Welcome to NFL Week 18 DFS, the last time we will see a slate this big for the 2022 NFL season. If you have been listening to SiriusXM fantasy Sports Radio all week, then you know how we want to attack this slate. If not, allow me to help you along. First and foremost, this week is going to be much better for cash game builds than it will be for GPP tournaments. We are focusing our attention on players who play for teams with something at stake for the NFL playoffs and we are also looking at players who are looking to reach certain contractual bonuses and incentives. If you haven't seen my article outlining who is playing for what, you can find it here on Fantasy Alarm – 2022 NFL Week 18 Contract Incentives and Statistical Milestones for Fantasy Football and DFS. But we certainly are not limiting ourselves to those players as you will see in reading the NFL Week 18 DFS Playbook. Our primary focus is there, but I've splashed in a number of other players who may not have any incentive other than pride, but should deliver in some form or another.
The key to know this week, and why we are much more bullish on cash game lineups than we are for GPP lineups, is that, with a week like this, everyone is going to be throwing a ton of darts. I'll have an NFL Week 18 DFS Dart Board for you to look at, but in reality, for GPP lineups, virtually every player is in-play. Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings all have reasons to win, but should they build up a substantial lead, they could sit their starters in the second half. That would obviously hurt the value of a top player should he not completely dominate early in the game while it would also put some of their back-ups and players they are up against as viable options. Could the Vikings win and we see Jalen Nailor out-produce Justin Jefferson? It's very possible depending on how the game goes. On the other side, guys like Jefferson or A.J. Brown could absolutely dominate in the first half and pad their stats. That's why we're not omitting them completely and looking at them for tournaments over cash.
We're going to see some wacky GPP lineups from the masses so I highly recommend you build a strong, high-floor, zero-fat cash lineup and play it in your GPP tournaments as well. With so many people throwing so many darts, a strong cash game lineup may not take down first place in a tournament, but it will cash over some of the other lineups that have a bunch of random players used. Make sense? Great.
One final thing and then we will get to the rest of the Playbook. For whatever reason, FanDuel continues to use the Sunday Night game in their main slate. They knew well in advance that the Green Bay Packers/Detroit Lions game was being flexed to the nighttime, but they opted to leave it in. You'll see a few players from that game, but I have marked it clearly that they are FanDuel Only.
Ok, ready? Let's get to it!
Now, before we get to the Playbook players, allow me to remind you what you should be doing leading up this step in your research.
Step 1: Check out the DFS Position Coaches
Step 2: Check out the rest of the relevant DFS content
In addition to the positional coaching pieces, you also have things like the DFS Watch List, where I provide you with a list of players I am looking at throughout the week. We have the NFL DFS Podcast with me and Jon Impemba, who also does the Contrarian Corner video and check out the DFS Bargains from Tera Roberts (@ItsTeraTime).
Also, our Master of Tools, Matt Selz (@theselzman), supplies you data junkies with the Weekly Match-Up Report and everyone should also be checking out the WR/CB Match-Up Report from Ryan Hallam (@fightingchance).
Speaking of tools, we have also done some major enhancements with our NFL tools. We continue to crunch the numbers and tweak our algorithms so that our daily fantasy football projections are the best in the industry and that, in turn, has improved things like our Lineup Generator/DFS Optimizer, our DFS Compare tool and even our NFL DFS Ownership Projections. Again, all right here on one site for your convenience.
Step 3: Check the Weather
At this time of year, weather is going to play a very important factor, so always check the weather reports as they can help guide you through which players to use and which ones to avoid. Now, checking in on the NFL Weather Report is a helpful tool, but try not to overreact. Light rain can make the field slick but is unlikely to affect the passing game enough to completely discount quarterbacks and wide receivers. Your biggest concern should come when you see heavy rain/snow and winds blowing in excess of 20 mph. When they say there are 12-15 mph gusts, you can be a little wary of the kicking games and maybe some deep passing, but again, you don't want to totally overreact and you definitely want to check the weather right up until game-time when finalizing your lineups.
Step 4: Make your own list of players
It's real easy to just sit and wait for the Playbook, but as you are doing your research throughout the week, it is important to make notes and list the players who interest you the most. Maybe they end up in the Playbook and maybe they don't. If they're there, then great, it should mean we are honing in on the same things that make him a strong play. If not, maybe you're onto something else that someone overlooked. We aren't perfect and if you uncover something different, maybe you're right. I would be careful of routine groupthink and hype from beat writers, but often times someone will tell me something they saw about their local team that I missed and I am always looking to investigate more if its there. If you do, then say something in our Fantasy Alarm Discord Chat, Talk it out and see what the rest of the #FAmily thinks. That's why the chat is there, isn't it?
With those four steps complete and discussions are in progress, you are ready to look at the Playbook players, make comparisons and finalize your list for lineups, so let's get to it.