Denver Releases Kicker Matt Prater

Those of you that use our kicker cheatsheets as a guide to set your fantasy lineups know that I’ve been suggesting, if you have the roster space, that you be proactive and add Matt Prater to your lineup. Belie that recommendation!

In a surprising move, the Denver Broncos released kicker Matt Prater and will stick with Brandon McManus. Prater, as you know, was serving the final days of his four-game suspension for violating the league’s alcohol program. Prater would have been eligible to begin kicking again in week 6 against the Jets on October 12.

Matt Prater (right) was released by the Broncos on October 3, making Brandon McManus a potential top-5 kicker

Matt Prater (right) was released by the Broncos on October 3, making Brandon McManus (left) a potential top-5 fantasy kicker

McManus is 14-of-16 in kickoff touchbacks, and 3-of-3 in field-goal attempts in his first three NFL games. Although his longest field goal is only 24-yards, the Broncos saw enough of him to feel he earned the right to continue as Denver’s kicker. The fact that Prater was due to make $2.2 million after his suspension this season, versus only $420,000 on the year for McManus, may have played a sizable role in the decision as well.

Our kicker cheatsheets have been updated to reflect the release of Prater. If McManus happens to be available in your league because of the muddled kicker situation, consider the issues resolved, and add McManus to your lineup ASAP. The high-powered offense of the Broncos promises to make McManus a top-5 fantasy kicker.

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