Although we rely on big-name players to guide our fantasy football teams to victory, locating this week’s sleepers could be what pushes your team over the edge. With Week 18 of the NFL regular season and fantasy championships concluding, here are some sleepers to keep in mind when setting your lineups.
Top Fantasy Football Sleepers in Week 18
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Las Vegas Raiders
Like many, I was fading Jarrett Stidham last week, given the short notice and what we had seen previously when he was on the field. However, he proved us wrong by having a fantastic day for the most part.
Stidham completed 23 of 34 passing for 365 yards and three touchdowns while also gaining 34 yards on seven rushing attempts. Unfortunately, he also threw two interceptions. But even with those two blemishes, Stidham finished as the QB3 with Monday Night Football still to play.
Assuming another negative game script in Week 18 against Kansas City, Stidham is outside QB1 range, but if you’re in a Superflex league, there is certainly some value to be had. Stidham is a sleeper QB for Week 18.
Malik Davis, RB, Dallas Cowboys
With Tony Pollard inactive this past Thursday night, Malik Davis served as the RB2 behind Ezekiel Elliott, rushing 10 times for 39 yards and recording two catches for an additional 23 yards. That was enough to give Davis a low-end RB3 outing.
What is more surprising is that despite being out-carried by Elliott 19-10, Davis actually had two more yards as the more efficient back.
With Dallas in the playoffs, there is a legitimate chance we see the Cowboys rest both Elliott and Pollard, leaving Davis as the RB1 against Washington. He’s a sleeper to keep in mind as we see teams make their roster decisions.
Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Although it isn’t saying much, Alexander Mattison led the Vikings in rushing with 38 yards on eight carries in the loss to the Packers. He also caught one pass for seven yards.
Mattison has done very little this season despite the mid-round draft capital. He has three touchdowns on the year and has scored double-digit points only three times as well.
Similar to Dallas, the Minnesota Vikings have secured their spot in the playoffs, and there is every reason to rest some of their key players, including Dalvin Cook.
Mattison’s best value comes when Cook is on the sidelines as well. When that happens, Mattison carries RB1 value. That would be the case in Week 18 against the Chicago Bears. Assuming Cook is inactive, Mattison would be the top sleeper for Week 18.
Richie James, WR, New York Giants
Richie James has served as the Giants’ slot receiver for most of the season and had his best day on Sunday, catching all seven of his targets for 76 yards and a touchdown in the victory against the Colts.
This is not some random occurrence, though. James has finished as a WR2 or better in five of his last seven games. He’s a sleeper WR3/WR4 for the playoff-bound Giants against the Eagles in Week 18.
Greg Dortch, WR, Arizona Cardinals
With DeAndre Hopkins out, Greg Dortch was busy but inefficient. After recording 98 yards on 10 of 11 receiving in Week 16, Dortch saw 10 targets against the Falcons but only caught four for 15 yards.
Dortch has been all or nothing this season, with five games with nine or more targets and the rest with four or fewer. With Colt McCoy hopefully able to play next week, Dortch is an intriguing sleeper if some of your everyday starters are being rested this week.
Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals
That’s what I’ve been expecting from Trey McBride since the Cardinals drafted him out of Colorado State. The second-round pick has primarily been a disappointment after taking over mid-season due to an injury to Zach Ertz, but McBride had his best day of the season in Week 17, catching seven of 10 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown.
The matchup was fantastic against Atlanta, and McBride took full advantage of this increased workload. I’m slightly concerned for him next week against the 49ers, but over the last four games, San Francisco is 15th in points allowed. McBride is a streaming option in Week 18 as a TE2.
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