Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 18

Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 18

by January 8, 2022 0 comments

The best part about fantasy football is winning. The second best part is the draft. However, the draft has come and gone. Now fantasy owners struggle with the weekly decision about which players to start, which to sit, and which to use as a sleeper. To help with that, I will provide two starts, two sits, and two sleepers at each position every week. Be sure to reach out with any fantasy football questions you may have. Without further ado, let’s get started.

All stats are based on four-point per passing touchdown and PPR scoring.

Quarterbacks

START: Matthew Stafford vs San Francisco 49ers

While Stafford has struggled the past three weeks, averaging only 12.1 fantasy points per game, fantasy owners should feel confident starting him tomorrow against the 49ers. Stafford is the QB7 for the year, averaging 19.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he scored over 21.5 fantasy points in half the games this season. Tomorrow he takes on a 49ers defense that has struggled to slow down quarterbacks at times in 2021. The 49ers have given up an average of 17.4 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. The Los Angeles Rams need to win this game to lock up the NFC West division. Expect Stafford to come out and have one of his best games of the season.

START: Taysom Hill at Atlanta Falcons

Coming off the Covid-19 list, Hill was a risky start last week against the Carolina Panthers. However, he finished with 17.4 fantasy points despite scoring only one touchdown. More importantly, Hill has averaged 63 rushing yards per game as the starter this season. He has rushed for at least 45 yards in three of his four starts this year. Tomorrow, Hill and New Orleans Saints take on the Falcons in a critical NFC South matchup. The Falcons have given up an average of 19.5 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, the third-most in the NFL. Last week Josh Allen had 81 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against the Falcons. Hill should have similar numbers tomorrow against the Atlanta defense.

SIT: Russell Wilson at Arizona Cardinals

Last week Wilson had his best game this season, throwing four touchdowns and scoring 27.8 fantasy points against the Detroit Lions. However, Wilson has struggled this season, throwing under two touchdown passes in 38.5 percent of the games. Furthermore, he has scored under 17 fantasy points in six of the past seven games before last week. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have held quarterbacks to only 15.8 fantasy points per game this season, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. They have held quarterbacks to under 16 fantasy points in half their games this season. In the Week 11 matchup against the Cardinals, Wilson didn’t throw a touchdown and scored only 8.5 fantasy points. Fantasy owners would be wise to find a replacement option this week.

SIT: Tua Tagovailoa vs New England Patriots

Once the trade deadline passed, Tua started to play the best football of his career. However, he has struggled since the bye week. Over the past three weeks, Tua has averaged one passing touchdown and only 9.4 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, Tua has scored under 14 fantasy points in five of the past seven contests. Unfortunately for Tua, tomorrow’s matchup is far from ideal. The Patriots have held quarterbacks to only 12.5 fantasy points per game this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. They have also held quarterbacks to under 14 fantasy points in nine of their past 10 games. The Patriots can win the AFC East with a win and a Buffalo loss, so expect the defense to come out focused, making Tua’s life a living hell tomorrow.

SLEEPER: Derek Carr vs Los Angeles Chargers

Since the Thanksgiving matchup, Carr has been awful for fantasy owners. He has averaged only 0.8 passing touchdowns and 10.4 fantasy points per game over the past five weeks. The reason why? No Darren Waller. The star tight end suffered a knee injury against the Dallas Cowboys and hasn’t played since Week 12. However, reports are Waller will try to play this week in a must-win game for the Las Vegas Raiders. In the games with Waller on the field, Carr has averaged 1.6 passing touchdowns and 17.3 fantasy points per game this season. Meanwhile, the Chargers have struggled to slow down quarterbacks lately. Over the past four weeks, quarterbacks have averaged 20.5 fantasy points per game against the Chargers. If Waller plays, Carr will have a big bounce-back performance.

SLEEPER: Case Keenum vs Cincinnati Bengals

Now that the Cleveland Browns are eliminated from the playoffs, Baker Mayfield will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Filling in for Baker this week is Keenum. The veteran quarterback was solid in his one start this season, scoring 12.7 fantasy points in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos. However, the matchup this week is much better for Keenum. The Bengals have given up an average of 19.1 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the past five weeks. They have given up at least 19 fantasy points in four of those five games. Furthermore, the Bengals have given up an average of 272.4 passing yards and two passing touchdowns during that span. Fantasy owners who need a replacement quarterback off the waiver wire should target Keenum.

Running Backs

START: Devin Singletary vs New York Jets

While the Buffalo Bills have used several running backs this season, Singletary has taken over as the featured back. Over the past four weeks, Singletary has averaged 18.3 fantasy points per game, scoring at least 14.9 fantasy points in every contest. Furthermore, he has averaged 21 touches, 1.3 rushing touchdowns, and 19.5 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks. Fortunately for him, the matchup tomorrow couldn’t be better. The Jets have surrendered an average of 32.6 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the most in the NFL. They have given up at least one rushing touchdown to running backs in 75 percent of their games this season. After his performance last week, the Bills will heavily lean on Singletary tomorrow.

START: AJ Dillon at Detroit Lions

Unlike most teams in the playoff picture, the Green Bay Packers have nothing to play for this week after locking up the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff last week. While they might play their starters in the first half, expect Jordan Love and the second-stringers to play the majority of the snaps. Dillon has been productive this season despite splitting work with Aaron Jones, averaging 11.1 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Lions have given up an average of 27 fantasy points per game to running backs this season, the fifth-most in the NFL. Last week they gave up 170 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and a career-high 32.5 fantasy points to Rashaad Penny. Dillon should have no trouble ripping apart this poor Detroit run defense.

SIT: Rashaad Penny at Arizona Cardinals

Despite spending most of his career as a fantasy afterthought, Penny has recently turned into a fantasy star, scoring at least 19.5 fantasy points in three of the past four games. However, in the one game he failed to score at least 19.5 fantasy points, Penny faced the Rams and their talent front seven. Tomorrow, he takes on another talented run defense. The Cardinals have held running backs to only 20.8 fantasy points per game this season, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. Furthermore, they have held running backs to under 14 fantasy points in three of their past four games, including holding Jonathan Taylor to only 10.8 fantasy points in Week 16. As great as Penny has been lately, he belongs on the bench this week.

SIT: Cordarrelle Patterson vs New Orleans Saints

After his strong performance in Week 2, Patterson became the hottest waiver wire addition. While he played great the next several weeks, Patterson has regressed lately. Over the past three weeks, Patterson has averaged only 2.2 yards per rushing attempt and 6.6 fantasy points per game, scoring under 8.5 fantasy points in every game. More importantly, he struggled despite out-snapping Mike Davis 89-80 over the past three weeks. Unfortunately for Patterson, the matchup tomorrow is far from ideal. The Saints have held running backs to only 18.7 fantasy points per game this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. They have held running backs to only two rushing touchdowns over the past 11 weeks. As great as he was earlier this season, fantasy owners can’t trust Patterson against the Saints.

SLEEPER: D’Onta Foreman at Houston Texans

The Tennessee Titans are hopeful to have Derrick Henry back for their Super Bowl run. However, Foreman will be the lead back for the Titans this week against the Texans. Foreman has played well this season, scoring 14 or more fantasy points in three of the past four games. More importantly, Foreman rushed for at least 108 yards in three of his past five games despite facing some talented defenses. Tomorrow, he has a terrific matchup for fantasy owners. The Texans have surrendered an average of 27 fantasy points per game this season to running backs, the fourth-most in the NFL. Over the past six weeks, running backs have averaged 1.5 rushing touchdowns per game against the Texans. Given the matchup this week, Foreman has top-12 upside.

SLEEPER: Jaret Patterson at New York Giants

With Antonio Gibson out last week because of Covid-19, Patterson led the way for the Washington Football Team. He had 98 scrimmage yards on 17 touches and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. More importantly, he showed the team he can be part of the backfield rotation next season. Meanwhile, the Giants have given up an average of 1.3 rushing touchdowns and 25.1 fantasy points per game to running backs over the past four weeks. Furthermore, the Giants surrendered at least 120 rushing yards to running backs in three of those four games. While Gibson is off the Covid list, he is dealing with several injuries. Expect Washington to limit Gibson’s workload and lean on Patterson in a meaningless game for the team.

Wide Receivers

START: Brandin Cooks vs Tennessee Titans

Last week, Cooks made the start list and scored 19.6 fantasy points against the 49ers. More importantly, it was the third game in a row that Cooks saw 10 or more targets and scored at least 18 fantasy points. Furthermore, he has played well with Davis Mills this season. Over the past four games Mills has started, Cooks has averaged 9.5 targets, one receiving touchdown, and 21.8 fantasy points per game. Tomorrow, he has an excellent matchup for fantasy owners. The Titans have surrendered an average of 39.9 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the second-most in the NFL. They have also given up 6.6 fantasy points per game more to wide receivers than the league average this season. Expect a strong performance from Cooks tomorrow.

START: Michael Pittman at Jacksonville Jaguars

The second-year player has stepped up as the No. 1 wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts. Pittman is the WR21 for the year, averaging 13.6 fantasy points per game. More importantly, Pittman scored 10.7 or more fantasy points in three of the past four games, scoring 16.5 or more fantasy points twice. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have given up an average of 37.2 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the seventh-most in the NFL. Over the past five weeks, the Jaguars have given up an average of 151.6 receiving yards, 1.6 receiving touchdowns, and 39.4 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. The Colts need to win to make the playoffs, so expect Pittman to see plenty of targets in this game.

SIT: CeeDee Lamb at Philadelphia Eagles

After losing the Cardinals last week, the Cowboys ended any chance of securing the No. 1 seed. While they can still finish anywhere from the two seed to the four seed, the Cowboys might treat tonight’s game as a meaningless contest. Furthermore, the second-year wide receiver has struggled lately, scoring 11 or fewer fantasy points in three straight games. He has also failed to score a touchdown since Week 10. Unfortunately, the matchup tonight is far from ideal. The Eagles have held wide receivers to only 27.4 fantasy points per game this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. They have given up only one receiving touchdown to wide receivers over the past five games. Fantasy owners should be cautious starting any Dallas players this week, especially Lamb.

SIT: Mike Williams at Las Vegas Raiders

While he started the season on fire, scoring 22 or more fantasy points in four of the first five games, Williams has struggled lately. Since Week 6, Williams has scored over 16 fantasy points only once. By comparison, he has scored under eight fantasy points in six of the past 10 games. Unfortunately for his fantasy owners, Williams has a terrible matchup tomorrow night. The Raiders have held wide receivers to only 29 fantasy points per game this season, the third-fewest in the NFL. They have given up over 24 fantasy points to wide receivers only once over their past five games. In the Week 4 matchup, Williams scored a season-low 2.1 fantasy points against the Raiders. He should struggle again in the rematch tomorrow night.

SLEEPER: Darnell Mooney at Minnesota Vikings

Coming off a strong finish to his rookie season, Mooney was a popular sleeper candidate during the preseason. The second-year receiver has been the WR27 this season, averaging 12.2 fantasy points per game. More importantly, Mooney has been solid for fantasy owners lately, averaging 9.7 targets and 14.1 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks. Meanwhile, the Vikings have surrendered an average of 42.6 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the most in the NFL. They have given up at least 42.9 fantasy points to wide receivers in six of their past seven matchups. Furthermore, the Vikings have given up 12 receiving touchdowns to wide receivers over the past 10 weeks. Mooney has top-15 upside this week against a struggling Minnesota secondary.

SLEEPER: Ray-Ray McCloud at Baltimore Ravens

A few weeks ago, McCloud was playing. However, he has recently taken the No. 3 wide receiver role from James Washington. Over the past five weeks, McCloud has played an average of 69.4 percent of the snaps per game. More importantly, McCloud had 18 targets over the past two weeks, accounting for 31.6 percent of his season total. Tomorrow, he has a great matchup in a must-win game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens have surrendered an average of 38.5 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, the fourth-most in the NFL. Furthermore, they have given up an average of 57.6 fantasy points per game to wide receivers over the past three weeks. With Diontae Johnson possibly limited this week coming off Covid-19, McCloud is a solid WR3 option.

Tight Ends

START: Zach Ertz vs Seattle Seahawks

Since DeAndre Hopkins got placed on injured reserve, Ertz has played great for the Cardinals and fantasy owners. Over the past three weeks, he has averaged 11 targets and 12.6 fantasy points per game, scoring at least 11 fantasy points in each game. Furthermore, Ertz leads the team in targets since Hopkins suffered a knee injury. More importantly, he has a great matchup tomorrow in an NFC West showdown. The Seahawks have given up an average of 14.4 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the eighth-most in the NFL. In the Week 11 matchup, Ertz had a season-high 88 receiving yards, two touchdowns, and 28.8 fantasy points against the Seahawks. He has overall TE1 upside this week, given the matchup.

START: Dawson Knox vs New York Jets

During the preseason, Knox was a fantasy afterthought. However, he quickly turned into one of the better fantasy tight ends. Knox is the TE10 on the year, averaging 11.1 fantasy points per game. He has scored a touchdown in half the games this season. More importantly, Knox has been fantasy gold when given a great matchup. Meanwhile, the Jets have given up an average of 15.2 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the seventh-most in the NFL. Over the past seven weeks, tight ends have averaged 17.3 fantasy points per game against the Jets, scoring 20 or more fantasy points in three of those contests. With a win, the Bills secure the division title. Expect a strong performance from Knox tomorrow.

SIT: Mike Gesicki vs New England Patriots

The fourth-year tight end has been inconsistent this season for fantasy owners. Gesicki is the TE8 for the year but has scored under 10 fantasy points in 10 of 16 games this season. Furthermore, he has only two touchdowns this season, ranking 34th among tight ends. More importantly, he has an awful matchup to close out the year. The Patriots have held tight ends to only 6.5 fantasy points per game this season, the fewest in the NFL. They have held tight ends to under 9.5 fantasy points in all but three games this season, including six straight. In the Week 1 matchup against the Patriots, Gesicki had zero fantasy points and only two targets. At this point in the season, Gesicki belongs on the waiver wire.

SIT: Gerald Everett at Arizona Cardinals

Over the past eight weeks, Everett has been the TE8, averaging 10.1 fantasy points per game. However, he scored under seven fantasy points in three of those contests. Furthermore, his targets have decreased. Over the first four games of that span, Everett averaged 6.8 targets per game. By comparison, he has averaged only four targets per game over the past four weeks. More importantly, Everett has an awful matchup to wrap up the season. The Cardinals have held tight ends to only 7.9 fantasy points per game this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. In the Week 11 matchup, Everett scored only 6.7 fantasy points against the Cardinals. Expect a similar performance tomorrow in a meaningless game for the Seahawks.

SLEEPER: Pat Freiermuth at Baltimore Ravens

When the Steelers lost JuJu Smith-Schuster to a season-ending shoulder injury, Freiermuth stepped up. Since Week 6, Freiermuth has been the TE7, averaging 11.3 fantasy points per game. He has scored six of his seven touchdowns this season during that span. More importantly, Freiermuth has an excellent matchup this week. The Ravens have surrendered an average of 15.5 fantasy points per game to tight ends this season, the fourth-most in the NFL. They have allowed tight ends to score at least 10.5 fantasy points in all but three games this season. Furthermore, tight ends have totaled at least five catches and 10.5 fantasy points against the Ravens in six straight games. Thanks to the matchup this week, Freiermuth has top-six upside.

SLEEPER: David Njoku vs Cincinnati Bengals

While tomorrow’s game is meaningless for the Browns, a lot is on the line for Njoku as he is heading into free agency for the first time in his career. He has played well this season, as he is currently third on the team in receiving yards and first in receiving touchdowns. More importantly, Njoku has scored 12.5 or more fantasy points in two of his past four games. Meanwhile, the Bengals have given up an average of 15.5 fantasy points per game this season, the fourth-most in the NFL. Over the past seven weeks, tight ends have averaged 21.9 fantasy points per game against the Bengals, scoring five touchdowns during that span. Expect Njoku to finish the season strong with a massive fantasy performance.


Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

Follow Mike Fanelli on Twitter @Mike_NFL2

Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

Mike is a former journalism major who spent all four years in high school working for the school newspaper. At 29 years old, he is happy to be part of a great team and get his opinions out there.

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Leave a Reply