Week 18 FanDuel Tournament Picks
Week 18 presents several challenges in tournaments.On top of the normal ceiling, ownership and salary concerns we typically have, we also must determine motivation. For some teams, their playoff status is already cemented, and they have no need to play their starters the entire contest. At the same time, it should be easy to find value plays with the potential of teams resting starters. We want to attack close games for teams that have something to play for this week where we can.
Games where both teams have something to play for:
- Steelers @ Ravens
- 49ers @ Rams
Games where one team has something to play for:
- Titans @ Texans
- Colts @ Jaguars
- Saints @ Falcons
- Seahawks @ Cardinals
Kyler Murray ($8,400)
In a must-win game for the Cardinals, they face the lowly Seattle Seahawks who have allowed the most first downs to opposing offenses in the NFL. The Seahawks also rank #27 in pass defense DVOA and this game is expected to be the fastest-paced game on the main slate, with both teams ranking top 10 in neutral script pace of play.
Carson Wentz ($7,200)
The Colts have the highest implied team total of the week at 29.5 due in large part to Jonathan Taylor. However, if the Taylor chalk misses, it could be due to Carson Wentz absorbing the TDs. Wentz has 5 games this season with more than 20 FanDuel points and provides a lot of leverage against Taylor. Wentz will be very low owned.
Value Plays: Taysom Hill ($7,700) & Tyler Huntley ($7,000)
Both guys have rushed for over 200 yards over their past four starts, and both teams are playing for a chance at the playoffs and will be motivated to win.
Also Consider: Josh Allen ($8,800)
Alvin Kamara ($9,000)
The Saints are in a must-win spot to salvage their playoff hopes against a putrid Falcons run defense. The Falcons rank #6 in adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs and 30th in rush defense DVOA. They also rank top 10 in receiving fantasy points allowed to the RB position.
Elijah Mitchell ($8,000)
Mitchell has 20+ carries in each of his last 4 healthy games. The 49ers have to beat the Rams to have a chance to get into the playoffs and Mitchell showed even after a few weeks off he can handle 20+ touches. The Rams are allowing only the 18th most adjusted fantasy points to RBs, but the Rams are allowing nearly a TD per game to opposing RBs this season.
D’Andre Swift ($7,000)
Too risky to play in cash games, but Swift is perfect for tournaments. Even in his first game back from a multi-week shoulder injury, Swift saw 57% of snaps and 71% of the Lions’ routes as well as all of the 2-minute drill work. The lack of touches was likely to ensure he didn’t re-injure his shoulder. I expect Swift back to his full workload this week against a Green Bay team likely resting their starters.
Devin Singletary ($6,700)
Singletary is expected to be one of the most popular plays this week — but for good reason. 20+ carries in 2 of the last 3 games and 18+ opportunities in each of the last 3. The Jets have been exploitable by RBs all season, ranking dead last in adjusted fantasy points allowed to the position. Still, if you play Singletary, pair him with a contrarian play like Swift to differentiate your lineup.
Also Consider: Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($5,900) & James Conner ($7,000)
Deebo Samuel ($8,800)
Samuel projects just as well as any of the top receivers but doesn’t garner the ownership of Justin Jefferson or Cooper Kupp. The 49ers need to win to make the playoffs and the Rams allowed Deebo to go wild in Week 10 when he posted 133 total yards and 2 TDs.
AJ Brown ($7,400)
The Titans need to beat Houston to maintain their #1 seed in the AFC, which would afford them an extra week of rest for Derrick Henry heading into the playoffs. Brown had 9 targets against Houston in Week 11 before leaving with the chest injury that kept him out 3 games. The Texans are currently allowing the 13th most adjusted fantasy points to WRs.
Tyler Lockett ($6,900)
The Cardinals have struggled against Lockett for multiple years.Earlier this season Lockett exceeded 100 yards on only 5 targets, and last year he caught 4 TDs in the 2 games against Arizona. The Seahawks don’t have anything to play for, but this may be Russell Wilson’s last game as a Seahawk.
T.Y Hilton ($5,400) & A.J. Green ($5,700)
Two cheap options against defenses that both rank bottom 6 in pass defense DVOA. Both the Colts and Cardinals are implied for over 27 points.
Also Consider: Michael Pittman ($6,600) & Chase Claypool ($5,800)
Zach Ertz ($5,600)
Ertz will be popular due to his high volume in recent weeks. Over the last 4 games, Ertz has 7, 11, 13 and 9 targets. The Seahawks are allowing the most adjusted fantasy points in the NFL to TEs. The perfect stacking partner with Kyler Murray.
Cole Kmet ($4,900)
Before last week’s 5-target performance, Kmet had commanded 7, 11 and 7 targets in the 3 games that Andy Dalton has started this season. Kmet has 88 targets this season but has yet to score a TD.This week could be the week he finally finds the end zone.
Also consider: Rob Gronkowski ($7,400) & Gerald Everett ($4,900)
Taylor Heinicke ranks #1 in the NFL with 51 danger plays and #2 in interceptable passes. Fantasy defenses have performed against him and the Giants are at home in what projects as a low-scoring game with a 37.5 point over/under.
Pay up: Saints ($4,900) vs ATL