Some decent stuff at QB last week with Dak Prescott (QB4), Patrick Mahomes (QB8), Mac Jones (QB7), and Trey Lance (QB10) coming through. Matthew Stafford (QB14) was only okay, and Tyler Huntley (QB21) and Jalen Hurts (QB19) fell flat.
I included a ton of RB plays, and luckily most of them came through well like Rashad Penny (RB1), Darrel Williams (RB3), Boston Scott (RB4), Devin Singletary (RB5). AJ Dillon (RB7), David Montgomery (RB8), and Elijah Mitchell (RB10). Sony Michel (RB14) was also good, and Jonathan Taylor (RB15) was hardly a slouch. I was dumb to include my guy Javonte Williams (RB50), since he’s been dealing with a knee issue and the OL is banged up. But leave it to noted anti-gurrite Ronald Jones (RB54) to come up small. I should have quite while I was (barely)
I didn’t include a lot of WRs, wasn’t feeling them, and while the picks weren’t sexy, they were mostly lower-end guys, and they were quite decent like Darnell Mooney (WR11), Laquon Treadwell (WR22), Tyler Boyd (WR28), and Rashod Bateman (WR31). Unfortunately, Jaylen Waddle (WR55) did come up small.
At TE, my inclusion of Mo Allie-Cox (TE26) was only if Jack Doyle was inactive, so with Doyle active, I won’t count that one. But the other picks were not great. I had Dallas Goedert (TE5) in there, but low-end guys Gerald Everett (TE22) and Foster Moreau (TE40) crapped the bed.
Overall, another pretty strong week, which is like 4-5 in a row now (I lost track).
I’ll do my best amidst the chaos in Week 18.
Note: I’m ranking them in order of my favorite plays, mainly for cash games.
Patrick Mahomes (KC at Den — $7500 DK, $8500 FD) — He’s a top-2 value on both sites. With something to play for and with CBs Ronald Darby and Pat Surtain out, along with S Kareem Jackson, the pickings should be easy for Mahomes. He’s playing very well right now with four straight performances with 20+ FP.
Tyler Huntley (Bal, vs. Pit — $5700 DK, $7000 FD) — Huntley struggled a bit in Week 17 and posted only 12.3 FP in a loss to the Rams, but this is a better matchup. Lamar Jackson posted 253/1 passing and 8/55 rushing when the Ravens played the Steelers in Week 13, and that’s about what I I think Huntley can do in this one. Lamar was the QB12 that week, and the Steelers won’t have CB Joe Haden. With Huntley under center, the Ravens have generated a score (FG or TD) on a respectable 41.8% of their possessions this year, so he should be good for 17+ FP.
Andy Dalton (Chi, at Min — $5300 DK, $6300 FD) — The Vikings will be playing for HC Mike Zimmer’s job. Zimmer’s a decent player’s coach, but my question is, do their players care? I’m a long long Vikings fan and I do think about Zimmer a lot in terms of wanting him to seek employment elsewhere. The shaky Justin Fields completed 26/39 passes for 285 yards (7.3 YPA) and one TD in this matchup less than a month ago, and he should have had 2 TDs with Darnell Mooney just missing a score twice in the game. Dalton actually threw 3 TD passes against this defense as a Cowboy last year, so 16+ FP should be easily attained.
Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
Kenny Gainwell (Phi, vs. Dal — $4100 DK, $4800 FD) — Assuming Jordan Howard and Boston Scott are out, then Gainwell is the guy to roll with. Both teams will likely rest players, but this is a great opportunity for Gainwell to make a statement heading into the playoffs. The Eagles aren’t down on him per se; they just prefer a two-man backfield. Well, we’re potentially down three men in the backfield. In his favor is the fact that he has a good backup QB to play with in Gardner Minshew, who can get him the ball in the passing game.
Darrell Williams (KC, at Den — $5900 DK, $7000 FD) — Clyde Edwards-Helaire will not play in Week 18, and Williams has hit 17+ FP in four of his six games with CEH out of the lineup. Williams posted 11 FP in the first meeting with CEH in the lineup, and KC’s a good bet to move the ball in the passing game and set him up for TD chances, just like last week.
Jonathan Taylor (Ind, vs. — $9300 DK, $10500 FD) — My projection for him is actually a little light, since I don’t think they need to give Taylor 25+ carries this week, but they easily could, and he can still destroy them on only 18-20 touches. Taylor easily dropped 21/116/1 rushing (5.5 YPC) against Jacksonville back in Week 10, and the Jags have allowed a combined 454 rushing yards in the last two games against the Jets and Patriots, so Taylor’s looking good.
D’Onta Foreman (Hou, vs. — $5700 DK, $6900 FD) — He’s a top-8 value on both sites. The Titans literally do not have a passing game, so it’s all about their rushing attack and this great matchup for Foreman, who has one more chance to show the team that he needs to be Derrick Henry’s backup in 2022. Dontrell Hilliard is in the mix and could ruin things for Foreman, but Foreman is the clear top option with 26/132/1 rushing on a season-high 65% snap share against Miami last week. The Titans enter as 10.5-point favorites, and the Texans are still giving up a healthy 5.4 YPC to RBs the last four weeks (20/108/1.3 per game in that span).
David Montgomery (Chi, at Min — $6800 DK, $76000 FD) — He’s the top RB value on both sites. Montgomery has been living off volume, but it still counts. He has 16+ touches in eight straight games with 24 touches last week plus 2 TDs. Montgomery managed 18/60 rushing and 5/23 receiving when these teams met just three weeks ago, but Minnesotat likely won’t have DT Michael Pierce, and Montgomery’s averaged a healthy 20.8 FPG in his last two games in this matchup.
Dalvin Cook (Min, vs. Chi — $7800 DK, $8700 FD) — Dalvin is a top-10 value on both sites, and he might be sneaky this week coming off his terrible performance in Week 17 (a season-worst 4.3 FP last week with Sean Mannion at quarterback). Kirk Cousins will be back, but he’s coming off Covid, so they may lean on Cook a little more than usual, and they lean on him heavily. Cook needed 28 carries to get to just 89 yards (3.2 YPC) against the Bears in Week 15, but DT Akiem Hicks was bullying him around per usual in that game, and Hicks is OUT. This week. I like Cook’s potential for 100+ rushing yards and multiple TDs in this one.
Antonio Gibson (WFT, at NYG — $5800 DK, $6800 FD) — I may be alone on this one, but with Gibson being removed completely from the injury report, I have to think he’s good-to-go, and the Giants are one of the most pathetic offenses I’ve ever seen, so why can’t Gibson end the season with a blowup game with 100+ total yards and 1-2 TDs? There’s downside, but if things go relatively well, Gibson can easily come through. He’s definitely shown he can play hurt.
Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
Devonta Freeman (Bal, vs. Pit — $5200 DK, $5600 FD) — He’s not a value pick this week because he’s Devonta Freeman on his last legs. Freeman had just 12 combined carries in Weeks 15-16 but he was back getting volume last week with 14 carries for 76 rushing yards. Freeman also had a season-high 20.7 FP against the Steelers back in Week 13 with 14/52/1 rushing and 5/45 receiving on eight targets. The Browns failed to run the ball much last week, but the Steelers are still getting rolled over in the running game, giving up 30/153/.8 per game to RBs the last four weeks.
Corey Clement (Dal, at Phi — $4000 DK, $50000 FD) — I just can’t help but take advantage of an opportunity with Clement. Although there’s clear risk, Tony Pollard won’t play, and Zeke Elliott’s not getting more than a handful of touches. The Eagles will also rest some key guys, so Clement, in a revenge game playing 20 miles from his hometown, probably just needs to score to come through.
Alvin Kamara (NO, at Atl. — $8300 DK, $9000 FD) — He’s not a value, but there’s a lot to be said for a stud with no playing time issues and a beatable matchup. Kamara got going in the passing game last week with 5/68/1 receiving on six targets, and he’s also a good bet for 15-20 carries, so this could easily be a big game. He’s averaged 4.6 YPC in this matchup in his last three games.
Devin Singletary (Buf, vs. NYJ — $6000 DK, $6700 FD) — Singletary has clearly emerged as the guy in this backfield and he has scored 14+ FP in four straight games with 68% of the snaps or more in five of his last six games. Singletary finished with 7/43/1 rushing against New York back in mid-November, and Matt Breida and Zack Moss each chipped in with their own touchdowns, which won’t likely happen this week, at least with Brieda. The Jets will be light-handed at receiver this week, so the Bills should cruise to an easy home win while sealing it with Singletary late.
Elijah Mitchell (SF, vs. — $6000 DK, $8000 FD) — He’s a much better value on DK, where he’s the third-best value. I think it will be Jimmy G starting, and he has a good history in the machup, so I think the offense will show up, which means the running game will show up.
Tyreek Hill (KC, at Den — $00 DK, $00 FD) — He’s buried on the value list, but his projection has baked into it his recent, which has been bad, as Hill has finished with fewer than 12 FP in four of his last five games. However, with both starting outside CBs in Ronald Darby and Pat Surtain out, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t list Tyreek.
Laquon Treadwell (Jax, vs. Ind — $4400 DK, $5300 FD) — Yes, I’m once again listing Treadwell in this article, which is incredible. Equally incredible is the fact that he’s actually come through. Treadwell has six consecutive games with 4+ catches and 50+ receiving yards now after catching all six of his targets (22% share) for 87 yards in a loss to the Patriots in Week 17. The Colts are giving up the sixth-fewest receiving yards per game (141.6) to WRs this season, but they will be down a starting CB in Xavier Rhodes, so Treadwell can “do his thing” again, which is catch 4+balls for 50+ yards, giving him a good chance to deliver solidly at his low price.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Det, vs. GB — $6800 DK, $7500 FD) — I mean, at this point the only thing that’s going to stop Ra-Ra is the end of the season. He’s posted 8+ catches, 10+ targets, and 70+ yards with four TDs overall in his last five games, and his chances increase with Jared Goff starting. The Packers should rest some starters, and St. Brown’s a mortal lock for another 10+ targets.
Christian Kirk (Ari, vs. Sea — $6000 DK, $6200 FD) — He’s a better value on FD, but he’s top-11 on both sites. Seattle is giving up the second-most FP per target to TEs the last eight weeks. Kirk is 61 yards away from reaching 1000 yards for the first time in his career and he’s rolling with a 25% target share the last six weeks.
Brandin Cooks (Hou, vs. Ten — $6300 DK, $7100 FD) — Cooks has been tremendous, and he’s a top-8 value on both sites this week. Cooks is coming off his third straight game with 18+ FP, 7+ catches, and 65+ yards playing with Davis Mills, and while he posted a season-low 2/18 receiving on three targets against the Titans in Week 11, this is still a Titans defense giving up the most FPG to slot receivers, so Cooks should be in good shape here as the Texans will likely get contained running the ball against this stout run D.
Darnell Mooney (Chi, at Min — $5900 DK, $6300 FD) — Mooney was my guy this year, my top breakout WR. I’m underwhelmed by the offense for sure, but Mooney’s positional ADP this summer was WR46 and he’s currently WR27, which is pretty solid. I’d bet that he will be inside the top-25 to finish the season. He’s 71 yards away from hitting 1000 yards for the first time, and I’m confident he’ll get there. He posted 5/63 receiving on seven targets against the Vikings three weeks ago, and he just missed a touchdown in that contest….TWICE.
DJ Moore (Car, vs. — $5800 DK, $6100 FD) — He’s only the 16th-best value on DK, but he’s sixth-best on FD. This might be wishful thinking with Sam Darnold stinking, but Robby Anderson has missed practice all week, so there could be a huge role for DJ this week. Moore posted 5/55 receiving on 12 targets in this matchup two weeks ago while Robby turned in 5/58 receiving on 10 targets, but Moore could get more than half of those Robby targets. I’ll take my chances with Moore potentially getting 12+ targets against a Bucs team that should be disinterested in the second half thanks to their big lead.
Not the best values, but I do like them this week:
Diontae Johnson (Pit, at Bal — $7600 DK, $7600 FD) — While he’s actually the same price on both sites, he’s still buried on the value list because his projection is slightly suppressed due to the fact that he’s coming off the covid list, and his QB is washed up. However, Diontae was pulled from the list just one day after he was placed on it, which means he’s vaccinated and was asymptomatic with a minimal “viral load” to deal with. The Ravens right now have the worst pass defense in the league, and they will be down another starting corner with the shaky Anthony Averett out. Johnson has 14+ FP in 13 of his 15 games, and he ripped the Ravens for 8/105/2 receiving on 11 targets when these teams met in Week 13. He probably won’t get 20+ FP with his QB struggling, but this is Ben Roethlisberger’s last game, which could increase Big Ben’s juice a bit. At least temps will be in an acceptable range of 35-36 degrees on Sunday with light wind.
Rashad Bateman (Bal, vs. Pit — $4900 DK, $5700 FD) — He’s not the greatest value per my projections, but he does come in as the 12th-best value on DK. Bateman has become a full-time player with 81% of the snaps or more in the last three weeks, and he’s been at 12+ FP in three of his last four games. He’s clicked with Tyler Huntley, and with the Steelers usually doing a good job against Mark Andrews, Bateman could be a nice producer in the finale.
Michael Pittman (Ind, vs. — $5900 DK, $6600 FD) — Pittman has 6+ catches in three of his last four games, and he caught all five of his targets for 71 yards against the Jaguars in mid-November. Jacksonville just allowed three different Patriots’ WRs to reach 14+ FP last week, so I could see Pittman having a really nice game here . If he can score, he’s a good bet for 17+ FP.
AJ Brown (Ten, at Hou — $7000 DK, $74000 FD) — He’s not a value on either site, since his projection is a little flat, given his recent lack of action and success. Brown has now finished with fewer than 10 FP in four of his last five games since Week 8, including when he posted 5/48 receiving on nine targets against Houston in Week 11. I didn’t love him last week, but that was against Miami’s outstanding outside CBs. The Texans, however, give up the second-most FPG to outside WRs the last four weeks, so ASB could easily have a small blowup game in the finale to help them lock up the #1 seed.
Terry McLaurin (WFT, at NYG — $6200 DK, $6700 FD) — He’s not a great value, given his recent lack of production, but he had his best fantasy performance of the season with 11/107/1 receiving against the Giants in Week 2, and the Giants are so dead and playing out the string. I’m willing to play this volatile option on the chances he hits.
Zach Ertz (Ari, at Sea — $5300 DK, $5600 FD) — He’s the third-best value on DK and the top value on FD. Seattle's defense can be tough on the outside, but vulnerable inside and to slot receivers, and Ertz is basically a slot receiver. Seattle is giving up the second-most FP per target to TEs the last eight weeks.
John Bates (WFT, at NYG — $3300 DK, $4600 FD) — He’s second-best value on the board on DK because he’s so cheap, and he’s top-2 on both sites. Bates has already been playing over Ricky Seals-Jones, but with RSJ out this week, it’s all Bates, and I know they like him. He should be in the 3-4 catch and 40-50 yard range this week, and if he scores, he goes off. He also almost scored last week.
Dam Arnold (Jax, vs. Ind — $2500 DK, $5000 FD) — He’s the top value on the board on DK and the sixth-best on FD. He’s risky just coming off the covid list and he hasn’t played in weeks, but he’s all they have and it’s a good matchup.