The last week of the NFL season, now Week 18 with the expanded schedule, is always unpredictable and challenging from a DFS perspective. We have to consider which teams have something to play for and avoid players that are likely to rest for a portion of their games. Let’s look into some of our better game environments of the week.
SEA (20.75) @ ARI (27.25)
This game features the highest total on the slate. The contest does not matter to the Seahawks, but we do not have reason to believe that they will not play their starters. The game does have playoff implications for Arizona, and they should be full-systems-go. Vegas totals are highly efficient, and being that this is the highest on the slate, we have to give this one a long look for DFS.
Kyler Murray should be one of the most-owned quarterbacks of the week on both sites. Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny should also get considerable ownership. Seattle’s big two of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett should be popular in the receiving game, as should Arizona WR1 Christian Kirk. Cardinals tight-end Zach Ertz will also be owned on both DFS sites.
The Arizona running game is interesting in that both Chase Edmonds and James Conner are questionable. Neither are seeing much ownership at the moment, but that could certainly change if one cannot suit up. If neither can play, we may also get a significant value option in Jonathan Ward or Eno Benjamin.
If playing a Kyler Murray stack, there is an easy way to gain a bit of leverage while still stacking Arizona. Just play pass catchers other than Christian Kirk and Zach Ertz. We should see minimal ownership on Antoine Wesley, A.J. Green, and Rondale Moore (questionable). One can also use Chase Edmonds (assuming he plays) in Murray stacks considering his involvement in the passing game. Simply tacking one of these guys onto a Murray stack with Kirk or Ertz is a great way to differentiate a bit. Then just run it back with one of the clear Seattle pieces in Penny/Metcalf/Lockett.
An even more profound way to gain leverage is to stack the other side of the game with Russell Westbrook to one or both of his chalky receivers. While many people will play Metcalf and Lockett, Wilson should see very low ownership. If running a Wilson stack, you can just play Kirk or Ertz on the other side and still be nicely leveraged. There are, of course, some concerns with Seattle’s motivation here, but assuming they play this as a typical game, playing the Wilson side is a good leverage pivot.
SF (20) @ LAR (24)
Here we have a game with one of the higher totals on the slate (the totals are not very high in these games). It also has playoff implications for both teams, so we should see full starter workload and effort.
On the quarterback side, Trey Lance should gain a lot of steam as a value option on DraftKings, assuming he does start in favor of Jimmy Garoppolo (questionable). We should see minimal Matthew Stafford ownership. This is reversed on FanDuel, where they are almost the same price.
On DraftKings, we should see Eli Mitchell get a decent bit of ownership at running back, and Sony Michel will get a little bit on the Rams side. All of the receivers in this game, including Cooper Kupp, should be reasonably low-owned. Tyler Higbee may be a somewhat owned tight-end play.
On FanDuel, neither running back should get much ownership. Cooper Kupp will be more popular due to softer pricing on FanDuel and Matthew Stafford being a chalkier QB. Higbee and George Kittle on the 49ers’ side will get some tight-end ownership.
Leveraging this game depends entirely on what site you are playing on. On DraftKings, Trey Lance might be a popular value option, yet none of his receivers are gaining much ownership at all. Nor are any Rams outside of Tyler Higbee. Simply pairing Lance with Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, or Brandon Aiyuk and running it back with a Ram gains you automatic leverage on a chalky quarterback option.
An even more leveraged approach would be to play a Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp stack. You can also add Higbee or another receiver. Then run it back with semi-chalky Eli Mitchell or a lesser-owned 49er if you want more leverage, and you are good to go.
On FanDuel, Stafford to Kupp stacks will be owned. Still, no one on the 49ers should be gaining much traction. Just play a 49er on the other side, and you gain a bit of leverage in addition to a correlation boost if the game does well. It would be hard to recommend playing a Lance stack on FanDuel at his price. So, I suggest going with the chalky side but getting different by playing a Niners bring-back.
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