Week 18 NFL – The Cruncher List for Week 18: Game-By-Game Analysis for DraftKings and FanDuel

The Cruncher List | Week 18 DraftKings and FanDuel NFL DFS Lineup Advice, Tips & Picks.

Here to help you build the best possible FanDuel & DraftKings NFL Week 18 Line-up.

This week, the final regular season week is an interesting one in terms of how to approach it for DFS purposes.  We have a number of teams playing for nothing, a number of teams that are set to go full throttle in terms of trying to secure their playoff seeding, and many players who will be trying to reach certain monetary incentives.  Historically, that is how I have approached Week 18 over time and that has worked out, though I did find last season that many more were onto that approach than in previous seasons.

As a result, you’ll see more recommendations below that I feel are best to just completely ignore, and shorter write ups as in many cases the best options that I feel are out there for the week are largely based on situation/context.  I have included my thoughts on each and every game on the Main Slate below for the week, and I’ll be back with write-ups for each round of the NFL playoffs, which start up next weekend!

Green Bay (-3) @ Detroit, Projected Total: 44.5 points

Green Bay – Projected Total: 23.75 points

Green Bay has come out and said that their starters will see some action this week.  Personally, I am not buying that they will be in there all too much, especially with Rodgers’ toe being less than 100%.  Vegas seems to think that as well with the Packers total being fairly low in a plus match-up on the road.  For me – there is too much risk here at the high price points to roster the key cogs in the Packers offence, and I think they make for a pretty easy fade this week.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • None

Detroit – Projected total: 20.75 points

For the Lions – the only player that I have interest in this week of WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, who should continue to see heavy usage in the passing game this week.  He has five straight weeks of 11+ targets, and is a high floor/ceiling option at the position this week and worthy of a spot on The Cruncher List, even at his elevated price.  Being priced up may help keep his ownership levels in check.  There is some risk here that the Lions may not be playing catch-up, but that has been the case in a couple games over that five game stretch where he has been hyper-targetted.

RB D’Andre Swift is said to expect a similar role to what he saw in Week 17 – which was confusing.  He only saw 6 touches – but was out there for 57% of snaps.  I’d expect a few more touches this week, but there is enough uncertainty surrounding him this week that I have no problem avoiding him this week.  He’s an elite talent, but if he only sees 6-10 touches, it’s hard to imagine him being a part of a large field GPP win.  If you think he could see 15-20 looks, however – you have a great spot if that holds true to get him at low ownership levels.

The Cruncher List

  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

Good Plays

  • None

Indianapolis (-15) @ Jacksonville, Projected total: 44 points

Indianapolis – Projected Total: 29.5 points

The Colts are one of the few teams this week that has something to play for as they will punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win here.  I expect them to lean heavily on RB Jonathan Taylor in this one – and he is an elite option this week in a game that sets up to be likely to play out to a run friendly game script for Indianapolis.  The only downside here to using him is that he will be really popular – but I do think that this is a case of good chalk that you just eat.

Outside of him, I don’t have too much interest in anyone.  WR Michael Pittman is someone that is probably worth mixing into builds to have him in your player pool – but I wouldn’t say that I even like him to the point where I’d label him as a ‘good’ play this week.  All in all, I’m expecting a ton of running with a lot of success for the Colts, and that’s about it here.

The Cruncher List

  • RB Jonathan Taylor
  • Colts DST

Good Plays

  • None

Jacksonville – Projected Total: 14.5 points

To me, with a low projected point total and no one attractive that is a complete punt, I don’t have too much interest in the Jags and have no problem fading them this week.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • None

Washington (-7) @ NY Giants, Projected Total: 38

Washington, Projected Total: 22.5 points

Washington comes into this one as healthy favorites in a game that they should be able to control.  Combine that fact with the fact that RB Antonio Gibson will be back from his injury – and he is one of the elite mid-priced options available at RB this week.  He should be in line for 3-down work in this one – and at an affordable price point in a game that should be friendly to the ground game, I think there is a lot to like here.  There is some risk that they may split time between him and Patterson in a nothing game to wrap up the season – but I do think the odds of that are fairly low.

Gibson is on The Cruncher List this week, while the rest of Washington I think is a pretty easy pass in this one.

The Cruncher List

  • RB Antonio Gibson

Good Plays

  • None

NY Giants – Projected Total: 15.5 points

The Giants come into this one with one of the lowest projected totals on the board, not shocking given the lack of production that we’ve seen from them most (if not all) of the season.  I don’t have any interest in anyone here, even though Barkley did clear the century mark last week.  Fading them for most of the season has yet to burn me, and if that happens in Week 18, I’m ok with that…

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • None

Chicago @ Minnesota (-3), Projected Total: 44.5

Chicago – Projected Total: 20.75 points

The Bears come into this one with a low projected total, but there are a few options that intrigue me here – largely due to the fact that for the most part, limited options for Chicago are used to move the football.  RB David Montgomery continues to see heavy 3-down work, and comes into this one with 20 plus touches, and 20+ DKP in 4 of the past 5 games and 3 of the past 5 games, respectively.  I think he’s an elite option, and should continue to be heavily involved in the Bears offensive attack.

WR Darnell Mooney has seen 29 targets over the past three games, highlighted by 13 a week ago and continues to be the primary focal point in the passing attack for Chicago.  Going up against a poor Vikings secondary, I do like this spot for him and while he isn’t my favorite WR on the board, I do have him on The Cruncher List this week as I expect him to be targeted heavily through the air once again.

If you wanted to go with a low owned QB to go with a Bears stack (probably not my preferred route of attack in full disclosure), you could sprinkle in some exposure to Justin Fields, who should be back under center after returning from the Covid list.  Finally, if you wanted a punt with upside, WR Allen Robinson is priced at $4k and should be back in the fold this week.  Chalk up $4k Allen Robinson as something that I didn’t think I would ever say – but here we are….(I still don’t love the play to be perfectly honest).

The Cruncher List

  • RB David Montgomery
  • WR Darnell Mooney

Good Plays

  • QB Justin Fields
  • WR Allen Robinson (DK – punt)

Minnesota – Projected Total: 23.75 points

The Vikings come into this one fresh off of having their post-season hopes taken away last week in primetime, and will be playing out the string this week.  I imagine that we will see a full game from RB Dalvin Cook and WR Justin Jefferson in this one as the Vikings are playing out the string – but who knows.  I do have both of them on The Cruncher List as elite plays who both should see plenty of volume – but I do have some worry in the back of my mind in terms of the fact that the game doesn’t mean anything for the Vikings.

Outside of those two, I don’t have much interest here.  You could make a case to toss Cousins into a line-up or two, but for me – that would be solely based off of a correlation play stack rather than him being a good play in and of itself.

The Cruncher List

  • RB Dalvin Cook
  • WR Justin Jefferson

Good Plays

  • None

Tennessee (-10) @ Houston, Projected Total: 43 points

Tennessee – Projected Total: 26.5 points

The Titans come into this one as heavy road favorites as they try and lock up the top seed and first round bye in the AFC.  RB D’Onta Foreman should continue to start at RB for them in this one, and I would expect another week of heavy use for him in a game that should be friendly for the ground game after he put up a great day in Week 17 against Miami to the tune of 26-132-1.  His lack of involvement in the passing game hurts him somewhat, but priced affordably at $5,700 – I still love the spot for him this week and have him on The Cruncher List.

In terms of the passing game, WR AJ Brown is an elite option this week for a price that doesn’t break the bank.  He only caught 2 balls for 41 yards a week ago, but to be honest, the Titans passing game really didn’t have to do much in a convincing 34-3 win.  Game script could be a risk for him (probably enough for me to keep him out of single entry/cash games), but I still think he’s an elite option to consider for Week 18.

Outside of those two, I don’t have too much interest here.

The Cruncher List

  • RB D’Onta Foreman
  • WR AJ Brown

Good Plays

  • None

Houston – Projected Total: 16.5 points

WR Brandin Cooks is an elite play this week – and that’s about it for me.  The match-up and game script should be a good one for him, and as has been the case for my write-ups on them for most of the season, I don’t have too much interest in anyone outside of him.  Cooks remains affordably priced, and comes into this one with 3 straight games where he has seen double digit targets and in which he has cleared 19+ DKP.  He’s an elite mid-high priced option at WR this week in a game that should provide him and Davis Mills with plenty of opportunities through the air.

The Cruncher List

  • WR Brandin Cooks

Good Plays

  • None

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-3), Projected Total: 40.5 points

Pittsburgh – Projected Total: 18.25 points

The Steelers need a win this week and some help as they travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.  WR Diontae Johnson was activated from the Covid list and should be able to suit up for this one, and he is one of two players of interest for Pittsburgh here – with the other being RB Najee Harris, fresh off of his strong showing on MNF.  For me, Johnson is a little pricey – enough to keep him off of The Cruncher List in this one, but I do think that he has a high floor this week and should be in line for his usual double digit targets.  As for Harris, I think he’s a strong play, but to me, he narrowly misses the cut for The Cruncher List this week as he goes up against a tough front from Baltimore.  I expect him to see plenty of action in this one – so I see him as a high floor option – but I do prefer other options on the board who have better match-ups this week.

Then again, I wrote the same thing about the Bengals last week and only had WR Tee Higgins on The Cruncher List from them, so there’s that….

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • RB Najee Harris
  • WR Diontae Johnson

Baltimore – Projected Total: 21.25 points

The Ravens, much like with the Steelers, need a win and some help this week – and again, they will be without QB Lamar Jackson as Tyler Huntley will be under center.  The projected total in this one is low, and going up against a tough Steelers defence, I don’t have too much interest here other than TE Mark Andrews, who remains an elite option if you want to pay up at the position.  I don’t love the spot for him at $7,500 this week, which is enough for me to keep him off of The Cruncher List, but if you do like some of the value plays on the board at other positions, it could be a chance to get an elite talent at a volatile position who shouldn’t be too popular in terms of ownership levels this week.  He’s a good play, but narrowly misses the cut to be on The Cruncher List this week.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • TE Mark Andrews

Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-6), Projected Total: 37

Cincinnati – Projected Total: 15.5 points

The Bengals will be without/resting most of the key players in their offence and with a low projected total this week, they are a pretty easy fade for me as they rest up for their game on Wild Card Weekend.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • None

Cleveland – Projected Total: 21.5 points

The Browns offence has been largely disappointing this season and in a game with a low projected total and nothing to play for, I don’t have too much interest here.  I find it unlikely that they will give Chubb 20+ touches in this one with nothing to play for – but if you do like him to be north of that, you have a chance to get him at what should be low ownership levels.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • None

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (-8), Projected Total: 41.5

Carolina – Projected Total: 16.75 points

The Panthers come into this one with a low total – and there is only one player that I have interest in, WR DJ Moore.  To me – he narrowly misses the cut to be on The Cruncher List – but I will say this, if you love the spot for the Bucs this week to put up a lot of points – you can probably bump him up.  He’s priced affordably and comes into this one with 7+ targets in every game this season.  He hasn’t been overly productive in the last few weeks, but I do think that he’s worth mixing into your player pool for large field MME GPP contests this week.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • WR DJ Moore

Tampa Bay – Projected Total: 24.75 points

The total here is a little lower than I thought it would be, and personally – I like the spot for Brady and Evans this week.  Bruce Arians came out and said that they won’t be resting anyone as they try and secure the #2 seed in the NFC.  Now – if they do get up big, I’m sure that they could rest those two (and others) in the 4th quarter/second half, but if that does happen I think the odds are pretty good that Brady and Evans have productive days.  I have both of them on The Cruncher List this week while TE Rob Gronkowski narrowly misses the cut, but is someone that I still think is a ‘good play’.

As for the ground game, with RB Ronald Jones suffering an ankle injury, we will see RB Ke’Shawn Vaughan and RB Lev Bell split the backfield.  I expect Bell to handle most of the pass catching duties, while Vaughan sees heavy work on the ground.  I prefer Vaughan in this one and at his price point, I think he’s an elite play who should see plenty of work in this one.

The Cruncher List

  • QB Tom Brady
  • RB Ke’Shawn Vaughan
  • WR Mike Evans

Good Plays

  • TE Rob Gronkowski

New England (-6) @ Miami, Projected Total: 40

New England – Projected Total: 23 points

The Pats will be trying to pick up a win here in case the Bills falter so that they can win the AFC East – but I do think that we’ll see a pretty quick hook on RB Damien Harris if the Pats get up big.  To me, that is enough to keep him off of The Cruncher List in this one, and since I do think that game script is likely to play out, I do love this spot for RB Rhamondre Stevenson, who I do have on The Cruncher List fresh off of his 19-107-2 line in Week 17.

As for the passing game, I don’t have much interest here in what I think will be a low scoring game.

The Cruncher List

  • RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Good Plays

  • RB Damien Harris
  • Pats DST

Miami – Projected Total: 17 points

The Dolphins laid an egg last week in a must-win game and are now playing out the string on their season.  While they came a long way from a 1-7 start, it certainly has been a disappointing campaign overall.  The projected total here is low and I would expect the Pats to be focused on WR Jaylen Waddle, trying to force the Dolphins to beat them in other ways, something that I don’t think is very likely.  I think you can include Waddle in your large field GPP builds, but all in all – I would be surprised if any Dolphins were a part of a large field GPP win in Week 18.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • WR Jaylen Waddle

New Orleans (-4) @ Atlanta, Projected Total: 40

New Orleans – Projected Total: 22 points

The Saints can make the playoffs this week with a win and a loss by the 49ers, and I expect them to use Taysom Hill heavily on the ground along with RB Alvin Kamara a lot this week.  The projected total here is low, but I do expect very productive days from both of them and going up against a bad defence, I do have both of them on The Cruncher List this week.

As for the rest of the offence, I don’t have too much interest here outside of WR Marquez Callaway, who I don’t trust quite enough to have him on The Cruncher List this week – but I do think that he is a good play.  He has cleared 15 DKP in two of the past three games and seems to be establishing himself late in the season here.

The Cruncher List

  • QB Taysom Hill
  • RB Alvin Kamara

Good Plays

  • WR Marquez Callaway
  • Saints DST

Atlanta- Projected Total: 18 points

Going up against a motivated, tough defence, I don’t have interest in anyone from the Falcons this week.  To me, they are a pretty easy fade for Week 18.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • None

NY Jets @ Buffalo (-16), Projected Total: 41

NY Jets – Projected Total: 12.5 points

The Jets come into this one with one of the lowest projected totals on the board all season.  WR Braxton Berrios was placed on IR – so he is out of the equation this week and personally, I don’t have interest in anyone else in this match-up this week.

The Cruncher List

  • None

Good Plays

  • None

Buffalo – Projected Total: 28.5 points

Love this spot for Buffalo, who will be playing to win the AFC East.  QB Josh Allen, WR Stefon Diggs and RB Devin Singletary are all elite plays for me in this one.  If they get up big, they could rest them – but as mentioned above for the Bucs, even if that does play out, I think the three of them will be involved in getting to that point and putting up points on the board.

It looks like WR Emmanuel Sanders is going to miss this one again, so for large field GPP formats, if you are going with some Bills stacks, you can include the likes of TE Dawson Knox, WR Cole Beasley and WR Gabriel Davis in rotating combinations of 2-3 man stacks along with Allen.

The Cruncher List

  • QB Josh Allen
  • RB Devin Singletary
  • WR Stefon Diggs

Good Plays

  • WR Cole Beasley
  • Bills DST

San Francisco @ LA Rams (-4), Projected Total: 44.5

San Francisco – Projected Total: 20.25 points

The 49ers need to pick up a win this week to not rely on help, and they draw a tough match-up with the Rams on the road.  The Rams need a win or an Arizona loss to clinch the division, so I do expect the 49ers to be in tough for this one.  QB Jimmy Garoppolo is questionable for this one – but regardless of who is under center, I don’t have too much interest in the QB for the 49ers this week in a tough match-up.

RB Eli Mitchell looks like he is ready to go, and I would expect him to see massive volume in this one.  To me, though he isn’t my favorite RB play on the board, I do think he is a very strong option from a game theory standpoint as I expect him to see 20-25+ touches in this one to try and keep the Rams front from pinning their ears back, rushing the passer.  That, in combination with the fact that he won’t be popular have me intrigued by Mitchell and I have him on The Cruncher List this week – though there is plenty of risk.

WR Deebo Samuel and TE George Kittle are both in tough here against a tough match-up.  I could see Deebo getting a fair number of carries on the ground here.  I have both of them missing the cut for The Cruncher List at their price points, but I think both are worth exposure to in GPP formats this week.

The Cruncher List

  • RB Eli Mitchell

Good Plays

  • WR Deebo Samuel
  • TE George Kittle

LA Rams – Projected Total: 24.25 points

The Rams come into this one with a healthy total and I expect them to be playing everyone this week as they try and lock up the NFC West.  WR Cooper Kupp remains an elite play – but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Outside of Kupp, RB Sony Michel could have company in the backfield this week with Cam Akers practicing in full.  Keep an eye on his status up until game-time.  I still expect Michel to see the bulk of the work if Akers is active, but if he does suit up, that is enough for me to keep Michel off of The Cruncher List this week.  Either way though, I do think that he is worth mixing into builds in large field GPP formats.

Outside of those two, I don’t have too much interest here.  If you like the spot for them, you could include QB Matthew Stafford, WR Odell Beckham Jr, and WR Van Jefferson into builds as part of rotating stack combos – but personally, I won’t be in that camp this week.

The Cruncher List

  • WR Cooper Kupp

Good Plays

  • RB Sony Michel

Seattle @ Arizona (-5), Projected Total: 48

Seattle – Projected Total: 21.5 points

Seattle had a great Week 17 against the Lions in a game that turned into an absolute shoot-out.  It looks like all the usual suspects will be out there this week for Seattle, so it will be interesting to see if their success from a week ago will carry over into a game against the playoff-bound Cards.  To me, WR DK Metcalf is an elite option this week fresh off of his 3 TD game a week ago.  I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go out with a bang for the season.  RB Rashaad Penny should see another week with a heavy workload, but the hike in his price and lack of use in the passing game is enough for me to keep him off of The Cruncher List this week.

As a final note, I do think this is a game that you can consider a game stack on.  I wouldn’t be shocked if the total flew over in this one.

The Cruncher List

  • WR DK Metcalf

Good Plays

  • QB Russell Wilson
  • RB Rashaad Penny
  • WR Tyler Lockett

Arizona – Projected Total: 26.5 points

The Cards come into this one with one of the higher projected totals on the board, not surprising as they go up against a Seattle team that is playing out the string on their season.  QB Kyler Murray is an elite option for me in this one, as is WR Christian Kirk who has seen 9 targets in each of the past two games (though has yet to pop as he didn’t find the endzone in either game).  For me, I wouldn’t be shocked if both of them have monster games on Sunday.

As for the ground game, it looks like RB Chase Edmonds will be out for this one.  RB James Connor is going to be a game-time decision, and for me – if he has the backfield to himself in this one, I do think that he’s an elite option.  If he does sit, I’ll update this section – but as for now, I am going under the assumption that he will be playing this week.

The Cruncher List

  • QB Kyler Murray
  • RB James Connor
  • WR Christian Kirk

Good Plays

  • None

Thank you for reading The Cruncher List over the course of the season – I appreciate it.  Best of luck in your Week 18 DFS action & we’ll be back next weekend with The Cruncher List for the NFL Wild Card Weekend!

About Brad

Brad hates the term fantasy sports expert, so instead he is someone who specializes in NFL, NHL and MLB DFS notes and analysis. He had a 68.2% win rate in 2015 NFL cash games to go along with a 83.5% win rate for the 2014 season. For NHL he had a 58.7% win rate in the 2015-16 season for cash games and a 66.2% win rate for the 2014-15 season. You can follow him on Twitter @bradsgotmoxy.

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