NFL All-Decade Series: Top 10 DST and Kicker Performances

NFL All-Decade Series: Top 10 DST and Kicker Performances

In the NFL All-Decade series, we revisit and recap the top fantasy performances of the decade. In today's final installment, we'll take a look back at the standout DST and Kicker showings of the last 10 years. Both are oft-overlooked positions, though fantasy veterans know very well that strong outings by either can make or break a week.

For our DST series, we calculate fantasy points based on the following scoring system:

  • Sack: 1 point
  • Interception: 2 points
  • Fumble recovery: 2 points
  • Safety: 2 points
  • Defensive TD: 6 points
  • Kick/Punt return TD: 6 points
  • 2-point conversion returns: 2 points
  • 0 Points Allowed: 10 points
  • 1-6 Points Allowed: 7 points
  • 7-13 Points Allowed: 4 points
  • 14-20 Points Allowed: 1 point
  • 21-27 Points Allowed: 0 points
  • 28-34 Points Allowed: -1 points
  • 35+ Points Allowed: -4 points
  • Tiebreaker based on lowest points allowed

5) Kansas City Chiefs: 35 fantasy points - Chiefs 24 vs. Jets 3 (Week 3 - 2016)

6 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 defensive TDs, 3 Pts allowed

The Chiefs didn't need to bring down the notoriously streaky Ryan Fitzpatrick even once to secure a win; simply putting him in a position to make reckless throws did the job. Fitzpatrick accounted for a pick-six among his six interceptions in the blowout loss. Marcus Peters nabbed two of the bearded signal-caller's INTs, his second straight contest of 2016 with two picks.

4) Chicago Bears: 36 fantasy points - Bears 37 vs. Lions 13 (Week 10 - 2011)

2 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 defensive TDs, 1 return TD, 13 Pts allowed

Prior to this defeat, the Lions had not lost a road game in 2011 and only turned the ball over twice in those four contests. The Bears changed that in convincing fashion with six turnovers, two of which resulted in scores by the defense. As can be commonplace for NFC North showdowns, the Chicago win was scraped by in ugly fashion – penalties, tossed helmets and skirmishes resulted in multiple stoppages.

3) New England Patriots: 37 fantasy points - Patriots 43 vs. Dolphins 0 (Week 2 - 2019)

7 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 defensive TDs, 0 Pts allowed

A clash of two division mates who opened the season on opposite ends – New England looking like one of the most dominant defenses in recent memory, and Miami looking like a roster destined to go winless. While neither team has maintained those exact tracks to close out the season, this Week 2 showing was as brutal as any other in the books. Back-to-back pick-sixes in the fourth quarter served to turn what was once just a convincing win into a slaughter.

2) Tennessee Titans: 38 fantasy points - Titans 38 vs. Jaguars 20 (Week 17 - 2012)

7 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 defensive TDs, 2 return TDs, 20 Pts allowed

The Titans mercilessly put the Jaguars out of their misery in the 2012 season finale, handing Jacksonville a 2-14 record on the back of scores via two interceptions and two punt returns. Darius Reynaud recorded the only two punt return touchdowns of his career during the contest, becoming just the 16th player in NFL history to record two such TDs in the same game. 

1) Seattle Seahawks: 41 fantasy points - Seahawks 58 vs. Cardinals 0 (Week 14 - 2012)

3 sacks, 4 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 defensive TDs, 0 Pts allowed

Division rivalries can be a funny thing. Week 12's matchup presented the opportunity for the Seahawks to take revenge for a loss handed out by Arizona in the season opener, and the entire team rose to the challenge. In what was the Legion of Boom's emergent season, the unit held Arizona to just 154 yards in a devastating shutout, to the tune of an astounding eight forced turnovers.

Honorable Mentions

6) Kansas City Chiefs: 35 fantasy points - Chiefs 28 vs. Raiders 0 (Week 7 - 2011)

1 sack, 6 interceptions, 2 defensive TDs, 0 Pts allowed

7) Philadelphia Eagles: 35 fantasy points - Eagles 31 vs. Jets 6 (Week 5 - 2019)

10 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 2 defensive TDs, 6 Pts allowed

8) Arizona Cardinals: 35 fantasy points - Cardinals 38 vs. Packers 8 (Week 16 - 2015)

9 sacks, 1 interception, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 defensive TDs, 8 Pts allowed

9) St. Louis Rams: 32 fantasy points - Rams 52 vs. Raiders 0 (Week 13 - 2014)

6 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 defensive TD, 0 Pts allowed

10) Denver Broncos: 32 fantasy points - Broncos 45 @ Cardinals 10 (Week 7 - 2018)

6 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 defensive TDs, 10 Pts allowed

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For our Kicker series, we calculate fantasy points via the following scoring system:

  • PAT made: 1 point
  • FG made (0-39 yards): 3 points
  • FG made (40-49 yards): 4 points
  • FG made (50+ yards): 5 points
  • Tiebreaker goes to longest FG made

5) Jason Sanders: 24.0 fantasy points - Dolphins 21 @ Jets 22 (Week 14 - 2019)

Field Goals made: 7-for-8 (22, 25, 28, 21, 53, 48, 37)

Extra points: 0-for-0

Sanders set the franchise record with his seven field goals, and had he not missed one 34-yard attempt he'd have tied the NFL's all-time mark for makes. His performance came following a Week 13 showing in which he became the first kicker to catch a touchdown pass in more than 40 years, giving Sanders claim to one of the strongest (and least conventional) two-week showings by a placekicker in recent memory.

4) Jason Myers: 27.0 fantasy points - Jets 42 vs. Colts 34 (Week 6 - 2018)

Field Goals made: 7-for-7 (30, 48, 32, 37, 45, 37, 45)

Extra points: 3-for-3

Myers had been stalwart and accurate through the beginning of the 2018 season, but he truly blew up Week 6. His performance broke the Jets' franchise record with seven field goals in a single game, one that would play a large part in his being named to the Pro Bowl.

3) Greg Zuerlein: 27.0 fantasy points - Rams 35 @ Cowboys 30 (Week 4 - 2017)

Field Goals made: 7-for-7 (49, 44, 44, 30, 28, 43, 33)

Extra points: 2-for-2

Los Angeles' upset win over the Cowboys in Week 4 of the 2017 season began to give the team serious credibility, the first year of coach Sean McVay's tenure after the Jeff Fisher era. Zuerlein played his part in the victory, setting a new franchise record by converting all seven of his field-goal tries, many of which weren't exactly chip shots.

2) Cairo Santos: 27.0 fantasy points - Chiefs 21 @ Bengals 36 (Week 4 - 2015)

Field goals made: 7-for-7 (22, 40, 51, 34, 40, 29, 51)

Extra points: 0-for-0

Santos accounted for every point scored during this loss to Cincinnati, setting a team record of seven field-goal conversions. His performance made him the savior of some fantasy teams, though a fair number of managers may have ditched Santos after he compiled just four field-goal tries on the season to that point.

1) Jay Feely: 29.5 fantasy points - Cardinals 43 vs. Broncos 13 (Week 14 - 2010)

Field goals made: 5-for-6 (36, 48, 55, 23, 49)

Extra points: 4-for-4

1 five-yard rushing TD

Feely cemented himself in Cardinals lore on Dec. 12, 2010, becoming just the fourth kicker to score a rushing touchdown in 40 years while converting a career-high five field goals. He scored an astounding 25 real-life points in the contest, setting the stage for Arizona to get a win over Denver for the first time in franchise history.

Honorable Mentions 

6) Kai Forbath: 24 fantasy points - Vikings 24 vs. Ravens 16 (Week 7 - 2017)

Field goals made: 6-for-6 (52, 51, 43, 43, 34, 32)

Extra points: 0-for-1

7) Robbie Gould: 24 fantasy points - 49ers 25 vs. Titans 23 (Week 15 - 2017)

Field goals made: 6-for-6 (38, 48, 28, 50, 48, 45)

Extra points: 1-for-1

8) Justin Tucker: 23 fantasy points - Ravens 18 @ Lions 16 (Week 15 - 2013)

Field goals made: 6-for-6 (29, 24, 32, 49, 53, 61)

Extra points: 0-for-0

9) Adam Vinatieri: 23 fantasy points - Colts 29 vs. Bears 23 (Week 5 - 2016)

Field goals made: 5-for-5 (54, 53, 26, 41, 46)

Extra points: 2-for-2

10) Blair Walsh: 23 fantasy points - Vikings 49 vs. Giants 17 (Week 16 - 2015)

Field goals made: 5-for-5 (32, 52, 22, 53, 27)

Extra points: 4-for-5

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ilango Villoth
Ilango produces NFL content for Rotowire. Beat writer for the Miami Dolphins.
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