Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 18: Final Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions to Consider

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2022

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 18: Final Fantasy Football Lineup Decisions to Consider

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    No pressure, fellow fantasy footballers, but it's officially make-or-break time.

    Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season here, and then that's it. Once the curtains drop Sunday night, you'll have either an entire offseason of champagne-soaked celebration in front of you or a non-stop string of what-could-have-been questions (plus all the trash-talking your leaguemates send your direction).

    Whether you're playing for pride or something more substantial, your fate will be determined in less than 48 hours. Let's try to make it the right one with a final round of start-or-sit recommendations.

Start: Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints (at Atlanta Falcons)

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    In a perfect world, you'd have a less risky option under center for the season's final week than Taysom Hill. But in a perfect world, you aren't streaming a quarterback in the championship game.

    If you are playing the streaming game, you have to like Hill's chances here. His rushing activity elevates his floor (11-plus carries each of the past four games), and Atlanta's defense is vulnerable on the ground. The Falcons have allowed a rushing score in 12 of their 16 games, and they've given up three rushing scores to quarterbacks in their last four games (two to Josh Allen last week, one to Cam Newton in Week 14).

    If Hill needs to throw, the Falcons' defense can be handled that way, too. Taylor Heinicke threw three touchdown passes against this defense; Tua Tagovailoa had four. If Hill protects the football (he hasn't thrown an interception in three games), he'll have chances to make plays through the air.

Sit: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)

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    Tua Tagovailoa had some interesting fantasy moments this season, but not nearly enough of them of late. In fact, his last three outings have featured an average of 199.7 yards with three touchdown passes against four interceptions.

    Who's willing to stake their championship hopes on Tagovailoa turning things around against the Patriots' stingy pass defense? Not me.

    The Patriots have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, per Yahoo. They should be extra motivated with the knowledge they could still win the AFC East (and, if everything breaks just right, the entire conference) with a victory and some help. The Dolphins, meanwhile, saw their playoff dreams dashed when last weeks 34-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans eliminated them from contention.

Start: Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills (vs. New York Jets)

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    When navigating the final week of the NFL season, you always want to focus on teams that have something at stake. Well, Week 18 could push the Bills as high as the AFC's No. 2 seed or as low as No. 7. So, already that's a huge help for Devin Singletary's fantasy stock.

    Even better, he is closing the campaign on a tear. He has four rushing touchdowns in his last three games. During this stretch, he has 63 touches and 284 scrimmage yards. That's a featured back's workload, and those are featured back numbers.

    Want some icing on the cake? The Jets are abysmal against the run. No team has allowed more fantasy points to running backs. No team has surrendered more rushing scores, either. Singletary could go bonkers.

Sit: Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers (at Detroit Lions)

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    This is a bummer considering the investment you must have made, but all trend lines point to a dud coming in Week 18.

    For starters, the backfield no longer belongs to Aaron Jones. Since suffering what initially appeared to be a major knee injury, he has totaled just 48 carries over the past five games. AJ Dillon has 65 carries during that same stretch, plus three rushing scores to Jones' one.

    Beyond that, the Packers have nothing to gain, since they already have the NFC's top seed secured. Jones was a limited participant in practice with a knee injury and is officially listed as questionable for this contest. Green Bay should handle him with kid gloves (if not keep him out entirely), and there's too much risk of a tiny workload to trust him.