The “Defense + Kicker” Conundrum

Leave it up to the super intelligent, forward-thinking, and incredibly attractive creators of NFTdraft to come up with a brand-new position for us fantasy fans! Totally unrelated note – can I get a raise NFTdrafter?

But in all seriousness – it IS quite genius. It’s no secret that the fantasy community has been trying to delete the Kicker position from existence like it’s the final season of Game of Thrones.

More and more, there has been talk about how KICKERS (and really DEFENSES) are too unpredictable of positions for fantasy. But now, thanks to the genius of NFTdraft – It’s time to decide once and for all whether two wrongs can actually make a right!

The “Defense + Kicker” Position

This position adds up the score of both a football’s team KICKER and their DEFENSE – the scoring of which was covered in previous articles. Since it is REQUIRED to play 1-2 DEFENSE, KICKER AND/OR DEFENSE + KICKER in every lineup, chances are you will be contemplating this choice each and every week. Luckily, I am here to break it down and help you make that decision!

The way I see it, it ultimately comes down to a single question – will the PLAYING COST that it takes to upgrade my “DEFENSE” or “KICKER” to “DEFENSE + KICKER” give me more value or would those PLAYING COSTS be better served at another position.


For example – a popular play in Week 1 is going to be the San Francisco Defense. They cost 10 POINTS to play. San Francisco Defense + Kicker on the other hand will cost you 15 POINTS to play. So, will adding the KICKERS fantasy points be worth the 5 POINT playing cost, or would you rather upgrade another position?

How Much are Defense and Kicker Really Worth?!

If you take the Top 10 DEFENSES from last season and averaged out their weekly scores, they scored an average of 8.1 points. Sometimes that went into the 20s, other times into the negative. For Kickers, the average was 9.7 points. Let’s assume both positions got the average in Week 1, so:

San Francisco Defense (10 pt cost): 8.1 points

San Francisco Kicker (10 pt cost): 9.7 points

SF Defense + Kicker (15 pt cost): 17.8 points

So, does the extra 9.7 fantasy points (ftpts) merit the extra 5 PLAYING POINTS it costs to play?

QB Upgrade or Defense + Kicker Upgrade? That is the difference of upgrading the 20th ranked Miami QB1 (15 pt cost / Projected 16.2 ftpts) to the top ranked Kansas City QB (20 pt cost / Projected 24 ftpts).

The 9.7 ftpt from your Defense + Kicker is probably a better deal than the extra 7.8 you may get from QB.

RB Upgrade or Defense + Kicker Upgrade? Now let’s talk about upgrading your 15 POINT COST RB like Houston RB#1 (Projected 10.9 ftpt) to a 20 POINT COST RB like Minnesota RB#1 (Projected 22.7 ftpt).

That’s an expected 11.8 ftpt difference!

The way I see it, there are pros and cons of playing this position – it just depends on how else you plan on spending the points. Those eagle-eyed readers will notice from the above, ANOTHER TIDBIT OF FANTASY ADVICE THAT WILL PUT YOU WAYYYYYY AHEAD FROM THE COMPETITION BY READING THIS – PAY UP FOR RBS AND WRS MORE THAN QUARTERBACK! Seriously, knowing that fact will make a huge difference for you this year. Good job making it this far in the article!


  • Blowouts: If a team is supposed to absolutely destroy their opponent, DEF + KICKER could be a very lucrative card.
  • NOT ALL DEF + KICKER cards are the same: To upgrade Kansas City Defense (7 Pt Cost) to DEF + Kicker (17 Pt Cost) takes 10 points but to upgrade Tampa Bay Defense (12 Pt Cost) to DEF + Kicker (15 Pt Cost) is a NO BRAINER.
  • Find The Value: Figure out where you would spend the difference in the cost and see if the upgrade is worth it! I love using the points on RB or WR if you are not spending up.

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Chase aka 2ManyTDs is a Fantasy Writer and has not used this much math since leaving grade school. GO MUSTANGS!