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NFL 2022-23 Daily Fantasy Tips: Week 18
The final week of the NFL regular season, and this week of DFS is as tough as it gets. With the motivation levels of several teams on the slate unknown, there’s a very real possibility we won’t know who is starting in games until an hour before kick-off. This doesn’t help us here, as we must come up with our selection’s days in advance, but we can definitely advocate for people to wait as long as possible before selecting your team/s.
Having said all that, we have a mammoth 13-game slate, with 8 early and 5 late games on the docket. Of those 13 games, 6 are realistically going to mean something for one of the teams’ involved playoff chances. Of those 6, none of the games feature two teams battling for a playoff position. Slightly disappointing, and it makes trying to find value selections all the more difficult.
For the last time this regular season, Draftstars is your place to play, with a $20,000 slate for Monday morning, with a first prize of $2,184. There’s plenty of other contests that might tickle your fancy, so get on over to Draftstars and get involved.
Joe Burrow - $15,640
Burrow was on fire last week in the Bengals’ first drive against the Bills, before the terrible incident involving Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin occurred. He has been tremendous lately, with four scores above 25 in his past 6 matches. This week, Burrow gets a great matchup against a Ravens’ secondary that has struggled since week 12, ranking 28th in success rate and EPA per dropback, and 25th in yards per attempt. This is whilst facing the Steelers x 2, Falcons, Browns, Broncos and Jaguars. Now, facing an elite Bengals’ offense, with potentially several backups starting, I expect Burrow to shred the Ravens defence in a big game.
Kirk Cousins - $13,410
Cousins had his worst game of the season last week, throwing 3 interceptions and losing a fumble. This week, he’s getting a Bears defence that is not only horrific, but playing with zero motivation. Since week 12, the Bears rank 30th in EPA per dropback, 29th in success rate per dropback, and 23rd in explosive pass rate. With how poor the Vikings were last week, I expect a rebound here from Cousins, and in particular Justin Jefferson. Look for several explosive plays in this game, and for Cousins to have 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns. In the Vikings’ earlier game against the Bears this season, Cousins threw for 296 yards and a touchdown, scoring 23.24 fantasy points. I expect this to be his floor.
NB: There’s a chance the Vikings pull their starters during the game. If you have concerns, I also like Geno Smith at a similar price
Kenneth Walker III - $12,480
Boy, selecting running backs this week is TOUGH. I’m taking Walker this week for two reasons. The first, is that the Seahawks are in a must-win situation. If they lose to the Rams, their season is done, however with a win they can still make the playoffs. That means motivations are high, and Head Coach Pete Carroll won’t be resting anyone. Second, Walker is currently a slight favourite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, and needs another strong performance here to increase his chances of taking the award. As for the matchup, the Seahawks get a Rams defence that has slowed against the run since the loss of Aaron Donald. Since week 12, the Rams rank 26th in rushing success rate and EPA per rush, and 22nd in rushing yards per game.
Cam Akers - $11,250
Seemingly from nowhere, Cam Akers has become an elite running back in DFS. Over the past 3 weeks, Akers has averaged 22.7 points per game, with a low of 13. Since week 10, Akers ranks 4th in elusive rating, 6th in missed tackles forced, and 18th in yards after contact per attempt. This week, he gets a Seahawks run defence that has been horrible, and look to be even weaker with the loss of line-backer Jordyn Brooks. Since week 11, the Seahawks have ranked 31st in rushing yards per game, 28th in rushing success rate, and 23rd in explosive run rate allowed. If this is close throughout, I expect another huge performance from Akers.
A.J. Brown - $17,810
Brown (hopefully) gets Jalen Hurts back this week as his quarterback, which will surely help in Brown getting back towards some bigger scores this week. Despite being a bit up and down when it comes to securing big scores, Brown has still managed to have a consistent floor over the past 5 weeks, with a low score of 17, and a high of 34.9. I expect Brown to get back to being the number 1 target for the Eagles this week, with his ranks for the season being 8th in air yard share, 9th in target share, and 10th in targets per route run rate. Given the Giants appear to be playing mostly backups this week, the Eagles could put on a clinic, with A.J. Brown hopefully the main beneficiary.
CeeDee Lamb - $15,510
Lamb has established himself as a true WR1 in the league this season, ranking 6th in targets per route run rate, 7th in target share, and 11th in air yards share. He has two scores below 20 over the past 8 weeks, whilst seeing scores of 37 and 41 in that time. Lamb has three straight 100-yard games and I expect that to continue here against a Commanders defence that have nothing to play for. The Commanders rank below average in all pass defence metrics, and I expect Lamb to eat through the slot in this matchup.
Chris Olave - $8,900
The Panthers’ secondary was absolutely shredded last week by the Buccaneers, with Keith Taylor and C.J. Henderson looking horrible in coverage. Who stands to benefit from that this week? Chris Olave. The rookie wideout ranks 5th in deep targets, and 10th in yards per route run and open rate. I see a high likelihood of explosive plays this week, with Jaycee Horn’s absence meaning Olave will be running routes against the aforementioned Taylor and Henderson. Given there is nothing on the line for either team, there’s no reason the Saints won’t take plenty of shots downfield against the Panthers.
George Kittle - $11,840
Kittle comes up against a team currently conceding the most fantasy points of any team to tight ends this season, in the Arizona Cardinals. They also rank 31st in catch rate, and 30th in receiving yards per game to tight ends. This is a fantastic opportunity for another monster game for Kittle, who has been a revelation since Brook Purdy has taken over at quarterback. Kittle has averaged 23.5 over the past 3 weeks, however the one concern I have is the probable return of Deebo Samuel. With Samuel in the line-up, Kittle’s role changes drastically and his receiving numbers drop significantly. If you believe Deebo is going to play a high percentage of snaps, this could be a risky play at the price.
Tyler Higbee - $7,350
Higbee has turned into a key cog in the Rams’ passing offense since Baker Mayfield has taken over at quarterback. Higbee has garnered 5.8 targets per game since Mayfield took over, whilst getting 50% of endzone targets and running routes at a 68.1% clip. Seattle has continued struggling against opposing tight ends, ranking 32nd in yards per reception allowed, 31st in fantasy points per game, and 31st in receiving yards per game. The Rams haven’t clocked off this season, despite having little to play for, so I expect Higbee to get 5+ targets and hopefully a touchdown in this game.
Philadelphia Eagles - $6,840
As outlined earlier, the Giants are likely to rest most of their starters for this one, with nothing to play for this week. Given this, I can’t see the Giants scoring a great deal of points. Despite the Eagles struggling a little bit lately defensively, this is a get right spot for them. A win here gives them the 1 seed and a 1st round bye in the playoffs. I expect an all-out effort for the Eagles defence here, and a shutout isn’t out of the question. I expect the Eagles to get to the quarterback regularly, as they lead the league in sacks, whilst the Giants allow the 5th most sacks in the NFL. The Eagles are also 2nd in the NFL in takeaways. All this leads me to believe the Eagles defence and special teams are in for another solid score this week.
Denver Broncos - $4,900
A cheaper option this week is the Broncos. Whilst their defence hasn’t looked as good the past few weeks, I expect one last effort this week from a team that has been out of playoff contention for some time. Added to this fact, there is a high likelihood the Chargers sit several players in the game, including quarterback Justin Herbert, which severely limits the number of points the Chargers can score. If the Bengals beat the Ravens in the early slate, the Chargers have the 5-seed wrapped up in the AFC, and undoubtedly sit most of their starters. The Broncos have 4 scores above 10 this season, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see it again here.
Draftstars Suggested Lineup
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