Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 18

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 18

Fantasy Football Lineup Management

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 18

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Though most fantasy football championships have already been concluded, there’s a faction of leagues holding the crucial, final matchup in Week 18.

Though that’s not recommended considering the implications of fantasy studs sitting out the final week of the regular season, we’re still here to help with those lineup decisions.

You also can check out our start and sit bench list for Week 17:

Sit: TE Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 Opponent: at Buffalo Bills

Though the tight end landscape is extremely rough, Henry may not be the wisest play in Week 18. It is mostly due to the matchup against the Bills, who have been extremely stout this season. Over the course of the season, they’ve allowed the second-fewest PPR points per game to the position. They’ve also been strong in recent games, allowing the second-fewest PPR points per game over the last five weeks, and they are the only team to not allow a touchdown to the position this season. The Patriots offense isn’t good enough to trust in a terrible matchup.

Start: TE Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 Opponent: at Seattle Seahawks

It has been an odd season for Higbee, who has flashed some impressive volume but also has seen some brutal inconsistencies. With Baker Mayfield under center, Higbee has been the TE3 in those three starts. It’s an incredibly small sample size, but Higbee also finds himself in a strong matchup against the Seahawks. They’ve allowed the most PPR points per game to the position over the season as a whole and the sixth-most over the last five weeks. Seattle’s also allowed the most receiving yards and the sixth-most touchdowns.

Sit: WR Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 Opponent: vs. Houston Texans

If I told you that Pittman needed just four receptions to hit 100 on the season, you’d probably be thinking he had a stellar, breakout season. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. While Pittman has been a PPR monster, he could make some sad history. Should he record four receptions but be held under 92 yards Sunday against the Texans, Pittman will have recorded the fewest receiving yards in a 100-catch season for wide receivers since the merger. That spot currently belongs to Jarvis Landry, who recorded 112 receptions for 987 yards in 2017. With Sam Ehlinger under center, the Colts offense simply has shown no life. Pittman cannot be trusted in a game that may not break 20 total points.

Start: Jacksonville Jaguars WRs

Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 Opponent: vs. Tennessee Titans

No defense has allowed more PPR points per game than the Titans. On the season, they’ve allowed the third-most receptions and yards while surrendering the second-most receiving touchdowns to wide receivers this season. Considering how well they’ve played against the run, the Jaguars should be leaning on their wide receiver corps. This means Christian Kirk is a solid WR2 with WR1 upside, and we know Zay Jones can blow up at any point. Marvin Jones could even enter the conversation as a touchdown-dependent flex option.

Sit: RB J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens

Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 Opponent: at Cincinnati Bengals

It will be difficult for managers to sit Dobbins considering how well he’s played over the last month since returning from injury. Over the last four games, Dobbins is the RB14 in fantasy. However, the Ravens could be without their top-two quarterbacks as Tyler Huntley is now questionable, and the Bengals have been stout against the run. Over the last five weeks, they’ve allowed the sixth-fewest PPR points per game to the position. If you can’t sit Dobbins, temper expectations at least.

Start: RB Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts

(John Jones-USA TODAY Sports)

Week 18 Opponent: vs. Houston Texans

It’s ugly, and if you truly need to lean on Moss, it might be best to simply not watch the game. This matchup between the Colts and Texans could very well turn into a snoozefest featuring two of the worse offenses in the league. Typically, we’d avoid this matchup at all costs. But Moss has been seeing the majority of work in the Colts backfield since Jonathan Taylor was shut down, and they will want to establish the run. Meanwhile, the Texans have allowed the most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns to running backs this season.

Sit: QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Week 18 Opponent: at Denver Broncos

For those relying on the Chargers offense, it may be wise to find pivot options. Herbert presents a tough case for fantasy managers because the Chargers have a mid-afternoon game. If the Baltimore Ravens lose to the Cincinnati Bengals during their 1:00 game, the Chargers are locked into the No. 5 seed. They could rest their starters without any consequence. On top of that, Herbert hasn’t been the most trustworthy quarterback for fantasy. He’s finished as a QB1 just once over the last three weeks, and the Broncos have been strong against quarterbacks this season. It’s probably best to pivot off Herbert just in case they rest the starters but also because of a tough matchup.

Start: QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

(Florida Times Union, USA TODAY Network)

Week 18 Opponent: vs. Tennessee Titans

Last week was a major disappointment for Lawrence managers, but it wasn’t really the quarterback’s fault. The Jaguars expectedly dominated the ground game against the Houston Texans, and it resulted in four rushing touchdowns. Lawrence didn’t have to do anything in the 31-3 blowout. The Jaguars may not have the luxury of leaning on the run game as much against the Titans, but they should be able to throw at will. Over the last five weeks, the Titans have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game, and Lawrence has four top-10 finishes over his last six games.

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