Welcome to week 18 my friends as we get you prepared for some great bargain plays this week. Let’s review last week’s bargain plays and see if they were a hit or a miss.

Trey Lance, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers ($4,800): 20.06 points

Sony Michel, Running Back, Los Angeles Rams ($5,800): 18.9 points

Devin Singletary, Running Back, Buffalo Bills ($5,400): 26 points

Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears ($5,500): 19.9 points

Zay Jones, Wide Receiver, Las Vegas Raiders ($3,900): 22.9 points

Josh Palmer, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers ($3,600): 4.6 points

Mo Alie-Cox, Tight End, Indianapolis Colts ($2,800): 5.8 points

Ronald Jones II, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,300): 3.7 points

Chicago Bears ($3,200): 21 points

The first half and second half of Trey Lance really showed. During the first half, Lance looked pretty lost and was only able to lead the 49ers to a Robbie Gould field goal. A switch flipped in the second hald and Lance finished the day for his first game over 200 passing yards going 16-for-23 for 249 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. He had a nice 45-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel, which is great for his future once Jimmy Garoppolo is out of the picture. Lance’s day could have been even better as he had a rushing touchdown called back. It could have been a really good fantasy day for the rookie, but instead it was an okay one. But for the price, we just couldn’t pass it up.

When you’re going up against one of the toughest run defenses, it’s kind of hard to play you. When you’re Sony Michel and have been a bell-cow running back getting 18+ carries over the last four weeks and come in as the 20th running back in cost, you smashed that value and we did this week. Sony Michel finished with 19 carries for 74 rushing yards and a touchdown along with catching three of his five targets for 25 yards. The Rams’ offense struggled as a whole, but Michel came through and 3X+ for us. Solid play!

Say hello to the RB2 on the week in Devin Singletary! It was a tale of two halves for the running back as quarterback Josh Allen had two first-half rushing touchdowns and rushed 15 times in the game for 81 yards. The once neglected running back finally came through in the second half for us finishing with 23 rushes for 110 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns to match Josh Allen. It wasn’t a clean Buffalo Bills game as the passing game only made up 120 of the yards, but that rushing game dominated and so did we for having Singletary in our lineups!

With his first double-digit target game and a touchdown since week 11, Darnell Mooney finished with an astonishing 13 targets turning that into seven receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown in a 29-3 victory over the New York Giants. 

Three weeks in a row and Zay Jones has seen over seven targets and over that time had a season-high 67 yards and zero touchdowns. The touchdown drought continued but Jones did see a team-leading 10 targets catching eight of them for 120 yards. His first game over 100 receiving yards and a game that was a mini shoot out. I should go buy a lottery ticket after this.

For some reason the Los Angeles Chargers did not want to pass the ball much in the first half or really at all as Justin Herbert threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Even with Josh Palmer being second in targets with 5, he only turned it into three receptions for 8 yards. He was involved in the short game, but didn’t do much with it…

After matching his season-high total of five targets, Mo Alie-Cox wasn’t able to do much in this game finishing with 28 yards on three catches. Two of his catches were for 17 and 10 yards… so what could have been, never was.

Speaking of what could have been, Ronald Jones II, didn’t produce for us in week 17. What should have been an easy game against the New York Jets, became a battle to the end. Jones went down in the third quarter, killing our lineups with 10 carries for 26 yards and I don’t want to talk about his reception… highlight of this game: Antonio Brown walking off the field in the third quarter… that was entertaining.

The Chicago Bears just lit up the fantasy stats on Sunday afternoon. I told you the New York Giants threw in the towel as they only attempted 11, not completions, but ELEVEN ATTEMPTS! Ridiculous! But what wasn’t ridiculous was the 4 sacks, the 2 fumble recoveries, the 2 interceptions, the safety and holding the offense to just three points. Start your DST against the Giants. They’re done. 

Hell yeah! Going 6/9 (67%) was great to end the regular season! Well, almost. Week 18 is here and wow, it’s hard to believe the regular season ends this week. 

Let’s jump into week 18 bargain plays and end the season with a bang!

Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,400)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a minimal percentage of getting into the playoffs, so why not have Big Ben go out with a bang. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t do so well Monday night against the Browns in his final game at Heinz Field, but a win is a win. What better way to go out than playing against the Baltimore Ravens? That secondary, as I have told you in past, is just depleted. What better way to close your career on a team that you threw 500 yards on back in 2017? Anything is possible here, but we know Ben’s arm isn’t the arm it was back in 2017. I am comfortable saying Ben will throw for at least 250 yards in a multiple-touchdown game. A great way to go out!

Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,000)

Why not continue the streak of starting a running back from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Ronald Jones is in a walking boot and plans to run by the end of the week. Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($5,300) has a rib injury and should be able to play, but what if he doesn’t last? Enter the old school Le’Veon Bell. He hasn’t done much as he’s on the downside of his career, but when Vaughn went out with his rib injury it was Bell who was able to show us what we all loved about him in the past. His receiving abilities. Sure it’s the Carolina Panthers, but it’s a tougher run defense by a significant amount over the New York Jets. Tom Brady will be without Antonio Brown and is already down Chris Godwin. I see Bell being a viable part of the passing game this week. Think of a James White type of play for Bell this week. He may not get much in the run game, but he should in the pass game, and this is all based on Vaughn being limited or out.

Samaje Perine, Running Back, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,300)

With the news of Joe Mixon going on the Covid-19 list late Wednesday morning, I had to throw in Perine (over Jamaal Williams if you’re wondering). Then the news came out that Joe Burrow is going to sit out week 18 against the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals aren’t really playing for much besides second or third in the AFC, but with Brandon Allen slated to start, why not just run the ball? That’s what Cincinnati was doing all season long until recently. Najee Harris had a great game Monday night with over 200 total yards. Plus with the game being in Cleveland, we know how the weather tends to be bad so running the ball should be the main focus. In order to 3X, all Perine needs to do is reach 16DK points. He has only gone over that total once all season. He has the receiving upside and I see 16DK points being his floor for week 18 being the RB1 for Cincinnati.

Chase Claypool, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,100)

I’ve been doing this for 17 weeks and not once have I used Chase Claypool. He has only 3X twice this season and has one total touchdown. Last season Claypool had multiple games of 7+ targets and had 9 touchdowns on the season with three multi-touchdown games. This is the week that he shows his 2020 self that we enjoyed many times last season. Might as well go out big in Big Ben’s final regular=season game, because if he’s going to explode, of course it’s going to be after the fantasy football championships.

Laquon Treadwell, Wide Receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars ($4,400)

Would you believe that the Indianapolis Colts haven’t won a game in Jacksonville since 2014. The Indianapolis Colts have lost six in a row at Jacksonville and could be looking at seven. Enter Laquon Treadwell. Over the last six games, Treadwell has averaged 6.5 targets, 4.6 receptions and 61.83 yards per game. His downside is not only no touchdowns during that span, but no touchdowns at all this season. The Jacksonville offense may struggle to run the ball, but should be better at passing. This offense has been stale, but Treadwell hasn’t. He should see 5+ targets, 50+ yards and a chance for his first touchdown since December of 2020.

Nico Collins, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans ($3,900)

The Tennessee Titans are looking to lock up the #1 seed in the AFC and the Houston Texans are playing for pride. Nico Collins is a name very few of us know and heard in week 16 on Red Zone when he scored his first career touchdown. Over the last three weeks Collins has 7 receptions off of 13 targets for 82 yards and a touchdown. Last week he had two catches for 35 yards on five targets. He’s adapting more in the offense with Davis Mills at the helm. The Titans’ pass defense ranks 25th and have allowed 21 touchdowns through the air, which is the sixth most in the NFL. Brandin Cooks will get his, but don’t forget about Collins who is second on the team in targets. It’s a ballsy play, but I bet you less than 1% of lineups will have Collins in it.

Pat Freiermuth, Tight End, Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,600)

Okay, yeah looking at this week’s bargain plays, I have three Steelers in it and it’s not on purpose. The “what if” scenario of doing a double stack of Claypool, Freiermuth with Roethlisberger would be fun if it pans out, but I don’t recommend doing that. When we have the opportunity to start a tight end against the Ravens, you should. You have a really good probability of hitting as the Ravens rank as a bottom-five defense against the tight end position. Some tight ends are better than others, but Freiermuth is a rookie and is better than others. Look at what Tyler Higbee did last week against the Ravens. Expect a similar line for Freiermuth with Diontae Johnson out.

BONUS PLAY OF THE WEEK:

Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver,  Chicago Bears ($4,000)

This year is the year Allen Robinson never saw coming. Franchise tag, drafting Justin Fields, the stars aligned for Robinson to cash in on a nice contract for 2022. This year has been an in-and-out season for Allen, but either way he is not producing stats. We’re looking at his first season under 500 yards since 2017 when he tore his ACL. What happened from last year to this year? I have no clue as to why he’s under performed. The Bears have nowhere to go and neither do the Minnesota Vikings. The fun of playing Robinson on Sunday is he has something to prove to earn that next big payday and why not against a division opponent who ranks DEAD LAST against the wide receiver position. It’s a play that’s hard to stomach, and Robinson has only 2x’d and nothing else this season. I was hoping for a squeaky wheel to get the grease, but I think Robinson just wants out. Andy Dalton will more than likely be the starting quarterback going into Sunday. But with a “F-it” flex, why not play Robinson as a cheap fill in? We could have a vintage game, or see what we’ve been having all season long.

DEFENSE I’M PLAYING WITH CONFIDENCE:

Football Team ($3,400)

WTF? More like WFT. The Giants are going to be starting Jake Fromm and there is no better way to take advantage of this opportunity than to play the Washington Football Team. The Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm experience has been nothing but a disaster as the Giants have scored 10 points or less in four out of the last five games. They have also allowed six sacks against the Eagles and Bears and the turnovers are something to drool about. I like the Football team as a top-5 defense that you are able to get as the 9th-highest priced defense. Get. Them. In. There!

My time here at Loaded Box Podcast has come to an end as of this article. I want to say thank you all for not just reading this weekly DFS article, but everything else from waiver wire, to auction drafting and too many other things to list.

Thank you to Ben and DJ for this opportunity to express my fantasy football love to everyone out there.

This isn’t my final goodbye, you will see me somewhere else in the future and it will be soon!

As always, good luck this week!

Ryan Miner is a featured blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook