Waiver Wire Roto Wizard Waiver Wire Free Agents week 18 2022

By Evan Tarracciano
Evan Tarracciano

The immortal crooner Frank Sinatra's song "My Way" nicely sums up the 2022 Fantasy Football season with its second verse:

"Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do. I saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course. Each careful step along the byway. And more, much, much more. I did it my way"

Due to how competitive things can become in deeper leagues with wagers on the line, Fantasy managers can tend to forget that this game is supposed to be fun. Winning is phenomenal, do not get me wrong. Being rewarded for your efforts (especially if you did them your way) is incredibly gratifying. Constructing a deep roster capable of withstanding the body blows of bye weeks and injuries is difficult, and we have not even broached the topic of inherent luck. Regardless of where you finished in your league this year, if you did things your way and tried your best, realistically that is all you can hope for.

As I say at the conclusion of every season, I hope above all else that my articles in some small way aided you, and that my advice given on Twitter led you to victory. I refine my process every single season and I'd like to think that I have a solid track record, but ultimately you are the one who sets your own roster and makes the final calls. The best compliment I can ever receive is a simple "thanks for getting back to me, you helped me win this week!" comment - they truly mean the world.

Every season can feel topsy-turvy with how things conclude, but I can recall few years being less chaotic and unpredictable than 2022. More than any time in recent memory, "studs" tended to let us down when needed most, and navigating the waiver wire to shore up depth was more important than ever. With that said, I wanted to give a tip of the cap to the top waiver wire additions at each position this season, and provide a few nuggets of information that might aid in our quest to find their next version for the 2023 season.


Geno Smith (Seattle Seahawks) - There were several candidates at this position, but no one can Fantasy managers a larger return on investment than Smith, who came out of nowhere to finish as a top-10 player at the position. Considering that he hadn't thrown more than 100 passes since 2014 as a member of the New York Jets, it stood to reason that this perennial castoff would either play poorly enough that he would cede his job to Drew Lock or put up middling numbers at best. Instead, Smith took on the mantle of leadership for a team that was assumed to be tanking after the Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner deals, and developed nearly instant chemistry with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. Geno Smith is currently the league leader in completion percentage and the only one to break the 70 percent barrier. His 29 touchdown passes are currently fourth best in the league, ahead of notable names such as Justin Herbert, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. He has thrown for more passing yards (4,069) than Josh Allen, while minimizing turnovers. Predicting success for Smith during the season where he turned 32 years old was nigh-impossible, but hopefully you were able to snag him off of the waiver wire and use him as a weekly starter this year.

Honorable Mentions: Daniel Jones (New York Giants), Jared Goff (Detroit Lions)


Running Back

Tony Pollard (Dallas Cowboys) - Pollard was not a virtual unknown (tip of the cap to Bill Murray from Caddyshack right there) per se, but his role as the 1B option behind Ezekiel Elliott seemed to cap his overall upside heading into draft season. Looking back at preseason figures, Pollard was generally drafted as the RB35, around the same area as Melvin Gordon and Devin Singletary - he currently ranks as the RB7 in PPR formats, and that is with him missing Week 17 due to a thigh injury. Pollard's per-touch production is absurd, and his 5.3 YPC is tied for sixth-best among running backs. He currently has 9 rushing scores on just 186 attempts, in part due to his big-play ability (he has 9 rushes of at least 20 yards). Every week Fantasy players took to Twitter to ask the simple question "What the heck does Pollard need to do to earn a bigger role in this Dallas backfield?". Yes, "Zeke" might be the better short-yardage option and slightly superior in pass protection, but those are the only two facets that he has the edge in currently over Pollard. Elliott's bloated contract suggests that he will not be going anywhere other than Dallas in the near future, but Pollard will enter 2023 as a free agent. If I was his agent I'd make a strong push for him to be the starter on another team, rather than the 1B option in Dallas, unless they threw the kitchen sink his way.

Side note: I understand the notion from others than Jerick McKinnon was more deserving in some aspects, but considering that he had hardly any production until Week 14, I went with a more consistent option here. McKinnon has been electric down the stretch though, and the catalyst for plenty of Fantasy championships.

Honorable Mentions: Rhamondre Stevenson (New England Patriots), Jamaal Williams (Detroit Lions), Jerick McKinnon (Kansas City Chiefs)




Wide Receiver

Garrett Wilson (New York Jets) - There were a number of alternative candidates to choose from here, mainly a grouping of players that were drafted within the WR22-WR35 range that outperformed expectations (D.K. Metcalf, Amari Cooper, Amon-Ra St. Brown, DeVonta Smith). That said, I didn't view that territory as quite deep enough to reference as waiver wire claims, since they were still drafted as WR2-WR3's for their respective teams. Wilson's ADP was around WR53, behind other rookies like Drake London, Treylon Burks, George Pickens and Skyy Moore. It is hard to fault that line of thinking, as Zack Wilson's presence under center is a massive detriment to the entire team, and when he started it hindered all production around him. Once Zack Wilson sustained injuries (and was eventually benched for ineffectiveness) midseason, Garrett Wilson went ballistic, and demonstrated why the Jets selected him with the 10th overall pick in the draft. The only rookie receiver to break the 1,000-yard mark this season through Week 17, Wilson is hoping and praying that the Jets either stick with Mike White under center moving forward, or opt to trade for Derek Carr or Tom Brady in the offseason. He is electric in open space and can routinely turn a slant route into a splash play, akin to a young version of Odell Beckham Jr. - high praise considering my Giants bias. Once Breece Hall returns from his ACL injury next season, opposing defenses will need to bring more pressure within the box to aid in the running game, a shift that should aid Wilson. His dynasty/keeper outlook is sky high.

Honorable Mentions: Chris Olave (New Orleans Saints), Zay Jones (Jacksonville Jaguars), Donovan Peoples-Jones (Cleveland Browns)




Tight End

Evan Engram (Jacksonville Jaguars) - It pains me to praise Engram, given how badly he flamed out as a member of the New York Giants over the last five years. A focal point in Doug Pederson's passing attack, Engram became one of the few "set it and forget it" options at the position not named Travis Kelce over the course of 2022. From Week 7 onward, Engram reached the double-digit mark in PPR formats in 6 of the final 10 weeks, including his monster 11/162/2 performance against the Tennessee Titans in Week 14. Signed to a one-year, $9 million "prove it" contract prior to the start of the season, Engram will most certainly receive a long-term extension, be it with Jacksonville or elsewhere. He has always had the talent to stretch the seam downfield and out-run all safeties and cornerbacks, but he was able to work on securing more passes and became much more sure-handed this year. All expectations are than Engram will be drafted as a top-5 option in 2023 drafts, and he is sure to be a highlighted player for those managers who are willing to pass on Mark Andrews or George Kittle, but don't wish to wait until the final few rounds and stream the position.

Honorable Mentions: Taysom Hill (New Orleans Saints), Pat Freiermuth (Pittsburgh Steelers)

And so, the final curtain has been drawn on another Fantasy Football season. I hope that all our Football Diehards readers enjoy a fantastic start to their 2023 year, and I look forward to the NFL Draft and Combine, which are right around the corner. Remember - we take no breaks on this website, and will continue to give you all the latest news from around the NFL. See everyone in a few months!