30-Year-Old Kicker – Detroit Lions
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
Prater was suspended for the first four games last season and was subsequently cut by the Broncos. He joined the Lions in Week 6 and promptly missed 2-of-3 field-goal attempts in his debut. He missed ...
Matt Prater Contract Information:
Signed a three-year contract with the Lions in March of 2015.
The Lions re-signed Prater to a three-year contract Friday.
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|Field Goals||20-29 Yds||30-39 Yds||40-49 Yds||50+ Yds||Extra Points|
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|2015 Proj||30||DET||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Matt Prater|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Kicking Stats|
|Year||Age||Team||G||Standard||PPR||0.5 PPR||Total Points||Points/Game|
|2015 Proj||30||DET||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Matt Prater|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Matt Prater: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)It took Prater just four days to find a new employer after he was unceremoniously released by the Broncos last week. Named to the All-Pro team last season, Prater was suspended for the first four games of 2014 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, but he showed he still has plenty of leg by beating out Jay Feely and Connor Barth in a three-way competition at the Lions' complex Tuesday. Prater holds the record for the longest field goal in NFL history (64 yards) and missed just one of 26 attempts in 2013.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Prater was expected to be one of the best fantasy kickers this season coming off an excellent 2013 campaign that saw him connect on 25-of-26 field goal attempts, including an NFL record 64-yarder, and a remarkable 75-of-75 on PATs. However, he was hit with the alcohol-related suspension in August and was replaced by Brandon McManus, who is now set to assume the kicking duties for at least the rest of the season. Prater, who will cost the Broncos $4.1 million in cap space next season, is certainly good enough to grab another NFL job, so he's unlikely to be unemployed for long.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The suspension was alcohol-related, the Post reports. Prater has been in the league's alcohol program since he was charged with a DUI in 2011. With Prater suspended, it's not clear if Denver will stick with backup kicker Mitch Ewald or sign a veteran for the first four games.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Prater rode the coattails of a prolific offense to a career-best 150 points in 2013, nailing six field goals of at least 50 yards (including an NFL-record 64-yarder in Week 14) in the process. Though he ranked just 26th in total field goal attempts, Prater still finished second in the league in scoring on the strength of his 75 PATs – 22 more than anyone else. Despite losing Knowshon Moreno and Eric Decker in the offseason, the Broncos still have plenty of firepower around Peyton Manning to help Prater maintain fantasy utility, that is, when he is on the field. The start to Prater's 2014 season will be delayed by a four-game suspension that the kicker must serve out of the gate.
Broncos receivers weren't the only beneficiaries of Peyton Manning’s arrival in Denver, as Prater saw his PATs rise from 30 to a career-high 55 and his field-goal attempts climb from 25 to 32. There's no reason to think the Broncos offense won't similarly buoy Prater's scoring totals this time around, especially with the rest of the AFC West essentially in rebuilding mode. The thin air at Mile High should continue to aid Prater in the occasional long field-goal attempt, as he already has two 59-yarders under his belt in his career. Last year’s 81.3 field-goal percentage was a step up from his 76 percent the previous season, and further improvement is possible considering he's just two years removed from kicking 88.9 percent.
Prater received acclaim in Week 14 for crushing a 59-yarder to force overtime. That was pretty much the highlight of his season, though, as an offense that struggled to move the ball gave Prater few scoring opportunities. His 25 field-goal attempts and 87 points both ranked near the bottom of the league. With Peyton Manning at quarterback, Prater’s numbers could improve, though Manning remains a wild card returning from a serious injury and after a year away from the game. Prater also needs to return his accuracy to the mid-80’s range after kicking at 76 percent last year.
A late-season groin injury capped a disappointing season for Prater last year as he was on pace to score 20 points fewer than in 2009 when he totaled 122. The culprit was a lack of field goals. Prater attempted just 18 in 12 games, a pace that would have left him 11 shy of his previous year's total. Denver jumped from 23rd to 13th in the league in red-zone touchdown efficiency at the expense of Prater's fantasy status. Prater's accuracy was again in good shape as he converted 88.9 percent of his attempts. The thin air at Prater’s home stadium gives him a good opportunity to make long kicks – he hit five from 50-plus in 2008 – but he hit just two all season from that distance last year, only one of which was at home. The Broncos don’t have a lot of star power on offense and while Kyle Orton is the starter, Tim Tebow is close behind if anything bad happens. For Prater to return to fantasy relevance, he needs more scoring opportunities, especially inside 40 yards where he had just 10 attempts last season after seeing 22 in 2009.
Prater is perhaps the highest rated kicker who doesn’t play with either an elite quarterback or running back. And while Denver’s resulting red zone inefficiency (23rd in the league) gave Prater 35 field goal attempts in 2009, he was really helped by improved accuracy. Prater converted only 73.5 percent of his attempts in 2008, missing 5-of-11 from 40-49 yards. Last season, he hit 8-of-10 from that range, en route to 30 made field goals and 122 total points (seventh). Prater also benefited from increased short-range field goals, going 14-for-14 from 20-29 yards.
Despite the lack of star power — and with the departure of Brandon Marshall, Prater no longer has an elite receiver either — Prater still has scoring opportunities. And kicking in high altitude Denver is always good for the 50- yarders. Prater is 7-of-9 from 50-plus yards the last two seasons.
The post-Jay Cutler era begins in Denver, and, no matter the starting quarterback is (Kyle Orton or Chris Simms), the Broncos don’t figure to be as productive in new coach Josh McDaniels’ first year. Prater posted the lowest field-goal percentage (73.5) in the NFL last season other than Washington’s Shaun Suisham, and he might not see 34 attempts again this year, either. Interestingly, while he was just 5-of-11 between 40-49 yards, he was 5-of-6 from 50 and beyond.
With Jason Elam's departure to Atlanta, the kicking job is Prater's for now. Prater does not have much of a track record. He was just 1-of-4 in two games for Atlanta last year before being released, and the Broncos could bring in other kickers to compete for the job. The Denver kicking position was once one of the best, but the team's offense scored just 34 touchdowns last season (the fewest since 2001). Even with the expected improvement of Jay Cutler, the team is unsettled at running back and second receiver, and Prater's not even guaranteed to claim the job.