The final week of the regular season has arrived and, with it, numerous matchups with playoff implications and intrigue. The motivation to win for some teams will vastly outweigh that of superior opponents, and those factors merit consideration for managers trying to decide who to play in Week 18.
Aaron Rodgers, Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
The Packers can stamp their ticket to the playoffs with a win over the Lions on Sunday Night Football. While Rodgers hasn’t produced like the MVP he was in either of the previous two seasons, getting a shot at the playoffs with his full complement of weapons against a dreadful Detroit defense in the cold environs of Lambeau Field all point to a solid outing for the veteran signal-caller.
Geno Smith, Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
While the Seahawks can’t clinch a playoff berth with a victory alone, Geno Smith faces a similar outlook to that of Rodgers. Not only will Seattle need a strong performance from him to position itself for more football, but Smith can take advantage of a matchup with an undermanned Rams defense. Given Smith has delivered pretty regularly for fantasy managers this season, another good showing seems more than reasonable.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers
Jared Goff has played surprisingly well during the 2022 season, but Sunday’s matchup doesn’t look too favorable. The quarterback has long struggled outdoors in the cold, and Lambeau Field on a January night certainly qualifies. Meanwhile, the Packers' defense has picked up its play of late, the result of systematic changes made during the team’s Week 14 bye.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Commanders
While the Cowboys enter the final week of the regular season with a path to the NFC East crown and even the No. 1 seed, so many things need to break their way for that scenario to come to fruition. Meanwhile, the Commanders have improved defensively since the return of Chase Young, adding to the difficulty for Dak Prescott. He could still have a decent outing, but better options should exist for most managers.