The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Edition – Week 18

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 8, 2022 08:25

The Daily Spin – NFL Cash Game Edition – Week 18

Our first ever Week 18 of the NFL season has arrived and wow, did this regular season go by fast. For me, there is no faster time of year than from opening Sunday to the end of the season. It just feels like the weeks fly by during the fall with the holidays and amazing lineup of non-stop football to carry me into the cold, gray winter which is overwhelming already. I am counting down the days until the end of the month when I get a week outside of the frozen tundra in San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open.

Much like Week 1 each season, the final week of the NFL season has its own distinct feel to it. As owners, we need to try to figure out exactly how teams are going to approach the week and which players are going to be the most heavily involved. This likely seems to be obvious by now to most of you out there, but there are still some pitfalls that you can run into if you are not paying attention. For instance, Green Bay has wrapped up the #1 seed in the NFC as well as a first round bye next week. They are on the road in Detroit on Sunday and Aaron Rodgers is expected to play, but likely not that much. I would also be wary of Packer skill position players getting significant rest. Now, does this mean that you should jump on a third or 4th string WR who will likely be playing with Jordan Love this week? Probably not for cash games.

Most other teams in the playoff mix actually do have something to play for this week. The subtraction of a bye week definitely changed things up as teams battle for seeding going into the playoffs. Any team that is still live for the playoffs you can assume will make their best effort to win for the week. Outside of the Packers, a few other teams that has already clinched a spot will likely still be playing all out. The Rams need to win to clinch the NFC West and hold onto the #2 seed. If the Rams lose and the Cardinals beat the Seahawks, the Cardinals would win the division title. The Bucs can move up to the #2 seed with a win and a Rams loss, though being a little banged up and still reeling from the Antonio Brown fallout, they may just be looking to get to the playoffs healthy and be happy with a home game. Obviously, the 49ers and Saints will both be going all out to win to try to get into the dance.

Over in the AFC, the Titans will be playing to win and miraculously hold onto the #1 seed. Four or five weeks ago, I would have thought this team had no chance to be in this position. The Chiefs will play to win to try to have a shot at the #1 seed, but also to hold onto the #2 seed to make sure they host as many playoff games as possible. The Bengals are down Joe Mixon and will not play Joe Burrow to give his knee time to rest so I’d likely avoid the other skill position players against a tough Browns defense. The Bills need to win to assure themselves of a division crown and seem likely to move up to the #3 seed by pounding the Jets. They will also know ahead of time how the Chiefs performed on Saturday to see if the #2 seed is still in play. The Patriots will press to win in Miami just in case the Bills somehow falter in which case, they have a tiny chance of moving up as high as the #1 seed……..tiny. The Colts, Chargers and Raiders are all playing win and in games. The Steelers have a small shot at getting into the playoffs, but would need to beat the Ravens and have the Colts lose to the Jags….unlikely. The Ravens need a miracle to get in, but are not mathematically dead.

The other thing to be on the lookout for this week are contract incentives and notable statistical achievements. Jeff nicely brought up a few interesting notes and I tracked down a handful of others. If you have been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, you may have missed out on the fact that Cooper Kupp is approaching some major milestones at WR. He’s closing in on Calvin Johnson’s single season yardage record (136 more yards), 2,000 total yards (171 more yards) and if he catches 12 balls, he’ll break the single season reception record. He has amazing matchups this week in a crucial game against the 49ers so it is likely that if he gets off to a hot start, McVay and the Rams will put their foot to the peddle.

There are a few notable thresholds that players could potentially hit this week, though I am not going to list silly, ridiculous numbers that are nearly impossible to hit or the ones that are so low that you would not care one way or another if Player A caught 2 passes to hit a mark or Player B rushed for 17 yards to hit a mark.

  • Mike Evans needs 54 yards to hit 1000 yards
  • Christian Kirk needs 61 yards to hit 1000 yards
  • Darnell Mooney needs 71 yards to hit 1000 yards
  • Gronk needs 85 yards to get to 750 yards which would trigger a $500,000 bonus
  • Gronk needs 7 receptions to get to 55 which would trigger a $500,000 bonus
  • Stefon Diggs needs 6 receptions to get to 100 on the season which would trigger a $1.5 million bonus
  • Zeke needs 85 yards rushing to get to 1000 for the season and a $125k bonus
  • Eli Mitchell needs 122 yards rushing to get to 1000
  • DK Metcalf needs 91 receiving yards to get to 1000

I think the real key to success this week in cash games is to try to stick to teams and players in meaningful games this week. I have made the mistake in the past of jumping in on a backup in the last week of the season and having it totally blow up in my face. It did not hurt as much if it was a chalky play, but I remember playing something called Roger Lewis, a former WR for the Giants in Week 17 of the 2017 season. The Giants were 3-12 going into the game with the Redskins and Lewis had three straight games of double digit targets as the Giants WR corps was beat up late in the season. He had not been super productive in those efforts catching a total of 15 passes on 32 targets for a whopping 160 yards in three games, but oooohhhhhh, the targets. So I played this second year kid and I am not even sure he set foot on the field that day. A big fat zero for a box score. Obviously, that was not my favorite day of DFS. It was also the last time Roger Lewis played in an NFL game. This too can be you if you are not careful this week so watch your step. These games with nothing to play for can be explosive where both teams throw caution to the wind and you have an offensive shootout or, and more likely, they pull some starter at various points of the game and big name players get limited touches.

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 8, 2022 08:25

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