For those of you still competing in fantasy leagues through Week 18, below you'll find a collection of recommended pickups. Obviously, fantasy football seems particularly inconsequential right now. Our thoughts are still very much with Buffalo's Damar Hamlin as well as his family, friends and teammates. Everything else related to football (and certainly to fantasy) is far less important today.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans (42 percent rostered)
Tennessee ran something like a normal passing offense in Thursday night's loss to Dallas, and it resulted in the most productive receiving outing from Burks since November. The rookie delivered 66 yards on four catches, plus he added a 20-yard run. He also produced one of the game's few notable highlights:
— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) December 30, 2022
With Joshua Dobbs behind center, the Titans put the ball in the air 39 times, a development that boosted Burks in a significant way. He's back on the fantasy radar ahead of this week's division-deciding matchup against Jacksonville, a team that ranks near the bottom of the league against the pass.
Richie James, WR, New York Giants (18%)
Another week, another score for James. He now has four touchdowns over his last seven games and he's caught 37 of his 44 targets during this recent stretch, feasting from the slot:
Richie James gets the Giants (-5.5) on the board 🗽
James +1200 first TD scorer ✅pic.twitter.com/1QD67kOnPZ
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) January 1, 2023
James snagged eight balls for 90 yards on 11 targets just two weeks ago, then followed with seven catches for 76 and a spike, so he's clearly emerged as a preferred option for Daniel Jones. He's a priority in any sort of PPR format.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (28%)
Patrick Mahomes completed passes to 11 different Chiefs on Sunday, himself included, en route to his usual 320-plus-yard performance. Toney led the team in receiving yardage, hauling in all four of his targets for 71 yards. He's obviously not an every-snap player for KC, but when healthy, he's an electric playmaker. Here's a sample from Week 16:
— NFL (@NFL) December 24, 2022
If he can find 4-6 touches in a Mahomes-led offense, good things can happen. The Chiefs travel to Vegas in Week 18.
Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals (4%)
With all due respect to Travis Kelce, early-season Mark Andrews and late-season George Kittle, tight end has mostly been a wasteland of a position in 2022. So when a talented rookie finds the end zone in a 10-target game, it feels like a national holiday should be declared. McBride was excellent on Sunday, hauling in seven balls for 78 yards and a face-plant score against Atlanta. He's been targeted 25 times over the past four weeks, and, given the various injuries in Arizona's receiving corps, he's likely to draw another 6-10 chances in the season finale against the Niners.
Matt Breida, RB, New York Giants (4%)
The Giants have no obvious reason to place key offensive weapons at risk in Week 18 because the team is locked into its playoff position. Brian Daboll offered a vague gonna-do-what's-best-for-the-squad response on Monday when asked about resting starters, which probably means minimal usage for Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Breida and Gary Brightwell could see an unusual number of touches this week, albeit in a rough spot against Philadelphia.
Damien Harris, RB, New England Patriots (48%)
Harris didn't have the noisiest afternoon in fantasy terms on Sunday, but his return to action plunged the New England backfield right back into a committee arrangement. Harris played 29 snaps against Miami, gaining 50 total yards on 12 touches with three receptions included. He's a clear problem for Rhamondre Stevenson, who played 34 snaps and totaled 51 scoreless yards. The upcoming matchup at Buffalo is lousy, but a healthy Harris is generally a decent bet to reach the end zone.
Zack Moss, RB, Indianapolis Colts (46%)
Moss has been unchallenged as the featured runner for the Colts over the past three weeks, averaging 17.3 touches and 75 scrimmage yards per game. He can't hope to deliver the production we'd see from a healthy Jonathan Taylor, but he's at least capable of taking advantage of a friendly matchup. Moss gets to finish his season at home against Houston's league-worst run defense, giving him a path to RB2-ish production. If he remains unattached in your league, go get him.
Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears (36%)
The Bears were mercilessly stomped by Detroit on Sunday and, naturally, Justin Fields led the team in rushing. But it's worth noting that Herbert played 20 snaps to David Montgomery's 28 in the loss, carrying five times for 31 yards. He's now averaging a healthy 5.7 YPC on the season.
If Herbert receives a healthy share of the backfield touches against Minnesota's user-friendly defense this week, he's gonna produce a few highlights.
Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers (24%)
We're fresh out of superlatives for this guy, an unlikely end-of-season star. Purdy just delivered his fifth straight multi-touchdown passing performance and it shouldn't surprise you to learn that Kittle was again involved:
Babe wake up, Brock Purdy's throwing dimes
KNBR call ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/emyUupNnb3
— KNBR (@KNBR) January 1, 2023
The weapons at Purdy's disposal are, of course, of the highest quality. Deebo Samuel is about to return to a collection of offensive talent that already includes Kittle, CMC and Brandon Aiyuk. Purdy has been a gift to anyone who had QB needs late in the year.
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Las Vegas Raiders (1%)
Whatever your expectations were for Stidham on Sunday against the Niners, he surely exceeded them. He leaned on the talents of his various offensive playmakers and delivered a 365-yard, three-TD, two-interception performance. He has one of the game's greatest receivers at his disposal, so he fed him:
— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2023
Stidham is very much on the Superflex radar ahead of his season-ending matchup with Kansas City, a game with obvious shootout potential. Another 20-plus-point fantasy performance is a clear possibility.
Jacksonville Jaguars (43%)
If for some reason Jacksonville's defense wasn't added by anyone in your league ahead of Sunday's matchup with Houston, go get this group for the regular season finale. The Jaguars have now delivered double-digit fantasy points in four straight games, producing a dozen sacks and nine takeaways during their December win streak. This group should remain useful for fantasy purposes facing Tennessee's sketchy QB situation in Week 18.