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McFarland: Week 18 Fantasy Football Rankings & Tiers

East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to set our Week 18 fantasy football lineups and identify our favorite DFS plays and fades.

Below, you'll find tiers and rankings for every position, including analysis, implied point totals, betting spreads and more.

For adjustments after the timestamp below, check out PFF's weekly rankings and projections.

Last updated: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5


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KEY:

  • SOS: PFF's Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.
  • OL Pass-Block Advantage (OL PBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (pass blocking advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • OL Run-Block Advantage (OL RBA): offensive-line pass blocking matchup; derived from the OL/DL Matchup tool (run-blocking advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the offensive line, and vice versa).
  • WR/CB Matchup Advantage (WR/CB MU): wide receiver versus cornerback matchup; derived from the WR/CB Matchup tool (matchup advantage grade — the higher the grade, the better the matchup for the receiver, and vice versa).
  • TE Matchup Advantage (TE MU): tight end versus linebackers and safeties; derived from the TE Matchup tool (matchup advantage — the higher the number, the better the matchup for the tight end, and vice versa.
  • Projections: from PFF projections tool.
  • Injuries: Q = Questionable; D = Doubtful (typically removed from ranks on Saturday); GTD = game-time decision

JUMP TO A POSITION RANKING:

QB | RB | WR | TE

QUARTERBACKS

Tier Rank Player Opponent Total Spread Implied Points QB SOS OL PBA PPR Injury Status
1 QB1 Josh Allen NYJ 42.0 -16.5 29.25 7.8 12 25.9
1 QB2 Kyler Murray SEA 48.0 -6.5 27.25 7.0 19 24.2
1 QB3 Tom Brady CAR 41.5 -8.0 24.75 4.9 32 23.0
1 QB4 Patrick Mahomes @DEN 44.5 -10.5 27.50 3.0 37 22.2
2 QB5 Justin Herbert @LV 49.5 -3.0 26.25 4.7 0 21.5
2 QB6 Matthew Stafford SF 44.5 -4.5 24.50 4.3 -8 19.2
2 QB7 Dak Prescott @PHI 43.0 -7.0 25.00 4.0 3 18.2
3 QB8 Aaron Rodgers @DET 45.0 -3.5 24.25 8.8 12 22.2
3 QB9 Trey Lance @LA 44.5 4.5 20.00 2.2 -47 15.5
4 QB10 Taysom Hill @ATL 40.5 -4.0 22.25 6.4 11 19.1
4 QB11 Justin Fields @MIN 44.5 3.5 20.50 3.5 26 17.0
4 QB12 Russell Wilson @ARZ 48.0 6.5 20.75 5.2 -18 19.8
4 QB13 Jalen Hurts DAL 43.0 7.0 18.00 1.4 2 19.1 Q
4 QB14 Derek Carr LAC 49.5 3.0 23.25 5.9 -21 18.9
4 QB15 Kirk Cousins CHI 44.5 -3.5 24.00 5.3 -18 16.6
4 QB16 Tyler Huntley PIT 41.5 -5.5 23.50 4.3 -36 17.0
5 QB17 Ryan Tannehill @HST 43.0 -10.0 26.50 7.3 -16 21.4
5 QB18 Mac Jones @MIA 40.0 -6.5 23.25 4.3 17 15.9
5 QB19 Carson Wentz @JAX 44.0 -15.5 29.75 10.0 8 17.2
6 QB20 Davis Mills TEN 43.0 10.0 16.50 3.9 1 15.7
6 QB21 Tua Tagovailoa NE 40.0 6.5 16.75 3.4 -21 15.0
6 QB22 Matt Ryan NO 40.5 4.0 18.25 1.0 -25 17.0
6 QB23 Jared Goff GB 45.0 3.5 20.75 1.5 -24 12.2 Q
6 QB24 Zach Wilson @BUF 42.0 16.5 12.75 3.0 -12 12.2
6 QB25 Taylor Heinicke @NYG 38.0 -7.0 22.50 4.7 31 15.2
6 QB26 Ben Roethlisberger @BLT 41.5 5.5 18.00 7.0 -11 13.9
6 QB27 Sam Darnold @TB 41.5 8.0 16.75 1.9 10 12.8
7 QB28 Trevor Lawrence IND 44.0 15.5 14.25 2.3 7 14.5
7 QB29 Drew Lock KC 44.5 10.5 17.00 2.5 -7 13.5 Q
7 QB30 Case Keenum CIN 38.0 -5.5 21.75 4.8 -4 14.7
7 QB31 Brandon Allen @CLV 38.0 5.5 16.25 0.0 -42 8.8
7 QB32 Jake Fromm WAS 38.0 7.0 15.50 6.1 -14 3.7
8 QB33 Jordan Love @DET 45.0 -3.5 24.25 8.8 12 3.9

Removed from ranks: Joe Burrow (won't play with No. 4 locked); Lamar Jackson (questionable — ankle, DNP Wednesday); Jimmy Garoppolo (questionable — thumb, LP Wednesday)

Tier 1 – Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are all playing in games with playoff implications and should be full-go in Week 18.

Tier 2 – Justin Herbert is in a must-win game on Sunday night against the Raiders that would secure a playoff berth for the Chargers.

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Tier 2 – Matthew Stafford and the Rams would fall to the fifth seed if they lose and the Cardinals win. Both teams play in the late window, so Stafford isn't in danger of missing snaps against the 49ers.

Tier 2 – Dak Prescott and the Cowboys can't drop further than the fourth seed with the division already clinched. However, they could move up as high as No. 2 with losses by the Buccaneers and Rams.

Tier 3 – Aaron Rodgers is supposed to play Sunday, but with the No. 1 seed and a bye already locked, he likely won't finish the game. He has an opportunity to earn up to $300,000 in contract incentives if he is in the top three for completion percentage, yards per attempt and touchdown passes ($100,000 each). All are within reach, so maybe we see Rodgers for a half against the Lions.

Tier 3 – Jalen Hurts and the Eagles are in the playoffs, and their seeding doesn't matter much. Whether they finish sixth or seventh, they must go on the road. Don't expect the Eagles' starters to play long against the Cowboys, if at all. If Hurts doesn't play, Gardner Minshew will get the start, but he could be down multiple weapons. Boston Scott, Jordan Howard and Dallas Goedert are all on the reserve/COVID-19 list at the moment.

Tier 3 – Trey Lance could give way to Jimmy Garoppolo if his thumb is ready. Garoppolo was limited in Wednesday's practice and is questionable for the matchup against the Rams.

Tier 4 – Taysom Hill gets a Falcons defense struggling to defend the run, allowing 29 regulation rushing attempts per game over the past six weeks. If the Saints win and the 49ers lose, New Orleans punches a ticket to the playoffs. Both teams play late, so the Saints' starters should play their usual snaps.

Tier 4 – Derek Carr and the Raiders face off with the Chargers in a win-and-in game on Sunday Night Football. If the Colts somehow lose to the Jaguars earlier in the day, the Raiders could rest starters.

RUNNING BACKS

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