It’s Conference Championship weekend! That means there’s only two games and a limited player pool from which to choose. Whether you play a single-game slate, or a two-game slate, if it’s a GPP tournament, be sure you consider at least one dart-throw lineup to differentiate yourself from the pool. Those who had Kendall Blanton in their TE spot last week know exactly what I am talking about! In cash games, don’t get too weird.
Only four QBs remain. Only three are viable options.
Patrick Mahomes is Patrick Mahomes, so you can always feel good about spending up for him. He’s $7,400 and a good choice for cash games. Pair him with Tyreek Hill at $7,000.
I prefer to spend less at QB, and Joe Burrow is $6,600 this weekend. Burrow has the most favorable matchup of all QBs this week -- at least on paper. Not only has K.C. allowed the most fantasy points to QBs in the postseason, the last time Burrow met this K.C. defense, he threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns. That was just a few weeks ago in Week 17. SISportsbook has this game with the highest implied total of the weekend (54.5), and points should be coming from both offenses as neither defense has been particularly stout. Though Burrow was sacked nine times last week, Kansas City had the fourth fewest regular-season sacks and “only” got to Burrow four times in the Week 17 game. With the salary saved, you can pair Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase at $6,700. That’s less than Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel and Hill, and he has the softest matchup of the weekend. And let’s not forget, last time these two teams faced off, Chase torched K.C. for 266 yards and four touchdowns. That was worth an astronomical 55.6 PPR points.
Finally, Matthew Stafford continues to give Rodney Dangerfield a run for his money: NO RESPECT at only $6,300. For that salary, you can afford an $8,800 Cooper Kupp. A total of 80% of the Rams touchdowns came through the air this season, and Kupp is a stud.
Though, do bear in mind the Burrow-Chase combo is $1,800 less.
Jimmy G is a strict fade.
At wideout, all Cincinnati receivers are interesting. Tyler Boyd saw four targets and scored in Week 17 vs. Kansas City. He’s only $4,200.
Tee Higgins is $5,700. He’s seen 30% of the Bengals’ air yards this season for an average of 93.8 air yards per game. Higgins is averaging 9.9 yards per target with an average depth of target of 11.9 yards along with a 67.3% catch rate. All those fancy stats are to say: Should the Chiefs find a way to limit Chase, Higgins will easily pick up the starring role. Even in a secondary role, there are plenty of air yards to go around.
Tyreek Hill is the spend-up play for K.C., with my dart being DeMarcus Robinson. Basically, this is a TD-or-bust play, but at only $3,800 you can save a lot of salary. Robinson was targeted two times for 33 yards and a TD last time these two matched up. Mecole Hardman is also interesting at only $4,000. After his performance last week, he could be set up for more success.
Deebo Samuel is always a must-start – assuming he goes, and I think he will. Quite simply, this Rams defense has been victimized by the Human Swiss Army Knife. Deebo had 30-point PPR games in both matchups with the Rams this year.
Jauan Jennings at $3,200 is another dart I like this weekend. He was targeted nine times vs. the Rams in Week 18 for 94 yards and two touchdowns, and he is essentially free.
At running back, the options aren’t that exciting.
Joe Mixon is going to get volume and he’s been active as a passing weapon. The Kansas City Chiefs have been much better vs. the run lately, but Mixon still racked up a decent 15.6 PPR points the last time these two squared off. He’s $6,800.
Elijah Mitchell: Of the remaining teams, the Los Angeles Rams have been the most generous to running backs. Eli Mitchell will continue to see volume in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, but I don’t anticipate a high ceiling with Samuel also in the mix. Mitchell is $5,900.
Jerrick McKinnon is likely the best value on this list. The Bengals have allowed 18.3 fantasy points per game against RBs just in the postseason, and an average of 24.6 points per game across their last four games played. Though Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the more efficient rusher on the ground vs. the Bills, McKinnon has suddenly become an important weapon in this offense, with 85 rushing yards and 11 catches for 135 receiving yards and a score in two postseason contests. McKinnon is $5,100 while CEH is $5,300.
Finally, I am going to suggest a rather contrarian Sony Michel at $4,600. To be clear, Cam Akers is another good value at only $5,000 and he has been fantastic since his return (minus a couple of fumbles that almost cost them last week’s game). Because of those ball security issues, I am willing to gamble in a GPP that Sean McVay may give Michel a few more opportunities this week. Akers would be my cash game play.
Finally, Tight End.
Travis Kelce is the highest-priced TE on the slate, and is likely worth the spend up. Kelce has six touchdowns in his last five games and he will continue to be heavily targeted by Mahomes. Kelce has seen 16 targets in the postseason -- only two fewer than Tyreek Hill. He also has only three fewer yards than HIll and the same amount of TDs… but you can get Kelce for $6,500 compared to Hill’s $7,000. If you’re looking for someone to pair with Mahomes, Kelce is the better value.
George Kittle has the best matchup on paper. We saw Kittle have a good game last week vs. Green Bay, and in Week 18 he had 7 targets and a TD vs. this Rams team. He’s seen 19 targets across the last three contests. He’s $5,000.
Tyler Higbee is my favorite spend down at the position. Higbee has seen an average of 5.5 targets per game in the postseason. He hasn’t found the end zone yet in the playoffs, but he had three touchdowns vs. San Francisco during regular-season play. So, he’s due! Right? At $3,700, I’m willing to plug Higbee into a few lineups.
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