It’s Been Real.

Keeping it real with fantasy for the last time – Week 18


Welcome back to Week 18 of Keeping it Real With Fantasy! Congratulations to those who won the first round of their playoff matchups—17 weeks of football, and it all comes down to how you shape your team next week. The Fantasy football finals are here and we wish you the best of luck. 

This past week, The Bengals edged out the Chiefs in a nailbiter behind Ja’Marr Chase’s 3-touchdown performance. The Detroit Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown also had yet another great game. He’s hauled in five touchdowns in the past five weeks. Next week is the final regular season week of football, and with that, the final week for fantasy football. It’s been a pleasure to be able to give our two cents to you guys each week of football. We hope we were able to make a difference to your teams. With that being said, let’s get right into this week’s edition. 



Antonio Brown (WR) – He did it again. Late October 2020 was when Antonio Brown received his second chance at holding his own in the NFL, and it worked. Early February of 2021, and Antonio Brown was crowned a champion behind the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV win against the Chiefs. This season was his chance to go back to back and prove to the world that he’s not the man they thought he was. Brown missed a chunk of the season due to an injury, but came back towards the end of the season ready to help Brady and the Buccaneers compete once again—until the end of the first half of the Jets game. Brown stripped off his pads and shirt and stormed off the field, throwing up peace signs and tossing his shirt and gloves. The Buccaneers later cut Brown, likely writing an end to his controversial career. 

Lamar Jackson (RB) – The Ravens’ star QB has missed the past three weeks nursing an ankle injury. However, despite their mediocre 8-8 record, they still have a 2% chance of making the playoffs. Although their playoff hopes are slim, it would be nice to see the Jackson trod on the field one last time this season. 

Joe Burrow (QB) – The Bengals QB threw for 4 touchdowns and 446 yards in their win against the Chiefs. Late in the fourth quarter, Burrow had to exit the game with a right knee injury. Burrow claims his knee is “good enough” as he merely re-aggravated a previous injury. The Bengals sit atop the AFC North with their 10-6 record. Hopefully Burrow is healthy come playoff time. 



Darrel Wiliams (RB)  – Williams played 83% of the Chiefs snaps last week, including all seven from 10 yards or closer to the goal line and 8 of 12 on third/fourth downs. He’s their legitimate workhorse running back with Clyde Edwards-Helaire sidelined, and he might be their best back even when Edwards-Helaire returns. Denver has allowed 99-plus total yards to a running back in five of their past seven games, and the Chiefs ripped them for over 160 total yards in Week 13. 


Michael Pittman (WR) – This absolutely feels like a game where Jonathan Taylor will run wild, but the Colts know they have to be ready to pass effectively in the playoffs. Pittman’s been the primary option for Carson Wentz all season. Expect him to continue to get fed against the Jags, who allowed three touchdowns and 200 yards to wide receivers in a blowout last week and 15 total touchdowns to wideouts in their past 11 games.  



Mike Gesecki (TE)  – Gesicki hit the 10-point mark in PPR just twice in his past nine games. To be fair, he has hit nine PPR points in four of those nine, so he has a decent floor. But his target share is dissolving and the Miami offense is collapsing down the stretch. We would expect the Patriots to bring a lot of pressure to Tua Tagovailoa, which in turn should lower the pass distance and pass quality he’ll throw.

D.J. Moore (WR)  – We liked Moore last week because of his track record against the Saints and the hope that Sam Darnold would throw his way a little further downfield than Cam Newton did. Turns out Darnold’s return didn’t lead to many big-play chances for Moore, nor did the Saints allow Moore to get loose against them. Darnold was off-target including three throws that were easier for Saints defenders to make a play on than Moore in the fourth quarter. Not that you’d expect Moore to have 100 yards with this mess of an offense, but the Bucs haven’t allowed a receiver to get that many against them in 13 straight games.


Waiver Wires

Le’Veon Bell (RB) – With the absence of Fournette and the questionable status of Jones and Vaughn, Bell’s chances to start continue to grow. The former All-Pro RB isn’t near the condition he was in Pittsburgh, but still has the potential to pop off with the Bucs. Look to Bell to haul in a few receptions and a handful of carries. 

K.J Osborn (WR) – Osborn showed up Week 17 with three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Osborn is slowly finding his way in the league and with starting QB Kirk Cousins coming back from an injury, we can only expect Osborn to perform even better. On top of this, star reciever Adam Theilin is on IR with an ankle injury, leaving an even bigger hole for Osborn to fill. He’s got a lot of potential to make a difference in your championship game.


A Message From the Columnists

Daniel Rivera: I never knew this time would come so fast, but here we are. For the past 3 years, Kevin and I have dedicated our time in journalism to writing the fantasy football column, which has been The Lance’s most consistent column to date. It has been one hell of a ride, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. To the next class of Fantasy writers: Carry on the legacy that has been created and continue to help people win their leagues. It was a great time, but all good things must come to an end. Thank you to all those who have supported us along the way, allowing us to consistently pour out articles for the public. Once again, thank you. It’s been very real. 

Kevin Pulickal: Almost three years ago, Daniel and I decided to carry on a weekly column written by AJ Falkerstein and Jake Wilkins, who graduated in 2020. We were sophomores and fresh staff writers, looking for something to do in the class. Years later, we now see the many things Journalism and this Fantasy Football column in particular taught us. It encouraged the build-up of a mindset of consistency and persistence, while also expanding your scope of understanding. With time, we also realized how much fun this was. Three seasons later and we’re still having a ball. To everyone that’s read any fantasy football article, from those who have kept up with us every week, to those who casually skim, to those who accidentally end up here. Thank you. It’s been very real.