DFS With Doug Week 18

If you are new to DFS, a Primer is available here:
Full Appendix available at the bottom of the primer for any terms not understood. 

Our fantasy seasons are over, but that doesn’t mean we are done trying to win. After this weekend, we only have seven days of NFL football left. The season comes and goes so quickly that it’s hard to believe. Enjoy this Sunday, as it will be our last NFL RedZone of the season and our last full DFS slate. As always, things are a bit wonky in Week 18—because of how many teams will not be playing starters, there will be some pricing inefficiencies. We have a lot to get to, so let’s dig in.

Week 17 Report Card

Cash Lineup

H2H ITM%: 67%

H2H ROI: 14%

Double Up Cash Line: 120.18


I just snuck above the cash line in my double-ups, but that’s the nice thing about double-ups: it doesn’t matter if you get 1st or just barely pull over the cash line, you get paid the same either way. I built with six spots in the lock button while the last three spots were moved around a lot moments before lock. Luckily, the final permutation had Zay Flowers in it. My locks were Jalen Hurts, Christian McCaffrey, Zamir White, Rashee Rice, Gerald Everett, and the Broncos D/ST. Flowers didn’t get the volume we normally would want out of him to get there, but one long touchdown covers up a lot of issues. 

Single Entry

ROI: (-100%)

Cash Line: 132.64

Winning Score: 197.74


I believed this was the get-right game for Philadelphia. I was sorely mistaken, and as a result, my tournament entries did not get there. The main stack failed, which is unfortunate because there was some good stuff in here.


ROI: (-45%)

ITM%: 20%

Top Lineup Payout: 4x

Cash Line: 129.02

Winning Score: 208.44


I was overweight on the field with 10% Lamar Jackson, but I was also overweight on D’Andre Swift so we did not print money like we should have. Another Lamar lineup had both Flowers and Isaiah Likely with a De’Von Achane bringback, but that lineup had other issues. I felt like we were close to the right configuration, but there were just too many Eagles in all my lineups.

Highest Totals

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals (47.5)

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Commanders (46.5)

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions (46.5)

All these games feature some bad defenses, but also opponents with real incentives to win in Week 18. The most enticing game for me is easily the Vikings @ Lions game. It’s in the dome where the Lions offense performs much more efficiently, and while Nick Mullens may not be great for real football, he will chuck the ball all around the yard.

Top Stacks

Jalen Hurts (PHI): $8,100 @ New York Giants

I do not want to play Jalen Hurts this week after last week, but I need to make sure that it’s sound thinking and not tilt. From an objective perspective however, he still has the most rushing TD upside of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era and has one of the best WRs in the game in A.J. Brown ($8.7K). With DeVonta Smith out, there is some potential value in Julio Jones ($3.9K), Olamide Zaccheaus ($3.0K), or even Quez Watkins ($3.4K).

Dak Prescott (DAL): $8,000 @ Washington Commanders

The Cowboys need to take care of business to lock up the division and get a home game in the first round of the playoffs. This can sometimes backfire as one team plays a little tight while the other has nothing to lose. The issue with that is that the Commanders are just straight-up bad. Since the trading away of some of their defensive talent, the Commanders have been a very profitable team to attack in daily fantasy. Dak has also absolutely crushed some slates this season.

Justin Fields (CHI): $7,200 @ Green Bay Packers

A very interesting offseason is about to begin for the Chicago Bears. Justin Fields’ future is very murky at this stage. He has a huge incentive to play well in the final game of the season to either keep the job in Chicago or encourage another team to trade for him and give him a shot. The Packers do need this one, but as I mentioned before, they could be a little tight because of it. This game fascinates me as a fan of the game.

Top Plays

CeeDee Lamb (DAL): $9,300 @ Washington Commanders

Lamb is an absolute monster. A lot of people are arguing for him as the Dynasty WR1. While I am not there myself at this stage, I can understand why. What an absolute show he put on last Saturday night against the Lions. 

Justin Jefferson (MIN): $8,500 @ Detroit Lions

We keep getting closer, but we are still not at a fairly priced Justin Jefferson. He ate against this team a couple of weeks ago with Mullens at quarterback, though it was not necessarily a big DFS winner that day thanks to Amari Cooper completely breaking the slate that day. This week it could be, but he will also likely be in 25%+ of lineups.

Kyren Williams (LAR): $8,000 @ San Francisco 49ers

The Rams need to win this game and the 49ers are resting starters, so this is a really easy smash spot for Kyren. He gets the bulk of both the pass-catching work out of the backfield and the goal-line touches—the highest value touches a running back can get for fantasy.

Value Plays

Jordan Mason (SF): $4,600 vs. Los Angeles Rams

At only $600 above the minimum salary for a running back, you can get the primary runner in a Kyle Shannahan offense. The price tag is egregious and his ownership may get out of control by Sunday morning. 

Pierre Strong (CLE): $4,000 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Is Jordan Mason too pricey for your taste? How about the actual stone minimum at running back? Strong looks to have a lot less ownership than Mason but likely has more fail cases. This may be a play Mason for cash and Strong for tournaments situation.

Christian Kirk (JAX): $3,000 @ Tennessee Titans

While I am normally anti-Christian Kirk, that is not to say I do not like the man personally, I have just never been in love with his ADP, Dynasty value, or DFS price tag. This week, DraftKings put me to this test with a minimum price. At this price tag, I am obligated to like Kirk as a play. He is currently showing as the highest projected ownership at WR, but the other guys near him in ownership are CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson who are in a very different price tier. 

Value Stacks

Nick Mullens (MIN): $5,100 @ Detroit Lions

We are gonna channel some “Big Nick Energy” here in an exploitable matchup. The Lions are playing all their starters, but we like when the opponent can score points too as it increases the tempo of the offense we are stacking. Mullens may also be a little turnover-prone, but anyone who rostered Jameis Winston with the Bucs knows that turnovers can be overcome if you are willing to chuck the ball around.

Easton Stick (LAC): $5,000 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

I will confess—Stick is not good. The Chiefs will be playing a whole lot of backups though and we don’t need much at this price tag. He also presents nice leverage off of Mullens who will garner some decent ownership. Josh Palmer ($4.9K) is back, and while not a superstar, Palmer is a professional NFL wide receiver which should help out Stick quite a bit.

Low Owned Guys

Bijan Robinson (ATL): $6,600 @ New Orleans Saints

Now that Arthur Smith has cost Bijan managers their fantasy seasons, it would be like him to feature Bijan now just to stick it to us. Either that or run Tyler Allgeier ($4.8K) into the ground. While you know how talented Bijan is, it’s a gamble every week whether or not Arthur Smith can see that, but at this level of ownership, I find myself willing to get hurt again.


Me, playing Bijan in Daily Fantasy again

Calvin Ridley (JAX): $6,500 @ Tennessee Titans

My favorite types of low-owned plays are the ones that have direct leverage on other popular plays. This one hits on two different styles of leverage—the obvious one is because of how popular Kirk will be, but the secondary one is from a lineup construction perspective. There will be lots of lineups employing a “stars and scrubs” philosophy. Break out of that by doing a more midrange build with guys like Bijan and Ridley.

Gut Play of the Week

Justin Jefferson (MIN): $8,500 @ Detroit Lions

It isn’t sexy to plant your flag on an uber-chalky WR, but Justin Jefferson is too good for this price tag. I’m just gonna do what I did last time he was on a main slate—play him in an egregious amount of lineups and live with the results. Chances are that nobody breaks the slate as Amari Cooper did two weeks ago, but there is a possibility that if it does happen, it happens with Jefferson.


I mentioned this earlier, but expect a lot of “stars and scrubs” builds this week with the pricing the way it is. There will be a lot of under-ownership on players in that $6K range. Keep your notifications on as well, as any late news on Sunday could impact everything. Next week, we start doing playoff DFS which will involve a lot more small slates where things operate a bit differently, so enjoy this last full slate of the season and hopefully make some money doing so. 

Thanks so much for reading. If you want to discuss more, you can reach me on Twitter @DougHarrelson. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our Dynasty Football Factory Membership to get all things Dynasty, DFS, Sports Betting, Devy, and IDP. Annual subscribers also get access to our discord server, where you can talk to our entire staff!