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Koerner’s 2018 Fantasy Football Tiers: Defense, Kicker

  • It's a sound fantasy football draft strategy to avoid drafting a defense or kicker, if your league's rules will allow it.
  • Streaming both positions will allow you to take a few late-round fliers on other skill players with upside.

If all goes right in my 2018 fantasy football drafts, I won’t be drafting a kicker or defense (assuming the league allows it).

Two reasons why I recommend this:

1. By streaming each position every week, I’m able to generate a top-five kicker and defense most seasons.

You can follow my award-winning in-season rankings/tiers to know which available players/teams to target on a weekly basis.

2. It’s worth taking two extra fliers at the end of the draft to potentially hit waiver-wire gold before the season starts.

For instance, you can take a player such as Chris Ivory in the later rounds who could potentially become the Bills’ starting running back if LeSean McCoy’s legal situation has a major development.

Colts backup running back Jordan Wilkins could open the season as their starter if Marlon Mack’s hamstring injury turns out to be serious and/or if Nyheim Hines continues to have fumbling issues.

You can even snag Steelers backup running back James Conner in case Le’Veon Bell’s holdout spills over into the regular season.

Once it becomes time to add a kicker and defense for Week 1, you can cut bait on some of the lottery tickets without consequences.

Let’s dive into my tiers for both positions.

All tiers/rankings as of Aug. 22.

KICKERS

Tier 1

Stephen Gostkowski
Greg Zuerlein

Tier 2

Justin Tucker
Jake Elliott
Chris Boswell
Harrison Butker
Wil Lutz
Matt Bryant
Robbie Gould
Matt Prater

Tier 3

Graham Gano
Josh Lambo
Mason Crosby
Ryan Succop
Dan Bailey
Adam Vinatieri
Daniel Carlson
Caleb Sturgis
Ka’imi Fairbairn

Tier 4

Chandler Catanzaro
Sebastian Janikowski
Dustin Hopkins
Brandon McManus
Phil Dawson

Tier 5

Steven Hauschka
Eddy Pineiro
Whoever wins Jets starting K job
Randy Bullock
Jason Sanders
Aldrick Rosas
Cody Parkey
Zane Gonzalez


See My Tiers for Other Positions


DEFENSE

Tier 1

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tier 2

Philadelphia Eagles
Minnesota Vikings
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams
Baltimore Ravens

Tier 3

Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver Broncos
Carolina Panthers

Tier 4

New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints
Seattle Seahawks
Detroit Lions
Kansas City Chiefs
Atlanta Falcons
Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
Tennessee Titans
Dallas Cowboys

Tier 5

Arizona Cardinals
Washington Redskins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills
San Francisco 49ers
Oakland Raiders
New York Giants

Tier 6

Miami Dolphins
Indianapolis Colts
New York Jets
Cleveland Browns

Credit:

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo (4) and defensive end Calais Campbell (93).

Follow Sean Koerner on Twitter
@The_Oddsmaker
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