Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 18 DFS Tournament Picks

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) runs with the football against the Carolina Panthers in the second half at the Caesars Superdome. The Saints won, 18-10. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

To win a DFS tournament, building a unique roster that embraces the randomness within each NFL game is essential. We must identify players and game scenarios the rest of the field is overlooking so that when these low-rostered plays hit, rosters soar past the competition and into first place.

Last week's assessment of Brandin Cooks was bang on the money, as the veteran speedster featured in the winning DraftKings Millionaire Maker lineup at only 13% rostership. Unfortunately, all the Philadelphia Eagles touchdowns went through the running backs rather than Jalen Hurts, which killed our core stack. With that, let’s move onward to Week 18.

Here are this week's DFS tournament picks. Be sure to check out PFF's projected DFS rostership percentages and DFS lineup optimizer to help you rack up those massive scores.

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QB Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (3% projected rostership)

The Saints must win their game against the Atlanta Falcons to have a shot at making the playoffs, so this Sunday they will be going all out with their starters against the NFL's third-worst graded defense.

Hill is the prototypical cheat-code fantasy quarterback who can rack up fantasy points via the ground or the air. He has recorded at least 20 pass attempts and 11 carries in each of his starts while posting fantasy point totals of 17.4, 9.5, 26.3 and 27.7.

Those last two scores are the kind of tournament-winning performances we are chasing, and Hill is set up well to post another ceiling game in this spot. Atlanta has faced a league-high 86 quarterback rushing attempts this season.

You can play the Saints quarterback as a solo piece or stack him with Alvin Kamara or Marquez Callaway. Consider correlating it on the Falcons side with Russell Gage, who can attack the Saints' weakness from the slot, as New Orleans has given up 1,468 slot yards this season, third-most in the NFL.

PFF’s fantasy projections are high on Hill, ranking him as the overall QB10 this week. His fantasy consensus ranking is even higher at QB7.

RB James Conner, Arizona Cardinals (6% projected rostership)

The Cardinals' running back situation appears to be headed toward a complete swap compared to last week when Conner missed out and Chase Edmonds handled a bell-cow role. If Edmonds misses this game — which is where he is trending as of Friday — Conner becomes a full-blown smash play.

The matchup for the Cardinals' running game here is incredible. Seattle has faced 481 rush attempts this season, the fourth-most league-wide, and opposing offenses are teeing off against them with pass-catching running backs in the receiving game: 

Stat Rank
123 targets 32nd
110 completions 32nd
976 yards 32nd

The matchup could get even better if star linebacker Bobby Wagner misses this game with an injury. He is questionable as of Friday.

Further, there is a massive leverage opportunity to roll with the Cardinals' running game this week, considering Kyler Murray and Christian Kirk are checking in at the top of rostership projections.

Arizona boasts a top-five OL/DL matchup in the passing game, per PFF’s strength of matchup tool.  

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WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (9% projected rostership)

 Including Kupp in this article feels like cheating because he is literally about to finish off the greatest fantasy season ever by a wide receiver. His rostership, however, will probably be held in check because of the hefty $9,700 price tag on DraftKings.

There are two major reasons to play Kupp on Sunday. First, he boasts a juicy matchup against a very burnable 49ers secondary. Specifically, the 49ers are getting absolutely toasted in the slot, where Kupp has a league-high 1,296 slot receiving yards — a whopping 548 more than anyone else.

Here is the production San Francisco is giving up to slot receivers this season:

Stat Rank
9 touchdowns 26th
115.3 passer rating 28th
8.0 yards per attempt 21st

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart gives Kupp an excellent, top-10 matchup.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders.

Additionally, the Rams' superstar wide receiver needs just 136 more yards to break Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record. The entire Rams' team is fully aware of the opportunity to etch Kupp’s name into the history books, and they are likely to force-feed their stud the football to make it happen.

The race to 2,000 is on. Figure out a way to get Kupp into your lineups and worry about the rest later.

Kupp is the overall WR1 in both our fantasy rankings and projections.

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