NFL Fantasy News Week 18

Ernie Horn
By Ernie HornPublished: January 3, 2024
NFL Fantasy News Week 18

With the regular season wrapping up, fantasy owners have either played their championship contest or will wrap up their fantasy season this week in their final playoff game. Even with fantasy seasons coming to an end, sites like DraftKings and others give individuals other opportunities to build fantasy teams weekly to win money and prizes.

What news should fantasy owners – either weekly DFS players or owners in their finale – know for the final regular season games? We’ll reveal that and more in this edition of the NFL Fantasy News for Week 18.

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s Status For Saturday Undecided

Baltimore Ravens HC John Harbaugh was noncommittal when discussing QB Lamar Jackson’s status for Saturday’s AFC battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harbaugh said that after assessing his injury status, the Ravens would make a public decision about whether Jackson will start or sit this week.

Fantasy Impact: Baltimore wrapped up the AFC’s top spot with a 56-19 victory over Miami in Week 17. With nothing left to play for, expect Jackson to sit in this meaningless game over a heated rival. Fantasy owners who have not used the Steelers’ DST could consider that unit a viable option for Week 18 with the MVP contender expected to be sidelined Saturday.

San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey, Others To Miss Week 18 Action

After wrapping up the NFC’s top seed with a week to spare, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to rest RB Christian McCaffrey and several other players this week in their regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, according to multiple sources.

McCaffrey – who missed the second half of his team’s 27-10 win over Washington with a calf injury – leads the league in carries (272), rushing yards (1,459) and is fourth in rushing TDs (14) this year. The MVP contender also has recorded 564 receiving yards and seven TDs through the air.

Fantasy Impact: San Francisco is also expected to rest QB Brock Purdy after the second-year player sustained multiple shoulder stingers in back-to-back games. Players like WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk could join this list of healthy scratches, meaning fantasy owners will need replacements for these offensive stalwarts in Week 18.

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence Returns To Practice

After missing his team’s 26-0 victory over Carolina Sunday, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is set to return to practice this week. Still, the Jacksonville starting signal caller is considered day-to-day heading into Week 18’s contest against the Tennessee Titans.

Fantasy Impact: Expect Lawrence to play Sunday against the Titans. Jacksonville’s playoff hopes – and hosting a first round game – are tied to Lawrence’s availability. Back-up QB C.J. Beathard filled the position against the Panthers, completing 17-of-24 passes for 178 yards. To beat Tennessee, the Jaguars will need more production out of the position.

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith Suffers Mild Ankle Sprain, Could Miss Sunday

Philadelphia nearly lost more than a football game in Week 17 against the Arizona Cardinals. In the upset, Eagles WR DeVonta Smith left the game and did not return. Worse, Smith was seen Monday sporting a walking boot and crutches. Despite the initial grim outlook, multiple sources confirmed Smith suffered only a mild ankle sprain.

Fantasy Impact: The Eagles are locked into the playoffs, but Philadelphia can still win the NFC East with a Dallas loss. If Dallas wins, however, the Eagles will surely rest multiple starters, including Smith – a WR with over 1,000 receiving yards and seven TDs this season.

The Eagles will not know what stakes they are playing for until just before the game’s 4:25 pm kickoff. With this in mind, fantasy owners should bench Smith this week and look for a more-favorable matchup.

Ernie Horn

Ernie Horn

CFB and NFL DFS Expert

Ernie brings 25 years of experience in the newspaper sector to the table. Initially, he dedicated his career to sports journalism, both reporting and editing, before transitioning to the digital sphere in 2022. At EatWatchDraft, Ernie focuses on covering college football and NFL Daily Fantasy Sports.