Yahoo DFS Football: Week 18 Picks

Yahoo DFS Football: Week 18 Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Football series.

The Week 18 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1 p.m. EST and features 13 games, excluding Saturday's Chiefs-Broncos and Cowboys-Eagles matchup, as well as the high-stakes Chargers-Raiders matchup Sunday night. Building an effective lineup for the final week of the regular season can be tricky with top teams often giving their top contributors smaller workloads than usual, so focusing on players from teams with something to play for is recommended. Among the suggested Week 18 options are a star running back with plenty to play for against a vulnerable run defense, a dual-threat quarterback hoping to lead his team to the postseason and a handful of lesser-known options at wide receiver and running back who could make the most of increased usage in the regular-season finale.

TOURNAMENTS (GPP – GUARANTEED PRIZE POOL)

QB: Russell Wilson, SEA at ARI ($26): Wilson has had an underwhelming season and the Seahawks are out of playoff contention, but they'd love to finish the season on a high note against the rival Cardinals and have no incentive to lose as an organization since the Jets have Seattle's first-round pick. The star quarterback is coming off his best game of the season, as he tossed four touchdown passes en route to a season-high 27.84 fantasy points against the Lions, yet Wilson will be available for just $26, which is his second-lowest valuation of the season. At that valuation, he's a low-risk, high-reward option against a struggling Cardinals secondary that has given up an 11:0 TD:INT in the last four games.

RB: Patrick Taylor, GB at DET ($15): Coach Matt LaFleur has insisted that the Packers will play their starters in Week 18 against Detroit, but Green Bay has the top seed in the NFC locked up, so the starters will likely spend limited time in the game, if they suit up at all. Both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are important pieces in Green Bay's potent offense, so the Packers likely will keep both in bubble wrap for this meaningless game, leaving a hefty workload for the third-stringer Taylor. While Taylor's season workload has been limited to 12 carries up to this point, he'll likely thrive if given hefty usage against a Lions defense that has allowed 25 scrimmage touchdowns to running backs this season — one shy of the Jets' league-high mark.

WR: Kristian Wilkerson, NE at MIA ($14): Wilkerson had just nine offensive snaps and no targets in three career NFL games prior to last week, but he burst onto the scene in the blowout win over Jacksonville with four catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. He nearly had a third touchdown as well but couldn't quite haul it in. The 24-year-old wide receiver likely will come back down to earth against Miami, but the Patriots could opt to make Wilkerson a more prominent part of the game plan considering the team has receiver limited contributions from its current crop of wide receivers.

Other Against-the-Grainers

QB: Tyler Huntley (BAL, $37), Kirk Cousins (MIN, $31), Jordan Love (GB, $24)

RB: Samaje Perine (CIN, $15), Dare Ogunbowale (JAX, $13), Kenneth Gainwell (PHI, $10)

WR: Deebo Samuel (SF, $32), Tyreek Hill (KC, $27), Jaylen Waddle (MIA, $21)

TE: Rob Gronkowski (TB, $21), Dawson Knox (BUF, $20)

DST: Miami Dolphins (vs. NE, $17), Cleveland Browns (vs. CIN, $13)

CASH GAMES (H2H, 50/50s and DOUBLE UPS)

QUARTERBACK

Taysom Hill, NO at ATL ($32): The Saints need a win and a 49ers loss to make the playoffs, so they'll be motivated to score as much as possible against an Atlanta defense that allows 26.8 points per game — fourth most in the league. Hill should provide plenty of offense as both a passer and a rusher. In addition to throwing three touchdowns in four games as the starting quarterback, Hill has rushed for another two while averaging 63 rushing yards and logging at least 11 rushing attempts in each of his starts. There's uncertainty about playing time for a few of the top quarterback options in the regular-season finale, while the Saints have something to play for, so Hill's dual-threat ability gives him an excellent floor against the subpar Falcons defense.

RUNNING BACK

Jonathan Taylor, IND at JAX ($40): The Colts are in a win-and-in scenario in Jacksonville, so resting Taylor won't even cross the coaching staff's mind until the game is well out of reach. By then, Taylor likely will have delivered another fabulous performance to close out his sensational sophomore season. Taylor should be worth paying up for against the hapless Jaguars, as he comfortably leads the league with 1,734 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. Meanwhile, Jacksonville has allowed a combined 454 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns to the Jets and Patriots over the last two games.

D'Onta Foreman, TEN at HOU ($23): Foreman has thrived as Tennessee's primary option on the ground in recent weeks, and the Titans will have no qualms about giving him a massive workload in the regular-season finale. A win would give Tennessee the top seed in the AFC and a bye in the playoffs, after which Derrick Henry (foot) likely will be ready to return. Foreman has a touchdown in three of his last four games, and he's topped 100 yards on the ground twice in the last three contests, so he should make the most of his substantial volume against a Texans defense that has allowed the most rushing yards (1,942) and second-most rushing touchdowns (18) to running backs this season.

WIDE RECEIVER

Mike Evans, TB vs. CAR ($27): With Chris Godwin (knee) done for the year and Antonio Brown no longer welcome in Tampa Bay, Evans is the lone remaining member of what had been the league's most prolific wide receiver trio. The Buccaneers still have something to play for, as a win over Carolina, and a Rams loss, would give Tampa Bay the No. 2 seed in the NFC, ensuring home-field advantage against anybody but the Packers. Evans caught his 12th touchdown of the season in his return from a hamstring injury last week, and he should be even more explosive now that he's further removed from the injury. He missed the first meeting with the Panthers this season but compiled 181 yards and two touchdowns in two meetings between these NFC South rivals last season, finding the end zone in both games.

Darnell Mooney, CHI at MIN ($21): Mooney was targeted 13 times last week en route to 69 yards and a touchdown. That was his second-largest target total of the season behind the 16 Mooney had in Week 11 against Baltimore. Andy Dalton was under center for both of those games, and he'll likely start at quarterback against Minnesota with Justin Fields on the reserve/COVID-19 list. In addition to his high volume from Dalton, Mooney should also benefit from a favorable matchup against a Vikings secondary that has allowed a league-high 3,059 yards to wide receivers; no other team has crossed the 3,000-yard threshold. 

Antoine Wesley, ARI vs. SEA ($10): Wesley's an enticing option at the minimum valuation, as he's become a favorite red-zone target for Kyler Murray in the aftermath of DeAndre Hopkins' knee injury. Wesley has been targeted 17 times the last three games, and he has three touchdowns in the last two games, in addition to just barely missing a long one in Week 15 against Detroit due to being ruled out of bounds. Seattle is one of nine teams that has allowed more than 2,600 yards to wide receivers this season, so Wesley's in position to rack up a robust yardage total while remaining an ever-present touchdown threat.

TIGHT END

Darren Waller, LV vs. LAC ($10): Waller's only an option in contests that include the Sunday night game, but he could be one of the top bargains we've seen all season at the minimum $10 valuation, assuming Waller gets cleared to make his first appearance since Nov. 25. Even in a down season after consecutive campaigns with more than 1,100 yards, Waller is averaging 5.3 catches for 64.3 yards per game, and the Raiders won't be easing him back in since a playoff spot will be on the line in this game. The Chargers have been burned by plenty of less skilled tight ends, having allowed league highs in both yards (1,098) and touchdowns (13) to the position. If you're sticking to the main slate, it's hard to go wrong with Mark Andrews, even at $30, considering he ranks in the top seven league-wide in catches (99), receiving yards (1,276) and receiving touchdowns (nine).

DEFENSE

Washington Football Team, WAS at NYG ($15): This one's all about the matchup. The Giants have been horrendous on offense down the stretch, totaling 19 points and 10 turnovers the last three games. New York's top two quarterbacks are injured, so Jake Fromm — who has completed just 12 of 29 passes at the NFL level without a touchdown — is expected to start under center for the Giants. With 11 sacks in the last four games, Washington's pass rush has played well of late and should continue to wreak havoc.

Honorable Mentions

QB: Josh Allen (BUF, $40), Kyler Murray (ARI, $35), Matthew Stafford (LAR, $29)

RB: James Conner (ARI, $31), David Montgomery (CHI, $25), Ke'Shawn Vaughn (TB, $17)

WR: A.J. Brown (TEN, $29), Diontae Johnson (PIT, $27), Michael Pittman (IND, $19)

TE: Zach Ertz (ARI, $20), Tyler Higbee (LAR, $15)

DST: Indianapolis Colts (at JAX, $22), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. CAR, $21)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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