NFL DFS First Look at Salaries & Matchups for Week 18 (Fantasy Football)

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On Tuesday, Betz and myself share some of these insights on the Fantasy Footballers DFS Podcast if you want further commentary on some of the salary standouts.

Every week the First Look article gives you a taste of the slate and some of the more intriguing salaries that DraftKings and FanDuel release. The goal is to identify early-week cash game considerations, as well as potential tournament plays, before we piece together the stacking options.

Check back on Thursday when Matthew Betz and myself share our official DraftKings and FanDuel picks for cash and GPPs exclusively in the DFS Pass.

Here are the games for this week’s main slate* including team-implied totals (TIP) for each matchup.

These lines are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of time of publishing.

Overview

At first glance, here are a couple of things to note:

  • We have a massive 13-game slate this week. Betz went to town with the Vegas Report and a Week 18 NFL Motivation & Incentives article which is a great way to see what teams are playing for.
  • We’re still waiting on an official line on the CIN/BAL game. Technically, it’s possible for these two teams to play each other again in a week if things stay the same in the AFC with Cincinnati (No. 3 seed) and Baltimore (No. 6).
  • The biggest issue is that the highest totals of Week 18 both belong to games off the main slate. The Raiders at Chiefs (52) and the Packers at Lions (49) are currently the only totals even remotely close to what we would normally attack in DFS.
  • NOTE: All salaries are DraftKings specific unless noted ($x-FD)

Quarterbacks

  • Josh Allen ($8400) and the Bills are coming off an emotional week. You can look at this scenario in a couple of different ways but football-wise, the Bills need to win and the Chiefs lose. It is difficult given that KC plays on Saturday and Buffalo plays on Sunday. As a result, Buffalo will know whether or not they have a shot at the top seed well ahead of kickoff. We’ll know if Allen is in play by Saturday night. It seems like they would rest their starters if their No. 2 seed is locked in.
  • Justin Herbert ($6800) and the Chargers clinched the playoffs but Brandon Staley stated that this game is important for seeding. If the Chargers win at Denver, they lock in the No. 5 seed and play the AFC South champion instead of potentially slipping to No. 6 and having to play the Bengals on the road. Herbert’s fantasy season may be a major left down but he also needs 34 completions to break Tom Brady‘s single-season completion record of 485, which was set last season. He’s currently at 452.
  • The Seahawks need a win and pray the Lions to do their thing against the Packers. Geno Smith ($6000) carved up the Rams in Week 13 going for 367 and three TDs. He should be a solid cash game option this week with a ton on the line.
  • Brock Purdy ($5700) has been way better than anyone could’ve imagined with two passing TDs in each of his five games this year. The ceiling never feels fully there as the 49ers seem more than willing to milk the clock in 2nd halves. If a floor is what you need, he’s your man with a 27-point team implied total.
  • If you played Justin Fields last week like me, the 1st quarter was exhilarating. He was over 100 rushing yards in those first 15 minutes and you felt like you were going to run away with a tournament or two. But then it just stopped. It felt like his fantasy points never really moved after that point. The Bears announced that they will be starting Nathan Peterman this week. In other words, sorry Bears fans.

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