Baltimore Ravens kicker, Justin Tucker, is already the best kicker in NFL history. Having finished outside the top four kickers in fantasy football just once since 2016 (2020), Justin Tucker is the sure-fire K1 going into the 2022 season once again.
2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: Justin Tucker
The 2021 season saw Tucker bounce back from a ‘down’ season in 2020. In 2020, the former Texas Longhorn finished the season as K7. Comparatively, in 2021, Tucker ended the season as K2. He also had the league’s best field percentage (94.6%).
What was most impressive about Tucker’s 2021 season was his accuracy from range. He hit six field goals from 50+ yards, including the record-breaking 66-yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions. Tucker’s exceptional 2021 season ultimately solidified his status as the NFL’s best-ever kicker. His production earned him a four-year $24 million extension with the Ravens and also saw him clock in at rank 94 in the NFL100 list.
Tucker is unquestionably the best kicker currently in the league. He offers unrivaled consistency at the position and is certain to deliver elite production over the course of the season. To reassure fantasy owners, even more, Tucker enters the 2022 season coming off of a fantastic 2021 season.
The Ravens strength of schedule against kickers is ranked at #15 according to FantasyPros. Tucker is largely considered ‘matchup proof,’ and he has a favorable matchup in Week 1 against the New York Jets, potentially allowing him to start the season hot.
The Potential Concerns
More so than for other positions, the production of kickers is heavily influenced by the overall team. Therefore, how much fantasy managers trust Tucker depends on how they think the Ravens offense will perform. With Lamar Jackson returning from injury, expect Baltimore’s offensive efficiency to improve. That will mean the offense will be less reliant on Tucker, and he could have fewer field goal opportunities. The numbers support this take too. The 2021 season saw Tucker attempt 37 field goals; his most since Jackson’s rookie season in 2018 (39).
However, while Tucker’s field goal attempts will decrease, the expectation is that the Ravens will find more of the endzone with Jackson returning. In 2021 Tucker attempted just 32 extra points, his fourth-lowest tally in 10 NFL seasons. That number could increase in 2022.
Many experts and fantasy managers project 2022 to be a ‘rebound’ season for Jackson and the Ravens, with fans hoping that the offense will rediscover its 2019 form when Jackson won MVP. It saw Tucker attempt 29 field goals (tied for his fewest career attempts in a season) and a career-high 59 extra point attempts.
Therefore, Tucker will likely lose some field goal attempts, which will be replaced by extra point attempts.
Average Draft Position
It goes without saying that Tucker should be rostered in all leagues. FantasyPros lists Tucker’s ADP at #149, making him K1. This is no surprise given the reliability and certainty that Tucker offers fantasy managers. Tucker is the only kicker in the NFL that will guarantee top-three production given how much the position’s ranking changes from year to year. Given Tucker’s guaranteed production, managers should look to select him slightly earlier than his ADP.
As with all kickers, fantasy owners should only draft Tucker if they have confidence that the Baltimore offense will be, at the very least, remotely competent. This seems likely, given the players that are returning to the team from injury as well as how the team’s off-season has gone. So, at the very least, the Ravens offense will be productive enough for Tucker to take the field a substantial amount.