Patriots: What are the best fantasy football options on the team?
2. Stephen Gostkowski
For all those up-in-arms at seeing a kicker listed above a pair of running backs and a receiver on a fantasy football rankings list, keep in mind that this column isn’t about which of these players’ positions is the most important in fantasy football; it’s about which Patriots players offer the most value at the position they play.
In no way is Stephen Gostkowski’s rating here meant to suggest kickers are more valuable in fantasy football than skill position players on offense – not at all. That said, though, Stephen Gostkowski is a much better fantasy football option amongst players at his position (placekickers), than Sony Michel and James White are amongst running backs and Julian Edelman is amongst wide receivers.
While James White is a valuable FLEX option, Sony Michel is a surefire RB2 with RB1 upside, and Julian Edelman is a dependable WR2 or FLEX, Stephen Gostkowski remains one of the best kickers in the game – both in the flesh and in pixel-form, so to speak. Already the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer in franchise history, Gostkowski’s sterling reputation has become somewhat tarnished in recent years because of a few important misses on some of the game’s greatest stages.
No matter. He’s still the third-most accurate kicker in NFL history, a player that led the league in total points scored for four straight seasons between 2012 and 2015. For fantasy purposes, he’s finished Top-3 amongst kickers in six of the past eight years; and even in those two years he wasn’t Top-3, he was still Top-10.
Yes, he’s 35-years-old. No, that doesn’t really matter with kickers (ex-Patriot/current-Colt Adam Vinatieri is 46). Gostkowski just inked a two-year extension that could conceivably see him finish his career with the Patriots, and judging by the team’s offensive performance down the stretch last season, there’s no reason to doubt Gostkowski’s ability to challenge for the No. 1 spot amongst kickers yet again in 2019.
If anything, the Patriots losing Rob Gronkowski actually helps Stephen Gostkowski – because it takes away New England’s top red-zone weapon from the past nine years. Not that any self-respecting Pats fan wants to see their team stall out and settle for a field goal inside the 20-yard-line, but still… it’s worth mentioning as it relates specifically to Gostkowski.