It’s do-or-die as the fantasy football championships are set to conclude for all leagues. Fantasy managers are adjusting and tweaking their rosters based on what we’ve seen through the league’s first 17 weeks to prepare for a championship run.
Working the waiver wire is the best way to improve your team for the stretch run and find a weekly advantage. To aid in that, here are some of the top Week 18 waiver wire claims fantasy football managers should consider.
Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 18
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (36.9% rostered)
Are we sure Trey Lance is going to be the quarterback next year? I know we just did this whole thing a few months ago, but all Brock Purdy is doing is winning. Purdy completed 22 of his 35 passing attempts for 248 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in their win over the Raiders.
Purdy’s 248 yards were a season high, and he’s extended his streak of multiple passing touchdown games to five in a row. Purdy should also be the starting QB this weekend, given the 49ers still have a chance for the top seed in the NFC. Purdy will be a high-end QB2 streamer for Week 18 but could end up in the top 12, depending on how many quarterbacks are benched.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (68.1% rostered)
QB10 on the year, Jared Goff had another three-touchdown day against the Bears in Week 17 while completing 21 of his 29 passing attempts for 255 yards in the 41-10 blowout.
Goff is ninth in success rate and in EPA+CPOE, and he’ll need to have a good game as the Packers are fighting for their playoff lives. Goff is a high-end QB2 streamer against Green Bay in Week 18.
Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (63.7% rostered)
With 20 rushes, Tyler Allgeier continued his streak of significant volume. Allgeier rushed for 83 yards (4.1 YPC) with a touchdown against the Cardinals while catching his lone target for 12 yards. Cordarrelle Patterson was also active, recording 15 touches and 84 total yards and only his second touchdown since Week 9.
Allgeier has averaged 18.2 PPR fantasy points per game over his last three while finishing as the RB8, RB12, and tentatively the RB8, respectively, with Week 17 yet to conclude.
The Falcons will match up with the Buccaneers this week, who are no longer the pass funnel of years past. Allgeier is an RB2 for Week 18 and heads into the offseason with a ton of momentum. He could be a significant value in 2023 drafts.
Malik Davis, RB, Dallas Cowboys (1.8% rostered)
Tony Pollard was inactive this past week for TNF, and thus, Malik Davis served as the RB2 behind Ezekiel Elliott. Davis rushed 10 times for 39 yards and recorded two catches for an additional 23 yards, which 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’s a legitimate chance we see the Cowboys rest both Elliott and Pollard, leaving Davis the RB1 against Washington. He’s someone to keep in mind as we see teams make their roster decisions.
Alexandra Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings (20.2% rostered)
Although it isn’t saying much, Alexander Mattison led Minnesota in rushing with 38 yards on eight carries in the loss to Green Bay. He also caught one pass for seven yards.
Mattison has done very little this season despite the mid-round draft capital. He has just three touchdowns on the year and has scored double-digit points only three times.
Similar to Dallas, the Vikings have secured their spot in the playoffs, and there is every reason to rest some of their key players, including Dalvin Cook.
When Cook is out, Mattison carries RB1 value. That would be the case in Week 18 against the Chicago Bears. If Cook is inactive, Mattison would become the top waiver wire pickup on the week.
Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (6.4% rostered)
Los Angeles is a team I expect to pull starters or not even play them at all. They pulled Justin Herbert last week in the blowout win, and I can easily see them resting guys like him, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Austin Ekeler. With this in mind, Joshua Kelley becomes a very intriguing waiver wire option.
Against the Rams this past Sunday, Kelley rushed nine times for 45 yards and has now seen 10 or more touches in three straight games. Kelley would be an RB2/RB3 in Week 18 against the Broncos, who are 24th in EPA per rush since Week 12.
Richie James, WR, New York Giants (3.7% rostered)
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 and is a WR3/WR4 in Week 18.
Isaiah Hodgins, WR, New York Giants (5.7% rostered)
Isaiah Hodgins has been on fire over the last few weeks. After recording 21 receptions, 208 yards, and three touchdowns in Weeks 13 through 16 (15.5 PPR – WR16), Hodgins recorded four catches on five targets for 42 yards and a touchdown in Week 17.
Hodgins now has a touchdown and 4+ receptions in four of his last five games. He’ll need to be busy again for the Giants against an Eagles team that has something to play for in Week 18 and will likely have Jalen Hurts back under center. Hodgins and James are the only legitimate pass-catching options for New York.
Greg Dortch, WR, Arizona Cardinals (6.5% rostered)
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 Atlanta last week but caught just four of them 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 option if some of your everyday starters are being rested this week.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (38.8% rostered)
After the initial excitement, Kadarius Toney never really caught on in Kansas City, but he has one more chance to leave his mark on this offense. Toney caught all four of his targets against the Broncos for a season-high 71 yards. Rookie Skyy Moore played the third-most offensive snaps in the first half but left the game due to a hand injury.
Toney moved into three-wide sets with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling during the second half and would be expected to do the same in Week 18. However, it could be an even larger role if the Chiefs want to rest Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Smith-Schuster, and others.
Even with Chad Henne under center, Toney could have a surprisingly good day against the Raiders in Week 18.
Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals (3.3% rostered)
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 he 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 the Falcons, and McBride took full advantage of this increased workload. I’m slightly concerned for him next week against San Francisco, but over the last four games, the 49ers are 15th in points allowed. McBride is a streaming option in Week 18 as a TE2.
Taysom Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints (45.0% rostered)
You never know how he’ll do it, but Taysom Hill will find a way to impact a game. In Week 17, it was as a rusher, carrying the ball 14 times for 46 yards and a TD. He also caught one pass for nine yards and completed both of his passing attempts for 24 yards with a sack.
No one fills up the stat columns like Hill, and he now has 11+ PPR fantasy points in four straight games. He’ll be a waiver wire target for someone needing a TE in Week 18 against the 23rd-ranked Panthers defense in points per game to opposing tight ends.
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