Welcome to the Week 18 DFS Cash Game breakdown and picks article! If you’re new to this article or DFS cash games, please check out my ’10 Rules to Live By’ article.
If you are still here in Week 18, you should be proud of yourself. You’ve made it through the gauntlet of the NFL DFS season. If you have been following along here all year and playing the plays from the article, you should have had a profitable season in cash games on both DraftKings and FanDuel. I will go over my final weekly stats in the conclusion of this article.
There is still a great opportunity to make money in this final week. The biggest thing about Week 18 is there will be teams resting players due to various motivations. The key to this week is sifting through all of that information and playing players on teams that will be going all out. The other thing we have to do is find the value plays on the teams that will be resting their starters. Have no fear because by the end of this article, you will be able to put together a winning lineup!
On to the week 18 DFS Cash game picks!
Week 18 DFS Cash Game Picks:
For some unknown reason FanDuel decided to include the Sunday Night game on the mainslate. As such we have Josh Allen in the player pool here. As far as raw projections go Allen is the top play. The question of course comes down to if you can afford his exorbitant salary. In a normal week, the answer would be no. We can’t afford him. This week, there should be value everywhere. To add to his already high value, it appears Allen has now mastered the tush push and is playing at a higher level than Hurts at this point in the season.
The other player I like for paying up is Dak Prescott. He has been on an absolute tear for the second half of the season. The Cowboys need this win to seal the division, and they are big favorites. It really just comes down to what you can afford.
Nick Mullens DraftKings ONLY
I will admit I was a bit apprehensive about writing up Tyrod Taylor in this spot last week. I was even more nervous when I finally locked him into my DraftKings lineup Sunday morning. Then what happened next was amazing. Taylor actually outscored Jalen Hurts straight up. That one play basically secured my cash game lineup victory. That is the power of the low-priced quarterback. I also had a nice tournament cash with a single stack Taylor to Slayton. When you get points out of such cheap players, the rest of your lineup can really be supercharged.
All of that brings us to Nick Mullens. Yes, there is some risk here. However, with how many times the Vikings have changed quarterback this season, I think Kevin O’Connell will give Mullens a longer leash in this one. Also, considering the Vikings would need multiple miracles to actually make the playoffs, I don’t see it very likely that we see a mid-game switch to Dobbs. In this match up a few weeks ago, Mullens put up 23.54 DraftKings points. If he even hits 20 at under 20-percent ownership, it will be hard to lose in cash games. The risk is worth it here.
Back for the third straight week is Zamir White. He has gotten it done in every game he has started over this stretch where Josh Jacobs has been out. As crazy as this sounds, I actually trust him over a similarly priced Aaron Jones.
The Raiders have been rejuvenated with Antonio Pierce at the helm, and I have no problem going back to White again this week.
This is our first true Week 18 style play. Pierre Strong will be the starter for the Cleveland Browns this week. Now, it is true the Browns have nothing to play for. However, they still have to play the game for the full 60 minutes. A guy like Strong has all the motivation in the world to play at 100-percent. He is playing for future career opportunities and as such will be doing everything he can to put a good game on tape.
Strong also had some pretty solid workout metrics. His player comp of Elijah Mitchell is also interesting. Mitchell is a talented running back. The problem is he just can’t stay healthy. There are, of course, some concerns with this play, but it is offset by his rock bottom price.
The other Week 18 style play at Running Back is Jordan Mason. The 49ers have things locked up here, but again they have to play the game. It is possible Mitchell might still play in this one, but he is constantly injured. It is unlikely the 49ers would want to play him much in this one and risk any further injuries to him.
Unlike Strong, he doesn’t have good workout metrics to fall back on. What he does have is the luxury of playing in a Kyle Shannan system. This is the play I am the least confident in. However, it is a fine play. Another option may be going with a safer play like James Conner when it actually comes time to press the button.
The best receiver in the NFL is Justin Jefferson. He has not had a great season, but the Vikings are still live to make the playoffs. I, also being local to Minnesota, have picked up that the Vikings want to get Jefferson going in this one, so he can end the season on a high note. The Vikings also have some incentive to show Jefferson he can be productive without Kirk Cousins.
The point of paying down at running back is to fit in these high priced wide receivers. Fire up Jefferson in Week 18.
Although Jefferson is the best receiver in the NFL overall, CeeDee Lamb has been the best wide receiver in the league this year. Like Prescott, he has been on an absolute tear since starting the season a little cold. His state line last week was an outstanding fantasy league winning 17 targets for 13-227-1.
Lamb and Jefferson rate out as the No. 1 and No. 2 options at the wide receiver position this week. Again, the point of paying down at running back is to get these savages into your lineup.
This is pretty simple. If he is in, and healthy, he is a no brainer, set it and forget it. The Jaguars are playing for the division and their playoff lives, so there is no reason Kirk won’t be involved heavily if he is active and healthy.
On both sites the same three tight ends grade out at the top. That is the following:
Trey McBride FD: $6700 DK: $6000
Dallas Goedert FD: $6100 DK: $5100
Jake Ferguson FD: $6000 DK: $4900
The first question is do you have the salary to fit in Trey McBride. If you do, play him. He has been in this article now for more weeks than I can count. There is nothing more to say about him. He has arrived as an elite tight end option.
The next question is if you can’t afford McBride, who do you choose between Dallas Goedert and Jake Ferguson? If I am already playing Lamb, I am going to go Goedert for diversity. If for some reason I am not playing Lamb, then I am going to play Ferguson. It really is that simple.
Los Angeles Chargers
Defense this week is interesting because of all the teams resting players. For tournaments, I would mix things up a lot hoping to hit a touchdown on a low owned defense. For Cash games, (which is what we are here for) the Chargers are the easy choice. They are going up against the Chiefs who will be resting their starters. They are very affordable on both sites and will be facing back up quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
The last write up of the year in the books! I hope you all have had a good season. My record for cash games sits at 10-4-3 on FanDuel and 9-6-2 on DraftKings. 99-percent of the plays I used were listed in this article each week. As I said at the beginning of the season, I would keep things concise and not list a wide range of players.
I believe I delivered on that promise and have provided winning content. If for some reason anyone didn’t have a winning season and has any questions about DFS, bankroll management, contest selection etc. feel free to reach out to me on Discord or twitter. I also play high stakes season long contests on all the major sites and would be happy to talk strategy on those contests as well. It has been a pleasure.
Best of luck this week! Let’s finish the season out strong!