Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 18: Target Zack Moss, Isaiah Hodgins, More
Photo by Vincent Alban/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Hodgins.
With a wild football weekend in the rearview mirror, it’s time to assess the state of our fantasy teams and add (or cut) accordingly for those still playing into Week 18.
Sunday of Week 17 brought a lighter list of injuries to fantasy relevant players.
- QB Teddy Bridgewater (MIA) injured his right finger and was replaced by Skylar Thompson. Bridgewater got the start because Tua Tagovailoa is in concussion protocol.
- QB Nick Foles (IND) was carted off the field with a rib injury and was replaced by Sam Ehlinger.
- RB James Conner (ARI) sustained a shin injury and is day to day.
- WR Jakobi Meyers (NE) suffered a shoulder injury.
Whether you need a player to replace dead weight on your roster, or just need a streamer, make sure to check out Action Network’s top targets at each position — all of which are available in at least 40% of Yahoo! leagues — that you should prioritize come Tuesday night.
Note: Yahoo! roster percentages are reflected in parentheses as of Monday and fantasy rankings are exclusive of the Monday Night Football game.
Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups
Brock Purdy, 49ers (45% rostered)
Purdy was impressive, yet again, as the 49ers’ eked out a 37-34 win over the Raiders. He completed 22-of-35 attempts for 284 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and is currently the QB9 heading into Monday Night Football.
Since taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers are 5-0 and Purdy has finished as the QB18 (not a complete game), QB8, QB14, QB13 and QB9 (pending MNF).
In Week 18 he faces the Cardinals, who rank 19th in pass DVOA and have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterback this year. Purdy is a low-end QB1 as the 49ers make a final run at the 1-seed in the NFC.
Russell Wilson, Broncos (49%)
Wilson looked strong in the Broncos’ first game without Nathaniel Hackett. He completed 26-of-38 attempts for 222 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and rushed four times for 27 yards and two touchdowns in Denver’s 27-24 loss to Kansas City.
Wilson took advantage of this great matchup twice this year. He is currently the QB5 heading into Monday night, which will be his third-best fantasy finish of the season.
In Denver’s season finale, Wilson will have a tougher matchup against the Chargers, who rank ninth in pass DVOA and have allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. That said, perhaps Wilson will feel like he has something to prove and could be usable in deeper/superflex formats for managers in need of a quarterback.
Jarrett Stidham, Raiders (1%)
With Derek Carr shockingly benched, Stidham stepped up and completed 23-of-34 attempts for 365 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions and rushed seven times for 34 yards.
Stidham is currently the QB3 with one game left to play, which is insanely impressive given he was up against San Francisco’s No. 1 defense, per DVOA.
Next week, he should be a high-end QB2 with superflex potential against the Chiefs. They rank 22nd in defensive pass DVOA and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Sam Darnold, Panthers (7%)
Darnold made an admirable and valiant effort in the Panthers’ 30-24 loss that knocked them out of the NFC South race.
He completed 23-of-37 attempts for 341 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and rushed five times for 20 yards, but was ultimately bested by the GOAT, Tom Brady, who is the QB1 this week.
Darnold is currently the QB8 heading into Monday night and could be a start-worthy QB2 against the Saints, who rank 11th in pass DVOA and are above-average against quarterbacks.
Other quarterbacks to consider: Mac Jones, Patriots (19%); Kenny Pickett, Ravens (13%); Joshua Dobbs, Titans (0%); Sam Ehlinger, Colts (1%)
Zack Moss, Colts (46%)
Moss was the Colts’ lead back in their 38-10 loss to the Giants. He rushed 15 times for 74 yards, while Deon Jackson rushed three times for 10 yards and Jordan Wilkins rushed six times for 23 yards.
Moss is currently the RB31 in half-PPR scoring with one game left to play. He should be considered the Colts’ No. 1 running back.
Indy takes on the Texans in Week 18. Their defense ranks 24th in rush DVOA and has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs. The matchup and his role should easily vault Moss into the high-end RB3 conversation.
Chuba Hubbard, Panthers (39%)
Hubbard played a decent-sized role against the Buccaneers. He rushed three times for 12 yards and caught three passes for 53 yards.
D’Onta Foreman saw more carries, but was less efficient with them (13 for 35 yards) and was not involved in the passing game. Hubbard is currently the RB44 in half-PPR scoring, while Foreman is the RB48.
This was a bit of a letdown from Foreman’s massive Week 16 against the Lions, much of which came when the Panthers held a comfortable lead.
Hubbard remains less game-script dependant than his counterpart and could be a decent play against the Saints, who rank 21st in rush DVOA.
Hassan Haskins, Titans (17%)
Haskins stepped up on Thursday night with star running back Derrick Henry sidelined with a hip injury. He rushed 12 times for 40 yards and caught two passes for 13 yards in the Titans’ 27-13 loss to the Cowboys.
Haskins is currently the RB34 in half PPR, which is decent considering he had barely been used until this point — not to mention the matchup was tough.
Henry’s status for Week 18 remains unclear, which means Haskins could get more work in a consequential AFC South showdown against the Jaguars. Jacksonville ranks 12th in rush DVOA and has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to running backs.
Corey Clement, Cardinals (0%)
Clement was a distant second to James Conner in the Cardinals’ 20-19 loss to the Falcons. He rushed seven times for 32 yards while Conner rushed 16 times for 79 yards and caught three passes for 31 yards.
Clement makes an appearance on the list only because Conner was injured with a shin injury and did not return. If Conner were to sit out Week 17 against the 49ers, Clement could be a viable play, though in a less than ideal matchup.
San Francisco’s run defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs and ranks first in rush DVOA.
Other running backs to consider: Jordan Mason, 49ers (9%); JaMycal Hasty, Jaguars (5%); DeeJay Dallas, Seahawks (6%); Chase Edmonds, Broncos (21%)
Isaiah Hodgins and Richie James Jr., Giants (9% and 18%)
Both Hodgins and James were impressive once again in the Giants‘ playoff-clinching win over the Colts.
Hodgins caught 4-of-5 targets for 42 yards and a touchdown, while James caught all seven of a team-high seven targets for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Hodgins — my preferred add of the pair — is currently the WR20 in half-PPR scoring after finishing as the WR7 last week. He has four games in the last five with at least 12 fantasy points and seems to be a great fit with Daniel Jones. James is currently the WR7 after finishing as the WR20 last week.
I do not love the matchup against the Eagles, who rank first in pass DVOA and have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. That said, Philly has been more exploitable against the pass in the last quarter of the season, so either could be a late-season surprise.
Rashid Shaheed, Saints (6%)
Shaheed has quietly been creeping into fantasy relevance with each passing week. He caught all of his career-high six targets for 79 yards in the Saints’ shocking 20-10 win over the Eagles and is currently the WR21 in half-PPR scoring; star rookie wideout Chris Olave was held to just four catches for 42 yards in the effort.
Shaheed has double-digit fantasy points in three of the last four games — the one game in which he did not was in frigid temps with high winds. He could be a sneaky start in Week 18 against the Jaycee Horn-less Panthers, who rank 26th in pass DVOA and have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers.
K.J. Osborn, Vikings (11%)
It was Osborn — not Justin Jefferson — who had the productive game for fantasy purposes in the Vikings’ 41-17 blowout loss to the Packers. Osborn caught 7-of-7 targets for 59 yards and a touchdown; Justin Jefferson was held to one catch on five targets for 15 yards.
Osborn, who is currently the WR12 in half-PPR scoring, has scored in three of the last four games and is the WR11 in in that span. He should have a good shot to continue that success against the Bears, who rank 29th in pass DVOA .
Treylon Burks and Robert Woods, Titans (41% and 39%)
The Titans offense looked significantly better with Joshua Dobbs under center instead of Malik Willis. Burks caught 4-of-8 targets for 66 yards and rushed once for 20 yards, while Woods caught 5-of-9 targets for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Burks is currently the WR22 and Woods is the WR19 in half-PPR scoring. I prefer Burks over Woods for the last game of the year against the Jaguars, who rank 31st in pass DVOA and have allowed the 13th-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Either one could flirt with WR3/flex numbers in this soft matchup.
Tyquan Thornton, Patriots (1%)
Thornton had his second-best game of the season in the Patriots’ 23-21 victory over the Dolphins. He caught 3-of-7 targets for 60 yards and a touchdown and is currently the WR16 in half PPR.
The rookie from Baylor wowed at the NFL Combine with a speedy 4.28-second 40-yard-dash and was subsequently selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Thornton missed the first four games of the season due to a fractured clavicle he suffered in the preseason but has now shown flashes of greatness twice. He could have extra appeal if Meyers, who re-aggravated a shoulder injury in Week 17, ends up missing time, even in a difficult Week 18 matchup against the Bills.
Other wide receivers to consider: Shi Smith, Panthers (0%); Van Jefferson, Rams (21%); Marvin Jones Jr., Jaguars (8%); Kadarius Toney, Chiefs (28%); T.Y. Hilton, Cowboys (3%)
Taysom Hill and Juwan Johnson, Saints (53% and 28%)
Hill was deployed primarily as a rusher against the Eagles, logging 14 attempts for 46 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for nine yards and completed 2-of-2 passes for 24 yards — he is currently the TE5 in half-PPR scoring.
Johnson was also productive, catching five of a team-high seven targets for 62 yards. He is currently the TE16. Either one (or both) could end up being fantasy-relevant in the season finale against the Panthers, who rank 26th in pass DVOA.
Trey McBride, Cardinals (4%)
McBride had a breakout game against Atlanta, catching 7-of-10 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. He is currently the TE2 in half-PPR scoring.
McBride has been fairly quiet even after taking over for the injured Zach Ertz. Some of that has to be attributed to the Cardinals’ shaky quarterback situation, as the team is now on their fourth-string option, David Blough.
McBride could be more of a 2023 option for those playing in dynasty/keeper formats, as his Week 18 matchup is brutal. The Cardinals take on the 49ers, who have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends and rank fifth in pass DVOA.
Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos (10%)
If you somehow had the intestinal fortitude (or sheer desperation) required to start Okwuegbunam in a fantasy final, I want to frame a screenshot of your lineup.
Levity aside, it has been quite the rollercoaster for the Year 3 tight end, who shot up draft boards all the way to TE14 in half-PPR according to FantasyPros’ ADP.
Okwuegbunam was awful to start the year and then was injured and benched for rookie Greg Dulcich, who is now on injured reserve. Okwuegbunam had his best game of the season against the Chiefs, catching 3-of-6 targets for 45 yards and a touchdown. He is currently the TE7 in half PPR with one game left to play.
As mentioned earlier, Russell Wilson looks significantly better already, which may or may not be related to the firing of Hackett. Okwuegbunam could be a nice Week 18 starter against the Chargers, who are average against fantasy tight ends.
Tyler Conklin, Jets (29%)
Conklin looks like a completely different player with Mike White back under center. He bounced back from a rough stretch and caught 6-of-6 targets for 80 yards in the Jets’ 23-6 loss to the Seahawks.
Conklin is currently the TE9 in half PPR with one game left to be played and will, in all likelihood, finish as a top-12 play for the first time since Week 8. He will be a viable streaming option in Week 18 against the Dolphins. They rank 25th in pass DVOA and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to tight ends.
Other tight ends to consider: Brock Wright, Lions (0%); Tommy Tremble, Panthers (0%); Robert Tonyan, Packers (24%); Chigoziem Okonkwo, Titans (23%)