Underdog Battle Royale Week 18 Rankings

Fantasy Football

Quarterback:

  1. Dak Prescott

  2. Jordan Love

  3. Jalen Hurts

  4. Baker Mayfield

  5. Kyler Murray

  6. Jared Goff

Sleepers: Trevor Lawrence, Geno Smith, Justin Fields, Derek Carr, Nick Mullens

This is a week where I really want to prioritize taking a QB early. I like the top four options, as they have the most to play for, and have generally been playing really well. Yes maybe one of the other QBs has great week and outscores them, but it feels thin. especially given some of the defenses they are going against and the injuries/motivations working against them. That doesn’t apply for the top four on this list.

Prescott has the best match-up, as he shredded the Commanders on Thanksgiving, and should look to do so again as the Cowboys look to lock up the East and the number 2 seed. He’s more than capable of 300+ and 3-5 TDs. The biggest risk here is if the defense steals a TD or two, or maybe they have a couple rushing TDs instead. Jordan Love has been playing great and I don’t expect that to stop against the Bears. While he’s likely to still be missing a few weapons, it sounds like Reed at least will be back.

Hurts just put up 20+ points vs the Giants on Christmas Day, and now gets them again in the hopes that they can somehow retake the NFC East. My concern is that the Eagles might be more content to just sit on a lead and really run the ball vs the Giants. If Hurts doesn’t get a rushing TD it could be tough for him to get there fantasy-wise. Mayfield comes in not only in a must win game, but a bit of revenge vs the Panthers who cut him last season. He’s also got some contract incentives for production, so perhaps they could be a little more pass friendly if the situation presents itself.

Running backs:

  1. Rachaad White

  2. James Conner

  3. Aaron Jones

  4. Travis Etienne Jr.

  5. Kenneth Walker III

  6. Tony Pollard

  7. Breece Hall

  8. Jahmyr Gibbs

  9. Khalil Herbert

  10. D’Andre Swift

  11. Saquon Barkley

  12. Bijan Robinson

Sleepers: Elijah Mitchell, Joe Mixon, David Montgomery, Zamir White, Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott

A lot of big-name backs are likely to be sitting, so the focus is finding those backs that will be involved this week. At the top White, Conner, Jones and Etienne all look like strong plays. Conner isn’t playing for much, but the Cards seem like they will play their starters. Etienne has a tough match-up on paper, but look for the Jags to utilize him, especially with concerns at QB this week.

Walker remains the Seahawks top back, and Seattle still has some hope of making the playoffs. I like Pollard vs a Washington Defense that has been awful against running backs. Swift had a good game in this match-up two weeks ago, and with the Eagles potentially without Smith, they could rely on the run a bit more.

The interesting thing for me is do we play Mitchell over some bigger names here. On one hand the 49ers will likely try to run a lot, but on the other hand they will be sitting most of their top weapons. They might not get as many scoring opportunities. Mitchell himself will likely cede some of the work to Jordan Mason.

Wide Receivers:

  1. CeeDee Lamb

  2. Mike Evans

  3. A.J. Brown

  4. Amon-Ra St. Brown

  5. DK Metcalf

  6. Justin Jefferson

  7. Jayden Reed

  8. Chris Olave

  9. Calvin Ridley

  10. Davante Adams

  11. Chris Godwin

  12. Puka Nacua

  13. DJ Moore

  14. Ja’Marr Chase

  15. Brandin Cooks

  16. Darius Slayton

  17. Jordan Addison

  18. Tyler Lockett

Sleepers: DeAndre Hopkins, Romeo Doubs, Bo Melton, Rashid Shaheed, Drake London, Terry McLaurin, Adam Thielen

There are still a lot of injuries and motivations to figure out, but I’m on board with the top 3 of this list to start a team with. The Cowboys, Bucs and Eagles all have a lot to play for and should all lead to their star WR getting 10+ targets. Lamb has the most favorable match-up, vs a terrible Commanders secondary. The Lions say that they are going to play their starters, so ASB has to be in play, but it’s probably a bit riskier this week. Any minor tweak, and I could see Lions players sitting the rest of the game.

In the middle of the WR tier I like Justin Jefferson with a full game of gunslinger Nick Mullens. Jayden Reed and Chris Olave also both have favorable spots in must-win games. I’d expect both playmakers to be heavily involved. Ridley is in a similar spot, but the risk is we don’t know the status of the Jags QB. Even if Lawrence plays he might be less than 100%.

Lower on this list I think it is interesting you could get a look at a Nacua, Moore or Chase maybe sliding in as your WR2 or Flex. Motivations are a bit questionable, but if they are playing they could be steals at this draft position. I also don’t mind targeting Brandin Cooks, who had a good Thanksgiving vs Washington or Slayton who has back-to-back weeks of good production on limited targets. If they actually give him a few more looks maybe that big game could be there.

Tight Ends:

  1. Trey McBride

  2. Evan Engram

  3. Dallas Goedert

  4. Jake Ferguson

  5. Juwan Johnson

  6. Darren Waller

Sleepers: Tucker Kraft, Kyle Pitts, Gerald Everett, Chig Okonkwo, Noah Gray, Davis Allen

Tight end is interesting this week as a few guys are sitting and others have less-than-stellar motivations. That leaves a pretty thin group of players that you can reasonably count on to utilize at TE. McBride isn’t playing for much, but the Cardinals have been playing spoiler, and I could still see him getting a strong target share. I like the trio of Engram, Goedert and Ferguson as where I want to mainly grab my TEs from. All three have a lot to play for, and could be the 2nd leading target on the team.

Among the sleepers Tucker Kraft and Davis Allen are the most interesting. Kraft has a lot to play for as the Packers need a win against the Bears. With some of the receivers still banged up he should continue to command decent number of targets. Allen should be replacing the injured Higbee, but he also could be even more of a focal point with both Williams and Kupp sitting.


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