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Fitz’s Week 18 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)

Fitz’s Week 18 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)
cameraFitz’s Week 18 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)

Hello, diehards.

I realize that some of you still have skin in the Week 18 games — two-week championships, toilet bowls, etc. — so I’m rolling out my weekly tiers article one last time.

The final week of the regular season is always tricky. Some teams are highly motivated. Others … not so much. There are two teams that are decidedly unmotivated this week: the Buccaneers and Giants. They are locked into their NFC playoff spots, their Week 18 games are meaningless, and that is reflected in this week’s rankings. Use Buccaneers and Giants players at your own peril.

The teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs generally don’t lay down in Week 18. Coaches and players want to go into the offseason on an upbeat note even after a losing season. It’s possible that some of the also-ran teams will pull their starters before the fourth quarter or turn in weak efforts, but those types of results are atypical.

As always, feel free to use the tiered rankings below as a tiebreaker for your difficult lineup decisions. Rankings are based on half-point PPR scoring.

Fitz’s Week 18 Rankings, Tiers & Start/Sit Advice (2022 Fantasy Football)


Check out Fitz’s quarterback rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Patrick Mahomes (@ LV)

Jalen Hurts (vs. NYG)

Tier 2

Josh Allen (vs. NE)

Joe Burrow (vs. BAL)

Tier 3

Trevor Lawrence (vs. TEN)

Kirk Cousins (@ CHI)

Justin Herbert (@ DEN)

Jared Goff (@ GB)

Dak Prescott (@ WAS)

Geno Smith (vs. LAR)

Aaron Rodgers (vs. DET)

Brock Purdy (vs. ARI)

Tier 4

Deshaun Watson (@ PIT)

Russell Wilson (vs. LAC)

Jarrett Stidham (vs. KC)

Tier 5

Joe Flacco (@ MIA)

Mac Jones (@ BUF)

Kenny Pickett (vs. CLE)

Sam Darnold (@ NO)

Sam Howell (vs. DAL)

Andy Dalton (vs. CAR)

Tyler Huntley (@ CIN)

Baker Mayfield (@ SEA)

Joshua Dobbs (@ JAC)

Tier 6

Desmond Ridder (vs. TB)

Tom Brady (@ ATL)

Davis Mills (@ IND)

Sam Ehlinger (vs. HOU)

David Blough (@ SF)

Nathan Peterman (vs. MIN)

Tyrod Taylor (@ PHI)

Skylar Thompson (vs. NYJ)

Daniel Jones (@ PHI)

Blaine Gabbert (@ ATL)

Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars play the Titans for the AFC South title and a playoff berth on Saturday night. The Titans’ pass defense is 28th in DVOA for the season and 31st since Week 12. Lawrence has gone two straight games without throwing a TD pass, but one of those contests was a foul-weather game against the Jets in which he played well, and the other was a 28-point blowout of the Texans in which he only needed to throw 21 passes. From Week 10 to Week 15, Lawrence averaged 289 passing yards and threw 13 TD passes in five starts. He’s a midrange QB1 this week.

After a forgettable three-interception performance last week in a 41-17 loss to the Packers, Kirk Cousins is in a bounce-back spot this week against the Bears, whose defense has been a sieve over the last two months. Since Week 8, the Bears have allowed 33.6 points per game. When he faced Chicago in Week 5, Cousins completed 32-of-41 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown, and he also had a TD run.

Other rankers are higher on Aaron Rodgers than I am. Yes, a home matchup against the Lions is appealing, especially since the Packers need to win to make the playoffs. But Rodgers has thrown for 240 or more yards in only 4-of-16 starts this year. He’s averaging 218.1 passing yards a game, and he hasn’t thrown multiple TD passes in a game since Week 12. Rodgers’ floor is sturdy this week, but the ceiling is low.

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Check out Fitz’s running back rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Christian McCaffrey (vs. ARI)

Tier 2

Austin Ekeler (@ DEN)

Derrick Henry (@ JAC)

Josh Jacobs (vs. KC)

Tier 3

Aaron Jones (vs. DET)

Kenneth Walker (vs. LAR)

Dalvin Cook (@ CHI)

Travis Etienne (vs. TEN)

Nick Chubb (@ PIT)

Tier 4

Rhamondre Stevenson (@ BUF)

Joe Mixon (vs. BAL)

Jerick McKinnon (@ LV)

Cam Akers (@ SEA)

Isiah Pacheco (@ LV)

Alvin Kamara (vs. CAR)

Zack Moss (vs. HOU)

Tyler Allgeier (vs. TB)

Najee Harris (vs. CLE)

Miles Sanders (vs. NYG)

Tier 5

Brian Robinson (vs. DAL)

Ezekiel Elliott (@ WAS)

David Montgomery (vs. MIN)

D’Andre Swift (@ GB)

A.J. Dillon (vs. DET)

Tony Pollard (@ WAS)

Jamaal Williams (@ GB)

James Conner (@ SF)

J.K. Dobbins (@ CIN)

Tier 6

Matt Breida (@ PHI)

Rachaad White (@ ATL)

D’Onta Foreman (@ NO)

Jeff Wilson (vs. NYJ)

Chuba Hubbard (@ NO)

Raheem Mostert (vs. NYJ)

Khalil Herbert (vs. MIN)

Devin Singletary (vs. NE)

James Cook (vs. NE)

Latavius Murray (vs. LAC)

Tier 7

Cordarrelle Patterson (vs. TB)

Zonovan Knight (@ MIA)

Alexander Mattison (@ CHI)

Chase Edmonds (vs. LAC)

Kenneth Gainwell (vs. NYG)

Leonard Fournette (@ ATL)

Chiefs RBs Jerick McKinnon and Isiah Pacheco are both must-starts. Since Week 12, McKinnon is RB4 in fantasy scoring (half-point PPR) and Pacheco is RB15. McKinnon has scored eight touchdowns over his last five games, while Pacheco has averaged 16 touches and 85.6 yards from scrimmage per game since Week 10.

Cam Akers is on a roll. Over the last five weeks he’s been the RB6 in fantasy scoring, with 83-408-6 rushing and 8-75-0 receiving over that stretch. Akers’ snap share has been 75% or higher in each of his last three games. He’ll look to end the regular season on a high note against a Seattle run defense that has ranked 29th in DVOA since Week 12.

The Colts seem content to let the clock run out on a bitterly disappointing season by hammering away with RB Zack Moss when they have the ball. Moss has 51-220-0 rushing over Indy’s last three games. This week, he gets to take advantage of a Texans defense that has given up the most rushing attempts (437), rushing yards (2,262) and TD runs (21) to RBs this season.

Lions RBs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are both playable this week in a road game against the Packers, but I wouldn’t call them particularly attractive options. Since coming out of their Week 14 bye, the Packers are giving up 85.3 rushing yards per game. Swift derives much of his fantasy value from his pass catching, but Green Bay has allowed the fifth-fewest receptions and 10th-fewest receiving yards to RBs.

On one hand, James Conner has averaged 21.3 touches since Week 10 and has played more than 90% of Arizona’s offensive snaps in five of those seven games. On the other hand, the Cardinals end their season against a San Francisco run defense that ranks No. 1 in DVOA and hadn’t given up 60 rushing yards to any player all season before Josh Jacobs ran for 69 yards against the 49ers last week. The Cards have no incentive to repeatedly slam Conner into a brick wall this week. I recommend not using him.


Check out Fitz’s wide receiver rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Justin Jefferson (@ CHI)

Tier 2

Ja’Marr Chase (vs. BAL)

CeeDee Lamb (@ WAS)

Davante Adams (vs. KC)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (@ GB)

Stefon Diggs (vs. NE)

A.J. Brown (vs. NYG)

Tyreek Hill (vs. NYJ)

Tier 3

DeVonta Smith (vs. NYG)

DK Metcalf (vs. LAR)

Tee Higgins (vs. BAL)

Amari Cooper (@ PIT)

Keenan Allen (@ DEN)

Garrett Wilson (@ MIA)

D.J. Moore (@ NO)

Jaylen Waddle (vs. NYJ)

Mike Williams (@ DEN)

Brandon Aiyuk (vs. ARI)

Christian Kirk (vs. TEN)

Tier 4

JuJu Smith-Schuster (@ LV)

Jerry Jeudy (vs. LAC)

Chris Olave (vs. CAR)

Terry McLaurin (vs. DAL)

Christian Watson (vs. DET)

Drake London (vs. TB)

Michael Pittman (vs. HOU)

Allen Lazard (vs. DET)

Tyler Lockett (vs. LAR)

Tier 5

Gabe Davis (vs. NE)

Zay Jones (vs. TEN)

Diontae Johnson (vs. CLE)

Courtland Sutton (vs. LAC)

D.J. Chark (@ GB)

Jahan Dotson (vs. DAL)

George Pickens (vs. CLE)

Jakobi Meyers (@ BUF)

Marquise Brown (@ SF)

Rashid Shaheed (vs. CAR)

Donovan Peoples-Jones (@ PIT)

Tier 6

Brandin Cooks (@ IND)

Chris Godwin (@ ATL)

Mike Evans (@ ATL)

Romeo Doubs (vs. DET)

Michael Gallup (@ WAS)

Joshua Palmer (@ DEN)

Tyler Boyd (vs. BAL

Curtis Samuel (vs. DAL)

Treylon Burks (@ JAC)

Greg Dortch (@ SF)

Van Jefferson (@ SEA)

Parris Campbell (vs. HOU)

Somehow, some way, the Sam Darnold/D.J. Moore pairing just works. In 2021, Moore was on a 100-catch, 1,279-yard pace in Darnold’s nine starts even though Darnold was busy playing his way out of the Panthers’ starting job. This year, Moore has 20-376-4 in Darnold’s five starts and has been WR8 in fantasy points per game since Darnold reclaimed the starting gig. Keep riding with Moore this week against the Saints, who gave up 212 receiving yards to Eagles WRs A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith last week.

JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a tough player to peg this season, with unpredictable ups and downs. I have him ranked WR20 this week, and I’m worried that’s too high. He has just 5-48-0 receiving over his last two games. JuJu’s Week 18 matchup against the Raiders seems appealing on the surface, but he had just 3-33-0 against the Silver and Black when he faced them back in Week 12.

It’s slightly risky to start any Washington receiver this week when the Commanders are giving rookie QB Sam Howell his first NFL start, but I still sort of like Jahan Dotson‘s chances to have a good showing. The rookie from Penn State has racked up 18-272-3 over his last four games, and he faces a Dallas pass defense that has ranked 27th in DVOA since placing CB Anthony Brown on IR early last month.

Sneaky start of the week: the Saints’ Rashid Shaheed. The undrafted free agent from Weber State has been a revelation for the Saints down the stretch, averaging 18.1 yards per catch and a ridiculous 15.6 yards per target since Week 12. This week, he gets a Panthers pass defense that was defenseless last week without injured CB Jaycee Horn, giving up 10-207-3 to the Buccaneers’ Mike Evans and 9-120-0 to Chris Godwin. With Horn now on IR, I like Shaheed’s chances of turning in at least one big play this week vs. Carolina.

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Check out Fitz’s tight end rankings here partner-arrow

Tier 1

Travis Kelce (@ LV)

Tier 2

George Kittle (vs. ARI)

T.J. Hockenson (@ CHI)

Mark Andrews (@ CIN)

Evan Engram (vs. TEN)

Dalton Schultz (@ WAS)

Dallas Goedert (vs. NYG)

Tier 3

Taysom Hill (vs. CAR)

Pat Freiermuth (vs. CLE)

Tyler Higbee (@ SEA)

Darren Waller (vs. KC)

David Njoku (@ PIT)

Dawson Knox (vs. NE)

Tyler Conklin (@ MIA)

Cole Kmet (vs. MIN)

Tier 4

Gerald Everett (@ DEN)

Noah Fant (vs. LAR)

Juwan Johnson (vs. CAR)

Albert Okwuegbunam (vs. LAC)

Hunter Henry (@ BUF)

Jelani Woods (vs. HOU)

Chigoziem Okonkwo (@ JAC)

Jordan Akins (@ IND)

Trey McBride (@ SF)

Cade Otton (@ ATL)

Hayden Hurst (vs. BAL)

Tier 5

Robert Tonyan (vs. DET)

Logan Thomas (vs. DAL)

Austin Hooper (@ JAC)

Daniel Bellinger (@ PHI)

Mike Gesicki (vs. NYJ)

Brock Wright (@ GB)

Noah Gray (@ LV)

For much of the season, it was tough to tell what you were going to get out of Taysom Hill. There were some smash games and there were some duds. Hill’s usage has increased of late. He’s had 30-132-2 rushing over his last three games, along with 104 passing yards and a TD pass. He played a season-high 31 offensive snaps against the Eagles last week. I have Hill ranked as a midrange TE1.

With Mike White back at QB for the Jets last week, Tyler Conklin caught 6-of-6 targets for 80 yards. He’s an intriguing Week 18 play against a Dolphins defense that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to TEs. Miami has yielded 95-933-10 to tight ends this season.

After placing rookie TE Greg Dulcich on IR, the Broncos brought Albert Okwuegbunam out of mothballs, and he had 3-45-1 vs. the Chiefs on six targets. Albert O has been a healthy scratch for all but two games since Week 5, but he’s still a remarkable athletic specimen, and he obviously has a lot to prove after falling out of favor with the Denver coaching staff. I think he has intriguing upside against the Chargers this week, and I’m ranking him as a midrange TE2.

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

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