Sit/Start Week 18: Reviewing All Fantasy Relevant Players In Every Single Game

Fantasy football Sit or Start recommendations for every player in Week 18 of the 2022 NFL season

Game Info


Kickoff: Saturday, January 7th, 4:30 PM ET

Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

Betting Odds: KC -9.0, 52.5 total via Caesars


Writer: Erik Smith (@ErikSmithQBL on Twitter)


Kansas City Chiefs



Patrick Mahomes (Start, QB1)


Patrick Mahomes is one of the easiest decisions of the week. The Chiefs will want the number one seed, so we can expect a full game from Mahomes. The Raiders have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the year. He’s been the weekly QB7 or higher in a stunning 13 of 16 weeks and just dropped 26 fantasy points on a good Broncos defense. Mahomes is an auto-start in Week 18.


Running Backs

Jerick McKinnon (Start, RB1), Isiah Pacheco (Start, RB2)


Jerick McKinnon has led the backfield in snaps in three of the past four weeks, ranging from 43% to 62% of the snaps over that timeframe. Remember all of those touchdowns that Clyde Edwards-Helaire scored early on in the season? Yeah, that’s McKinnon now, who is on an absolute heater with eight scores over the past six games. But McKinnon is able to hold a decent floor, something CEH struggled with, due to his passing game involvement, ripping off 52 yards on 5 receptions last week. Not only do the Raiders just give up tons of fantasy points to running backs in general, but they are also a target for pass-catching running backs. The Raiders’ defense has allowed the most receiving yards in the league to opposing RBs, making McKinnon a strong RB1.

Isiah Pacheco is a strong RB2 in this watered-down Week 18 as the Chiefs running back is most likely to benefit from positive gamescript. Pacheco has three touchdowns over the past six weeks and generally sees nearly 15 attempts on the ground. McKinnon is the preferred option, but 40+ % of the snaps are more than enough for Pacheco to be a startable RB2 in one of the league’s best offenses.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Travis Kelce (Start, WR1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Start, WR2), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Sit), Kadarius Toney (Sit)


The Chiefs are a bit thin at receiver this week with Skyy Moore ruled out and Mecole Hardman slated for reduced snaps in his return from injury.

Travis Kelce is, of course, the Chiefs WR1 who just happens to play tight end. Kelce may be the easiest play of the whole week, and he should be in every single lineup against a Raiders defense that he scored four times on in Week 5.

JuJu Smith-Schuster has trailed off in the second half of the season, topping 4 targets just 3 times since the Week 8 bye. He is capable of spiked weeks, however, so with meaningless games and backup quarterbacks across the league this week, we at least should get a full game in an elite offense from Smith-Schuster on Saturday. That makes him a WR2 in my book, albeit a low-end WR2. But the upside is worth chasing in this offense.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling played in a team-high 83% of the snaps last week, drew 7 targets, and scored… five PPR points. MVS has been a relative non-factor this year, even while seeing the field often, making him a stay-away in fantasy championships.

I really want to trust Kadarius Toney, as the talent is hard to miss. Toney returned from injury in Week 15 and has now logged consecutive weeks playing on around 30% of the snaps. Last week that translated to four catches on four targets for 71 yards, and he scored a touchdown the week before. But with the low snap share and the injury history, Toney has a floor of zero, making him a bench player this week.


Las Vegas Raiders



Jarrett Stidham (Sit, QB2)


Look, I realize that Jarrett Stidham was impressive last week, throwing for 365 yards and three touchdowns against a tough San Francisco defense. That puts him on the streaming radar this week, and he’s certainly an interesting play in DFS and as a QB2 in superflex. But in a single quarterback league, one week just isn’t enough for me to trust Stidham, so he’s more of a sit than a start. The weapons are there, the gamescript is there, but I’m just not expecting another elite quarterback performance from this career backup.


Running Backs

Josh Jacobs (Start, RB1)


It’s Josh Jacobs or bust here at running back, and it appears the veteran rusher will suit up in this meaningless finale. Jacobs is banged up and on the injury report, but this has been the case for weeks, and that hasn’t stopped Jacobs from leading the league in rushing. His snaps did dip to 67% last week, but as long as the Raiders don’t make any statements about his playing time before the game, he’s a locked-in RB1 that we are just going to have to trust to play close to his regular volume of snaps. The Chiefs have been a middle-of-the-pack defense against opposing running backs but have allowed the most receptions in the league, and Jacobs turned in five catches for 59 yards when he faced KC earlier this year.

If we knew who the backup was here, maybe we could speculate on a flex option. But all of Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden, and to a lesser extent Zamir White have seen snaps lately, and there don’t seem to be many hints at what the split would be without Jacobs.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Davante Adams (Start, WR1), Mack Hollins (Sit, Flex), Hunter Renfrow (Sit), Darren Waller (Start, TE1)


How much will Davante Adams play this week? I don’t know. But he just torched the 49ers for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, so I think we should probably just keep playing him. The Chiefs are a top-ten matchup for wide receivers, so play Adams unless the Raiders tell you otherwise.

Mack Hollins has held onto a strong snap share despite the return of the starters around him, playing over 85% of the snaps in each of the past three weeks, just as he has the rest of the season. The production has not been great, however, and the last time he topped 50 receiving yards was back in Week 12. He’s got a decent floor as a player that should see plenty of snaps, and any potential resting of Adams would likely help funnel some targets his way. But it’s hard to call him much more than a low-end flex option.

It’s nice to have Hunter Renfrow back, but the snaps haven’t rebounded quite yet. Since his return in Week 15, Renfrow has seen just 43%-47% of the snaps in each game, drawing similar target shares to Hollins. I would leave Renfrow on the bench, as Adams has engulfed his role this year.

Darren Waller, like Renfrow, is back from injury but playing fewer snaps than when healthy. Last week he did play his highest total since his return, however, with a 57% snap rate, and has drawn a 15% target share in two of the three weeks. Waller has been awfully efficient, however, combining for 178 yards and two scores over his last three games. There are very few tight ends with realistic big-play ability, making him a solid TE1 option in Week 18.

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