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Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 18: Who Can You Trust In the NFL’s Final Week?

Jeremy breaks down some of the hardest start/sit for fantasy football decisions in a Week 18 with plenty of players resting for playoffs.

I cannot believe it is Week 18 already. Congratulations to everyone who won their league championship last week. It is not an easy task to win a fantasy championship, so take the time to enjoy the moment. Now, for anyone who has a Week 18 championship matchup, we must stay focused and not over-complicate our lineup decisions this week. This is not the time to get cute and start Nick Mullens over an elite quarterback or fall into the trap of trusting players who might only play a quarter or half because their team is already locked into the playoffs and their playoff seed. When in doubt, you can check out our rankings at and start the highest-ranked players at each position. Keep in mind we have two Saturday games this week. Now let’s get started on who to start and sit for Week 18.

Week 18 Quarterback Starts

Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles

These two teams faced off just a couple of weeks ago in Week 16, and Tyrod Taylor came in during the second half of that game and almost led the New York Giants to a come-from-behind victory in Philadelphia. Taylor had 133 passing yards and two carries for 21 yards and one touchdown, but more importantly, he gave the offense a spark and they moved the football against the Eagles’ defense. The Eagles’ defense has struggled against the pass all season and has been struggling in general of late, and I believe Taylor will throw for 250 yards or more with two touchdowns this week.

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Justin Fields has been playing great since returning from his thumb injury earlier this season and he has an excellent matchup this week against the Green Bay Packers’ defense. Over his last three games played Fields has completed 54.5% of his passes for 604 passing yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions; he has also added 172 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He is building a nice rapport with wide tight end Cole Kmet and wide receiver D.J. Moore as the season progresses, which should help him going into this week and next season. Fields currently ranks as QB9 over his last three games, and I believe he will have 300 total yards and two touchdowns this week.

For more help setting your lineups, check out our Weekly Fantasy Football Rankings, updated daily by Chris Kennedy, one of FantasyPros’ Top 15 Football Rankers!

Week 18 Quarterback Sits

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers

Baker Mayfield struggled last week at home against the New Orleans Saints, and he will struggle again this week on the road against an underrated Carolina Panthers defense. This is a revenge game for Mayfield, but after watching him struggle last week in a game to clinch the NFC South division title, I do not have a lot of faith in him this week. Mayfield is currently the QB9 this season and he is having a great season for the Buccaneers, but I just cannot trust him this week. I believe Mayfield will throw for under 225 yards and one touchdown this week, so I would sit him if you have another option.

Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Mason Rudolph has had two good starts in Weeks 16 and 17 with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff hopes on the line, but I would not trust him on the road against a top-five Baltimore Ravens defense this week. I know there will be fantasy managers who will be tempted to start him this week after he completed 68.6% of his passes for 564 passing yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks, but I just cannot trust him in Baltimore during the fantasy championship week. I would sit him this week if there is another option on your bench or waiver wire.

Week 18 Running Back Starts

D’Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

D’Andre Swift is back on my start list this week despite an underwhelming performance on my list last week. I believe he bounces back this week against a New York Giants defense that let him run for 92 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown in Week 16. Swift is currently ranked as the RB17 in PPR scoring this season, and I am expecting him to have 150 total yards and a touchdown this week.

James Conner, Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle Seahawks

James Conner has been great over the last three weeks, and he gets a favorable matchup this week against a struggling Seattle Seahawks defense that just gave up 202 rushing yards at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cardinals must run the football to take some of the pressure off Kyler Murray. If they do, both Conner and Murray will have big days like they did last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Over the last three weeks, Conner has been the RB4 in PPR scoring, and I believe he will get 150 total yards or more with a touchdown this week.

Week 18 Running Back Sits

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars

I know this is usually the time of the year when Derrick Henry is really hitting his stride and the Titans are about to clinch a playoff spot, but this is not the same old Henry of the past couple of seasons. Henry is starting to lose a step as he gets older, and I think you can really see that this season. He is also losing touches each week to rookie Tyjae Spears. Henry is also facing a good Jacksonville Jaguar run defense this week. Henry is currently ranked as the RB10 in PPR scoring on the season, which is good, but he has been very inconsistent from week to week. When the Titans’ offense struggles to stay ahead of the chains, he can be completely shut down. I expect Henry and the Titans’ offense to struggle this week, so just be prepared for less than 100 yards and hope for a touchdown.

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

I cannot figure out what is going on with the Atlanta Falcons’ backfield this season. Bijan Robinson should be the lead back, but for most of the season he has been close to a 50/50 split with fellow running back Tyler Allgeier. Robinson ranks as the RB37 in PPR scoring over the last three weeks, and he faces a tough and surging New Orleans Saints run defense in Week 18, so expect him to struggle again this week. I am expecting him to be held to under 100 total yards, and I do not think he will score a touchdown … but I think Allgeier will.

Week 18 Wide Receiver Starts

Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders

Brandin Cooks is quietly having a nice second half of the season. He is also continuing to build a nice rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott. Over the last eight weeks he has 31 receptions on 44 targets for 453 yards and five touchdowns, which ranks him as the WR23 during that stretch. He gets a very favorable matchup against the Washington Commanders’ defense this week, so I expect him to see a lot of targets and it is possible that he could go over 100 receiving yards with a touchdown.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders vs Dallas Cowboys

Curtis Samuel is on my start list this week because one of the ways you attack the Dallas Cowboys defense is with the slot receiver and Samuel lines up as a slot receiver the majority of the time when he is on the field. The last time the Commanders played the Cowboys was in Week 12, and Samuel had nine receptions on 12 targets for 100 yards. I believe he could have six receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown this week.

Week 18 Wide Receiver Sits

Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders vs Dallas Cowboys

I know I have Terry McLaurin’s teammate as a start this week, but I do not feel the same about McLaurin this week. McLaurin faces a tough matchup against shutdown cornerback DaRon Bland this week. The Dallas Cowboys’ defense is a top-five defense overall in the NFL so far this year, so I don’t expect the Washington Commanders’ offense to be able to throw to the outside receivers as Sam Howell will be under pressure all game and will not have time to wait for them to get open.

Drake London, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Drake London is back on my sit list this week. He is a player that I absolutely loved going into this season, but because of bad quarterback play and bad play calling this season he has struggled to get targets and catchable passes. Like his teammate Robinson, he has a tough matchup this week with a surging New Orleans Saints defense. Because of shaky quarterback play and the fact I cannot trust that he will be a part of the game plan, I would put London on the bench this week if you have another solid option.

Week 18 Tight End Starts

Tucker Kraft, Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears

This is one where we will have to monitor the practice reports this week for both Luke Musgrave and Jayden Reed, but if one or both miss this week’s game, then Kraft is a must-start during your championship matchup. Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love has been on fire during the last three weeks, and that is with a banged-up receiving group. Kraft has been the one constant over those three weeks with Love, as he ranks as TE8 over his last three games played this season. I expect Kraft to get five receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown this week if Musgrave is inactive again this week.

Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons

Juwan Johnson is back on my start list this week after his big game in Week 17. Last week, Johnson had eight receptions on 12 targets for 90 yards and a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense., and he has clearly developed chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr over the last three weeks.  Johnson ranks as the TE2 in PPR scoring over the last three weeks, and I am expecting him to have another nice game this week with seven receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Week 18 Tight End Sits

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

Cole Kmet would not be on my sit list this week as he is having a nice season, but I do not want anyone starting him this week as it looked obvious last week that he is injured and cannot run as well due to the knee injury he suffered in Week 16. Kmet ranks as the TE7 in PPR scoring and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Green Bay Packers defense, but I believe that the Bears will use him as a decoy like they did last week. So, I would sit him this week if you can. Otherwise, you are just hoping for a short touchdown from him.

Darren Waller, New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles

Darren Waller is back on my sit list this week. I know he has been hurt for most of this season, but now that he is healthy again, I do not understand why he is not a focal point of the New York Giants’ game plan every week. But he isn’t. I know he finally had a decent game last week against the L.A. Rams defense and he is better with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, but I still cannot trust him this week during my championship matchup.

Week 18 Defense Starts

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense at Carolina Panthers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defense gets an excellent matchup this week against a struggling Carolina Panthers offense. I am expecting the Buccaneers’ defense to get at least four sacks and two turnovers in this game. They will put pressure on quarterback Bryce Young all game long, so I would start the Buccaneers’ defense in every league you can this week.

New Orleans Saints Defense, New Orleans vs Atlanta Falcons

The New Orleans Saints’ defense has been getting better as we move toward the end of the season, and this will be a great matchup for them against the Atlanta Falcons this week. The Saints’ defense will get four sacks and two turnovers in this game, so I would pick them up this week and start them if they are available in your league.

Week 18 Defense Sits

Buffalo Bills Defense at Miami Dolphins

The Buffalo Bills get the tough task of trying to stop the Miami Dolphins’ offense this week. The Bills’ defense has some playmakers, but I believe they will be overmatched by the Dolphins’ speed and big plays this week. I believe this game will be a shootout in Miami, so I would find another defense to start this week if possible.

Chicago Bears Defense vs. Green Bay Packers

The Chicago Bears’ defense gets the tough task of taking on the red-hot Jordan Love-led Packers’ offense this week. The Packers’ offense has been putting up big numbers over the last three weeks and that starts with Love playing well and not making costly mistakes. The Bears have been playing well on defense over the last three weeks, but I believe the Packers will stay hot and put this game away early, so I would avoid the Bears’ defense this week.

Good luck in Week 18 everyone!