The D/ST position in fantasy football is more or less a straightforward decision each week, but it can be tricky to navigate the NFL’s Week 18 slate. Unless teams have something significant to play for in the season finale, you may be better off looking elsewhere for the right team to plug into your lineup. We outline which units to consider and which you should stray away from in Week 18.
The Giants have surrendered the tenth-fewest fantasy points to opposing teams this season, as Saquon Barkley has returned to form and Daniel Jones has flashed his dual-threat ability. But what are the odds that New York’s key offensive playmakers take the field for a majority of snaps on Sunday, if any at all? With little significance in this game after clinching a postseason spot, the Eagles' defense could benefit from key players from the Giants being rested in Week 18.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders
Dallas still has something to play for in the regular season finale with a potential division title, and subsequent home playoff game, on the line in Week 18. Regardless, their starters should take the field to keep some positive momentum heading into wild-card weekend, and they have an excellent matchup on deck with the Commanders, who surrender the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Better yet, rookie quarterback Sam Howell will be under center, and he could be in store for a turnover or two in making his first career regular-season start.
There has been plenty of noise regarding the NFL choosing to place the Packers-Lions matchup on Sunday Night Football, with Detroit potentially already knowing their postseason fate before kickoff. But what if they choose to play spoiler and light it up against a solid, but arguably exploitable Green Bay defense? Jared Goff has led the Lions as the sixth-highest scoring offense over the last three weeks, and for the season overall Detroit surrenders the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses.
The Titans' defense averages the sixth-most fantasy points at their position, and it helps to have the second-best run defense in the NFL. But their last-ranked pass defense could be in for trouble as they hit the road to face Trevor Lawrence, who has a number of offensive weapons at his disposal. If there were a matchup to keep the Titans D/ST on the bench, it would be Saturday as the Jaguars give up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses.