Welcome to Part Five of a five-part series ranking the best NFL players from a fantasy football point of view. Next, for the kickers and defenses.
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10. Michael Badgley, Los Angeles Chargers
Badgley impressed in his 2018 season, which included a near-record performance in the playoffs. His reliability coupled with Los Angeles’s offensive production should see him nailing kicks quite frequently this year.
9. Brett Maher, Dallas Cowboys
Brett Maher isn’t a standout kicker, but the Cowboys’ powerful offense led by Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott make for a promising season of kicking for Maher.
8. Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles
Jake Elliott is not only reliable, but he can make long kicks, too. No matter where you put him from inside the 35-yard line (a 52-yard field goal), he will make kicking look easy — and perhaps from further out, too.
7. Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers
Gould is a great kicker who has proven himself worthy of the extension he got just a few weeks ago. Whether it be kicking in the midwest or the west coast, Gould will connect from long or short.
6. Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs
Another newly-extended kicker, not only is Butker talented from far out, but he’s in an offense that will produce plenty of long drives — and touchdown bids, too.
5. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
One of the most reliable kickers in the league, Gostkowski is no longer a Top 3 kicker as his age increases, but there’s no reason not to take a chance on the guy. After all, his offense is always scoring.
4. Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston Texans
Fairbairn had quite an impressive 2018 season, connecting on countless field goals to conclude promising Texans drives that didn’t finish in the end zone.
3. Wil Lutz, New Orleans Saints
Now among the highest-paid in the league, Lutz is one of football’s best, strongest, and most reliable kickers, putting him in a special class this year and for several seasons to come.
2. Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams
Injuries have been a concern for Zuerlein and his employer, but when he’s he’s healthy, there’s no stopping him. He’s a very enticing fantasy option.
1. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
The greatest kicker in the league this year and one of the greatest in the history of the sport, Tucker is the leader and poster boy for one of the most interesting and often irrelevant positions in fantasy football.
10. New Orleans Saints D/ST
The Saints are able to attract some dominant defenders with the potential for an end-of-season ring. New Orleans doesn’t have the best defense, but it’s up there.
9. Minnesota Vikings D/ST
The Vikings have struggled in years past, but this secondary is a unit you do not want to mess with. Their defensive line could use some work, but they’re on track for a solid campaign.
8. Cleveland Browns D/ST
The Browns have a scary defensive line and a dominant secondary, too. The youth in the unit makes it somewhat of a risky pick, but this team has shown that they don’t care if you sleep on them, because they’ll just prove you wrong.
7. Denver Broncos D/ST
Once the best defensive unit in the league, the Broncos have struggled a bit in recent years. But new head coach Vic Fangio comes directly from Chicago, where the defense is the real deal.
6. Houston Texans, D/ST
J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are just the headliners. This Texans defense will pummel your running back, rock your quarterback, and snatch the ball from your wide receiver.
5. Buffalo Bills D/ST
The Bills are often slept on as a whole, but even more as a singular defensive unit. Do not sleep on Buffalo’s defense this year, as some offseason additions make them quite scary.
4. Los Angeles Chargers D/ST
The Chargers’ defense grew much stronger with a boatload of offseason pick-ups. This team went from having an above-average defense to having one of the best in the league.
3. Los Angeles Rams D/ST
The Rams’ offense is good, but have you met Aaron Donald? This defense loses some attention to the offense, but you don’t want to mess around with the Rams’ unit of big men.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST
Not much needs to be said. All signs point to a big bounce-back year for Jacksonville in 2019.
1. Chicago Bears D/ST
The Bears will undeniably decline in 2019, but the idea that they will fall down the rankings drastically is quite foolish. This unit still keeps opponents tossing and turning every night.