The final week of the NFL season is upon us. For most fantasy football leagues, there is no further activity, with the playoffs having concluded at the end of the Week 17 contests. If you are still competing for the league trophy, there are still some potential free agents to pluck off the wire to pump up your point totals. Although, it bears repeating, due to teams not playing all their best players in cases where the seeding has been finalized, your league would be better served not relying on the final week’s games to determine who reigns supreme. Even a scheme employing combined Week 17 and 18 points carries too much potential risk for some to be contented with the limits on the player assemblage in terms of actual playing time provided. Just a suggestion when setting up next season’s schedule. Now here is the Fantasy Football IDP Report for NFL Week 18.


Fantasy Football IDP Risers – Elevator Going Up


Cody Barton, Washington Commanders

Barton has been a tremendous source of tackles since the Week 14 bye week vacation, collecting 35 total tackles (TT) over those three games (21 solo). He is not much for the big play production, but in a tackle-oriented format he is well worth snapping up for the upcoming Week 18 contest at home against the Cowboys.

Terrel Bernard, Buffalo Bills 

(Owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues, 61.6% ESPN)

Bernard took advantage of a great matchup last week to rack up double digit tackles (10 TT, eight solo) while also collecting a pair of sacks against the Patriots, giving him three in two weeks. This week’s contest is a tougher one for the linebacker, but there is much on the line for the Bills in this game, and the second-year player has become an every-down LB, a valuable station in fantasy circles, despite his relative scarcity on fantasy waiver wires/free agent markets.

Trenton Simpson, Baltimore Ravens

If you review his stat sheet over the season, you might question his inclusion in this week’s IDP Report. Remember, however, that once a team is locked in as the Ravens are with their playoff seating, the players being showcased change. Patrick Queen is questionable and Roquan Smith is not expected to play a huge role on the defensive side of the ball in Week 18. That leaves Simpson as an inside LB that should see nearly every snap and is projected to put up big fantasy results for those who can take advantage of his opportunity.

Jahlani Tavai, New England Patriots

Keep an eye on the injury report for the Pats, but also expect Tavai to put up good to great fantasy numbers if his limited practice status graduates to full participation as the week progresses. He is coming off a 10 TT effort against middling opponent and gets to face a bit better matchup with the Jets in Foxborough in Week 18. 

Defensive Linemen

Travon Walker, DE Jacksonville Jaguars

The 2022 first round pick has come into his own this year, racking up nine sacks this season, including four over the past three games. He also has 15 TT over that stretch of contests (11 solo). He has a great matchup in store this week with the Titans hosting the playoff-seeking Jaguars, who will be doing their utmost to frustrate any spoiler desires Tennessee may be harboring.

Alex Wright, DE Cleveland Browns

Wright has been credited with a sack in each of the last three games, but certainly has not been much a force in the tackling department of late, with just one solo in each of the last two contests. He has also been seeing more playing time (PT) during the recent trio of games, and the tackles should increase with the additional snaps on defense.

Jerry Hughes, DE Houston Texans

The veteran defensive end is in line for some additional snaps on defense with Jonathan Greenard questionable for action this week against the host Colts. Both teams are fighting to play in the post-season, and the action should result in significant opportunities for IDP production, especially if Hughes slides into a starting role this week.

David Onyemata, DT Atlanta Falcons

Our sole DT this week, the Falcon DL has a superb matchup with the host Saints having yielded the fifth most points to opposing DTs through the first 17 weeks of the season. As the starter at nose tackle, in a DT-mandatory league format, he has value and is readily available to be added to your roster.

Defensive Backs

K’Von Wallace, S Tennessee Titans

He returned to action after a quadriceps issue forced him to miss Week 16’s tilt against the Seahawks, showing no restrictions as he racked up a team-leading 11 TT (seven solo). He played every down against the host Texan offense, and this week’s opponent is an equivalent matchup at home. 

DeMarcco Hellams, S Atlanta Falcons

The rookie safety has been collecting tackles in bunches over the past few weeks, with 21 TT to his credit over three games (14 solo). The downside to his Week 18 forecast is that he needs to clear concussion protocol to be able to build on his recent success. 

Kerby Joseph, S Detroit Lions

The Detroit DB has corralled six solo takedowns in each of the last two games, and has 15 TT over those two contests. He managed to put up nine TT against this week’s opponent just two weeks past, and with Minnesota seeking a playoff slot and absolutely needing a victory, look for them to put out a strong offensive effort in Week 18, and that should result in plenty of action for Joseph once again. Knowing how the Lion head coach wants all-out effort from his team, expect Joseph to be active.

Christian Benford, CB Buffalo Bills

With Buffalo seeking a victory to secure the AFC East title, expect them to pull out all the stops against the host Dolphins, who are also seeking the division title. Benford has put up the occasional big play over the four games the Bills have played since their bye in Week 13, as well as producing ample tackles nearly every week, and occasionally great tackle numbers.

Starling Thomas V, CB Arizona Cardinals

Following the Week 14 bye, Thomas has been active on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, racking up significant PT. 18 TT (17 solo) to his credit from Week 15 through 17. This week does not necessarily slot up as a great matchup, although he gets to play at home against the Seahawks who need to win in order to have a chance at post-season action, and thus will be testing the rookie CB most likely.


Week 18 Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the first team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Broncos, Browns or Ravens, but certainly you will do well if you own a top DB playing on either side of the Eagle/Giant contest or a Packer defensive end going against the division-rival Bears that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee

Denver Broncos @ Las Vegas

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati

Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh

Defensive Ends

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans

New York Jets @ New England

Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville

Defensive Tackles 

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati

San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore

New York Giants vs Philadelphia

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis


Green Bay Packers vs Chicago

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo 

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati

Detroit Lions vs Minnesota


Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco

Los Angeles Chargers vs Kansas City

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants

New York Giants vs Philadelphia


Week 18 Waiver Wire Targets

This section is intended to serve as a shortened cheat sheet listing those waiver wire targets you should be considering if you need to plug a hole in your starting lineup. All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. Not all the players commented on are here, however, as there is no need to waste your time searching for players that are heavily owned. This group consists of those that you may have a chance of locating on your league's waiver wire in that they are owned in significantly less than 50% of leagues. Happy claiming for your weekly matchups.


Cody Barton Washington Commanders

Trenton Simpson Baltimore Ravens

Jahlani Tavai New England Patriots

Defensive Linemen

Travon Walker DE Jacksonville Jaguars

Alex Wright DE Cleveland Browns

Jerry Hughes DE Houston Texans

David Onyemata DT Atlanta Falcons

Defensive Backs

K’Von Wallace S Tennessee Titans

DeMarcco Hellams S Atlanta Falcons

Kerby Joseph S Detroit Lions

Christian Benford CB Buffalo Bills

Starling Thomas V CB Arizona Cardinals


NFL IDP Injury Report - Ouch (My Aching Roster)

All the injury reports below need evaluation prior to kickoff.  Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. Consider the list below as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.


Trevor Nowaske Arizona Cardinals undisclosed

Malik Harrison Baltimore Ravens groin

Tyus Bowser Baltimore Ravens knee

Patrick Queen Baltimore Ravens shoulder

Kyle Van Noy Baltimore Ravens calf

Del’Shawn Phillips Baltimore Ravens shoulder

Kamu Grugier-Hill Carolina Panthers groin

Chandler Wooten Carolina Panthers ankle IR

Claudin Cherelus Carolina Panthers knee IR

Luiji Vilain Carolina Panthers knee IR

Marquis Haynes Carolina Panthers concussion 

Anthony Walker Cleveland Browns knee

Baron Browning Denver Broncos concussion

James Houston Detroit Lions ankle IR

De’Vondre Campbell Green Bay Packers neck

Isaiah McDuffie Green Bay Packers concussion

Kenneth Murray Los Angeles Chargers shoulder

Tanner Muse Los Angeles Chargers knee IR

Joey Bosa Los Angeles Chargers foot IR

Bradley Chubb Miami Dolphins knee-ACL

Marcus Davenport Minnesota Vikings ankle IR

Troy Dye Minnesota Vikings wrist IR

Matt Judon New England Patriots biceps IR

Nephi Sewell New Orleans Saints knee-ACL

Carter Coughlin New York Giants shoulder 

Zaire Barnes New York Jets hamstring IR

Zach Cunningham Philadelphia Eagles knee

Nakobe Dean Philadelphia Eagles foot IR

Elandon Roberts Pittsburgh Steelers pectoral

Jordyn Brooks Seattle Seahawks ankle

Drake Thomas Seattle Seahawks knee IR

Shaquill Barrett Tampa Bay Buccaneers groin

Chance Campbell Tennessee Titans undisclosed IR

Defensive Linemen


Carlos Watkins Arizona Cardinals biceps IR

L.J. Collier Arizona Cardinals biceps IR

Jonathan Ledbetter Arizona Cardinals knee IR

Leonard Floyd Buffalo Bills ribs

Obo Okoronkwo Cleveland Browns pectoral

Will Anderson, Jr. Houston Texans ankle

Dylan Horton Houston Texans personal NFI-R

Jonathan Greenard Houston Texans ankle

Isaiah Foskey New Orleans Saints quadriceps 

Payton Turner New Orleans Saints toe IR

Arik Armstead San Francisco 49ers foot

Drake Jackson San Francisco 49ers knee IR

Mario Edwards Seattle Seahawks knee

Jonathan Allen Washington Commanders knee


Leki Fotu Arizona Cardinals hand IR

Johnathan Hankins Dallas Cowboys ankle

Alim McNeill Detroit Lions knee IR

Maliek Collins Houston Texans hip

Sheldon Rankins Houston Texans ankle

Nick Williams Los Angeles Chargers shoulder

Bobby Brown III Los Angeles Rams knee

Jaquelin Roy Minnesota Vikings ankle

Daniel Ekuale New England Patriots biceps IR

Cameron Heyward Pittsburgh Steelers groin

Bryan Mone Seattle Seahawks knee-ACL PUP

Mike Greene Tampa Bay Buccaneers calf IR

Quinton Bohanna Tennessee Titans person

Kyle Peko Tennessee Titans calf IR

John Ridgeway Washington Commanders foot

Defensive Backs


Ar’Darius Washington Baltimore Ravens chest IR

Kyle Hamilton Baltimore Ravens knee

Micah Hyde Buffalo Bills neck

Damar Hamlin Buffalo Bills shoulder

Jaylon Johnson Chicago Bears shoulder

Tyren Anderson Cincinnati Bengals knee IR

Delarrin Turner-Yell Denver Broncos knee-ACL

C.J. Gardner-Johnson Detroit Lions pectoral IR

Grayland Arnold Houston Texans calf IR

M.J. Stewart Houston Texans shoulder IR

Eric Murray Houston Texans knee IR

Chris Lemmons Indianapolis Colts ankle

Shaun Jolly Los Angeles Rams undisclosed IR

Jordan Fuller Los Angeles Rams ankle

Theo Jackson Minnesota Vikings toe

Jason Pinnock New York Giants foot

Keanu Neal Pittsburgh Steelers ribs IR

Trenton Thompson Pittsburgh Steelers neck

Minkah Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Steelers knee

Ji’Ayir Brown San Francisco 49ers knee

Jamal Adams Seattle Seahawks knee IR

Darrick Forrest Washington Commanders shoulder IR

Jeremy Reaves Washington Commanders knee-ACL IR

Percy Butler Washington Commanders wrist IR


Garrett Williams Arizona Cardinals ankle 

Mike Hughes Atlanta Falcons concussion

Arthur Maulet Baltimore Ravens hip

Brandon Stephens Baltimore Ravens ankle

Daryl Worley Baltimore Ravens shoulder

Marlon Humphrey Baltimore Ravens calf

Trayvon Mullen Baltimore Ravens toe

Jalyn Armour-Davis Baltimore Ravens concussion IR

Jaycee Horn Carolina Panthers toe

Troy Hill Carolina Panthers concussion

Dicaprio Bootie Carolina Panthers knee IR

Jalen Davis Cincinnati Bengals groin

Mike Ford Cleveland Browns calf

Eric Stokes Green Bay Packers hamstring IR

Kenny Moore Indianapolis Colts back

Christian Braswell Jacksonville Jaguars hamstring IR

L’Jarius Sneed Kansas City Chiefs calf

Duke Shelley Los Angeles Rams hamstring IR

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson Los Angeles Rams hamstring

Xavien Howard Miami Dolphins foot

Byron Murphy Minnesota Vikings knee

Christian Gonzalez New England Patriots shoulder-labrum IR

Marcus Jones New England Patriots shoulder IR

Lonnie Johnson New Orleans Saints knee

Darnay Holmes New York Giants foot

Deonte Banks New York Giants shoulder

Aaron Robinson New York Giants knee-ACL/MCL PUP

Darius Slay Philadelphia Eagles knee

Ambry Thomas San Francisco 49ers hand

Artie Burns Seattle Seahawks knee

Carlton Davis Tampa Bay Buccaneers concussion

Tre Avery Tennessee Titans knee

Jartavius Martin Washington Commanders chest

Christian Holmes Washington Commanders concussion

Benjamin St-Juste Washington Commanders concussion

Tariq Castro-Fields Washington Commanders shoulder

Kendall Fuller Washington Commanders knee

As ever, good luck and Godspeed in your fantasy efforts. Make sure to read all of our great articles to help you win your fantasy match ups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. If you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, you can also send a message to for a personal response from the writer of this article. Naturally, the more detail you can send about your league, such as number of teams, platform you play in (Yahoo, ESPN, etc.), scoring and roster system, the better the ability to provide accurate advice.