DFS Building Blocks: Week 18 Fantasy Breakdown


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Quarterback

Chalk

Joe Burrow

The Bengals have the fifth-highest team total of the week. They also play in one of the few games that feature two teams motivated to win in the regular season finale. Burrow ranks third in the NFL in passing yards per game and second in touchdowns per game.

Jalen Hurts

Between the likelihood of Hurts playing this week increasing and the Giants doing little to hide their plans of resting starters, the Eagles' implied team total has exploded. It opened at 21 and has risen by 7.5 points. Needing a win to secure the first-round bye, Hurts should put on a show to close out the regular season.

Pivots

Dak Prescott

Jerry Jones confirmed early in the week that the Cowboys' starters will suit up on Sunday. They still have a shot at the No. 1 seed, so that checks out. Prescott has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league this year, clocking in at sixth in EPA per play. Excluding turnovers, which have often been out of his control, he leads all quarterbacks in that metric.

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Sam Howell

Howel may not be a great real-life quarterback, but his preseason peripherals were exactly what we want to see from a fantasy option. He ran for 94 yards and two scores while also throwing deep often. He registered a 10.4 average target depth in his three exhibition appearances.

Running Back

Chalk

Christian McCaffrey

Following his first game with the 49ers, McCaffrey is averaging 74 rushing yards and 45 receiving yards on 21 touches per game. He also has nine touchdowns—plus one passing score—in those nine games.

Ken Walker

Walker appears to be back to full strength over the past two weeks, logging 49 carries for 240 yards. The Seahawks have also leaned into his success, registering a negative seven percent pass rate over expected in that span. Walker is nearly a touchdown favorite at home in Week 18.

Pivots

Joe Mixon

Mixon ranks as the RB7 in total expected fantasy points. He is one of just four backs inside the top 12 in both rushing and receiving expected points this year. He is the only one of the four to miss multiple games. The Bengals are now 8.5-point favorites, setting Mixon up to touch the ball 20 or more times.

D'Onta Foreman

Since McCaffrey was traded, Foreman is averaging 18 carries for 81 yards. He has five scores in 10 games with CMC out of town. This week, he faces a Saints defense that ranks top-10 in rushing attempts and yards allowed.

Update: Foreman is listed as questionable with a knee injury. Should he be ruled out, Chuba Hubbard would be an incredible value.

Wide Receiver

Chalk

Justin Jefferson

From Denny Carter's article on incentives, “Jefferson needs 194 yards against Chicago to break Calvin Johnson's record of 1,964 receiving yards, set during a 2012 season in which Megatron averaged a whopping 12.8 targets per game.” The only concern here is that the Vikings don't have much to play for beyond seeding purposes, so their starters could get pulled early. Still, facing the No. 32 defense in EPA per dropback, Jefferson may not need a whole game to get the record.

Ja'Marr Chase

If Burrow is going to be a popular option, Chase, who has been dominant since returning from his hip injury, will also get loads of ownership. Over his past four games, Chase has earned a 31 percent target share and a 41 percent air yards share. He has also seen 30 percent of the team's red zone looks.

Pivots

CeeDee Lamb

Lamb is one of just seven players with eight or more games of double-digit targets. He also ranks top-10 in 100-yard games and 20-point fantasy games among receivers. He is the ideal paring option with Prescott.

Gabe Davis

Davis has played on 80 percent of the Bills' snaps in every game he has been active for this year and has gone over 90 percent in the majority of his appearances. Josh Allen should be among the more popular quarterbacks this week, but most DFS players will choose to stack him with Stefon Diggs. Pairing him with Davis is a unique way to get exposure to Buffalo and is far cheaper.

Tight End

Chalk

Mark Andrews

Andrews' price on DraftKings, $5,200, hasn't been this low since early in the 2021 season. That is despite his Week 17 performance of nine catches for 100 yards. Since Tyler Huntley played his first snap this year, Andrews has earned a 29 percent target share and the same cut of the air yards.

Dallas Goedert

Goedert has run a route on 94 percent of the Eagles' dropbacks since returning from injured reserve two weeks ago. He ranks fourth among tight ends in yards per route and second in yards after the catch per reception. Now, he should get his MVP-hopeful quarterback back this week.

Pivots

Hayden Hurst

With most of Burrow's fantasy production coming through the air, playing him as a double-stack seemingly goes under-owned weekly. After missing a few games, Hurst looked to be back in his usual role in his brief Week 17 showing. Before the injury, he was averaging 8.8 DraftKings points per game.

Trey McBride

The Cardinals will be without their top receiver, top slot receiver, and starting running back in Week 18. Last week, David Blough peppered McBride with 10 targets. The rookie turned that into a 7/78/1 line. He is a solid option based on his price and ability to rack up PPR volume.