Matt Prater

Kicker • Lions

Boom

Although the Lions failed to make the postseason in 2017, Prater managed to tie for 10th (with Kai Forbath of Minnesota) in scoring. He finished last season 30 of 35 on FG tries, and 40 of 41 on extra points. He was seven of 11 from 50 yards or more, with a season-long kick of 58 yards in the opener against Arizona. He notched a 56-yarder in Week Two at the Giants and a 57-yarder the following week against Atlanta. If you need further evidence of Prater’s leg strength, he holds the NFL record for the longest field goal in history -- a 64-yarder booted in 2013, his last season with Denver. Over his 11-year career, he has made good on 83.4 percent of his FG attempts and 388 of his 396 (98 percent) PATs. Prater is nearly as accurate from long range, having converted 77 percent of his tries from 50-plus. Sebastian Janikowski is the all-time leader with 53 field goals made of 50 or more yards. With 43 successful field goals from that distance, Prater could catch Janikowski in the next couple seasons. He signed a three-year contract extension last October.

Bust

Prater was suspended the first four games of 2014 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He has missed six extra points in the last three seasons. The Lions were 13th in total offense last season and in the offseason hired have a new, defensive-minded head coach (Matt Patrica).

Bottom Line

Prater gets an “A” for power and probably a “B” or “B-minus“ for accuracy. He is well established and unlikely to lose his spot, even if he endures a slump. His past off-field issues seem to be in the rearview mirror. And, while Detroit has a new head coach, offensive coordinator (Jim Bob Cooter) and QB (Matthew Stafford) return for 2018. Prater is a borderline top-10 fantasy kicker, and worth a look in leagues of all sizes.

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