Week 18 DraftKings Plays: Cooper Kupp, Jonathan Taylor, and More

Week 18 DraftKings

Week 17 is in the books and it’s on to the next one. One of my favorite parts is fantasy football. One of my favorite aspects of fantasy football has become playing on DraftKings. Every week is like a new puzzle to figure out. Whether you are more of a cash game player or a tournament player, each presents a unique challenge. Let’s take a look at the best Week 18 DraftKings plays.

Fantasy Football Week 18 DraftKings Plays

Week 17 Recap

It’s always good to be completely transparent and demonstrate accountability. That’s what I like to do with everything I do and that goes for fantasy football as well. Whether it’s bold takes or DraftKings recommendations, I always like to keep track of wins and losses. It’s not only good for the readers to know, but also helps me learn from mistakes moving forward.

Looking back at Week 17, it was better than last week. This week 48% of the recommendations hit the 2.5x value we look for in cash game lineups. This time the quarterback group led the way with an 80% success rate. Meanwhile, the tight end group brought up the rear this week with a 20% success rate. It was not a profitable week. The cash build lost all five double-ups and went 6-12 in H2H’s. We’ll look to do even better with the picks and get back into the profits in the Week 18 DraftKings plays.

  • Week 17 – $402 → $324 ($78 LOSS)
  • Year Total – $5,933 → $5,706 ($227 LOSS)

Week 18 DraftKings Plays


Kyler Murray (ARI) – $7,400 v SEA

It is “silly season” in the NFL here with the Week 18 DraftKings plays and most of the battle will be trying to determine how long each guy plays. This is especially true at the top end of the player pool. For Kyler Murray, there is still incentive to play and win the game so that lands him as one of the top pay-up options this week with so many sitting some or all of their game. The matchup happens to be great as well against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks defense has been bad this year and they seem to have given up on the season. This may end up being Pete Carroll’s last game as the head coach. This game also has the highest combined total on the slate and the Arizona Cardinals have one of the highest implied team totals on the slate. It is also being played in a dome. All signs point to Murray having a great game and being one of the top-scoring quarterbacks on the slate.

Taysom Hill (NO) – $6,200 @ ATL

The salary for Taysom Hill still has not caught up to his production. On the surface, he only has three passing touchdowns and five interceptions. Hill, though, derives most of his value from running. He has had at least 11 carries in all four starts this year and that has allowed him to overcome the rough passing stats. In his four starts, Hill is averaging more than 20 DraftKings points per game. This week he gets a juicy matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have allowed the fourth-most DraftKings points to quarterbacks this year. This is another game that will be played in a dome, which will help the passing offenses on both teams. Hill should have no issue returning great value for the fourth time in five starts.

Others to Consider: Josh Allen (BUF) – $8,100 v NYJ, Ryan Tannehill (TEN) – $6,000 @ HOU, Tyler Huntley (BAL) – $5,700 v PIT

Running Backs

Jonathan Taylor (IND) – $9,300 @ JAX

Jonathan Taylor is in the midst of a monster season. He has 1,734 rushing yards, 342 receiving yards, and 20 total touchdowns this year. Taylor has hit the 100-yard rushing yards bonus on DraftKings 10 times this season, including seven of his last eight games. He has basically become Derrick Henry this year. This week Taylor is in a great spot to cap off his incredible year. The Indianapolis Colts are traveling to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have been one of the worst teams in the NFL this season and are likely just trying to get through this one and head on a long vacation. The Colts, on the other hand, have plenty of incentive to win this game. They need to win this game to make the playoffs and it is reflected in the betting line. The Colts are currently 15-point road favorites in this one. The game script should be in Taylor’s favor all game and Taylor himself may take aim towards the 266 rushing yards he needs to join the 2,000-yard rushing club. It would not be a surprise at all to see Taylor finish as the top-scoring running back once again this week.

Sony Michel (LAR) – $6,000 v SF

Speaking of teams with incentives to play their starters this weekend, the Los Angeles Rams need to win this game and have the Cardinals lose to secure the division. The San Francisco 49ers also have an incentive to play because they need to win to secure a playoff spot. They may still get a playoff spot if the New Orleans Saints lose but they likely want to control their own destiny. Sony Michel has emerged as the workhorse running back for the Rams over the last five weeks. Over that span, he is averaging 21.6 carries and 99.4 rushing yards per game with three touchdowns as well. His snap share and touch share are some of the highest in the NFL. Running back is a position heavily reliant on volume so it stands to reason that he is in a great spot with so much volume in one of the best offenses in the NFL. At this price, Michel looks like he will finish the year as one of the best values at running back once again.

Michael Carter (NYJ) – $5,000 @ BUF

It has been an up-and-down rookie season for Michael Carter. He has certainly had flashes though most notably when he put up 32.2 DraftKings points back in Week 8. Carter has reached double-digit DraftKings points seven times this year and very likely would have last week had he not been knocked out of the game with a concussion. He has cleared the concussion protocol and is in line to get plenty of touches against the Buffalo Bills this weekend. The Bills have been a solid defense but have been pretty leaky against the run allowing 113.6 rushing yards per game. The New York Jets are currently 16.5-point road underdogs. Usually, that is a spot to steer clear of a running back but Carter is a solid pass-catching option as well so he should still see snaps and touches should the Jets fall behind early. At this price, there are not too many options that look better than Carter this week.

Others to Consider: Dalvin Cook (MIN) – $7,800 v CHI, David Montgomery (CHI) – 6,800 @ MIN, Antonio Gibson (WFT) – $5,800 @ NYG, Devin Singletary (BUF) – $6,000 v NYJ

Wide Receivers

Cooper Kupp (LAR) – $9,700 v SF

Like Jonathan Taylor, Cooper Kupp has plenty to play for this weekend. The thing is, Kupp’s achievements are a bit more historic and a bit more attainable. He needs 12 receptions to break the single-season reception record. Kupp also needs 136 receiving yards to break the single-season receiving yards record. Both of those records are squarely in his sights this weekend and his receiving yardage prop is the highest of any player all season. That means even Vegas is expecting the Rams to feed Kupp in this one in an effort to get him those records. As previously mentioned, the Rams also have the incentive to play their starters the whole game in this one, and the 49ers secondary has not been very good this year whereas Kupp has. They have allowed the 10th-most DraftKings points to wide receivers this year and are heading into this one a bit banged up. Kupp should have no issue finishing the season in awesome fashion and likely setting some records along the way.

Michael Pittman Jr. (IND) – $5,900 @ JAX

As previously mentioned, the Colts need to win this game and will likely play their starters until the game is completely wrapped up. That should be to the benefit of Michael Pittman Jr. as well. He has established himself as the alpha of this wide receiver room this season. Not only are the Jaguars bad against the run, but they have also allowed the fifth-most DraftKings points to wide receivers this year. Pittman Jr. is averaging 14 DraftKings points per game himself and has seen at least five targets in every game besides two this year. Even in those games he still saw four targets. The only risk here is if the Colts get out to a huge lead early and run the clock the rest of the game. Even in that scenario, though, it is likely that Pittman Jr. helped contribute to that big lead. He should be able to pay off this salary this weekend and end on a strong note.

Deonte Harris (NO) – $3,200 @ ATL

With two very expensive players, who are also great plays, this weekend, there will need to be some spend-down options to help save some salary. Deonte Harris looks to be one of those salary-saving options that could return a nice value on this slate. As previously mentioned, the Saints are playing against the Falcons terrible defense. They have allowed the seventh-most DraftKings points to wide receivers this year. One concern is that Tre’Quan Smith will play in this one which could impact Harris’s route share and target share. Still, though, at this price, he would only need around eight or nine points to pay off as a solid pay and is worth a shot in a game where the Saints need to win.

Others to Consider: Justin Jefferson (MIN) – $8,100 v CHI, A.J. Brown (TEN) –  $7,000 @ HOU, DJ Moore (CAR) – $5,800 @ TB, Brandin Cooks (HOU) – $6,300 v TEN, Juwan Winfree (GB) – $3,000 @ DET

Tight Ends

Zach Ertz (ARI) – $5,300 v SEA

On the surface, Zach Ertz has been mediocre over the past few weeks. Diving deeper, however, he has seen a massive amount of targets in that span and just has not exploded yet. That has allowed his salary to stay at a reasonable amount which is perfect for this week in which the Cardinals need to win the game. Ertz should play the entire game and will likely see another large target total. He has averaged 10 targets per game over the last four games and 11 targets per game over the past three games. There is no reason to expect any difference in this one as it has directly coincided with the loss of DeAndre Hopkins. The Seahawks have allowed the seventh-most DraftKings points to tight ends this year as well. Ertz has one of the best combinations of volume, salary, and game environment among all tight ends on the slate.

Cole Kmet (CHI) – $3,400 @ MIN

Cole Kmet is essentially the discount version of Zach Ertz at the moment. He has seen a good amount of volume and has not produced with it. Kmet has not seen the target volume that Ertz has but that is also why he is nearly $2,000 cheaper. He has seen at least five targets in six straight games now and is averaging seven targets per game in that span. That is a lot for any tight end, let alone one this cheap. Neither the Chicago Bears nor the Minnesota Vikings have much to play for aside from personal pride in this one but it seems likely that Kmet should play the majority of this game. The Vikings have been good against the tight end on paper but this is more about the target volume at the price. This game will also be played in a dome so weather will not be a concern for either team.

Others to Consider: George Kittle (SFD) – $6,700 @ LAR, Tyler Higbee (LAR) – $4,000 v SF, John Bates (WFT) – $3,000 @ NYG

Defense/Special Teams

In terms of choosing a defense/special teams, it’s the last spot I fill in every week. It’s pretty random but there are a few areas to gain an advantage. I look to target the heavily favored teams as they usually are playing with a lead. This forces their opponent to throw it more often which can help lead to extra sacks and turnovers and hopefully a touchdown. Another aspect to target is turnover and sack-prone quarterbacks. My advice is to fill out the rest of your lineup first and then pick your favorite D/ST out of the remaining money.

My Tentative Cash Game Lineup

  • QB – Tyler Huntley
  • RB – Jonathan Taylor
  • RB – Sony Michel
  • WR – Cooper Kupp
  • WR – Juwan Winfree
  • WR – Amari Rodgers
  • TE – Zach Ertz
  • Flex – Jakobi Meyers
  • DST – Cleveland Browns

Make sure to tune in next week to see the results from my Week 18 DraftKings plays and to see the best picks for the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs. Best of luck to everyone and let’s all enjoy some football and win some money!

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