The Professor’s NFL Week 18 Low-Cost DFS Targets

The Professor's NFL Week 18 Low-Cost DFS Targets

The Steelers sent quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out with a win in his final home game to wrap up NFL Week 17, and now it’s on to the final weekend of regular-season action as the NFL closes out with Week 18. This article will cover The Professor’s low-cost DFS options for the upcoming Sunday slate of NFL action; for the Professor’s advice on the two-game Saturday matchup, check out his appearance on Razor’s Red Zone.


Ryan Tannehill, TEN @ HOU, $7300 FanDuel / $6000 DraftKings

It hasn’t been pretty at times, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Titans have won their last two games to push their record to 5-3 since star running back Derrick Henry went down midway through the NFL season. Receiver A.J. Brown was limited to 43 yards on two catches against a talented Miami Dolphins defense last week, but the Texans do not have cornerbacks on par with Miami’s Xavien Howard and Byron Jones to check Brown. The Titans also get veteran Julio Jones back in the fold, and while Jones flopped in his most recent return, Brown was still on IR at that point, and A.J.’s presence opens things up for the rest of the offense. Tannehill should have the opportunity to post big numbers in this game as he looks to seal the AFC’s top seed.

Taylor Heinicke, WSH @ NYG, $6900 FanDuel / $5400 DraftKings

Taylor Heinicke has not had a great month, but with no due respect to Giants head coach Joe Judge, Heinicke is facing a clown-show organization this week. The Giants have been atrocious with the duo of Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm at quarterback, and the pair’s combined inability to move New York’s offense will set Washington up with an advantageous field position throughout this game. Heinicke has shown he probably fits into the Gardner Minshew range as a high-end backup/questionable starter, but it would not hurt his future earnings to light up the Giants this weekend.

Trey Lance, SF @ LAR, $7000 FanDuel / $5500 DraftKings

Tyler Huntley, PIT @ BAL, $7000 FanDuel / $5700 DraftKings

Both Trey Lance and Tyler Huntley’s prospective value hinges on whether each team’s respective starter will play this weekend, but if Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar Jackson are out again, their backups are interesting plays. Their teams will be playing for their playoff lives, and both quarterbacks have the athleticism to rack up fantasy points on the ground on top of what they add as passers. Lance has the more difficult matchup in the Rams, so The Professor would lean to Huntley if both these players suit up, but either could be a good value.

Running Backs

D’Onta Foreman, TEN @ HOU, $6900 FanDuel / $5700 DraftKings

D’Onta Foreman has posted three 100-yard rushing games in his past five outings, and with Derrick Henry’s return on the horizon, the Titans have no reason not to ride Foreman as they attempt to clinch a first-round bye this week. It is fitting that Foreman, a University of Texas product who got off to a promising start in the NFL with Houston before injuries derailed his career, could put the exclamation point on his comeback by helping the Titans defeat the Texans to secure the AFC’s top seed.

Samaje Perine, CIN @ CLE, $6500 FanDuel / $5300 DraftKings

Cincinnati could overtake the Chiefs for the AFC’s second seed, but given that Drew Lock will play quarterback for the Broncos this week, that scenario is unlikely. After quarterback Joe Burrow’s injury scare at the end of last week’s comeback win, the Bengals will have to strongly consider limiting their star players this week, and Mixon fits in that mix.

Mixon has dealt with lower-body injuries during the season and Samaje Perine is a capable backup, so it would make sense for the Bengals to lean on their backup this week. In fact, given the edge that the 240-pound Perine’s physical running style could give them in a cold-weather playoff game, the Bengals might want to get Perine touches ahead of their Wild Card game regardless of Mixon’s situation.

D’Ernest Johnson, CIN @ CLE, $6200 FanDuel / $4800 DraftKings

Cleveland is another team that could limit their lead back this week; given the money the Browns have committed to Nick Chubb, the way running back contracts age in the NFL, and the fact that Cleveland has nothing to play for, it would make very little sense for Chubb to suit up this week, much less carry a heavy load. That opens an opportunity for D’Ernest Johnson, a talented back in his own right, to post another big game in his breakout NFL season.

Wide Receivers

Donovan Peoples-Jones, CIN @ CLE, $5500 FanDuel / $4300 DraftKings

The Browns have nothing to play for this week, but their passing game is likely to show significant improvement now that quarterback Baker Mayfield has finally been shut down. Mayfield showed toughness this season, but he also showed he is incapable of playing at anything close to a competent NFL standard when he is injured, and a healthy Case Keenum should be able to put more passes on target than an injured Mayfield. Donovan Peoples-Jones has emerged as a dangerous downfield threat in his second NFL season and could benefit if Keenum can push the ball downfield with more authority than Mayfield.

Jakobi Meyers, NE @ MIA, $6000 FanDuel / $5200 DraftKings

The Patriots spent huge amounts of money on skill position players in free agency this offseason, but while tight end Hunter Henry has emerged as a valuable target, receiver Jakobi Meyers continues to be New England’s most productive receiver. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could have a nightmare game against the Patriots, which could set New England to do a lot of scoring, and Meyers should benefit if that plays out.

Julio Jones, TEN @ HOU, $5700 FanDuel / $5000 DraftKings

Julio Jones has been a massive disappointment in his first season in Tennessee, posting 376 receiving yards and no touchdowns while playing in nine of the team’s first 16 games, but the veteran does have one 128-yard game to his name this season, and the Titans coaching staff must wonder what their offense could look like in the NFL Playoffs if Jones gets rolling and running back Derrick Henry returns.

Tight Ends

Pat Freiermuth, PIT @ BAL, $5200 FanDuel / $4600 DraftKings

Pat Freiermuth failed to get in the end zone in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s home finale, but while he only had 22 yards, he caught five of his six targets and should be more efficient with his opportunities against the Ravens this week. Given the rapport that Freiermuth and Roethlisberger developed in their lone NFL season together, it would only be fitting if the rookie tight end catches one more touchdown from Roethlisberger in what will likely be the veteran quarterback’s final NFL game.


This article covered The Professor’s low-cost DFS plays for the upcoming week. For more fantasy content from The Professor check out his weekly appearance on Razor’s RedZone and the rest of his content on BeerLife Sports!

About the author:

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Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.

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