Matt Bryant may seem to be an odd pick for a fantasy writeup, but enough of you play in leagues with kickers that it’s relevant. You may also be wondering what the ageless wonder can possibly deliver for you in 2017, and that’s what I’m here to answer.
Simply put, there’s no longer any reason to think this will be the year Bryant falters, given that he has yet to do so despite his advancing age. Because he plays in one of the best offenses in football, he has tons of scoring chances, and that makes him a smart pickup.
If you play in scoring-only formats, as I do, you understand how vital kickers are. If you don’t, you could still use a quality one. Let’s talk about Bryant’s stock.
Points Per Game: 11.2
This was a career-high for Bryant, driven by the excellence of the 2016 offense. Bryant has always nailed his chances at a clip that makes him a top ten kicker in real life, but his fantasy production is tied to his offense just as much as any other NFL kicker. With the Falcons taking the league by storm, Bryant wound up being one of the 2-3 best kickers in the league.
This was not a given after he had a poor, injury-marred season in 2015, so those who took a chance on him late were very glad they did.
Bryant is going to be one of the NFL’s oldest kickers in 2017, which means the wheels could fall off at any moment. Once he crossed the 40-year-old barrier without falling apart, though, it became obvious that we won’t be able to project when that fall will come.
The Falcons’ offense will be slightly diminished from its 2016 heights, in all likelihood, but it would be smart to bet on Bryant being one of the league’s five or so most productive kickers yet again in 2017. If the team falters a few more times in the red zone than they did a year ago, his scoring average could actually go up. I always advise waiting until late to snag a kicker, but if you’re looking for one of the elite options to help your team out, Bryant certainly qualifies as one.
If you are in a scoring-only format, I would take Bryant as soon as another kicker comes off the board. He should be valuable for you this year, as he always is.