Daily Fantasy Football: Lineup picks and strategy for Week 18 Saturday Baller contest

There are two Week 18 NFL games scheduled Saturday, and this small slate will have huge implications on the AFC playoff picture. Kansas City will visit the Raiders at 4:30 p.m. EST, followed by Titans-Jaguars at 8:15 for the AFC South title.

Saturday's biggest NFL DFS contest on Yahoo is the NFL $50K Saturday Baller. This contest pays out a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000 to the top 950 entries, including a grand prize of $10,000 to first place. Each entry is $15, with a maximum of 3,920 total entries and 115 per participant. The Saturday Baller will still run if it doesn't fill, potentially providing you with enhanced odds of winning, also known as overlay.

[Play in Yahoo’s Week 18 Saturday Baller DFS contest]

Playing in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests is about chasing upside, while lineups geared towards head-to-head, 50/50 or double-up formats should prioritize high floors. The players you want to target for these different contest types aren't mutually exclusive, but winning a GPP tournament usually requires finding a hidden gem or going against the grain in a spot or two, while building a solid base of the same chalk plays you would use anywhere. Against-the-grain plays typically consist of big-name players in tough matchups or boom-or-bust types with uncertain roles.

Keep in mind that Yahoo DFS contests use 0.5 PPR scoring rather than full PPR, which lowers the comparative value of wide receivers and running backs (in that order) while especially affecting high-volume pass-catchers. NFL $50K Saturday Baller lineup will consist of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and one D/ST unit.

Suggested options include three players who rank among the top performers at their respective positions this season.


Patrick Mahomes, KC at LV ($39)

Mahomes is putting the finishing touches on an MVP-worthy campaign. He's likely to finish as the only quarterback with 5,000 yards or 40 touchdowns, having already hit both milestones heading into this game. The cherry on top would be locking up the No. 1 seed in the AFC, which Mahomes and Kansas City can do with a Week 18 win and fewer than two Bills wins between now and the postseason. There's some risk that K.C. will get up big and pull Mahomes, but he would almost certainly still do significant damage in such a scenario against a Raiders defense that he burned for four touchdown passes in their previous meeting this season.

Honorable Mentions

Trevor Lawrence, JAX vs. TEN ($34); Jarrett Stidham, LV vs. KC ($22)


Derrick Henry, TEN at JAX ($35)

Henry sat out the Titans' last game, but Tennessee knew that result would be inconsequential to the team's playoff chances, as it was always going to come down to this game. He will have an edge in freshness over Jacksonville's defense, and the Titans will have no qualms about giving Henry as many carries as it takes to win this one and make the playoffs. The workhorse running back does most of his damage on the ground, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him make a few plays through the air as well against a Jaguars defense that's allowed 780 receiving yards to running backs — third-most in the NFL.

Isiah Pacheco, KC at LV ($17)

Jerick McKinnon has outplayed Pacheco recently thanks to his receiving prowess, but Kansas City may opt to lessen the 30-year-old's workload with the playoffs around the corner, while the 23-year-old rookie could see his usual usage. Pacheco has averaged 14.8 rushing attempts over the past eight games, finding the end zone in three of the past six. A highly motivated K.C. squad will likely be playing with a lead for most of this one, and Pacheco could also contribute significantly as a pass-catcher considering Vegas has allowed a league-high 818 receiving yards to running backs.

Honorable Mentions

Josh Jacobs, LV vs. KC ($36); Travis Etienne, JAX vs. TEN ($22)


Davante Adams, LV vs. KC ($31)

The Raiders are the only team in action Saturday with no playoff-related motivation, but Adams surely wouldn't mind the opportunity to add to his fabulous stats this season. He ranks third in receiving yards (1,443) and leads the league with 14 receiving touchdowns. Jarrett Stidham proved more than capable of delivering Adams the ball last week, as the star wideout finished with 153 yards and two touchdowns. Another big game is likely against a Kansas City secondary that's tied for the second-most touchdowns allowed to wide receivers with 19.

Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Raiders is a fantasy superstar
Consider Davante Adams in your Saturday daily fantasy tournaments. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

Zay Jones, JAX vs. TEN ($20)

The other defense with 19 touchdowns allowed to wideouts is in Tennessee, and the Titans are one of three teams to have surrendered over 3,000 yards to the position. Jones found the end zone against the Titans in Week 14, and he has 71.6 fantasy points between his three best performances over the past six games. Winning in GPP formats requires chasing high ceilings, and Jones certainly has one despite his inconsistency.

Kadarius Toney, KC at LV ($14)

Toney could see some extra run if Kansas City manages the workload of some of its other pass catchers. The trade acquisition is starting to show the talent that convinced the Giants to select him in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He has two touchdowns in six games with Kansas City and racked up a season-high 71 receiving yards last week, so Toney appears to be gaining chemistry with Mahomes at the right time.

Honorable Mentions

Christian Kirk, JAX vs. TEN ($24); Treylon Burks, TEN at JAX ($16)


Evan Engram, JAX vs. TEN ($23)

Jacksonville will try to attack Tennessee's weaknesses with a playoff berth on the line. Defending tight ends has been a bugaboo for the Titans defense, as its 1,092 yards allowed to the position are the most in the league. Engram has already contributed significantly to that total, as he delivered the best performance of his career when these two teams met in Week 14: 11 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets.

Honorable Mentions

Travis Kelce, KC at LV ($35); Darren Waller, LV vs. KC ($19)


Tennessee Titans at JAX ($10)

Defense usually has the smallest drop-off between top performers and lower-scoring options in fantasy, making it a good spot to save some cap space. The Titans have been solid over the past three weeks, forcing six turnovers en route to 6.7 fantasy points per game. While the rest of the team didn't take last week off like Henry did, the Titans will still have an edge in freshness, as they played Thursday in Week 17 while the Jaguars played Sunday. Those three extra days could go a long way in the trenches.

Honorable Mentions:

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. TEN ($17); Kansas City at LV ($16)