This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
There are only two Sundays left to enjoy football this season, so it's time to enjoy every minute. After a compelling divisional round last week, we should be set for two excellent matchups in the championship round. The NFC kicks things off and the Eagles will host the 49ers. The total is 46.5 and the Eagles are 2.5-point home favorites, giving them an implied total of 24.5. The 49ers have a 22-point implied total. The AFC will follow, and the Chiefs are a narrow 1.5-point home favorite with a total of 48. That leaves Kansas City with an implied total of 24.75 and Cincinnati with an implied total of 23.25. As the lines suggest, we can expect two competitive games with a decent number of points.
Jalen Hurts ($9,200) didn't have to do much in the Eagles' convincing win over the Giants last weekend, but he still put together three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and 34 rushing yards. That was good for 23.56 FD points. The good news is that this game will be closer, so Hurts will be asked to do more. The bad news is that the 49ers' defense shut down both Geno Smith and Dak Prescott in the first two rounds of the playoffs. After some slips late in the season, the 49ers have returned to form and are the fifth-ranked pass defense according to DVOA. It's hard to map out the path to Hurts putting up a ceiling game or providing great value based on his price.
It's also hard to imagine Patrick Mahomes ($8,500) delivering a ceiling performance, though for very different reasons. He's practiced in full throughout the week, but the expectation has to be that he is hampered to some degree by the ankle injury that he suffered in the divisional round of the playoffs. After re-entering the game against Jacksonville in the second half, Mahomes relied on quick and short passes and rarely moved out of the pocket. He's likely to be less mobile than usual Sunday.
Joe Burrow ($8,300) stands out as a fairly obvious point-per-dollar play. Unlike both Mahomes and Hurts, he's fully healthy. The Chiefs have both the worst overall defense and pass defense of teams remaining in the playoffs. It is worth noting that despite all the hype surrounding Burrow's on-field leadership, he's put up modest postseason performances from a FD perspective to this point (21.26 and 20.78 points). He's a good cash game play. His price and the surrounding context of both Hurts and Mahomes keeps Burrow in play for tournaments.
Brock Purdy ($6,900) comes at a huge discount relative to the other three options at the position. That immediately helps him stand out. He has a brutal matchup against an Eagles' defense that holds the top DVOA mark in pass defense. On the other hand, despite a poor fantasy performance (9.36 FD points), Purdy didn't bottom out against the Cowboys. That cuts against the popular narrative, and given the weapons around him, there's a pretty easy case to make that Purdy delivers the best value performance of the day at quarterback and is a nice tournament option as a result.
Christian McCaffrey ($9,000) is comfortably the top running back on the slate. The primary draw is that he has multiple paths to production as both a rusher and pass catcher. That's reflected in his results, as he's put up at least 15 FD points in six of his last eight games. In that same span, he's topped 20 FD points five times. The Eagles have an improved run defense, but the matchup isn't imposing. It will be worth monitoring Elijah Mitchell's ($5,600) status, as he appears to be truly questionable due to a groin injury. Even if he plays, Mitchell may see diminished volume, both hurting his potential as a value play while enhancing McCaffrey's outlook.
The box score suggests that Joe Mixon ($8,100) regained a workhorse role against the Bills, as he racked up 20 carries and 22 total touches – his highest since Week 9 when he dropped 53.1 FD points against the Panthers. However, his volume last weekend came due to an inflated number of overall rushing attempts by the Bengals. Even with Mahomes injury, it's difficult to envision a case where the Bengals win as comfortably as they did against the Bills. As a result, chasing the apparent floor of Mixon could be a mistake. Samaje Perine ($5,300) is also a deceptive value, as he has yet to top 8.9 FD points since Mixon returned from a concussion. He's tallied under four FD points in four of six games in that same span.
Jerick McKinnon ($6,500) and Isiah Pacheco ($6,300) split the work evenly in the divisional round, though McKinnon surprisingly wasn't targeted. It's safe to project that to change if the Chiefs are forced to a quick passing attack. The work inside the red zone has been nearly evenly split in recent weeks as well. Both backs are viable plays as a result, but McKinnon has the upper hand as a receiver and is preferable given the negligible difference in price.
The Eagles showed a clear preference to use Miles Sanders ($6,200 ) as their workhorse back early in the game against the Giants, and he should have the chance to rack up touches against San Francisco. The 49ers gave up the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs during the regular season, but the combination of projected volume and price makes Sanders an intriguing play.
Despite seeing a slight downturn in volume against Buffalo, Ja'Marr Chase ($8,600) has earned his status as the highest-priced wide receiver on the slate. Since returning from a hip injury in Week 13, Chase has no fewer than eight targets in a game. That's hurt the outlook for Tee Higgins ($6,700), who has scored single-digit FD points in each of his last three games. That may not last, but he's a tournament only option in the hopes that he finds the end zone at least once. Tyler Boyd's ($5,300) price continues to dip but so does his involvement in the offense. He's a viable play as a cheap tack-on to a Bengals' stack, but there's no particular reason to play him standing alone.
The Eagles are a concentrated offense as there's been very little discernable difference between DeVonta Smith ($7,700) and A.J. Brown ($8,000) across the last seven weeks as Smith has 67 targets and Brown 65. In that span, Smith has 117.3 FD points and Brown 111.7. Despite the tough matchup, this is a great offense to stack because the pass offense is so concentrated.
Deebo Samuel ($7,000) is fine to play any week due to his potential to rip off big plays, but he's been the only consistent producer in the 49ers' wide receiver corps in recent weeks. There has been no reliable wide receiver production in Kansas City despite the prolific nature of the offense. Kadarius Toney ($5,600) earned seven targets against the Jags and is a logical target in a quick passing attack. He also offers moderate salary relief.
Travis Kelce ($8,500) and George Kittle ($6,800) are the obvious standouts at the position. Kelce's dominance is well known, but Kittle has quietly reached double-digit FD points in five of his last six games. In a game that the 49ers will likely need to score some points, Kittle is a strong bet. Dallas Goedert ($6,400) has a consistent role in the Eagles' offense, but the big plays and targets are dominated by Brown and Smith. In the last four weeks, Smith has a 39.2 percent target per route run rate, Brown is at 33.8 percent and Goedert 26.1 percent. Hayden Hurst ($5,400) is the only viable bargain at the position and does have six targets in each of Cincinnati's postseason games.
The Eagles ($4,000) stand out as the obvious defense to play thanks to their quality and the matchup against a relatively unproven rookie quarterback. However, pricing is tight to build comfortable options at the skill positions, so it may be necessary to pay down. In that instance, there's also a case to be made for both the Chiefs ($4,200) and Bengals ($4,000). The Bengals are down their starting left tackle and right guard, so the Chiefs may be able to get plenty of pressure. Meanwhile, if Mahomes has limited mobility, the Bengals' pass rush could be effective.