Aaron Rodgers has not been a good Fantasy quarterback this season. He only has two games with more than 20 Fantasy points coming into Week 18 -- that's it. He also has eight games with 18 Fantasy points or less, including five in a row.
But there are three things to like about Rodgers this week against the Lions, which makes him a sleeper to trust. For starters, he's playing a full game since the Packers need to win to secure a playoff spot, so he's motivated. It's also a great matchup since Detroit is No. 1 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. And Rodgers has a great history against the Lions.
In 25 career games against Detroit, he's passed for 6,346 yards, 53 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. Now, he was miserable against the Lions in Week 9 with 291 passing yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, along with 40 rushing yards, but I expect Rodgers to perform better in the rematch at home.
Since that meeting with Green Bay, Detroit has allowed seven of nine quarterbacks to score at least 22 Fantasy points. I'm hoping Rodgers will be in that range, making him a low-end starter in all leagues.
It's hard to expect a big game from Rodgers this week since he hasn't done that much this season. But given the landscape of quarterbacks in Week 18, the matchup and history for Rodgers against Detroit should give you reason for hope that he can end the regular season with a quality stat line.
Every Friday, we shared this column with you on sleepers and DFS plays on DraftKings and FanDuel. We also included our Friday show notes from Fantasy Football Today on CBS Sports HQ, which gives a game-by-game breakdown of starts, sits and favorite DFS plays.
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Week 18 Sleepers
Brock Purdy QB
SF San Francisco • #13
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
I'll stick with Purdy again in Week 18 against the Cardinals, and this is a big game for San Francisco. The 49ers can get the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a victory against Arizona and an Eagles loss to the Giants, so San Francisco has plenty of motivation for this game. Purdy has scored at least 20 Fantasy points in three of four starts, and his worst outing was 19 points against Washington in Week 16. No quarterback has scored more than 13 Fantasy points against Arizona in the past four games, but for the season the Cardinals allow 19.0 Fantasy points per game to the position. And Jimmy Garoppolo had 33 Fantasy points against Arizona in Week 12.
DEN Denver • #3
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Stidham is dealing with an elbow injury, but hopefully he will be OK for this matchup with the Chiefs. He's coming off a tremendous game against the 49ers in Week 17 where he scored 31 Fantasy points with 365 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, along with 34 rushing yards. It's a great matchup for him in Week 18 against the Chiefs since Kansas City has allowed four of the past five opposing quarterbacks to score at least 22 Fantasy points. And for the season, the Chiefs allow opposing quarterbacks to score 22.7 Fantasy points per game on average.
Andy Dalton QB
CAR Carolina • #14
Age: 35 • Experience: 13 yrs.
Can you trust Dalton in Week 18? Given the matchup with Carolina at home, I think you can. The Panthers have allowed at least 26 Fantasy points to quarterbacks in two of the past three games, and Carolina is down its top cornerbacks in Jaycee Horn (wrist) and Donte Jackson (Achilles). Dalton has scored at least 18 Fantasy points in three of his past four home starts, and hopefully he ends the 2022 campaign on a high note.
MIA Miami • #31
Age: 30 • Experience: 9 yrs.
With Skylar Thompson starting at quarterback for the Dolphins due to injuries for Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) and Teddy Bridgewater (finger), along with the matchup against the Jets, we could see Mostert and Jeff Wilson heavily involved in the passing game again in Week 18. In Week 17 against the Patriots, Mostert had nine carries for 29 yards and eight catches for 62 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. Wilson had 15 carries for 45 yards and three catches for 31 yards on seven targets. Both are flex options, and the Jets have allowed a running back to catch at least three passes in three games in a row. Mostert also had 18 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 9 yards against the Jets in Week 5, although that was before Wilson was acquired from the 49ers via trade.
KC Kansas City • #10
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Jerick McKinnon is a must-start Fantasy running back at this point, but Pacheco can be used as a flex option against the Raiders in Week 18. The matchup is great since Las Vegas has allowed 11 of the past 12 opposing running backs to score at least 15 PPR points. While McKinnon is more likely to reach that total than Pacheco, this could be a game where the Chiefs lean on Pacheco prior to the playoffs. And he has scored at least 12 PPR points in four of his past six games.
MIN Minnesota • #2
Age: 24 • Experience: 5 yrs.
There's a good chance that the Vikings don't play Dalvin Cook for the entire game against the Bears in Week 18, which means we could get additional playing time for Mattison. And in deeper leagues, that makes him a flex play given the matchup. Chicago is No. 3 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs, and five running backs in the past four games have scored at least 17 PPR points against the Bears, including D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams in Week 17. If Mattison were guaranteed to get double digits in touches this week then he could be a standout Fantasy option in all leagues.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #25
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
If the Chargers don't want to overwork Austin Ekeler with the playoffs on the horizon then we might see Kelley get more work in Week 18 against the Broncos. The Chargers need to win in Week 18 to lock up the No. 5 seed, which is desirable because they would play the AFC South winner. Kelley could be a flex option with an increased workload, and he has two games this season with at least 10 carries. He scored a touchdown in both of them and averaged 13.0 PPR points.
Jordan Mason RB
SF San Francisco • #41
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
The 49ers might not want to overwork Christian McCaffrey in Week 18 against the Cardinals, especially if they aren't guaranteed to get a first-round bye. Mason might get the chance for an increased workload against Arizona, and this is a fantastic matchup since the Cardinals are No. 4 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. In the past three weeks, three pairs of running backs have scored at least 15 PPR points against Arizona with Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack in Week 15, Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White in Week 16 and Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson in Week 17. There's a chance Elijah Mitchell (knee) could play this week also, and if that happens then I would prefer him over Mason in this game against Arizona.
NO New Orleans • #89
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
I like Chris Olave slightly better than Shaheed this week, but both have plenty of upside. I would start Shaheed as a No. 3 receiver in all leagues with his matchup against the Panthers, who have been awful against receivers of late and don't have starting corners Donte Jackson (Achilles) and Jaycee Horn (wrist). In Carolina's past six games, 10 receivers have scored at least 13 PPR points against the Panthers. And Shaheed has scored at least 13 PPR points in two of his past three games.
Gabe Davis WR
BUF Buffalo • #13
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
I'm sure a lot of people are rooting for everything Buffalo right now following the Damar Hamlin situation, so let's send some positive vibes to Gabe Davis and hope he plays well against the Patriots. It would be great to see him end the season on a high note after struggling down the stretch, but he did have a touchdown against the Patriots in Week 13. However, he only had two catches for 15 yards on seven targets. New England is dealing with injuries in the secondary which should help Davis, Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, and Davis is worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues.
Greg Dortch WR
ARI Arizona • #83
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Let's hope that Dortch gets 10 targets again from David Blough in Week 18 at San Francisco like he did in Week 17 against Atlanta. Only this time let's hope he catches more than four passes for 15 yards. That was the sixth time this season Dortch had more than three targets in a game, but the only time he failed to score more than 13 PPR points. DeAndre Hopkins (knee) is out again in Week 18, and 49ers have allowed six receivers to score at least 12 PPR points in their past three games, so Dortch could be a No. 3 PPR Fantasy option in Week 18. Marquise Brown should be considered a borderline starter in all leagues.
Chris Moore WR
HOU Houston • #15
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Brandin Cooks remains the better of the Texans receivers, but Moore could be a sneaky sleeper in Week 18 against the Colts, who have struggled with slot receivers. He's been quiet the past two games with Cooks back, and Moore only has five catches for 46 yards on nine targets over that span against Tennessee and Jacksonville. But Indianapolis has struggled with receivers of late, especially in the slot, including Keenan Allen and Richie James each scoring at least 20 PPR points in the past two games. Moore could be a No. 3 receiver in deeper formats.
KC Kansas City • #19
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
We'll see what happens with Toney now that Mecole Hardman (abdomen) is back for Week 18, but I still like the idea of Toney as a flex option against the Raiders. Toney had a productive game in Week 17 against Denver with four catches for 71 yards on four targets, but he played just 16 of 53 offensive snaps and remains tough to trust. That being said, you see his explosiveness every time he touches the ball, and he could be electric on the turf in Las Vegas. It's also a good matchup since the Raiders have allowed six receivers to score at least 12 PPR points in their past five games.
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #83
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Conklin should have the chance for another solid game in Week 18 against Miami. The Dolphins are No. 3 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends on the season, and three tight ends have scored against Miami in the past three games. Joe Flacco is starting for the Jets with Mike White (ribs) out, but Conklin played well with Flacco to start the season. In the first three games of the year with Flacco, Conklin scored at least 10 PPR points in each outing and had at least seven targets in each contest. His average over those three games was 12.1 PPR points per game.
NO New Orleans • #83
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Johnson and Taysom Hill are both worth using as low-end starters in the majority of leagues in Week 18. Johnson was again productive in Week 17 at Philadelphia with five catches for 62 yards on seven targets, and he's now scored at least 11 PPR points in five of his past seven games. And Hill has scored a touchdown in four games in a row, including two on the ground, and he is averaging 11.5 PPR points over that span.
Trey McBride TE
ARI Arizona • #85
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
McBride has the same setup in Week 18 at San Francisco that helped him be successful in Week 17 at Atlanta. DeAndre Hopkins (knee) is out and David Blough is the starting quarterback. Against the Falcons in Week 17, McBride had seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. Let's hope that type of production happens again in Week 18, and the 49ers have allowed a tight end to score at least nine PPR points in three games in a row, with two touchdowns over that span.
DFS GAME PREVIEWS & LINEUPS
These are game previews from our Fantasy Football Today show on CBS Sports HQ on Friday from me, Adam Aizer and Dave Richard.
Ravens at Bengals (Jamey Eisenberg)
- Injury of note: Lamar Jackson (knee), Tyler Huntley (shoulder)
- Start or Sit: Sit J.K. Dobbins
- DFS play: Tee Higgins (DraftKings $7,600/FanDuel $7,800)
- DFS play: Joe Mixon (DraftKings $7,100/FanDuel $7,500)
- DFS play: Bengals DST (DraftKings $3,700/FanDuel $4,400)
Patriots at Bills (Dave Richard)
- Injury of note: Jakobi Meyers (shoulder), DeVante Parker (concussion), Dawson Knox (hip)
- Start or Sit: Sit Rhamondre Stevenson
- DFS play: Hunter Henry (DraftKings $3,300/FanDuel $5,000)
- DFS play: Tyquan Thornton (DraftKings $3,300/FanDuel $5,400)
- DFS play: Mac Jones (DraftKings $5,000/FanDuel $6,400)
Texans at Colts (Adam Aizer)
- Injury of note: Nick Foles (ribs)
- Start or Sit: Sit Michael Pittman
- DFS play: Zack Moss (DraftKings $5,200/FanDuel $6,800)
- DFS play: Texans DST (DraftKings $2,700/FanDuel $4,000)
- DFS play: Brandin Cooks (DraftKings $4,800/FanDuel $6,200)
Browns at Steelers (Jamey Eisenberg)
- Injury of note: Amari Cooper (hip)
- Start or Sit: Start Najee Harris
- DFS play: Najee Harris (DraftKings $6,100/FanDuel $7,200)
- DFS play: David Njoku (DraftKings $3,900/FanDuel $5,400)
- DFS play: Steelers DST (DraftKings $3,200/FanDuel $3,900)
Buccaneers at Falcons (Dave Richard)
- Injury of note: Julio Jones (knee)
- Start or Sit: Sit Leonard Fournette
- DFS play: Tyler Allgeier (DraftKings $5,600/FanDuel $6,500)
- DFS play: Cordarrelle Patterson (DraftKings $5,300/FanDuel $6,300)
- DFS play: MyCole Pruitt (DraftKings $2,600/FanDuel $4,800)
Vikings at Bears (Adam Aizer)
- Injury of note: Justin Fields (hip)
- Start or Sit: Start Kirk Cousins
- DFS play: Dalvin Cook (DraftKings $7,300/FanDuel $8,000)
- DFS play: Alexander Mattison (DraftKings $5,100/FanDuel $7,000)
- DFS play: Kirk Cousins (DraftKings $6,500/FanDuel $7,700)
Panthers at Saints (Jamey Eisenberg)
- Injury of note: Juwan Johnson (quad), Taysom Hill (back)
- Start or Sit: Start Chris Olave
- DFS play: D.J. Moore (DraftKings $6,100/FanDuel $7,300)
- DFS play: Chris Olave (DraftKings $6,200/FanDuel $6,700)
- DFS play: Rashid Shaheed (DraftKings $4,200/FanDuel $5,800)
Jets at Dolphins (Dave Richard)
- Injury of note: Tua Tagovailoa (concussion), Teddy Bridgewater (knee/right finger), Jaylen Waddle (shoulder), Mike White (ribs)
- Start or Sit: Start Tyler Conklin
- DFS play: Tyler Conklin (DraftKings $3,600/FanDuel $5,100)
- DFS play: Trent Sherfield (DraftKings $3,200/FanDuel $5,200)
- DFS play: Jets DST (DraftKings $2,600/FanDuel $4,500)
Giants at Eagles (Adam Aizer)
- Injury of note: Jalen Hurts (shoulder)
- Start or Sit: Start Miles Sanders
- DFS play: Miles Sanders (DraftKings $5,900/FanDuel $6,700)
- DFS play: Boston Scott (DraftKings $4,200/FanDuel $4,900)
- DFS play: DeVonta Smith (DraftKings $7,500/FanDuel $7,700)
Cowboys at Commanders (Jamey Eisenberg)
- Injury of note: Brian Robinson (knee), Antonio Gibson (knee)
- Start or Sit: Sit Terry McLaurin
- DFS play: Dak Prescott (DraftKings $6,600/FanDuel $7,500)
- DFS play: Tony Pollard (DraftKings $7,000/FanDuel $8,000)
- DFS play: Jahan Dotson (DraftKings $4,500/FanDuel $5,900)
Chargers at Broncos (Dave Richard)
- Injury of note: Jerry Jeudy (ankle)
- Start or Sit: Sit Russell Wilson
- DFS play: Albert Okwuegbunam (DraftKings $2,900/FanDuel $5,000)
- DFS play: Chase Edmonds (DraftKings $4,500/FanDuel $5,600)
- DFS play: Broncos DST (DraftKings $2,500/FanDuel $3,600)
Rams at Seahawks (Adam Aizer)
- Injury of note: Tyler Lockett (shin), Kenneth Walker III (ankle), Noah Fant (knee), Tyler Higbee (elbow)
- Start or Sit: Start Cam Akers
- DFS play: Cam Akers (DraftKings $6,200/FanDuel $7,300)
- DFS play: Tyler Higbee (DraftKings $4,400/FanDuel $5,600)
- DFS play: Kenneth Walker III (DraftKings $6,400/FanDuel $7,700)
Cardinals at 49ers (Jamey Eisenberg)
- Injury of note: Brock Purdy (oblique), Christian McCaffrey (ankle), Deebo Samuel (ankle), Colt McCoy (concussion), James Conner (shin), DeAndre Hopkins (knee)
- Start or Sit: Start Brandon Aiyuk
- DFS play: Jordan Mason (DraftKings $5,000/FanDuel $5,100)
- DFS play: George Kittle (DraftKings $6,000/FanDuel $7,600)
- DFS play: Greg Dortch (DraftKings $3,800/FanDuel $5,400)
Saturday DFS Lineups
QB: Jarrett Stidham (vs. KC) $5,400
RB: Jerick McKinnon (at LV) $6,300
RB: Isiah Pacheco (at LV) $5,600
WR: Davante Adams (vs. KC) $8,800
WR: Christian Kirk (vs. TEN) $6,200
WR: Zay Jones (vs. TEN) $5,000
TE: Evan Engram (vs. TEN) $4,500
FLEX: Darren Waller (vs. KC) $4,400
DST: Jaguars (vs. TEN) $3,400
There are three interesting quarterbacks for Saturday with Patrick Mahomes, Trevor Lawrence and Stidham (I would ignore Joshua Dobbs), and I'll use Stidham in this lineup and stack him with Adams and Waller. All three were great in Week 17 against San Francisco and should do well again in Week 18 against the Chiefs.
I love the Jaguars against the Titans, and I expect Kirk, Jones and Engram to all go off in a dream matchup. I have no problem stacking these guys with Lawrence as well, and I want a lot of exposure to the Jacksonville passing attack in this game.
Both Chiefs running backs are worth using this week. Pacheco should get plenty of work and will hopefully score against the Raiders, and McKinnon should continue to be heavily involved in the passing game. Las Vegas is one of five teams that have allowed at least 90 catches to running backs this season, so Mahomes to McKinnon should be a good connection in this matchup.
QB: Trevor Lawrence (vs. TEN) $8,000
RB: Derrick Henry (at JAC) $9,500
RB: Isiah Pacheco (at LV) $6,500
WR: Christian Kirk (vs. TEN) $7,500
WR: Zay Jones (vs. TEN) $6,000
WR: Kadarius Toney (at LV) $6,000
TE: Evan Engram (vs. TEN) $5,800
FLEX: Zamir White (vs. KC) $4,800
DEF: Chiefs (at LV) $4,400
I'll stack the Jaguars in this lineup with Lawrence, Kirk, Jones and Engram, and all of them have the chance to excel against this Tennessee defense. In the first meeting with the Titans in Week 14, Lawrence (368 passing yards and three touchdowns), Jones (eight catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets) and Engram (11 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 15 targets) all went off, while Kirk was limited to five catches for 45 yards on seven targets. But this could be a huge week for Kirk.
Based on incentives, Kirk can earn $500,000 with two catches Saturday, another $500,000 if he gets 12 catches and another $500,000 if he gets 91 yards against the Titans. I'm sure he's been telling Lawrence to get him the ball a lot in this game.
I'll play Henry on the other side of the Jaguars stack, and I'll go with Toney as my final receiver. He should have the chance for a quality outing, even if Mecole Hardman (pelvis) does play in Week 18. As for White, there are reports he could get an extended look for the Raiders in case Josh Jacobs doesn't play a full game Saturday.
Sunday DFS Lineups
QB: Josh Allen (vs. NE) $8,400
RB: Cam Akers (at SEA) $6,200
RB: Alexander Mattison (at CHI) $5,100
WR: Stefon Diggs (vs. NE) $7,900
WR: Rashid Shaheed (vs. CAR) $4,200
WR: Greg Dortch (at SF) $3,800
TE: George Kittle (vs. ARI) $6,000
FLEX: Zack Moss (vs. HOU) $5,200
DST: Vikings (at MIN) $2,900
I'm rooting for the Bills to have a big game this week after everything that happened with them and Damar Hamlin, and hopefully Allen and Diggs put on a show in Buffalo. They are worth every penny, and it's a favorable matchup.
Akers is one of my favorite plays this week against the Seahawks, who are without standout linebacker Jordyn Brooks (ACL). And I expect the Vikings to give an extended look to Mattison, who is cheap on DraftKings but slightly expensive on FanDuel ($7,000). I also love the setup for Moss against the Texans, who are No. 1 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs.
Shaheed and Dortch are great sleepers at their price, and Kittle should go nuts against the Cardinals. He had four catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns at Arizona in Week 11 on six targets, and he has at least 13 PPR points in four of his past five meetings with the Cardinals.
QB: Andy Dalton (vs. CAR) $6,500
RB: Cam Akers (at SEA) $7,300
RB: Najee Harris (vs. CLE) $7,200
WR: Garrett Wilson (at MIA) $7,100
WR: Chris Olave (vs. CAR) $6,700
WR: Jahan Dotson (vs. DAL) $5,900
TE: George Kittle (vs. ARI) $7,600
FLEX: Kenneth Walker III (vs. LAR) $7,700
DEF: Vikings (at CHI) $3,700
This is a good matchup for Dalton, and I'll stack him with Olave here. I hope both Saints go off, and using Dalton at quarterback gives me a lot of flexibility because of his price. As a result, I can use some standout running backs (Akers again) and play Kittle again in this lineup.
Harris should continue to play well in a great matchup with the Browns. I also love the setup for Walker against the Rams, and you should notice a theme with my lineup here -- rookies.
It's a good week for rookies like Walker, Olave, Wilson and Dotson, and Wilson was fine with Flacco to open the season. In three games with Flacco, Wilson had 18 catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns on 33 targets. Dotson also has scored a touchdown in three of his past four games, and I'll gamble on him even with Sam Howell making his first NFL start.