Christian Watson, Zay Jones and Garrett Wilson look to bounce back
If your fantasy league is still playing, I’m here for you and if your week was extended to Week 18, I’m here for you too. This is it, the last FLEX play column of the season and it’s been an honor to have you. Last week we cashed in here on both Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift, Tyler Allgeier, Cam Akers and (I guess) Ezekiel Elliott. This week could be anyone’s guess what will happen as we have some players who may play very little or not at all. It’s important to monitor these things as we draw closer to Saturday (the start of Week 18). I hope you have enjoyed this column, good luck and I wish you the best. Let’s finish this season like the big dogs that we are.
Optimal FLEX Plays for Week 18
Christian Watson - WR, Packers vs. Lions
It was a quiet Week 17 for Watson who caught only one of his five targets for 11 yards. The week prior against the Dolphins, Watson was on his way to a nice game where he caught 6-of-8 targets for 49 yards before a wrist injury sidelined him. He’ll have an opportunity in Week 18 for a big day against the Lions’ third-worst defense against receivers in fantasy. The playoffs are on the line for the Packers (and possibly the Lions) and this game has one of the highest Totals for Week 18 at 49 points. Watson has gone four straight weeks without recording at least 50 yards, but the Lions’ defense has shown that receivers can have their way with them. Look for Watson to close out the NFL regular season with a bang.
These two are almost locked in to your FLEX spot at this point. McKinnon and Pacheco are RB2 and RB21 over their last four games respectively. The Chiefs have plenty to play for in Week 18 as they look to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They’ll do so against a Raiders’ defense that is the seventh-worst against running backs in fantasy. Pacheco was able to get into the end zone for the first time since Week 13 and McKinnon has scored at least one touchdown in five straight games. While the duo isn’t as individually prolific as Christian McCaffrey, the Raiders are coming off of a game where they let him gain 193 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. It’s not out of the question that McKinnon and Pacheco could combine for that type of production in Week 18.
Zay Jones - WR, Jaguars vs. Titans
It’s been a rough last two games for Jones as he’s only hauled in four receptions for 38 yards in that span. With the Jaguars playing for the AFC South title, I fully expect him to bounce back. The Titans have given up more fantasy points to receivers than any team this season. They’re also coming off a game where they gave up 19 receptions for 196 yards to the Cowboys’ receivers. Jones was successful against the Titans in their Week 13 matchup going 8/77/1. Marvin Jones could be a sneaky play as well, but my money is on Zay. The Over/Under of 40 doesn’t indicate that it’ll be a high scoring game, but excluding Week 17 where Trevor Lawrence was rested, he’d attempted at least 42 passes in two of his last three games. With all of the uncertainty of who’s playing and who’s not, Jones could be a factor in your lineup.
Zack Moss - RB, Colts vs. Texans
This game might be the Toilet Bowl, but there may be some fantasy value in it and it starts with Moss. He’s performed admirably since taking over as the Colts’ RB1. While he has yet to score, he’s averaged 17 carries for 73 yards per game over his last three games. He hasn’t been involved in the receiving game, but against the Texans it might not matter. The Texans are the absolute worst defense in terms of giving up points to running backs in fantasy. The Over/Under of 38 suggest this could be a very run-oriented game on both sides especially with Sam Ehlinger and Davis Mills under center. Game script won’t get away from the Colts so Moss’ role should be solidified throughout the game.
Garrett Wilson - WR, Jets @ Dolphins
Tough and unexpected outing from Wilson in Week 17 against a Seahawks’ defense that is currently the third-best against receivers in fantasy. Wilson should have a little more room to work in Week 18 against a Dolphins’ defense that just gave up 10/125/2 to Patriots’ receivers in Week 17. Despite only seven receptions for 58 yards combined in his last two games, Wilson was on a tear the prior four weeks. The Dolphins are still competing for a playoff spot and the Jets would like nothing more than to end their division foe’s season. Wilson has one get-right game left in him to close out the season.
Cam Akers - RB, Rams @ Seahawks
If you’re still playing fantasy, how are you not rolling with Akers? He’s been a top five fantasy running back over the past five weeks! That’s no small sample size and now he gets a Seahawks’ defense that has given up the third most points in fantasy to running backs. Akers had a season-long 42-yard run in Week 17 showing he’s fat and away from his Achilles injury. He’s coming off of two straight games of at least 130 yards from scrimmage. The fear here is that the Rams are 6.5 point underdogs and the Rams have used Malcolm Brown in passing situations. For the most part, however, you shouldn’t worry too much as Akers has averaged 16 touches per game in his last seven. Akers ends the season on a good note.