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Week 18 DraftKings Tournament Picks

By Jared Smola 10:01pm EST 1/6/24

Stacks

Kyler Murray ($6,400) + Trey McBride ($6,000)

Murray is coming off his best game of the season. He recorded a season-high Pro Football Focus passing grade and scored a season-high 24.7 DraftKings points in the upset win over the Eagles.

He closes the season with a home game against a struggling Seahawks defense. Seattle just gave up 30 points to Mason Rudolph and the Steelers and ranks 29th in defensive DVOA over the last five weeks.

The Cardinals rank dead last in defensive DVOA over the last five, so this game has shootout potential.

McBride has been relatively quiet the last two weeks, which should keep his Week 18 ownership in check. 

He’s still tallied 15 targets over the past two weeks and topped 22 DK points in each of the two games before that.

And with guys like Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and David Njoku unlikely to play much, if at all, this week, McBride has an even better chance than usual to separate from the rest of the TEs.

Nick Mullens ($5,100) + Justin Jefferson ($8,500) + Johnny Mundt ($3,000)

Mullens has turned it over too much, throwing six INTs over the past four games. That’s what got him benched after Week 16.

Other than the INTs, though, he’s been really good. Mullens has completed 67% of his passes at 8.8 yards per attempt.

His two full games have resulted in passing lines of:

  • 303-2-2 (22.1 DK points)
  • 411-2-4 (23.5 DK points)

That second game came against the Lions, who Mullens gets again this weekend. Detroit has allowed 300+ passing yards and/or multiple TDs in four of eight games since their bye. The Lions rank 21st in pass defense DVOA over the last five weeks.

As a bonus, there’s at least some chance this defense rests some starters.

Any Mullens team needs to include Jefferson, who dropped 29.1 DK points on the Lions in that Week 16 meeting.

Mundt is a nice cost-saving option at TE for Vikings stacks. He was the T.J. Hockenson replacement last week, running a route on 82% of pass plays and catching four of seven targets for 39 yards and a score.

Also consider:

  • Geno Smith ($6,100) + D.K. Metcalf ($7,200)
  • Tyrod Taylor ($5,300) + Darius Slayton ($4,000)
  • Ryan Tannehill ($4,800) + DeAndre Hopkins ($6,100)

 

Running Backs

Bijan Robinson, Falcons ($6,600)

Robinson’s rookie season has felt underwhelming considering where he went in both the NFL Draft and fantasy drafts.

But he rolls into Week 18 averaging 14.3 carries and 5.3 targets over his last seven games. Only five RBs have averaged more expected PPR points per game during that stretch.

So the usage has been there for Robinson. And the matchup is there this week against a Saints run defense that’s struggled lately. New Orleans ranks 21st in run defense DVOA over the last five weeks, allowing 4.3 yards per carry to RBs.

Robinson had his biggest fantasy outing of the season – 27.3 DK points – when these teams met back in Week 12.

James Conner, Cardinals ($6,100)

Conner has had an awesome season. He’s sitting on a career-high 4.9 yards per carry and a career-best Pro Football Focus rushing grade that ranks fifth among 44 qualifying RBs.

Conner should finish strong against a Seahawks defense that’s been pounded for 668 rushing yards and six TDs on 4.9 yards per carry by RBs over the last five weeks. Seattle ranks 31st in run defense DVOA over that span.

Chase Brown, Bengals ($4,600)

There will be a few cheap fill-in RBs that are safer volume bets than Brown. Those guys will also carry heavy ownership. No one will be on Brown.

Call it a hunch, but I think the Bengals take a longer look at the rookie on Sunday. OC Brian Callahan said earlier this week that Brown “has a chance to be a heavy contributor” in 2024. RB Joe Mixon may or may not be back with the team next year. But after being eliminated from playoff contention last week, it’d make sense for Cincinnati to shift some work from Mixon to Brown.

Brown has flashed his 4.4 speed on a few occasions over the second half of the season, busting off plays of 54 and 31 yards. He’ll catch a Browns defense on Sunday that figures to be resting some starters.

Also consider:

  • Tony Pollard, Cowboys ($6,500)
  • Ken Walker, Seahawks ($6,500)
  • Aaron Jones, Packers ($6,300)
  • Zamir White, Raiders ($6,000)
  • Jordan Mason, 49ers ($4,600)
  • Pierre Strong, Browns ($4,000)

  

Wide Receivers

Chris Olave, Saints ($6,700)

Olave was quiet last week as the Saints coasted to a comfortable win over the Bucs.

But remember that he’d scored 19.9+ DK points in four of his previous five outings. His averages over that span:

  • 8.8 targets
  • 6.2 catches
  • 96 yards

That stretch included a 7-114-0 line vs. the Falcons, who Olave gets again this weekend.

Darius Slayton, Giants ($4,000)

Slayton is coming off a 4-106-1 line last week and caught a 69-yard TD from QB Tyrod Taylor in the second half of the Week 16 loss to the Eagles.

That pair seems to have a budding chemistry.

Slayton is still cheap and is projected for just 4% ownership for a rematch against the Eagles’ 31st-ranked WR defense.

Also consider:

  • CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys ($9,300)
  • A.J. Brown, Eagles ($8,700)
  • Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($8,500)
  • D.K. Metcalf, Seahawks ($7,200)
  • D.J. Moore, Bears ($7,000)
  • DeAndre Hopkins, Titans ($6,100)
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seahawks ($4,800)
  • Greg Dortch, Cardinals ($4,600)
  • Demarcus Robinson, Rams ($4,500)
  • Michael Wilson, Cardinals ($4,400)
  • Cedric Tillman, Browns ($3,900)
  • D.J. Chark, Panthers ($3,700)
  • Josh Reynolds, Lions ($3,300)
  • Tutu Atwell, Rams ($3,300)

 

Tight Ends

Juwan Johnson, Saints ($3,600)

Johnson has racked up 19 targets over the last 2 weeks on route rates of 74% and 69%.

Sunday brings a matchup vs. the Falcons, who rank 24th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.

Folks evidently aren’t buying into Johnson, though. He’s projected for just 3% ownership.

Harrison Bryant, Browns ($2,500)

It’s tough to imagine TE David Njoku playing much, if at all, in Sunday’s meaningless finale.

That should leave lead TE duties to Bryant. The 2020 fourth-rounder hasn’t done a ton as a pro yet. But he topped 1,000 yards in his senior season at Florida Atlantic and left school with a big 14.4 yards per catch.

He’s a catch-first TE and gets a Bengals defense that ranks 29th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to the position. 

Also consider:

  • Trey McBride, Cardinals ($6,000)
  • Jake Ferguson, Cowboys ($4,900)
  • Chig Okonkwo, Titans ($3,500)
  • Johnny Mundt, Vikings ($3,000)

 

Defense/Special Teams

Jets ($3,700)

Patriots ($3,600)

Raiders ($3,300)

Bengals ($3,000)

Broncos ($2,800)

Chargers ($2,800)

 

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