NFL Week 18 DFS is starting off on a somber note, obviously, so before we start getting into this week's Daily Fantasy Football Watch List, I just wanted to first send out a message of love and hope as we all send our positive energy towards Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. What we all witnessed on Monday Night Football was beyond tragic. Yes, we have seen injuries on the field of play before, but if you listened to the broadcasters who were both in-studio and on-the-scene, this felt different. This went from being a typical football injury to a 24-year old man fighting for his life. The moments we witnessed on the field will forever be etched into our brains. There doesn't need to be a debate about the violence of football and we don't need to discuss how these players know what they have signed up for. We just need to rally together and send as much positive energy as we can to Hamlin and his family.



We also need to stop bickering over how fantasy football leagues are handling their championship finals. I'm not going to give you the trite cliche of “these are unprecedented times,” because over the past few years, we have been dealing with a number of new issues within the fantasy realm. The COVID-19 pandemic turned both the NFL and fantasy football upside down and if you and your commissioner didn't react to the issues of game postponements and cancellations back then, you have no right to stand there and bitch about it. Smart and prepared commissioners had plans in effect and if they didn't, they are abiding by the rules laid out by the platforms upon which you play. Websites like CBS Sports, RT Sports, Sleeper and My Fantasy League have all issued statements regarding their scoring and how they are handling Week 17. Some of them have included the ability to alter scoring if the Buffalo Bills/Cincinnati Bengals game ever ends up getting played, but I sincerely doubt the NFL forces this game.

Does that suck for some of you? Absolutely. No one wanted or even remotely expected the fantasy season to end this way and no one likes getting the short end of the stick. But that's the way the cookie crumbles for many and there is nothing you can do about it. We saw games postponed and player unable to play during the pandemic and while that hurt some people, you had to take that “it is what it is” mentality because we had never been through it before. Think of it more in the sense of baseball – a storm moves in during the sixth inning and the umpire calls the game. The losing team had the heart of their lineup coming up next and they were only down one run. Oh well. Game over. You cannot live in “what if” scenarios because none of us know. If you were down five points and you had Joe Mixon or Josh Allen playing, you can say their weekly average surpassed that, but you cannot guarantee they would have. Again, it sucks, but even if your league declares co-champions with a 50/50 split of the pot, someone will always find a way to be unhappy.

But let's not dwell on that. We need to move on. We need to keep Damar Hamlin in our thoughts and continue sending out as much positive energy as we can, but we also need to look ahead to Week 18. I'm not trying to be cold or callous. I just know that I have lived through some ridiculous tragic events and there is always a cry for normalcy in the end. We can grieve. We can rant. But together we all need to move forward. I will do just that and present you with this week's DFS Watch List.

For anyone who has played DFS in the final week of an NFL season, you know the focus is on players who have something to play for. We are looking at teams who have an incentive to win, whether it is to actually make the playoffs or just to improve seeding. Players in those games with favorable match-ups are a must. We also need to dive into things like statistical milestones. Who is going after their first 1,000-yard season? Who has incentive clauses in their contracts? We're going to want to use those players as well because anyone who knows how tight a family a football team can be, we've seen a number of quarterbacks force-feed the ball to the players with something at stake.

One more thing – this Watch List is for the Sunday main slate. I will have a separate two-game DFS Playbook and DFS Example Lineups for the Saturday games. The Playbook will be available on Friday and then the Example Lineups will be out roughly an hour before kickoff on Saturday.

Are we ready? Let's get to the NFL Week 18 DFS Watch List player pool…..or at least the start of it.



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