If there’s one thing that fantasy football fans know about Week 18, it’s that it’s very difficult to predict. Most of the teams across the NFL are playing for nothing right now. Some playoff spots are still up for grabs while seeding is also a hot topic, but aside from those select few, the Week 18 games are meaningless. They are all divisional rivalries, per usual, to keep the competitive juices flowing, but some teams may opt to sit their starters, which has a major impact on NFL DFS tournaments on DraftKings and FanDuel.
You can usually predict which teams will sit their starters, or at least consider pulling them earlier than normal. It’s almost always playoff teams that are trying to stay healthy moving forward or young teams that want to assess their roster depth in the final week of the season. As such, it’s usually best to roll with players on teams that are competing for something.
Since there are so few of those, stacks become even more important than they were already. They give your DraftKings and FanDuel lineups chances to earn “double points,” and they create lineup differentiation. Most important, in Week 18, they ensure that you can load up on players still playing for something while taking a couple of fliers on sleepers that could pan out.
So, feel free to load up on guys from teams like the Cardinals, Colts, Saints, and Titans. And don’t be afraid to trust some of the backups in good matchups if we know that the starters ahead of them are going to sit.
DraftKings pricing continues to be more variable than that of FanDuel which makes it easier to create stacks. That said, stacking is still a viable strategy on FanDuel. It’s just important to find worthwhile sleepers in the lower price range to balance your lineup.
Below are some of our favorite sets of teammates for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups. Be sure to follow our Twitter account @SN_Fantasy to see all of our DFS content heading into kickoff every week.
Week 18 NFL DFS Picks: Top cash game stacks for DraftKings, FanDuel
QB Ryan Tannehill, RB D’Onta Foreman, & WR A.J. Brown, Titans at Texans (DK/FD Stack)
The Titans lost to the Texans last time they played, so some will shy away from them in this matchup. That said, that was a fluky loss, and the Titans really should have won big in that contest. Tennessee actually outgained Houston 420 to 190. However, Tannehill had an awful game and threw four interceptions. That allowed the Texans to stay in the game and ultimately win.
It’s safe to say that Tannehill will be out for revenge in this one. He’ll want to play cleaner, avoid mistakes, and earn a win to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. He threw for 323 yards and a touchdown against the Texans in Week 11, so if he can avoid the turnovers, he could have a big day.
It will help Tannehill to have Brown available and healthy. Brown had five catches for 48 yards the last time these two teams played, but he should be in line for a bigger role this time, as Julio Jones will take at least some attention away from him. Meanwhile, Foreman has emerged as the Titans’ top back and has run for at least 108 yards in three of his past five games. The Texans have allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL at 143.4 per game, so Foreman should have a huge day.
These three all have high floors in a game where the Titans are playing for something and the Texans are playing for nothing. That seems like a good approach to take, especially considering that these players aren’t in the high-end price range.
QB Kyler Murray, WR Antonie Wesley, & TE Zach Ertz (DK Stack)
The Cardinals have a chance to win the NFC West on Sunday, so they will be motivated for this game. The Seahawks? Not so much. They just crushed the Lions and will now shift their focus toward 2022 as they finish out the season.
That should give the Cardinals an advantage. After all, they crushed the Seahawks with Colt McCoy at quarterback and saw Ertz catch eight passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. He could do even better with Kyler Murray under center.
The Seahawks have given up the ninth-most TDs to tight ends (9), the ninth-most receiving yards to wide receivers (2,602), and the second-most passing yards to quarterbacks (4,526). That means every position in the Cardinals’ passing game could have a big day. Obviously, that means to trust Murray but as far as weapons go, anyone is worthwhile.
That said, we’re going with the biggest TD threats. Wesley had four catches against the Seahawks last time and caught two touchdowns last week. And as mentioned, Ertz was a monster against Seattle, so trusting him seems like the right move. You could also go with Christian Kirk or A.J. Green, but Murray, Wesley and Ertz have a high TD floor. So, feel free to grab all three and get the lineup differentiation that will come with starting Wesley.
RB Jonathan Taylor & Colts D/ST, Colts at Jaguars (DK/FD Stack)
Look, it’s not rocket science at this point. Taylor leads the NFL in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. He has four consecutive 100-yard games and gets to play the Jaguars, a team against which he ran for 116 yards and a touchdown while catching six passes back in Week 10. He should have a big game this week.
The Colts are fighting for their playoff lives but can get in with a win. That gives them every incentive to blow the Jaguars out of the water. To do that, they will certainly need to trust Taylor, so he could get a lot more touches than usual.
Defensively, the Colts have forced 33 turnovers, tied for the most in the league with the Cowboys. Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars have a league-high 29 giveaways and score a league-low 14.2 points. They will have a very tough time scoring on the Colts, so feel free to roll with their defense.
Taylor and the Colts will be highly owned, but they are must-starts in cash games. Their floors are just so high in what is arguably the juiciest matchup on the Week 18 slate.
Week 18 DraftKings, FanDuel Picks: Best stacks for daily fantasy football GPPs/tournaments
QB Taysom Hill, RB Alvin Kamara, & WR Marquez Callaway, Saints at Falcons (DK/FD stack)
The Saints have a nice-looking matchup against the Falcons this week, especially for Hill. Atlanta has given up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, partially because they struggle against scramblers.
The Falcons have allowed 413 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground to quarterbacks this year. That’s something of which Hill can take advantage, similarly to Josh Allen. The Bills’ starter had a rough passing day against the Falcons defense, but he still was fine for fantasy purposes, as he had 81 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Hill might not reach those heights, but his rushing floor is extremely high.
The same goes for Kamara. The Falcons have shored up their shoddy run defense from a year ago, but it still has its share of issues. The Falcons rank top 10 in catches and receiving yards allowed to RBs and have allowed 14 touchdowns on the ground. Kamara will have a chance to play a key role as a checkdown, and with him and Hill in the lineup, we ensure that we’ll likely get any rushing TD the Saints have.
The final piece to the puzzle is the top receiving weapon for the Saints. That has changed on a weekly basis this season, but Callaway has averaged 5.3 catches and 85 yards per game in his past three outings on 24 total targets. If the Falcons focus too much on stopping Deonte Harris’ speed, Callaway could torch them.
This trio isn’t overly expensive and probably won’t be highly owned, but they are a good combo. The Saints are fighting for a playoff berth, so they’ll be motivated to win this one. The Falcons don’t have anything to fight for, so they could be a bit more porous than usual on defense.
QB Taylor Heinicke, WR Terry McLaurin, & TE John Bates, Washington at Giants (DK/FD stack)
The Giants have been an absolute dumpster fire during their five-game losing streak. They are averaging just 9.8 points per game while allowing 28.2 points per game, so this seems like a good spot for Washington.
After a poorly timed COVID outbreak, Washington is starting to get somewhat healthier, and they soon may have a good chunk of their offensive weapons back, pending the status of Antonio Gibson (reserve/COVID). Either way, Washington looks poised to compete after nearly beating the Eagles last week, and it played well against the Giants earlier in the season.
In Week 2, Heinicke threw for 336 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against New York. He could post similar numbers if the Giants players continue their lackadaisical play. Meanwhile, Terry McLaurin had 11 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown in that contest despite playing against James Bradberry. He seems like a good matchup for the physical corner, so Heinicke could throw to him early and often.
You could limit the stack to Heinicke and McLaurin if you wanted, but Bates is a good, cheap addition here. He will be the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart, as Logan Thomas (torn ACL) and Ricky Seals-Jones (concussion) both are likely to miss this one. That will make Bates a potential middle-of-the-field target.
Bates may mainly serve as a blocker, but if he can catch a TD, he’ll pay off at his price tag. He’s just $3,000 on DK and $4,600 on FD.
RB Patrick Taylor Jr. and Packers D/ST, Packers at Lions (DK stack)
The Packers seem likely to rest their starters in Week 18 with the NFC’s No. 1 seed locked up. As such, they’re a team whose backups can be trusted in an advantageous spot against the Lions.
Detroit has vastly outperformed expectations in the latter third of the season, but it still has some significant weaknesses. They continue to struggle against running backs and have allowed 25 total touchdowns to the position this year. That’s the second most in the NFL behind only the Jets.
Jordan Love didn’t look sharp in his first start with the Packers, so Green Bay seems likely to run a lot to take pressure off the young quarterback. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon may dress, but Taylor seems likely to get the biggest workload of the bunch. He has 36 yards on 12 carries this year, but if he gets a big workload against a bad run defense, he could pay off easily as a bottom-dollar player.
Taylor may not be highly owned either as he’s an unknown commodity, but in this matchup, he’s worth a risk in tournament formats. Adding the Packers defense to the mix with him is a smart move, as they should be able to slow Jared Goff (knee) or Tim Boyle and create some turnovers. Again, the Packers defense will probably be down some starters, but the matchup is still good enough that we’re willing to trust it.