Fantasy Football Start'Em, Sit'Em: Week 18
BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Thursday, January 5th
Most fantasy football leagues declare their champions after Week 17.
If you (and your league) are still playing, congrats on getting to the final round. Below you will find some players that could be starts or sits in your league, but my fantasy football rankings will better help you determine if I would start Player X over Player Y.
Week 18 Fantasy Football Start'em
QB - Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
Before last week's blowout 28-point victory, Lawrence had finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback in six of seven games and eight of his past 10. Since Week 6, Lawrence has scored the sixth-most fantasy points with 16 passing and five rushing touchdowns to only four interceptions.
The first-overall draft pick in 2021 finished as fantasy's QB1 in Week 14 against the Titans, when he threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns and added another score on the ground. Given the team's win-and-in motivation and his top-four fantasy matchup, Lawrence is strong start in both season-long leagues and DFS this week.
RB - Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts (vs. HOU)
Since Jonathan Taylor was injured in Week 14, Moss has 52 (64.2%) of the team's 81 running back touches. While the game has the week's lowest total (38 points), Moss benefits from facing the league's most generous fantasy defense to opposing running backs. The Texans have allowed a league-worst 168.6 rushing yards per game and are one of six teams to allow at least 5.0 yards per carry this season.
RB - Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (vs. TB)
Like Moss, Allgeier has seen an expanded workload over the past three weeks. The fifth-round rookie has turned 61 touches during that span into 348 yards from scrimmage and two scores. In addition, Allgeier has finished as fantasy's weekly RB7, RB12 and RB11 over the past three weeks, respectively.
WR - Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
The concern with Jones is his up-and-down performance recently, as he has performed as fantasy's WR5, WR73, WR9, WR1, WR88 and WR55, respectively, over his past six games. That said, Jones gets a favorable fantasy matchup against the Titans, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. In his first matchup against them in Week 14 (the WR9 performance), he finished with eight catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets.
WR - Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers (vs. DET)
If the Packers win, they are in. Watson has failed to score more than 7.9 fantasy points in three consecutive weeks, but he was a top-eight weekly performer in his four games before the team's Week 14 bye. In fact, Watson had seven touchdowns in that four-game stretch. While he's a bit more TD-dependent than Jones, Watson has plenty of upside in a plus matchup. The Lions have surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season.
TE - Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. TEN)
Another Jag makes the list. It's not a bad idea to stack Lawrence with Engram (or many of the team's pass catchers). Engram blew up for 11/162/2 on 15 targets against the Titans in Week 14, but he finished as fantasy's TE4, TE1 (vs. TEN), TE12 and TE5 from Weeks 13 to 16, respectively.
Week 18 Fantasy Football Sit'em
QB - Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at ATL)
Even though Todd Bowles plans to play starters in Week 18, for how long will they play? While it hasn't been pretty, Brady has managed to score the 11th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks this season due to passing volume. He has thrown 40-plus pass attempts in 13 of his past 14 games. His 716 pass attempts this season are 152 more Joe Burrow (564), who ranks fifth in the NFL in that category. With no certainty that it will be another high-volume game for Brady, he's better on your bench in what is a meaningless game in terms of playoff seeding.
RB - D'Onta Foreman, Carolina Panthers (at NO)
Foreman has 184 touches in his past 10 games, but aside from a monster game (21/165/1 rushing) against the Lions in Week 16, he's mostly been a modest producer over the past month. Even though he has 24 more touches than Chuba Hubbard over the past four weeks, Hubbard has outscored Foreman over that stretch. With the Panthers being eliminated last week, that could potentially lead to a few more touches for Raheem Blackshear as well.
WR - Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (at CHI)
It's been a disappointing season for Thielen, who has 68 catches for 708 yards and five touchdowns on 104 targets. Thielen is averaging a career-low 10.4 yards per reception, and his five touchdowns are a five-year low. In fact, he had 24 touchdowns in the previous two seasons combined. He's a TD-or-bust option this week, and given that Justin Fields won't play in Week 18, this one could be over early (and the Vikings D/ST are a great play against Nathan Peterman).
TE - Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers (at DEN)
Soon to hit the road for the playoffs without an opportunity to improve their seeding in Week 18, the Chargers could rest starters. Everett scored a touchdown last week, but he had a target-less goose egg the week before that. Last week's touchdown was his first since Week 4.
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