Green Bay Packers Fantasy Profile: Week 1

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January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (2) kicks a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

K – Mason Crosby

Last Season: 27/33 FGs (7-7 20-29 yards, 11-12 30-39 yards, 5-7 40-49 yards, 4-7 50+ yards), 53/55 PATs; 134.00 fantasy points

After his rough year a couple of seasons ago, Crosby continues to be a stellar option at kicker for fantasy teams again.

It definitely helps his case to be attached to a strong offense.

Kickers are a dime-a-dozen for fantasy purposes; I make it a point in my drafts to never pick one until the last possible choice. Their production is highly subject to fluctuations, so it is difficult to find an option that will truly produce on any given week.

There are a few main ways to go about picking one:

– Grab a major name that has a history of making a high percentage of kicks
– Get a name attached to a high-powered offense
– Gamble on a guy attached to an offense that doesn’t convert TDs well
– Go matchup-based, choosing a guy for the defense he’s facing

None is a fool-proof method unfortunately.

The percentage numbers tend to be unpredictable on a year-to-year basis, with even the top guys falling off without warning.

The high-powered offensive teams could just score tons of TDs instead of needing too many field goal attempts.

The teams without reliable offenses won’t  give their kicker decent opportunities at a predictable rate.

The matchup-based guys could just see themselves out of luck due to how the game actually goes.

To me, the best option here is usually trying to find a guy who has both the prior reliability aspect AND is with a high-powered offense.

This way you can have a guy that is more likely to get at least some nice baseline of points to work with due to PATs, have a decent amount of possible opportunities, and is a good bet to convert a decent amount of his kicks when he does get the chance to take them.

Crosby is probably one of the league’s best options in terms of aligning with those goals.

When it comes to this matchup with the Bears, he looks even better.

The Packers should move the ball plenty, giving him a good chance to take a few shots at the uprights.

The expected score I have is banking on Green Bay making a handful of touchdowns, but if one or two of those were to end a little earlier Crosby could see a huge night.

Even without that happening, having a handful of PATs to go along with one or two FGs would still be a nice output here.

Week 1 Prediction: 1/1 FG (1 40-49 yards), 5 PATs; 9.00 Fantasy Points
Verdict: Must-Start