5 breakout fantasy football stars to pick up for Week 18

Just one week of NFL football remains on the regular season schedule. If your fantasy football title is up for grabs in Week 18 these five pickups could make all the difference between a glorious championship or nine months of regret.

San Francisco 49ers v Washington Commanders
San Francisco 49ers v Washington Commanders / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
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The NFL regular season is coming to a close this weekend and most fantasy football leagues have wrapped up with the end of 2023. Week 17 brought a lot of fantasy championships, but there is still a solid minority of leagues that stage their championships in Week 18 due to the desire not to leave any regular season football untouched.

The complications of that choice means that some teams with nothing to play for end up sitting starters, so key fantasy contributors like Lamar Jackson, Deebo Samuel, and Christian McCaffrey may be held out to rest up for the playoffs. The strategy of Week 18 is often very tricky as a result but these five pickups can make all the difference if you're seeking a title on Sunday.

All rostered percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues.

5 Top Fantasy Football Pickups For Week 18

5. Juwan Johnson, TE, New Orleans Saints

The tight end position has been tough to fill all year and several of the league's top tight ends find themselves on teams with nothing to play for in Week 18. Travis Kelce and George Kittle both play on teams locked into their current seeds, meaning anyone starting them could be in need of a fill-in for Sunday.

There is a good option available on the waiver wire in the form of New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson. Derek Carr has looked Johnson's way a lot over the past two weeks, peppering him with 19 targets, including 12 in Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Johnson has 12 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns in that span as part of a three-game touchdown streak. A Week 18 matchup against Atlanta is very enticing for Johnson, who is rostered in 15 percent of leagues, as a good streaming option.