It seems like just yesterday that we were excited about the kickoff to the 2023 season, and now we find ourselves in the last week of the regular season. I guess it is true what they say; time does fly when you’re having fun. As part of the Week 18 schedule, as there are no Thursday night or Monday night games, we are lucky enough to get two games today between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens then the much-anticipated Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. It will be rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud’s first primetime game, and the playoff implications here are massive.

As you may know, we’ve joined forces with our friends at Sleeper to introduce their Sleeper Picks feature. With Sleeper Picks, you can choose from a variety of players and stat lines, choose whether that player will have more or less than the given stat, and combine your picks for a chance to increase your payout. If you build enough, you can even multiply your entry up to 100x! We only went one of three on Sunday because of some wonkiness, but we’re looking to get back on track today. Here are my favorite Sleeper picks for today’s action. 

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Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers

A date with the Baltimore Ravens would usually be daunting, but as they sewed up the top seed in the AFC last week with a win over Miami, they’re going to be sitting most, if not all, of their starters. Warren has had lots of success in the receiving game, even with a revolving door of quarterbacks, seeing higher than this number in nine out of the 16 games he’s played including the last four in a row. There’s also supposed to be some weather in Pittsburgh involving  rain/snow and 25-35 MPH wind gusts, so any downfield passing will be limited, instead leading Mason Rudolph to check down to his running backs. With Baltimore’s starters out and a must-win game for Pittsburgh, I think Warren has a big impact in getting a win.

Pick: Jaylen Warren more than 21.5 receiving yards (1.80x)

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans

It’s wild to think that C.J Stroud hasn’t yet been in a primetime game, especially with the hype he’s seen throughout the season, but here we are in his first night game in a must-win situation. Now, he’s only thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven of his 14 games, but with this being a win-and-in situation, I expect the passing volume to go up. The Texans are averaging 39 pass attempts per game as it is, and although the Colts passing defense has been okay, its deficiencies may be a little overlooked because of how bad they are in the run game. They’re averaging 1.3 passing touchdowns by the quarterback per game, but in this situation, I think Stroud provides a little extra juice to get him over the hump.

Pick: C.J. Stroud more than 1.5 passing touchdowns (1.72x)

Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans

Sticking with the Texans, I’m looking at Dalton Schultz for my final selection. He’s one of the many players this week who have incentives riding on this game, and although his revolves around receptions, I’m leaning towards his yardage. Wide receiver Noah Brown has already been ruled out, leaving Schultz and Nico Collins as the top two weapons, and the Colts have been susceptible against the tight end position. They’ve allowed 8.2 targets and 56.6 yards per game, and although Schultz has been hit or miss at times this year, this is a prime position for him to produce. A must-win game AND incentives on the line? Sign me up!

Pick: Dalton Schultz more than 44.5 receiving yards (1.71x)


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