struggled against the run.
START Adam Humphries in deep leagues: Humphries is averaging 16.2 fantasy points per game over his last four games…