We have one week to go in the NFL regular season. One week to win your league. One week to rule them all. So for the last time in the 2021 campaign, which mostly unrostered fantasy football players should you target off the waiver wire ahead of this weekend — either to help your own team or to block your opponent?
Fantasy Football Week 18 Waiver Wire Targets | QB and RB
If you need fantasy help at QB or need to stop an opponent from adding a potential QB1, here’s one option available in many leagues. Meanwhile, one relatively unknown running back is a good add for the regular-season finale. Roster share is based on Fleaflicker fantasy league data.
Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints (53% available)
Last week, I urged readers to add Trey Lance, who was available in 58% of leagues. I picked him up to block my opponent, who was forced to start Davis Mills. I won. Had he landed Lance instead, I would have lost by half a point. That’s the power of adding players, even when we don’t plan to start them.
Landing a likely top-14 QB might not be your biggest waiver need this week. But to your opponent, it might be. That’s where Taysom Hill comes in. Hill recorded 17.4 fantasy points or more in three of his last four games and will face a Falcons defense yielding the league’s third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs (19.5 per game).
To reach the postseason, New Orleans has to beat Atlanta, and the Rams have to beat the 49ers. Both games begin at the same time. So, of course, you could let Hill coast on waivers and hope your opponent doesn’t strike gold.
But with the Rams favored and playing at home, and with the Saints’ defense consistently keeping them in games (only 39 total points allowed in their last four contests), we should see Hill out there for four quarters, meaning 18+ points is a strong probability.
Patrick Taylor, RB, Green Bay Packers (99% available)
Not a popular name this week, or any week for that matter. Yet, Patrick Taylor is one of my favorite Week 18 waiver adds, particularly if your opponent doesn’t have two bell-cow RBs.
The Packers have clinched the NFC’s top seed. Maybe they’ll play their starters on the opening drive or maybe even for a full quarter. But I doubt we’ll see Aaron Jones or AJ Dillon add mileage to their heavy 2021-2022 workloads in a meaningless game, needlessly risking a fluke injury that could undercut this franchise’s Super Bowl hopes.
With Kylin Hill on the injured reserve, Taylor is the clear-cut No. 3 RB in Green Bay. When there’s mop-up duty, he’s mopping.
Taylor rushed for over 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns in his final full season at the University of Memphis. A foot injury limited him to only six games as a senior. But his 55 college receptions suggest a pass-catching ability that I expect backup QB Jordan Love will utilize against the beatable Lions defense, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing backfields. Taylor has shown enough to be on every self-respecting manager’s waiver radar.
Fantasy Football Week 18 Waiver Wire Targets | WRs
If you need fantasy help at WR or want to stymie your Week 18 opponent, here are two options available in many leagues. Again, roster share is based on Fleaflicker fantasy league data.
Cyril Grayson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (99% available)
You don’t want Tom Brady beating you in fantasy. You also don’t want his receivers beating you. With Antonio Brown headed to waivers (the real kind, not just fantasy) and Chris Godwin on the injured reserve, Cyril Grayson has the skill set and opportunity to produce in Week 18.
To say he’s a late bloomer is an understatement. Grayson did not play football in college and was an All-American track sprinter. The 28-year-old entered this season with 1 reception for 3 yards on 4 career targets. Safe to say, with Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson and other talented receivers backing up the “Big Four” in Tampa Bay, Grayson entered this 2021 campaign as, perhaps, the No. 10 offensive option.
Grayson earned 8 targets in Tampa Bay’s come-from-behind victory Sunday. Mike Evans, meanwhile, had only 7 looks. It’s fair to say Grayson will continue to get reps in Week 18 — something he’ll need as a still-green NFL commodity. He’ll face a solid Panthers pass defense that might not actually be as good as they seem. No defense has faced fewer pass attempts. When they have been thrown on (such as the Vikings in Week 7), they’ve been exposed.
The Bucs are playing for the No. 2 seed. Expect Brady to feed his largely inexperienced receiver corps and get them up to speed ahead of the playoffs. Grayson should be rostered in most leagues.
Marquez Callaway, WR, New Orleans Saints (52% available)
Have you seen enough of Marquez Callaway? Of course not. I love this guy, and not just because I drafted him. I drafted him because I love his talent and (say it with me) — opportunity.
Callaway’s the best receiver in one of the NFL’s least effective WR corps. On the PFN Facebook blog this summer, I told 16,000+ readers why his WR59 ADP made him a deep bargain and predicted he’d be a top-45 WR.
It took time, but eventually, the Saints realized that next to Alvin Kamara (and Hill), Callaway is the team’s best offensive weapon. He’s currently the WR37 and racked up two performances last month of 15+ fantasy points despite not scoring.
In other words, unlike many fringe fantasy starting wideouts, Callaway doesn’t need a touchdown to help your team. And if he scores, he could easily be a top-20 WR. Get him before your opponent does.