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NFL Yahoo Cup Fantasy Football Picks | Round 18
NFL DFS Quarterback: Kyler Murray — $35
The final week of the NFL season is always a challenge for fantasy gamers. Besides the usual list of factors at play, player and team motivation is a major concern. This year is no different, particularly for some of the league’s best quarterbacks. Fortunately, the Cardinals have a lot on the line this week. While they do not control their own destiny, a win could lead to home field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs.
All of this lines up nicely for Murray. Arizona has the third-highest implied team total on the slate this week. Both of the quarterbacks with better totals (Josh Allen and Carson Wentz) are in games expected to be blowouts, but Arizona is a reasonable 6.5-point favorite (and all of the best NFL betting lines and picks can be found over on Awesemo’s OddsShopper). That adds up to Murray being the safest pick this week, recent performance notwithstanding. He should be fine against the Seahawks’ 23rd-ranked defense by DVOA this week. Murray has an A rank for overall points and a B for value in Awesemo’s Week 18 rankings.
NFL DFS Running Back: Nick Chubb — $28
Unlike at quarterback, gamers can afford to get a little riskier with running back selections. Chubb is certainly a risk this week, as Cleveland plays a meaningless Week 18 game against the Bengals. However, Cleveland is rolling out backup quarterback Nick Mullens, so a run-heavy gameplan is likely in the cards. Cleveland is also favored — which historically benefits Chubb — as Cincinnati rests their starters.
While Chubb could be rested this week in some capacity, it seems likelier that the Browns will operate their usual offense in Week 18. Ordinarily, a backup quarterback would be a downgrade due to the lower overall scoring expectation for the team. However, that is unlikely to be the case with Chubb. He has been a solid — if highly variant — fantasy asset, even with terrible recent play from Baker Mayfield. Chubb is one of two backs in Awesemo’s rankings with an A grade for overall scoring. The other (Jonathon Taylor) has a C in value, compared to a B for Chubb. That makes Chubb the better option.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver: D.J. Moore — $15
D.J. Moore is the only offensive player — regardless of position — with an A grade in both points and value in Awesemo’s Week 18 rankings. Moore has been a target hog in recent games, averaging 10 per contest over the last five weeks. His production has not been great, but neither has his schedule. He has had to contend with three consecutive top-eight pass defenses, as well as spotty quarterback play.
Week 18 features a rematch with Tampa Bay (the eighth ranked passing defense by DVOA), but at least Moore should see all of his passes from Sam Darnold instead of Cam Newton this time. Moore was a top 10 receiver by PPR scoring prior to Darnold’s injury. Do not expect that level of production this week, but he does not need reach that. Moore is extremely cheap for a team’s WR1, especially with a pass-heavy game script expected. The Buccaneers face the highest opponent pass play rate in the league. Moore is an easy play for Yahoo NFL DFS contests in Week 18.
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