Top Value Picks for 2022 NFL Wild Card Weekend – Best Sleepers to Roster

| January 12, 2022 11:38 am PDT

Week 18 was a bit of a mess in NFL DFS. It’s also been difficult to find viable NFL DFS sleepers in recent weeks.

To be fair, I push out my daily fantasy football sleepers breakdown early in the week. The madness really starts hitting the fan later in the week.

Going into the 2022 NFL Wild Card round, things could be a bit easier to project. You’ll still need to wait on some injury news, to be sure. However, with so much on the line, it’s safe to assume most of the top players will find a way to get on the field.

Due to opportunity or pricing, however, there are still some very interesting cheap plays to look at. My NFL DFS sleepers for the 2022 Wild Card round break down my favorites for the week.

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders ($5.5k)

There are only so many options with the NFL playoffs underway, but if you can get a viable punt at $5.5k, you may want to consider going for it.

Carr may present that. It’s possible he and the Raiders will have to take it to the air out of necessity, but I also happen to think this matchup with the Bengals flat out benefits them.

The Bengals gave up the sixth most passing yards in the NFL during the regular season, after all.

Carr and the Raiders are a bit more dynamic than most people seem to recall. The team has DeSean Jackson as a deep threat, for one. Josh Jacobs is also a solid option on the ground, and Darren Waller is a matchup nightmare at tight end.

Cam Akers, RB, Rams ($4.2k)

The real question to me is whether or not a punt like this is even going to be needed. Akers would come with considerable risk, as he’s only been back for one game after tearing his Achilles in the summer.

That said, Sony Michel is the only guy the Rams have to lean on when it comes to the ground game, as Darrell Henderson is still sidelined.

Michel has been solid, but he’s not nearly as versatile or as explosive as Akers.

With the season hanging in the balance, there’s some real logic to support the Rams feeding Akers as much as he can handle in the first round of the playoffs.

If that happens, Akers is a smash play at this price against a vulnerable Arizona run defense that allowed over 1,600 yards on the ground in 2021.

Tyler Johnson, WR, Buccaneers ($4k)

I vouched for Tyler Johnson last week, and responded with a ho-hum 7.2 fantasy points. He hasn’t lit the world afire lately, but injuries have at least opened the door to him getting some action.

Here’s a look at what he’s done over his last four games.

  • Week 18: 7.2 fantasy points
  • Week 17: 9 fantasy points
  • Week 16: 0 fantasy points
  • Week 15: 8.1 fantasy points

The goose egg in week 16 is a little concerning. Still, Johnson is going to be involved with Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown no longer part of this year’s plans.

Even Cyril Grayson is nicked up, so it’s quite possible Johnson could be busier than usual this week. I’d definitely look at both of these guys, as well as Scotty Miller ($3.8k) if you want to save cash, but right now Johnson may stand out the most.

C.J. Uzomah, TE, Bengals ($3.2k)

Tight end weirdly is not going to be a position I save at. There are a lot of really good options this week, and the value comes at running back and wide receiver.

Even so, Uzomah could always provide some salary relief. He has been pretty quiet for some time now, but he has one of the best matchups on the slate for tight ends.

Just look at how the Raiders have fared against tight ends this season.

  • 5th most fantasy points allowed
  • 9th most catches allowed
  • 8th most receiving yards allowed
  • 3rd most touchdowns allowed

Las Vegas ranks 28th against tight ends on the season, and they come in having allowed the third most scores to the position. I wouldn’t be that shocked to see Uzomah benefit from this matchup. The Raiders will likely go out of their way to take Cincy’s deep ball out of this game.

Los Angeles Rams Defense ($2.7k)

It’s the playoffs, so I don’t actually trust a single defense. I’d be pretty inclined to pay up for one of the safer options, but punting defense usually is the way to go.

For the Wild Card round, the best value appears to be the Rams. Los Angeles is favored to beat the Cardinals, they’re at home, and they have some nasty defensive studs in Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Jalen Ramsey.

They’ve all left their mark on the 2021 campaign.

  • Aaron Donald (12.5 sacks)
  • Von Miller (9.5 sacks)
  • Jalen Ramsey (4 INTs)

Los Angeles also gets the Cardinals, who they slowed down a few weeks ago en route to a solid 8 fantasy points. The Rams have sack and turnover potential every time out, too, and they’ve managed 7+ fantasy points in each of their last six games.

Arizona’s recent offensive struggles only aid their case.

Other NFL DFS Sleepers for Week 18

  • Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers ($5.2k)
  • Eli Mitchell, RB, 49ers ($5.5k)
  • Scotty Miller, WR, Buccaneers ($3.8k)
  • Pat Freiermuth, TE, Steelers ($4.2k)
  • New England Patriots Defense ($2.6k)

Like I said, I don’t think this is the best week for fantasy value. None of the prices (save for Cooper Kupp) are too crazy, either, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to roster too many deep dives.

That said, I don’t hate Big Ben against the Chiefs. He will probably have to throw the ball a lot, he’s one of the cheaper options, and he has nothing to lose in what could be his final NFL game.

Mitchell’s price isn’t amazing, but he saw 21 carries last week. He should be very busy as the Niners try to establish the run against Dallas.

I’d throw Miller in with the Bucs guys for this week, too. He’s a speed demon and an enhanced role could make him the best overall value play.

Lastly, the Pats are really cheap given how much they limit their opponent’s scoring. The Bills are probably winning this game, but if New England plays up to their potential, they’re probably too cheap here.

Need more help with your Wild Card NFL DFS lineups? Start your process with my favorite NFL DFS picks for the week below.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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