It’s finally here! The end of the NFL regular season and the wildest slate for DFS has arrived in Week 18! 13 games full of tanking, resting starters, and crybabies looking to start the off-season early. There’s always money to be made, but we need to be more creative and dig deeper to find the players on the field with a reason to perform this weekend. Besides advancing into the playoffs, players will be auditioning, proving their worth, and most importantly looking to cash in on incentives. So let’s get right to it and have some fun…Week 18 Breakdown here we go! Remember to stay locked in on our Discord for any questions or advice about your lineup builds. It’s been a pleasure to be here as a writer at WinDailySports and to share my perspective with the community for this season…thank you, everyone!
Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell mentioned this week he will be pulling some starters in the finale, as the Vikings are happy being the third seed. We’ve loved Jefferson and company all season, but not here in Week 18 at their hefty salaries. Dalvin Cook, TJ Hockenson, Kirk Cousins, and Adam Thielen should also be put aside. But I did see former starting tight end Irv Smith becoming activated off IR, and his min price of $2,500 on DraftKings is a drop in a bucket that could hold some weight in a GPP.
How do you say “tank” in Chicago? Nate Peterman. The Bears have decided to shelve Justin Fields until next season and roll with their backup. Chicago may run the ball a ton, as usual. But the water is way too murky for me in Chicago to decide on who will get the rock. The safest play would be to run from all Bears until next season.
Cleveland’s last game of the season will be Sunday for sure, but before they say goodbye in 2023, we may see an encore of Nick Chubb. The Browns’ fifth-year back may be force-fed touches on Sunday to try and land the NFL rushing title. This idea may get crushed if Josh Jacobs goes berserk against Kansas City, which could have Chubb behind well over 300 rushing yards. Check the Raiders’ box scores and then decide.
Pittsburgh is still alive and any Mike Tomlin team with a chance to get into the postseason will give it their all. The Browns are still one of the worst at stopping the rush (25th in DVOA), so Najee Harris should have a decent game (15 rush attempts/game). The Steelers’ receiving core is also in play too. Pickens, Freiermuth, and Diontae Johnson are all $5K and below on DraftKings and worth a dart throw in a fight for a playoff spot against a Browns’ defense mailing it in for 2023.
The Ravens are hanging on by a thread without a quarterback heading into the postseason. Lamar Jackson will miss his fifth straight game and backup Tyler Huntley is battling a shoulder and wrist injury. We can’t invest in this offense on the road against one of the most dominant forces in the AFC, especially without a quarterback.
Cincinnati came out with guns blazing on Monday night against Buffalo before the stoppage due to the Hamlin injury. They’ll keep their foot on the gas as they look to lock up the AFC North and the number three seed. Burrow is safe in this low-scoring divisional game, as well as the Bengals DST. Baltimore will keep the score down, which would leave some mouths unfed in the Bengals’ receiving core. Consider not risking the high salaries of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins and aim for the likes of Tyler Boyd, Hayden Hurst (who needs 100 yards and 2 receptions for a $250K bonus), and Joe Mixon.
The Pats will need a win to keep their seventh seed alive, but it won’t be an easy task in Buffalo. The stadium will be rocking on Sunday and full of emotion, so picking any pieces of this offense will be pretty risky. The Bills have owned New England over the past few seasons, winning four of their last five meetings since 2020. The Bills DST will be a lock against the lackluster Patriots’ offense.
With Damar Hamlin in recovery from his tragic injury on Monday night, The Bills will be ramped up and ready to go full throttle against a Patriots team they have owned since 2020. Josh Allen is a lock for cash games and GPPs across this very sketchy Week 18 slate, as the Bills will look to seal the number two seed. As far as the rest of the offense, Diggs has always been the de facto for Buffalo. But for Week 18, Isaiah Mckenzie is 46 receiving yards away from $100K. He’s already earned $150K for reaching 250 and 350 receiving yards on the year, so maybe place him in a lineup for a bargain at $3,500 on DraftKings.
A meaningless game for Tampa, since they can’t improve from the fourth seed. We may see starters for a series or two but none worthy for DFS this weekend. Backup receivers Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller could see significant usage against an Atlanta 26th-ranked secondary. Third-year running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn should also see a bump in snaps and is also worth a thought for DFS.
There are only two guys worth rostering from this young and upcoming Atlanta team, Drake London and Tyler Allgeier. The rookies have had stellar seasons and seen a majority of the snap share going into 2023. London has seen an incredible 28 targets and Allgeier has scored over 15 DK FPTS. over the past three games.
New York will be in Miami to play spoiler to the Dolphins’ playoff run, using the tough and tenacious defense they have executed all season. They’re fairly priced on DraftKings and FanDuel, and facing third-string Miami quarterback Skylar Thompson could lead to double-digit fantasy points in your DST slot.
It’s safe to say we want no part of this Miami offense until next season. Way too risky to even think of paying up for Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle with Skylar Thompson under center, especially against a stingy number two-ranked Jets’ defense.
Nope, we can’t go here for fantasy. Not with head coach Lovie Smith salivating at the first pick in the draft. The Texans do play hard for their head coach, so they will put some points on the board. Just way too unpredictable who will see the ball for Houston.
Sam Ehlinger is back to close out the season which sets the stage for a very run-heavy offense in Indianapolis. Zack Moss is the guy, who owns 60% of the snaps for the Colts. Moss will feast against a Texan worst-ranked run defense at home, hoping to earn a roster spot for next season.
I mentioned DJ Moore was a stud last week, and he was by catching 6 for 117 yards and a score. Now with running back D’Onta Foreman landing on the injury report with a knee late in the week, Chuba Hubbard may be heavily involved in the Panthers’ finale.
Saints’ wideout Rasid Shaheed has had his moments this season and even posted 13 DK points last week in the Phiily upset win. He saw the field and led all receivers with 68% of the snaps last week, making him a no-brainer at $4,200 on DraftKings for Week 18.
The G-Men have locked up the sixth seed and have no plans of keeping starters out on the field for too long. We are not interested in any Big Blue players facing an Eagles defense hungry to lock up the number one seed.
Jalen Hurts is a man on a mission to lock up a win and a first-round bye to claim the one seed in the NFC. Start your Eagles this weekend in this dicey Week 18, they’re putting it all on the table at home and the only thing standing in their way will be a lame-duck Giants defense loaded with bench warmers.
Dallas to stay on top of the NFC also needs a win, and could move past Philadelphia if somehow the Eagles lose to the Giants. Dak Prescott and Cee Dee Lamb will light up the Capitol on Sunday against a Washington secondary that has been embarrassed all year and led by St–Juste and Fuller (21 passing touchdowns allowed). Zeke and Tony Pollard also will sink their teeth into some red zone opportunities, as well as tight end Dalton Schultz.
We’ve seen the Cowboys play down to their competition on defense twice this season, and could allow rookie quarterback Sam Howell a decent game as well. Howell had a decent preseason, running in two touchdowns but I know, this is the real deal. Having McLaurin, Dotson, and Samuel at his disposal, Howell could break the slate if the Cowboy’s defense downplays their opponent again. The Commanders have also decided to shut down running backs Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson for the year. Jonathon Williams steps in as the number one back for Washington, and is a lock for cash for only $4,300 on DraftKings.
LA will end their Super Bowl hangover season looking to play spoiler and deny division rival Seattle a playoff berth. Running back Cam Akers has owned the backfield in the second half of the year and should be in for a massive game against a Seahawks’ 30th in DVOA to running backs. Seattle’s tight end DVOA is dead last at 32nd, forcing heavy DFS consideration to Tyler Higbee this weekend.
It’s do or die in Seattle, and the writing is on the wall for Geno Smith and the Seahawks. It will be all hands on deck for head coach Pete Carrol, forcing all Seahawks to be worthy of DFS this Sunday including receivers DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett, and running back Kenneth Walker III.
James Connor will not be suiting up for the grand finale of the 2022-23 season, leaving rookie running back Keaontay Ingram a giant workload. San Fransisco is ranked number one against the run, but with Arizona rolling out David Blough in the closer, Ingram could be heavily leaned on as well as evaluated for next season. Blough may also lean on tight end Trey McBride again, the rookie had a career-best seven catches for 78 yards and a score last weekend.
To keep themselves ahead in the playoff picture, San Fran will and should easily beat up on the dumpster fire of a Cardinals’ defense and put a cherry on top of their superb season. Running back CMC may see a day off since Elijah Mitchell has been activated off IR, and his salary on DraftKings at $4,000 is very juicy if he does see the field. Lock and pay up for that Niners DST across from Dave Blough, they’ll be out for blood after spilling all those points to Vegas last week.
LA has secured a playoff spot as a Wild Card in the AFC and may rest starters after a series or two. Wideout DeAndre Carter should see some burn in Week 18 and will earn an extra $200K if he catches two balls for 55 yards. A safe flier for a mere $4,100 on DraftKings, Carter is worth a dart throw.
Broncos country…Let’s hit the slopes. The tight end has been heavily involved in this offense all year, and we saw the resurgence of Albert O. last week. Three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown crushed it and can be repeated with Greg Dulcich done for the season. Albert O. for $2,900 on DraftKings is a steal at tight end for the slate.
Thanks for reading my NFL DFS Game by Game Breakdown for Week 18. You can reach me on Twitter @JoeDiCarlo78 or in our Discord tag me @JDiCarlo78 for any lineup build opinions or questions, always here to help! Be sure to sign up for an ALL-ACCESS GOLD ACCOUNT here at Win Daily Sports. Gain access to our Projection Models and jump into our Discord where we will have our experts and myself talking plays across every sport.
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