Week 18 Starts & Nasty Boys + Big Money Incentives

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Which starters are actually playing in Week 18? On today’s fantasy football podcast, a breakdown of Week 18 matchups with playoff scenarios and motivations! Plus, find out which big money player incentives could lead to big time fantasy points! Manage your redraft, keeper, and dynasty fantasy football teams with the #1 fantasy football podcast. — Fantasy Football Podcast for January 4th, 2024.

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Summary:

Week 18 as the Nastiest of the Nasty Boys 01:41

  • Week 18 of the NFL season is shaping up to be the nastiest of the nasty boys.
  • Last year in Week 18, unexpected players like Davis Mills and Davis Webb performed well.
  • This week, there are several quarterbacks who are unlikely to have strong performances.
  • It is important to carefully consider your start/sit decisions for Week 18.

“Week 18 as all final weeks of the NFL season is shaping up to be the nastiest of the nasty boys.”

“That last year week 18 heroes included the likes of Davis Mills, the QB one on the week.”

“These quarterbacks this week, they are unlimited diarrhea.”

Josh Jacobs and Raheem Mostert injuries 09:17

  • Josh Jacobs has been dealing with game-time decisions and has been on the outside of it. He is still not practicing, so assume he will still be out until he gets full practices logged.
  • Raheem Moser did not practice on Wednesday, but there were no concerns until he got injured last week. Pay attention to his status for your championship week.

“So we are at about a month straight of game time decisions for Josh Jacobs, which he has been on the outside of. He’s still not practicing. So until he gets full practices logged, I think you just got to assume he’s still going to be gone.”

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Elijah Mitchell‘s absence and potential workload for Jordan Mason 10:28

  • Elijah Mitchell, the number one waiver pickup of the week, did not practice on Wednesday due to illness. There are reports that Jordan Mason may see an expanded workload in Week 18 instead of Elijah Mitchell.
  • This decision might be related to Mitchell’s injury history and the desire to avoid any further injuries in a meaningless game.

“In the San Francisco news, Elijah Mitchell, the number one waiver pickup of the week, this is back to back weeks that the number one waiver wire pickup was a running back who was set up for incredible success. But Elijah Mitchell this week, he didn’t practice on Wednesday because of an illness. And then we got a report from the athletic that they believe Jordan Mason is going to see an expanded workload in week 18 instead of Elijah Mitchell.” “Interesting. Could be related to Elijah Mitchell has a propensity to get hurt and you would rather not have him get hurt in a meaningless game. So those are all things to pay attention to.”

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens 11:25

  • Pittsburgh is favored by 4 points in their matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. The over/under line is set at an incredible 35 points.
  • The Ravens are benching a lot of their star players, but they still have a solid team. Mason Rudolph will be the starting quarterback for the Steelers.

“We got two Saturday games as the NFL just has said that your week belongs to us now. Pittsburgh sitting at nine and seven. They will be taking on a very relaxed nonchalant Baltimore Ravens sitting at 13 and three locked into the number one seed while Pittsburgh is fighting for a playoff spot.” “Yeah, this is the Baltimore Ravens benching a lot of their star players now obviously they still have to feel the lineup they’re not just benching everyone this is a solid team front to back I don’t see this as a team in a divisional matchup that could play spoiler against their the Steelers rival. ” “Yeah, he’s been better than the other quarterbacks more a lot more impressive in the second game than the first game for me the first game a lot of that was just George Pickens doings.”

Fantasy options in the Pittsburgh-Baltimore game 13:37

  • Key players like Najee Harris, George Pickens, and Deontay Johnson are in play for fantasy. The Ravens defense has struggled against wide receivers, making them a favorable matchup.
  • It’s advised to stay away from tight end Pat Friarmeuth, as Mason Rudolph does not prefer targeting him. Running backs may face a tough challenge.

“I feel like everybody’s in play like the Ravens defense their starters you know that’s a strong unit however over the past six weeks the Ravens against fantasy wide receivers have been 25th giving up over 30 points a game.” “But I think that everyone everyone’s playable here though it’ll be tough for the running backs but again we don’t know what the defensive starting lineup will be but I think they’re all in do you see it a different way J.” “Yeah I mean I would certainly rather start Najee and George Pickens over Jalen Warren and Deontay Johnson.”

Houston Texans vs Indianapolis Colts matchup 14:39

  • The Houston Texans are favored by 1 point in their game against the Indianapolis Colts. The over/under line is set at 47.5 points.
  • This matchup is crucial for both teams as the winner continues to the playoffs and the loser goes home.
  • CJ Stroud has been performing well for the Texans and is a solid fantasy option. The Colts have been a run funnel defense, making it a promising matchup for running back Devin Singletary.

“On the Houston side CJ Stroud an opportunity to get into the playoffs as a rookie he has been cooking he is certainly the rookie of the year quarterback 13 versus Indianapolis in week two week two and you know we were just getting a glimpse of what he could become.” “The Colts are a run funnel defense.” “We’ll talk about Devin Singletary here in a little bit just an awesome starting matchup.” “I’d play him over a Melvin Gordon.”

Fantasy options in the Houston-Indianapolis game 16:56

“So I pretty much want all the pieces in this game.” “Nico is in for sure.” “Dalton Schultz is in Devin Singletary is in those three are you messing around with Noel Brown at all.” “Did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday.” “Yeah he’s been so banged up and had you know one big performance recently.” “I don’t expect him to hit the market. The Colts are going to keep him in.” “But this has been mostly most of the production has been from Gardner Menchie.”

“I feel like everybody’s in play like the Ravens defense their starters you know that’s a strong unit however over the past six weeks the Ravens against fantasy wide receivers have been 25th giving up over 30 points a game.”

“I mean maybe Melvin Gordon maybe yeah man that’s that’s that’s what you get barrel as bottom of the barrel in a championship matchup Melvin Gordon.”

“It’s a super important game for the Dolphins. We covered that yesterday on the importance. And also if you didn’t listen to yesterday’s episode, we do talk about all the implications of week 18. Who’s who’s motivated to play? Very important. Listen to that.”

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“In the San Francisco news, Elijah Mitchell, the number one waiver pickup of the week, this is back to back weeks that the number one waiver wire pickup was a running back who was set up for incredible success. But Elijah Mitchell this week, he didn’t practice on Wednesday because of an illness. And then we got a report from the athletic that they believe Jordan Mason is going to see an expanded workload in week 18 instead of Elijah Mitchell. “

“We got two Saturday games as the NFL just has said that your week belongs to us now. Pittsburgh sitting at nine and seven. They will be taking on a very relaxed nonchalant Baltimore Ravens sitting at 13 and three locked into the number one seed while Pittsburgh is fighting for a playoff spot. Yeah,

Michael Pittman and Anthony Richardson 18:30

“Can Michael Pittman get it done with Anthony? The answer is yes.”

Josh Downs‘ Performance 18:45

  • Josh Downs has not been performing well.
  • Since week eight, he has been outside the top 48 wide receivers.
  • Even with Michael Pittman missing time, Josh Downs has not been a great player.

“I mean, he was ramping up being very featured in the offense. But I mean he’s just not a super great player.”

Cedric Tillman‘s Involvement 22:26

  • Cedric Tillman has been on the field a lot since week nine, with 81% of the snaps.
  • However, he has not produced much.
  • He might be an interesting rookie to consider for DFS lineups.

“But gosh it’s Cedric Tillman, he’s been on the field a lot. Since week nine, 81 percent of the snaps.”

Jake Browning and Bengals Starters 23:11

  • Jake Browning has been hot and cold in fantasy, but he could be started this week.
  • Bengals starters like Jamar Chase, T Higgins, and Joe Mixon could also be started with confidence.
  • They will likely play the whole game, as teams with playoff implications are resting players.

Jake Browning and Jamar Chase, T Higgins, Joe Mixon, they’re all starting here.”

Justin Jefferson‘s Favorable Matchup 26:10

  • Justin Jefferson is expected to have a great game against the Detroit Lions.
  • The Lions have given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season.

Justin Jefferson is going to have he should have a super good game here. The Detroit Lions. They are last on the course of the season in scheduled Justin Fantasy points given up to wide receivers.”

Jordan Addison‘s Viability 26:30

“I think because of the matchup against Detroit Jordan Addison is an OK play this week. All right.”

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Running Back Dilemma for the Vikings 27:48

  • There is uncertainty with the running backs for the Vikings.
  • Both Tye Chandler and Alexander Madison have difficult matchups against Detroit’s run defense.

“The only question is the running backs from the Vikings the Tye Chandler and in Alexander Madison. Madison was up to 40 percent of the snaps last week and Detroit is very difficult to run on. So if I can avoid that I’ve got a pivot option away from both Tye Chandler and Alexander Madison.”

Travis Etienne. and Tennessee’s Run Defense 29:27

  • Travis E.T.N. is a must-start in fantasy championships.
  • Tennessee’s run defense has improved in the last six weeks.

“You’ve got a run defense that coming into the year Tennessee was really really good middle of the season. They were easy to run on and they’ve locked it back down the last six weeks. Their top 10 and fantasy points given up two running backs. I don’t know how you could sit Travis E.T.N.”

Weather Conditions and Derrick Henry 30:53

  • There is a projected snowfall during the game in Burlington, Vermont.
  • Despite the weather, Derek Henry is still a must-start.

“Last last week it was snow 70 percent. Last week it was not snowing in Vermont but it there was snow on the ground. Was that just the mistake. We thought it was snow on the ground but it needs to be snowing…You’re going to play Derek Henry.”

Potential Record for Evan Engram 30:26

  • Evan Engram has a chance to break the record for tight end receptions in a season.
  • He needs 12 more receptions to tie the record held by Zach Ertz.

“An update here for you…Kyle find it. Yep. On the other side of the ball Tennessee… I’m wondering if they will if he’s close enough that they will attempt to make that happen…You want to take a record. You break a record. He’s not getting it.”

Playoff Implications for the Jaguars 29:02

“For the Jaguars it’s a win and end situation lose and out. So this is a playoff game for them. That leads me to agree with you that Trevor Lawrence will tough it out and will be the starter.”

“That’s just a tie. You want to take a record. You break a record. He’s not getting it.”

New York Jets and New England Patriots eliminated from playoffs 34:14

New York Jets have been eliminated from the playoffs. The New England Patriots have been also eliminated from the playoffs. My God this game.”

Breece Hall‘s performance and usage 34:27

  • Breece Hall has 74 receptions on the year, making him an attractive option despite a challenging matchup against the Patriots.
  • His high target volume makes him a viable start, and he has the speed to break big plays.

“He’s got 74 receptions on the year. Yeah. I mean they target him so much that he should be even though it’s a very difficult matchup against the Patriots and they’re going to be prepared for it. If he gets five or six receptions that’s at least a baseline where he should be fine and he has the long speed to break anything off.”

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Garrett Wilson‘s high target volume 34:50

  • Garrett Wilson has the most targets ever through two years in the NFL, with 310 targets and 176 receptions.
  • Though the quality of targets has not been great, his high target volume makes him a worthy start.

Garrett Wilson the most targets ever through two years in the NFL. Is that true? Yeah. He’s had he’s sitting at three hundred and ten targets. Wow. They’re they’re not great targets most of the time because he has a let’s see a three hundred and ten targets. He has a hundred and seventy six receptions. Jefferson through thirty three games had two hundred and ninety two targets and a hundred and ninety six receptions. Yeah. So empty targets a lot for our boy Garrett Wilson. Hopefully that improves next year but he’s still he’s a good start.”

Playing Ezekiel Elliott and others 35:30

  • Ezekiel Elliott is a good start despite playing against the tough Patriots defense.
  • Zeke has been a top 24 running back in four out of the last five weeks and still received 16 opportunities last week.
  • Kevin Harris saw limited playing time and is unlikely to be a significant factor.
  • It is not advisable to start DeMario Douglas or DeVante Parker due to limited availability and potential injury concerns.

“Zeke is in. I think oh gosh the Patriots are just their devils like Zeke should be in. Yeah. He’s been top 24 and four the last five weeks. I’m just saying he still had 16 opportunities this past week. So I’m saying if all of a sudden Zeke starts the game gets a couple touches and then they go OK Kevin Harris get in there show us what you got last week. I won’t be surprised. Kevin Harris I feel like every time I looked up every time I looked up he was on the field. Twenty one percent of the snaps. Yeah I mean I just was only four opportunities. It was crazy. I saw every single snap he was on there every fake target every catch. But it was it was still the Zeke show. He had the vast bulk of the carry, so you’re starting Zeke. Is there anyone you could start in the receiving game? I’m going to say no.”

Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints playoff implications 36:35

  • The Atlanta Falcons (7-9) face the New Orleans Saints (8-8) in a game where both teams are fighting for a playoff spot.
  • A win for the Falcons combined with a loss by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would move the Falcons from the 11th seed to the 4th seed.
  • Arthur Smith, the Falcons head coach, is potentially playing for his job and a loss this week may secure a contract extension.
  • A playoff game may be hosted by the Falcons with a sub .500 record if they grab the 4th seed.

“The Atlanta Falcons are seven and nine. They are taking on the New Orleans Saints who are eight and eight. The Draft King Sportsbook line New Orleans favor by three over under a sitting at 42 points. Both teams fighting for a playoff spot so everyone is incentivized to play. Arthur Smith may be playing for his job. Arthur Smith if he gets a loss this week he secures a contract extension. That’s that’s my understanding of the Atlanta Falcons with this with a sweet seven and ten. Yeah yeah you gotta be pretty proud of his work. So Atlanta a win plus a Tampa Bay loss moves them from the 11 seed to the four and they will be hosting a playoff game with a sub 500 record.”

Defensive dominance of the New Orleans Saints 40:23

  • The New Orleans Saints‘ defense has been outstanding in recent weeks, ranking first against quarterbacks, second against wide receivers, fourth against tight ends, and sixth against running backs in fantasy football.
  • Their strong defense, combined with playing at home, makes it difficult to trust the Atlanta Falcons‘ offense.

“The past six weeks the Saints have been number one against fantasy quarterbacks. Right. Number two against wide receivers. Number four against tight ends at number six against running backs. Their defense has been on fire. This is a home game for the Saints. So if you’re when we’re really breaking down this game I think that this defense this environment is going to come ready to roll and the Atlanta Falcons offense is not good enough.”

Bijan Robinson‘s potential in Week 18 40:27

  • Bijan Robinson has shown talent and involvement in the passing game, which makes him a reasonable start despite the tough matchup.
  • His ability to break big plays and contribute as a receiver can provide him with a solid baseline for fantasy points.

“Bijon is in. Bijon still in. Yeah. He’s he’s talented enough gets utilization in the passing game kind of similar to Breece Hall where if he’s if he can end up with four or five receptions he should have a good enough baseline and can break something off in this week 18 when you are scrounging to find a running back to start.”

Tyler Allgeier‘s limited usage 41:00

  • Tyler Allgeier‘s recent performances were buoyed by a few big plays, but his limited opportunities make him unreliable as a fantasy option.
  • With only five rushing attempts last week, it is not advisable to trust him in Week 18.

Tyler Allgeier running back 13 running back 14 in back to back weeks. No. On very limited opportunities. Yeah. I mean he had a 31 yard breakaway run and a 75 yard reception. Yeah. Last week touchdown. It was awesome. He only had five rushing attempts. You can’t rely on that. All right. Tyler. He’s out.”

Jordan Love to a Geno Smith Kyler 43:41

  • All of these quarterbacks are preferred over Derek Carr.

“Yeah. Camara did not practice on Wednesday. Jamal Williams.”

Kendre Miller and The Return 44:07

  • Kendra Miller, the rookie running back, might be able to comeback after an ankle injury.
  • He has been out since week nine.

“I would be super excited if Camara does not suit up which I think there’s a good chance of that. I’ll be super excited to see Kendra Miller out there if he can get back.”

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Juwan Johnson and His Performance 45:13

  • Juwan Johnson has been performing well as a tight end.
  • He has been getting double-digit points in the past three weeks.

“He’s a fine play. You know if you’ve been playing him I would just keep doing it.”

Carolina Panthers‘ Tough Defense 48:24

  • The Carolina Panthers have a tough defense against quarterbacks and wide receivers.
  • They have given up the fewest fantasy points this season.

“You don’t want to play passing options against Carolina.”

Rachaad White‘s Flex Option 49:17

  • After a disappointing game last week, Rashad White can still be played as a flex option.

“Rashad White has been getting it done for fantasy football.”

Chuba Hubbard and His Volume Play 49:32

  • Chuba has been a volume play, with 16 total opportunities in his last game.
  • The matchup against Tampa Bay is difficult, so efficiency might be low.

“He’s like a flex option to me at best.”

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Adam Thielen‘s Potential 50:38

  • Adam Thielen is expected to have a good game against the Buccaneers due to their poor performance against fantasy wide receivers this season 50:47
  • With Jonathan Mingo on injured reserve, Thielen is likely to see an increase in targets and become a key player for the Panthers 50:59
  • Thielen started the season strong but saw a decrease in targets when Mingo became more involved. However, Mingo was not as efficient with the targets 51:10

“With Mingo completely out of the way, I think they’re going to draw up a lot of automatic plays for Thielen.”

Justin Fields as a Quarterback Starter 51:48

  • Justin Fields is playing for his job with the Bears and this week’s game against the Green Bay Packers is his final audition before the draft 51:55
  • Fields has shown promise in recent games, averaging 20.7 fantasy points per game since week 4 53:16
  • The Packers defense ranks 25th in schedule adjusted fantasy points against quarterbacks since week 11 53:25

“Fields has the opportunity to have a great game against the Packers and prove himself as a starting quarterback.”

Tyrod Taylor as a Quarterback Streamer 53:56

  • Tyrod Taylor is a good streaming option this week as he faces the Philadelphia Eagles, who have struggled against fantasy quarterbacks 54:06
  • Taylor provides a rushing floor and the Eagles are currently last in schedule adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks 54:12

Tyrod Taylor is in play this week and could have a strong performance against the Eagles’ defense.”

Devin Singletary as a Running Back Start 54:23

  • Devin Singletary is a strong start at running back for the Houston Texans, who trust him more than Damian Pierce 54:33
  • Singletary has been performing well, averaging 13.2 fantasy points per game since week 10 54:43
  • The Indianapolis Colts have been a favorable matchup for running backs, ranking 30th in schedule adjusted fantasy points against them 54:56

“Singletary is a phenomenal play and has a great opportunity against the Colts’ defense.”

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Jordan Mason as a Running Back Option 55:40

  • If Elijah Mitchell is unable to play, Jordan Mason could be the starter or see significant playing time for the San Francisco 49ers 55:44
  • The 49ers’ running backs have consistently produced, making Mason a viable option if he gets the start 56:03
  • Mason’s matchup against the Los Angeles Rams becomes even more favorable if Aaron Donald sits out and weakens their run defense 56:34

“Keep an eye on the news, but if Mason gets significant playing time, he could provide a lot of value for fantasy teams.”

Michael Pittman Jr. as a Wide Receiver Start 56:45

  • Michael Pittman Jr. has been one of the most dependable wide receivers in football, averaging 10 targets and 74 receiving yards per game 56:50
  • The Houston Texans have been a favorable matchup for wide receivers, ranking 30th in schedule adjusted fantasy points against them 57:11

“Pity City is a great start this week against the Texans, who struggle against wide receivers.”

Deandre Hopkins‘ Incentive 57:22

  • Deandre Hopkins has the opportunity to earn a significant bonus if he reaches certain yardage and reception milestones 57:45
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed the 23rd most schedule adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers 57:57

“Follow the money and expect Hopkins to be motivated to reach those milestones against the Jaguars.”

Dallas Goedert as a Tight End Start 58:52

  • Dallas Goddard has been performing well in recent weeks, ranking as the 10th and 4th tight end in the past two weeks 58:57
  • The New York Giants have been a favorable matchup for tight ends, making Goddard a strong start 59:05

“Goddard is a solid option at tight end this week, especially against the Giants’ defense.”

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AJ Brown and Devonta Smith 59:02

  • AJ Brown has been ahead of Devante Smith in the last three weeks.
  • Devante Smith is currently dealing with an injury.

“Over the last three weeks ahead of AJ Brown ahead of Devante Smith and Devante Smith.”

Giants’ Struggles with Tight Ends 59:12

  • The Giants defense has been vulnerable to tight ends in the past three weeks.
  • Dallas Goddard had a successful game against them in Week 16.

“The Giants have been torched by tight ends the last three weeks including Dallas Goddard who had seven for seventy one on nine targets in week 16.”

Dalton Schultz and Incentive 59:23

  • Dalton Schultz, the tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, needs four receptions to hit a two hundred fifty thousand dollar incentive.
  • Schultz has been a solid tight end this season, averaging nearly six targets per game.
  • Despite a disappointing performance in the last game, Schultz is likely to reach the four-catch mark in the upcoming game against the Colts.

Dalton Schultz taking on the Colts… He needs four receptions to hit a two hundred fifty thousand dollar incentive and it’s not like he’s a bad place to tighten ten on the season.”

Valuing Dalton Schultz‘s Performance 59:41

  • If Schultz manages to get the four catches, it would likely result in fifty to sixty yards, which is a reasonable output for a tight end.
  • Previous performances have shown that Schultz is capable of having big games.

“I think that they will make sure he gets at least four catches and that if he gets four catches that’s should be at least fifty sixty yards and you’ll take that from your your tight end especially if you’re at that range and we’ve we’ve seen with Stroud him have plenty of big yeah.”

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“We’ve seen him have plenty of big [games].”

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