Uncovering Hidden Gems: Duke Johnson and Cyril Grayson Enter Week 18 NFL DFS Value Plays

The Best Value Plays in Week 18 of NFL DFS


As the NFL regular season enters its last week, fantasy football players are faced with uncertainties and tough decisions. While many fantasy leagues crown their champions earlier, DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) continues to provide opportunities for strategic lineup selections. In this article, we will examine the Week 18 matchups and highlight some value plays that can help DFS players find success. We will focus on players priced under $5,000 on DraftKings, considering their potential for high returns and favorable matchups.

Finding Value in Week 18

With the addition of an extra playoff spot in each conference, more teams have something to play for in the final week of the regular season. This increased competition makes it harder to find undervalued players. However, with careful analysis, we can identify hidden gems that might go unnoticed by others. Let’s take a closer look at some of these players who offer great value.

Duke Johnson, Dolphins RB ($5,000)

Duke Johnson, a mid-season addition to the Miami Dolphins, has shown promising signs as he gradually settles into his new team. Recent performances suggest that he may have surpassed Myles Gaskin to become the top running back in Miami. Despite limited carries in the previous game due to unfavorable game script, Johnson should see an increased workload against the Patriots’ average rush defense. Priced at $5,000, he presents a value play with potential for a solid fantasy output.

Marquez Callaway, Saints WR ($5,000)

Marquez Callaway has established a strong connection with quarterback Taysom Hill, making him the favored target in the New Orleans Saints’ passing game. Over the past two games, Callaway has recorded an impressive 12 receptions for 209 yards. As the Saints fight for a playoff spot, they will face the Falcons, a team with a struggling defense. This presents a favorable opportunity for Callaway to continue his productive streak and provide DFS players with excellent value for his $5,000 price tag.

Cyril Grayson, Buccaneers WR ($4,400)

Injuries and unexpected circumstances, like Antonio Brown’s departure, have opened doors for Cyril Grayson in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ receiving corps. Grayson showcased his potential by contributing nine receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. Reports from the Tampa Bay Times suggest that quarterback Tom Brady has expressed confidence in Grayson’s abilities. Facing the Panthers in Week 18, Grayson presents a cost-effective option with the potential for a breakout performance.

Ray-Ray McCloud III, Steelers WR ($3,800)

Ray-Ray McCloud III has seen an uptick in targets over the past two games, with a total of 18 opportunities to make an impact. Although he hasn’t converted all of them into substantial yardage or touchdowns, this increased involvement in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ passing game is noteworthy. With veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger potentially playing his final NFL game, there is a chance that he will look to McCloud frequently against the Ravens’ vulnerable pass defense. Priced at just $3,800, McCloud presents a low-risk, high-reward option for DFS players willing to take a gamble.

Austin Hooper, Browns TE ($3,600)

Austin Hooper has quietly been one of the Cleveland Browns’ most targeted players this season, ranking second on the team with 61 targets. While his numbers may not appear outstanding, Hooper has been consistent in his production. He has converted those targets into 38 receptions, 345 yards, and three touchdowns. Over the past six games, Hooper has seen a more significant role in the Browns’ offense, with at least five targets in five of those contests. Priced at $3,600, Hooper offers DFS players an affordable option for a reliable, mid-range production at the tight end position.


As the NFL regular season comes to a close, DFS players face unique challenges in identifying value plays for Week 18. By carefully assessing matchups, player performance, and potential game scripts, we have highlighted five options that offer great value at their respective price points. Duke Johnson, Marquez Callaway, Cyril Grayson, Ray-Ray McCloud III, and Austin Hooper all present opportunities for DFS players to capitalize on favorable situations and secure high returns on their investments.


1. How do I determine a player’s value in DFS?

Assessing a player’s value in DFS involves considering various factors, including their price, matchup, projected workload, and recent performance. It’s crucial to identify players who offer a high potential for fantasy points relative to their cost.

2. Are these players guaranteed to perform well in Week 18?

While we have identified these players as value plays, predicting individual performance in any given week is challenging. Factors such as game flow, injuries, or unexpected events can affect a player’s output. However, the players mentioned in this article have favorable conditions that make them appealing options for DFS lineups.

3. Can I use these players in cash games or tournaments?

The suitability of these players for different DFS formats depends on your risk tolerance and overall lineup strategy. Some may be more suitable for cash games, where consistency is key, while others may provide upside in tournament formats. Consider your overall lineup construction and balancing risk and reward when making your selections.

4. What other factors should I consider when building my DFS lineup?

Aside from individual player analysis, it’s important to consider the overall game script, weather conditions, injury news, and Vegas odds when constructing your DFS lineup. These factors can provide additional insights and help you make more informed decisions.

5. How can I stay updated with the latest news and player updates?

To stay informed on the latest news and player updates, make use of reputable sources such as NFL team websites, beat reporters, and fantasy football news platforms. Following credible analysts and utilizing DFS tools can also provide valuable insights to assist with lineup decisions.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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