How to Pick a Kicker and Defense on FanDuel and DraftKings

How to Pick a Kicker and Defense on FanDuel and DraftKings

drafting a kicker and defense on fanduel and draftkings

How to Pick a Kicker and Defense on FanDuel and DraftKings

When playing daily fantasy football games on the biggest sites out there, FanDuel and DraftKings, most players find it relatively easy and enjoyable to select players for the flashy positions. Every player has their own strategy, but the selection of signal callers and wide receivers is rarely a confusing proposition. When choosing a QB, for example, you can easily identify players who will consistently earn your team a good stream of points. However, when we start talking about positions like defenses and kickers, some players can begin to find things a little more difficult. These positions require additional levels of thought and a completely different strategy that you’ll need to understand if you hope to be successful.

Before jumping right into the strategy talk, we have to mention that the kicker position needs to be eliminated from fantasy sports. We should be trying to make these games harder, and nothing is more luck-based than choosing a kicker. We will break down some strategies that may work well for you, but, in the end, there is a lot of luck when it comes down to your fantasy kicker.

picking a kicker on fanduel and draftkings

Why Your Kicker and Defense Matter…

Choosing a good kicker or defense has to be part of your strategy because it can truly be the difference between 50th place and 1st place in a GPP tournament game. If you want to give your roster an edge and outwit the competition, this is an important skill to master. Essentially, the golden rule of picking kickers and defenses on FanDuel and DraftKings is to identify good value. These sorts of players aren’t going to be incredibly flashy and bag your team the biggest amounts of points. Therefore, you don’t want to take the same approach to their selection as you would to a running back or wide receiver.

You need to save some of your salary cap to spend on players in other positions by spotting the kickers and defenses who are low budget but can be called upon to consistently provide for your squad. The best place to start is at the bottom of the salary pool. Gradually go through the list from bottom to top, trying to find the players that offer the greatest value.

Selecting a Kicker in Daily Fantasy

Let’s talk about kickers first of all. This position can be frequently overlooked, but fantasy fans should always remember to focus on their kicker. The points awarded for field goals are worth just as much as the points your quarterback gets for throwing a touchdown, so don’t ignore this position. That said, this is definitely a role where you’ll want to focus on the bottom of the salary pool.

Looking at last year’s stats, the best fantasy kicker was Stephen Gostkowski and this is a player who consistently finishes at the top of the kicker rankings. However, the points gap between Gostkowski and the rest of the pack is relatively small. In fact, it’s the smallest gap out of every position on the field, with the 10th best kicker earning just 28 points fewer than the Patriots’ kicker. This means that there are a lot of decent players in this position, so you don’t need to blow your budget on the very best guys.

There are plenty of kickers with low prices who will often do just as well as the players at the top of the list on a typical week. A good tip is to check out the Vegas lines and try to identify the matchups which have the potential to be high-scoring. More points equates to more chances for field goals and your kicker will definitely benefit from these sorts of situations. Try to spot the cheapest kicker you can find in the high-scoring matchups of the week and get him in your squad for a great price. You can then focus on spending the remainder of your budget on more valuable positions.

Naturally, if you nab a guy like Gostkowski then you’ll almost certainly enjoy some extra points from him by the end of the season, but you money you save by going with a cheaper kicker can be spent more sensibly on players who will give your team an even bigger boost than a good kicker ever could.

defense on daily fantasy sites fanduel and draftkings

Selecting a Defense in Daily Fantasy

Next, let’s look at defenses as you’ll want to take a different approach here once again. You should be starting at the bottom of the salary pool and working your way up. However, unlike with the kickers, you can’t just choose any low-priced defense and hope for the best. You need to narrow down your list and identify some defenses that have good matchups. Use Vegas odds once again to find games that should be low-scoring, as this gives your defense a better chance of earning some bonus points.

In addition, you should immediately forget about drafting any defenses that are up against strong offenses. So you’ll want to go through the list and find about half a dozen defenses that are expected to be involved in low-scoring games against relatively weak offenses.

To narrow down your list even further, you can really start analyzing the individual stats of the teams in play and look at the style of the opposition. If your defense tends to be weak against the pass and is going up against a team that likes to throw the ball around, then they might not be the best choice. Use Vegas odds again and look at how many sacks and turnovers are expected in a game as these will give your defense the chance to gain some extra points. At this point, it should be relatively straightforward to spot the right defense for your fantasy roster.

However, another important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t try to find value where it doesn’t exist. Sometimes, matchups are unkind and the lowest-priced defenses are simply not going to do very well. In this case, you should go further up the salary pool and spend a little more. The points earned by your defense can make a world of difference so don’t choose the cheapest one on the list just to save some funds.

Chris is the lead researcher and writer for The Daily Audible. He has a decade of experience in sports gambling, handicapping, daily fantasy sports, scouting, and analysis.

Chris has a background in the development side of After spending almost a decade working on the development end of the fantasy industry, Chris made the move to the content side of the industry in fall of 2011. He covers the NFL, PGA, NBA, and NHL for The Daily Audible.