FanDuel NFL: Conference Championship Breakdown

FanDuel NFL: Conference Championship Breakdown

This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.

We've reached the final traditional slate of the season, with only the Super Bowl remaining after Sunday's conference championship games conclude. The action kicks off at 3 p.m. EST with Baltimore playing host to Kansas City. The Ravens are 3.5-point favorites, with Baltimore having a 24-point implied total and the Chiefs 20.5. Next up is Detroit at San Francisco. The 49ers are seven-point favorites with a 51.5-point total, giving them an implied total of 29.25 and the Lions 22.25. Let's jump in.

Quarterback  

As has been the case on the postseason slates, we have one dual-threat quarterback priced up with the remaining options priced relatively flatly. Lamar Jackson ($8,800) is the standalone option, and he's displayed his upside in consecutive games by posting 36 FD points. The Chiefs allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game in the regular season to quarterbacks, though they surrendered the 10th-most rushing yards to the position. The overall matchup isn't good, but the path for another big game is there based on the rushing upside and we saw Josh Allen turn in 72 yards and two touchdowns on the ground last weekend. It's possible to build a solid roster around Jackson, but it would almost certainly require excluding Christian McCaffrey.

Based on point-per-dollar projection, Brock Purdy ($7,700) is the clear alternative. He had a down game against Green Bay, but he's in a good spot to rebound after seemingly being affected negatively by the weather in the divisional round. Things will be clear this time and the Detroit secondary has allowed 22.68 and 26.35 FD points in two playoff games.

Running Back

Christian McCaffrey ($11,000) is the rather obvious place to start, but his price will make things difficult up and down the rest of the roster. It's certainly possible, but he'll need to repeat his 28-point performance from last weekend to make him worth the price. Detroit's stout defense against running backs has faded a bit in the postseason. Most relevant to that is that the unit has allowed 96 receiving yards and touchdown combined to running backs in two games. The best players to build through on the slate are McCaffrey or Jackson. Price says go Jackson, but quarterback being only a one-deep position weighs in favor of McCaffrey.

The Ravens are statistically the best matchup remaining, as they've allowed three running backs to top 100 yards in three of the last five games in which they've played at full strength. Isiah Pacheco ($7,800) is dealing with toe and ankle injuries, but he returned to limited practice Friday. If he's out or limited, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($4,600) is a value that will free up a lot of options on the slate. If Pacheco looks to be ready to handle a full workload, he's a good choice.

Running back isn't the position to pay down at, so Jahmyr Gibbs ($7,000) is the next option. The 49ers are a tough matchup overall, but they are vulnerable against pass-catching backs. David Montgomery ($6,000) jumps off the page as a value, but Gibbs is in a better spot to take advantage of the opposition's weakness.

Wide Receiver

Both the implied team totals and the matchup leads to the NFC teams being the focus of this position. Amon-Ra St. Brown ($9,000) has an incredibly safe floor, but he doesn't have the ceiling to match McCaffrey, and more importantly, Jackson. That leads us to Deebo Samuel ($8,000) and Brandon Aiyuk ($7,800). Samuel is off the injury report after being forced to miss most of the divisional round, but there's some risk of a setback or that he isn't truly at 100 percent healthy. Choosing between the two comes down to the willingness and appropriateness of taking on risk depending on the type of contest. As was covered last week, Samuel has the ceiling and Aiyuk has the better floor.

Dropping a tier, Josh Reynolds ($5,600) has been productive in different ways, but he's had two strong playoff performances. He had only three targets in the divisional round and saved his day with a touchdown, so there's risk that he provides no production. The good news is, his price reflects that. Jauan Jennings ($5,300) would enter the conversation if word comes down that Samuel won't play a full snap count or is just a decoy.

Rashee Rice ($7,100) is intriguing because he's coming off of a down performance and is in a tough matchup. That means the field is likely to ignore him. Prior to the divisional round, he had proven to be a key part of the Kansas City offense and had outperformed Travis Kelce.

The Baltimore pass catchers are dart throws due to unpredictable volume.

Tight End

Sam LaPorta ($6,500) is the third-most expensive tight end. Of the remaining playoff teams, the 49ers allowed the most targets to tight ends. LaPorta was back at full strength last weekend, and he had 11 targets. Taking those things together means that volume is likely to be on his side.

LaPorta is cheaper than both George Kittle ($6,600) and Travis Kelce ($7,200) so the case to pay up isn't particularly strong. Kittle would be my preference due to the weak Lions' pass defense, though Kelce has gotten back in form in the past few weeks.

Defense/Special Teams

The Chiefs have the lowest implied team total, and Baltimore ($4,200) tied for the league lead in turnovers forced and sacks.

The other case to make is the 49ers ($4,500), but they come at a more expensive price.  

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Dan Marcus plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: marcusd91 DraftKings: dmarcus87.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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