Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 18 free-agent forecast

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 18 free-agent forecast

Fantasy football roster management tips, strategy and advice

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 18 free-agent forecast


Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.

Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.

Bye weeks: none

Fantasy football waiver wire targets

One-week plays

QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens: In what could be Big Ben’s final NFL game, it’s fitting it will come vs. the Ravens in what usually is a knock-down, drag-out fight. Baltimore is just too beaten up on the back end to compete with any ferocity, and Roethlisberger should close it out on a strong note. He has four very capable weapons in Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Pat Freiermuth, and versatile rookie running back in Najee Harris to help keep what is left of the Ravens defense in check. Big Ben through for 236-2-0 in the Week 13 meeting and is poised to get closer to 300 and three.

Availability: 73%
FAAB: $9-10

RB Le’Veon Bell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers: An ankle injury has Ronald Jones possibly sitting out, and Ke’Shawn Vaughn is dealing with ailing ribs, making Bell in line to draw a start. Carolina allowed five scores on the ground to the position in the most recent five games, and Alvin Kamara caught a TD vs. them last weekend. There’s no doubt Bell isn’t what he used to be on the field, but we have a quality opportunity for a dirt-cheap TD and a handful of catches.

Availability: 96%
FAAB: $34-36

WR Cyril Grayson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers: Another Buc thrust into increased playing time due to injury, among other predictable outcomes, Grayson has been explosive each and every time he has been granted a chance to show it. In Week 8 vs. the New Orleans Saints, he housed his only target on a 50-yarder. In the past two games, Grayson has turned 11 targets into nine catches, 162 yards and a score. Now that’s what you call efficient! Tom Brady will play in this one, and the bizarre ending to Antonio Brown’s career in Tampa (and probably anywhere else) opens the door for Grayson to see at least a half-dozen targets vs. a Carolina secondary that’s banged up and permitted the ninth-most PPR points per game in the month leading up to Week 17.

Availability: 99%
: $8-10

WR Deonte Harris, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons: This one is all about the matchup and the chance for a huge play. The Falcons have given up 18 WR scores in 16 games, and this matchup was 25 percent better than league average entering the contest. Sure, they did a great job against Buffalo, but the elements weren’t conducive to passing the ball with success. Twenty-two wideouts have posted 10-plus PPR points against this defense, and Harris is among them when he corralled six of eight looks for 52 yards in Week 9. Kenny Stills and Marquez Callaway each scored in that one, which offers hope. A rusty Harris returned from a three-week layoff in Week 17, going for only 2-23-0. Going back to his last game before the absence, Harris displayed the precise reason anyone should consider playing him with a 4-96-1 line.

Availability: 86%
: $6-8

WR Laquon Treadwell, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts: Purely for PPR gamers looking to plug a flex spot, Treadwell has been among the most consistent possession guys of late. He has at least five targets, four catches, and 54 yards in six straight games, producing at least 9.4 PPR points in each of those contests — nothing spectacular, but he’s effectively guaranteeing a rock-solid floor each week. While the Colts have given up an average of only 11 receptions to the position in the last four contests, 19 performances of 10-plus points have been had on the year. Treadwell wasn’t a factor in the first meeting as he was buried on the bench.

Availability: 97%
: $5-6

WR Zay Jones, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers: The former Buffalo Bill has posted 11-plus PPR points in three straight games and four of the last six. He has stepped up with Darren Waller (knee, COVID) out, and Derek Carr trusts him. Jones snared 120 yards worth of action on eight grabs vs. Indy last week but wasn’t a factor in the Week 4 trip to LA as much was different for the Raiders at that stage of the season. The Chargers have given up six double-digit PPR performances in the last five outings, and four scores came in that window of operation. The Bolts have yielded a hearty 13.3 yards per catch since Week 12. Finally, it will be all hands on deck for the Raiders as the winner is into the postseason, and we all know LA’s offense can put up points with the best of ’em.

Availability: 99%
: $5-6

TE Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts: Make sure Arnold is removed from the COVID reserve prior to adding him, but he has a solid opportunity should he return to the field. The Jaguars were without TE James O’Shaughnessy (hip) in Week 17, and with the Jaguars on to their RB4 facing a poor matchup, increased passing volume is inevitable. The Colts are, however, a brilliant matchup tight ends. The position has registered the second-most catches and sixth-most yards vs. this defense, and only two teams have permitted more points per game in PPR on the year.

Availability: 94%
FAAB: $1-2

PK Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: Ja’Marr Chase isn’t the only promising rookie on this team … McPherson wasn’t asked to do much in the Week 9 41-16 beatdown by Cleveland, something we just don’t see happening again. If anything, it really could go in the other direction. Over the last seven games, McPherson has booted 10-plus points worth in standard fantasy scoring five times. He has attempted two or more field goals, connecting on 11 of 12, in the last four games. In the event Cincy sits offensive stars, it actually works in his favor as there will be more reliance on taking what you can get on the scoreboard.

Availability: 71%
FAAB: $2-3

PK Brett Maher, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons: Maher wasn’t the kicker for the Week 9 battle, but Brian Johnson made both field goal kicks and his only extra point. The Falcons actually have done a fine job of limiting kickers all year as only three have gone into double-digit fantasy territory. These teams know each other well and profile as a fairly even matchup in the regular-season finale. Maher should be good for two or three treys and at least an extra point.

Availability: 99%
FAAB: $1-2

Indianapolis Colts D/ST at Jacksonville Jaguars: In competitive leagues, Indy is overwhelmingly owned. However, this group could be on the wire in more casual settings as postseason teams may have been inclined to play matchups off the wire. It doesn’t get too much better than this one given all that has gone wrong for the Jaguars, and Indianapolis will pull out all the stops to secure a postseason berth.

Availability: 38%
FAAB: $5-6

Los Angeles Chargers D/ST at Las Vegas Raiders: The run-it-back game comes three months after the first meeting, and many things have changed on both sides, especially for the galvanized Raiders. That said, Derek Carr continues to turn over the ball too much for a serious contender, and it appears to be a long shot Darren Waller (knee, COVID) will be ready. The upcoming Sunday Night Football tilt features a “win and get in” scenario for both teams. The Chargers are just in better position talent-wise and are healthier than during the embarrassing whoopin’ put on them by Houston a few weeks back. Carr was sacked four times and threw a pick in the Week 4 game, and he has tossed a pick in all but three games this year, including five in the last four outings. His offense has failed to score more than 23 points in five straight weeks.

Availability: 46%
FAAB: $3-4


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