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Wild-Card Rankings: Week 18 Value Meter

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

***First posted Thursday, 1/1. Two Saturday Games - CAR/AZ, PIT/BAL.***

Here are our rankings for the coming week at each position to help you decide your starting lineup. Our rankings are based on the following scoring system: three points for a passing touchdown; six points for a rushing/receiving touchdown; one point for every 20 passing yards; and one point for every 10 rushing/receiving yards. Flex Rankings are for PPR leagues.

By all means, if you want to discuss a rank, or want me to add a player, chime in on the comments. I try to be receptive to your feedback and try to respond to most comments, though on occasion the volume can be quite thick. Please refer to the rankings first when asking "should I start Player A vs. Player B?".

Quarterback

1.Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. Bal
2.Tony Romo DAL vs. Det
3.Matthew Stafford DET at Dal
4.Andrew Luck IND vs. Cin
5.Cam Newton CAR vs. Ari
6.Joe Flacco BAL at Pit
Note: It looked as if Flacco was going to finish the season with back-to-back stinkers, but then led three big drives in the fourth quarter.
7.Andy Dalton CIN at Ind
8.*Ryan Lindley ARZ at Car
Note: Might not start - Drew Stanton hasn't practiced yet, but if he does practice Wednesday and Thursday and looks good, he'll start instead.
9.*Drew Stanton ARZ at Car
Note: (Knee) Did not practice Tuesday, and needs to practice Thursday and look good doing so to start Saturday.

Running Backs

1.Jeremy Hill CIN at Ind
Note: Three straight games with 20+ carries heading into the playoffs.
2.DeMarco Murray DAL vs. Det
3.Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. Ari
4.*Justin Forsett BAL at Pit
Note: Bounced back in Week 17 after disappointing in the fantasy playoffs.
5.Joique Bell DET at Dal
6.Dan Herron IND vs. Cin
7.*Le'Veon Bell PIT vs. Bal
Note: Hyperextended knee - did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but reported feeling much better than he did Monday or Tuesday. Very murky whether he'll be able to play.
8.Giovani Bernard CIN at Ind
9.Kerwynn Williams ARZ at Car
Note: Had 17 carries last week against seven for Taylor.
10.Reggie Bush DET at Dal
11.Dri Archer PIT vs. Bal
12.Joseph Randle DAL vs. Det
13.Trent Richardson IND vs. Cin
14.Josh Harris PIT vs. Bal
Note: Could be a bit of a platoon between Harris and Archer if LeVeon Bell can't go, with Harris running more between the tackles, and Archer catching more passes.
15.*DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. Ari
Note: (Hand) Fully practiced Wednesday and is 'ready-to-roll' for Saturday's game against Arizona, but I doubt that he substantially cuts into Stewart's role.
16.Stepfan Taylor ARZ at Car
17.Bernard Pierce BAL at Pit
18.Theo Riddick DET at Dal
19.Lance Dunbar DAL vs. Det
20.*Ben Tate PIT vs. Bal
Note: Signed by the Steelers as insurance in case Bell can't go, but I don't think he'll start if Bell sits.
21.Zurlon Tipton IND vs. Cin

Wide Receivers

1.Antonio Brown PIT vs. Bal
2.Dez Bryant DAL vs. Det
3.*Calvin Johnson DET at Dal
Note: (Ankle) Limited participation in Wednesday's practice, but had a full practice Thursday.
4.*T.Y. Hilton IND vs. Cin
Note: (Hamstring) Saw limited action in Week 17.
5.Steve Smith BAL at Pit
6.Golden Tate DET at Dal
7.*A.J. Green CIN at Ind
Note: (Concussion) Did not practice Wednesday, still in the league's protocol. Limited practice Thursday.
8.Kelvin Benjamin CAR vs. Ari
9.Mohamed Sanu CIN at Ind
Note: Hasn't had more than three targets in a game since Week 12, but the Bengals might need to lean more on him this week with Green concussed.
10.Torrey Smith BAL at Pit
11.Michael Floyd ARZ at Car
12.Cole Beasley DAL vs. Det
13.Martavis Bryant PIT vs. Bal
14.Terrance Williams DAL vs. Det
15.Larry Fitzgerald ARZ at Car
16.Donte Moncrief IND vs. Cin
17.*Reggie Wayne IND vs. Cin
Note: (Groin) Was limited at practice Wednesday, believes that he'll be good to go for Sunday. Full practice Thursday.
18.John Brown ARZ at Car
19.Jerricho Cotchery CAR vs. Ari
20.Markus Wheaton PIT vs. Bal
21.Hakeem Nicks IND vs. Cin
22.Philly Brown CAR vs. Ari
23.Lance Moore PIT vs. Bal
24.Jaron Brown ARZ at Car
25.*Cobi Hamilton CIN at Ind
Note: Added from the Bengals' practice squad due to Sanzenbacher's concussion.
26.*Dane Sanzenbacher CIN at Ind
Note: Placed on IR (Concussion).

Tight Ends

1.Greg Olsen CAR vs. Ari
2.Coby Fleener IND vs. Cin
3.Heath Miller PIT vs. Bal
4.Owen Daniels BAL at Pit
5.Jason Witten DAL vs. Det
6.*Dwayne Allen IND vs. Cin
Note: (Knee) Full practice Wednesday.
7.Eric Ebron DET at Dal
8.Gavin Escobar DAL vs. Det
9.John Carlson ARZ at Car
Note: Three-way split in playing time for AZ now between Carlson, Rob Housler and Darren Fells.
10.*Jermaine Gresham CIN at Ind
Note: (Back) Did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.

Flex (RB/WR/TE)

1.Antonio Brown PIT vs. Bal
2.Dez Bryant DAL vs. Det
3.*Calvin Johnson DET at Dal
Note: (Ankle) Limited participation in Wednesday's practice, but had a full practice Thursday.
4.Jeremy Hill CIN at Ind
Note: Three straight games with 20+ carries heading into the playoffs.
5.DeMarco Murray DAL vs. Det
6.*T.Y. Hilton IND vs. Cin
Note: (Hamstring) Saw limited action in Week 17.
7.Steve Smith BAL at Pit
8.Golden Tate DET at Dal
9.*A.J. Green CIN at Ind
Note: (Concussion) Did not practice Wednesday, still in the league's protocol. Limited practice Thursday.
10.Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. Ari
11.*Justin Forsett BAL at Pit
Note: Bounced back in Week 17 after disappointing in the fantasy playoffs.
12.Joique Bell DET at Dal
13.Greg Olsen CAR vs. Ari
14.Kelvin Benjamin CAR vs. Ari
15.Dan Herron IND vs. Cin
16.*Le'Veon Bell PIT vs. Bal
Note: Hyperextended knee - did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but reported feeling much better than he did Monday or Tuesday. Very murky whether he'll be able to play.
17.Giovani Bernard CIN at Ind
18.Mohamed Sanu CIN at Ind
Note: Hasn't had more than three targets in a game since Week 12, but the Bengals might need to lean more on him this week with Green concussed.
19.Torrey Smith BAL at Pit
20.Michael Floyd ARZ at Car
21.Coby Fleener IND vs. Cin
22.Heath Miller PIT vs. Bal
23.Cole Beasley DAL vs. Det
24.Martavis Bryant PIT vs. Bal
25.Terrance Williams DAL vs. Det
26.Larry Fitzgerald ARZ at Car
27.Kerwynn Williams ARZ at Car
Note: Had 17 carries last week against seven for Taylor.
28.Reggie Bush DET at Dal
29.Dri Archer PIT vs. Bal
30.Joseph Randle DAL vs. Det
31.Trent Richardson IND vs. Cin
32.Donte Moncrief IND vs. Cin
33.*Reggie Wayne IND vs. Cin
Note: (Groin) Was limited at practice Wednesday, believes that he'll be good to go for Sunday. Full practice Thursday.
34.John Brown ARZ at Car
35.Owen Daniels BAL at Pit
36.Jason Witten DAL vs. Det
37.Jerricho Cotchery CAR vs. Ari
38.Markus Wheaton PIT vs. Bal
39.Josh Harris PIT vs. Bal
Note: Could be a bit of a platoon between Harris and Archer if LeVeon Bell can't go, with Harris running more between the tackles, and Archer catching more passes.
40.*DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. Ari
Note: (Hand) Fully practiced Wednesday and is 'ready-to-roll' for Saturday's game against Arizona, but I doubt that he substantially cuts into Stewart's role.
41.Stepfan Taylor ARZ at Car
42.Hakeem Nicks IND vs. Cin
43.Philly Brown CAR vs. Ari
44.*Dwayne Allen IND vs. Cin
Note: (Knee) Full practice Wednesday.
45.Eric Ebron DET at Dal

Kickers

1.Dan Bailey DAL vs. Det
2.Justin Tucker BAL at Pit
3.Shaun Suisham PIT vs. Bal
Note: Finished the season seventh among kickers in points.
4.Adam Vinatieri IND vs. Cin
5.Mike Nugent CIN at Ind
6.Graham Gano CAR vs. Ari
7.Matt Prater DET at Dal
8.Chandler Catanzaro ARZ at Car

Defenses

1.Carolina Panthers vs. Ari
2.*Indianapolis Colts vs. Cin
Note: Jerrell Freeman (Hamstring) practiced Wednesday.
3.*Dallas Cowboys vs. Det
Note: Henry Melton (bone bruise in knee) out for the playoffs.
4.Baltimore Ravens at Pit
Note: Haloti Ngata (suspension) returns this week.
5.*Arizona Cardinals at Car
Note: Larry Foote (knee) will return this week.
6.*Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Bal
Note: Troy Polamalu (Knee) practiced Thursday, has missed the last two weeks. Ike Taylor (shoulder/forearm) sat out last week but hopes to return Saturday night.
7.Cincinnati Bengals at Ind
8.*Detroit Lions at Dal
Note: Jim Caldwell said it would be a 'miracle' for Nick Fairley (knee) to play, but he practiced Thursday.