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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Michael Fabiano

Best and Worst Fantasy Picks for Conference Championship Games

Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Josh Allen, Austin Ekeler or Tyreek Hill. Instead, I'll look at the players you have questions about who could exceed or fail to meet expectations at each position. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2022 NFL season.

Conference Round Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow at Chiefs (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Burrow has had a ton of success in his short career against the Chiefs, beating them for nine total touchdowns and a combined 85.4 fantasy points in three meetings (including the postseason). This week’s game in Kansas City should be a shootout, and their defense allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks during the regular season.

DFS Bargains
• Joe Burrow at Chiefs ($6,800)

Conference Round Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks

Brock Purdy at Eagles (3 p.m. ET, Fox): Purdy has gone undefeated in his seven NFL starts, and he’s had more than his share of good stat lines. He did post a stink bomb last week against the Cowboys, however, scoring just 9.4 fantasy points. The rookie also has a bad matchup this week, as the Eagles allowed the fewest fantasy points to road quarterbacks (10.2 PPG) during the course of the regular season.

DFS Fades
• Patrick Mahomes vs. Bengals ($7,600)

Kareem Elgazzar/USA Today Sports Network

Conference Round Start ‘Em: Running Backs

Joe Mixon at Chiefs (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Mixon has been hot in recent weeks, scoring 17-plus fantasy points in three of his last four games. That includes a 20.3-point performance in last week’s win over the Bills. He also averaged 15.1 points in two games against the Chiefs last season, including one in the postseason. In a game that should feature a lot of points, Mixon is in a good spot to find success.

More Starts
• Jerick McKinnon vs. Bengals (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Bargains
• Elijah Mitchell at Eagles ($4,900)

Conference Round Sit ‘Em: Running Backs

Miles Sanders vs. 49ers (3 p.m. ET, Fox): Sanders has been on a cold streak in the stat sheets, scoring nine or fewer fantasy points in each of his last five games. That includes last week’s win over the Giants, where he rushed for 90 yards (and that’s it). Next up is a date with the 49ers, who allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs during the regular season. Sanders should be benched

More Sits
• Isiah Pacheco vs. Bengals ($5,300)

DFS Fades
• Miles Sanders vs. 49ers ($5,200)

Conference Round Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers

DeVonta Smith vs. 49ers (3 p.m. ET, Fox): Smith is on quite the hot streak in recent weeks, scoring 17-plus fantasy points in six of his last seven games. That includes an 18.1-point performance in last week’s win over the Giants. The Niners have a tough defense, but perimeter receivers have had success against them (CeeDee Lamb last week), so I’d roll with Smith in this terrific NFC matchup.

More Starts
• Tee Higgins at Chiefs (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

DFS Bargains
• Tee Higgins at Chiefs ($5,400)

Conference Round Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers

JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Bengals (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS): Smith-Schuster has seen his numbers decline lately, scoring fewer than six fantasy points in each of his last four games. During that time, he’s seen just 11 combined targets. With Patrick Mahomes at less than 100% due to a high-ankle sprain and a matchup against the Bengals up next, Smith-Schuster should be faded in most postseason leagues.

More Sits
• Brandon Aiyuk at Eagles (3 p.m. ET, Fox)

DFS Fades
• JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Bengals ($4,700)

Conference Round Start ‘Em: Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert vs. 49ers (3 p.m. ET, Fox): Goedert has been steady in the stat sheets, scoring nine-plus fantasy points in six of his last seven games overall. That includes four games where he’s scored double digit points. He also had 16.8 points vs. the Giants last week. The Niners have been tough on tight ends, but their defense has allowed 13-plus points to the position three times since Week 15.

DFS Bargains
• Dallas Goedert ($4,100)

Conference Round Sit ‘Em: Tight Ends

Hayden Hurst at Chiefs (6:30 p.m. ET, Fox): This week’s matchups include three high-end tight ends – Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Goedert. That leaves Hurst as the least attractive option on the board. While he did score a touchdown and 16.9 points last week, Hurst had failed to score more than 8.2 points in six of his previous seven games. He’s the best cheap option, but don’t chase the points.

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late-breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business to help you win a fantasy championship!

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