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Cincinnati Bengals (7.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
Patrick Mahomes FD 8800 DK 7400
Project points FD – 23.66 DNK – 24.17
Mahomes is the clear money game for this shortlist. He was nearly perfect through the first two rounds, throwing a total of 782 yards through the air with a 76% completion percentage. Plus, there’s the eight touchdowns for an interception and everything is lining up to return him this week. The Chiefs have the highest implied total on Sunday (no surprise) at 31 and we know they don’t want to kick the ball out early and often. He’s doing a very tough fade in this game on just the two-game roster.
Tyreek Hill FD 8100 DK 7000
Draft points FD – 18.82 DK – 22.86
It looks like the clear payouts will come from this game considering the total is so high. After struggling a bit through the final three weeks of the season and the first week of the playoffs, Hill presented a monster in the Divisional Round against the Bills. He finished with an 11/150/1 line on 13 targets and had one of the real highlights of the day on his 64-yard catch and sprint touchdown in the final minute of regulation. I think we’ll run him again here without hesitation against a Bengals defense ranked 24th against the pass this season.
The situation for the running backs of the Chiefs is difficult this week. Jerick McKinnon broken Clyde Edwards-Helaire 70% to 30% in the divisional round, although CEH was much more efficient. McKinnon is getting more looks, especially in the passing game, so I’m tempted to say he’s a good play here. But KC is also bringing Darrel Williams back here, which could spoil things.
In addition, Travis Kelce gets quite expensive and there are actually some other decent tight end options on Sunday. I’m close to saying he’s a cash fade because of the other guys, but that’s still a risky proposition.
Byron Pringle saw the team’s third-most targets (7) last week, which is something to watch given his price tag.
Joe Terrier FD 7500 DK 6600
Draft Points FD – 19.36 DNK – 19.91 There are arguments to be made for playing Burrow for cash here given the savings you get from Mahomes. That’s why the Bengals will be in shootout/catch-up mode the entire game, with Burrow having to throw a ton to keep him close. If so, we could see him really rack up some yards. He’s been effective even if he’s been unspectacular in the playoffs so far, completing 73% of his passes for about 300 yards per game. But he’s coming off two touchdowns for one interception in that span. Again, I think the cost difference and potential volume is good to play here against the 23rd-ranked pass defense.
Ja’Marr Chase FD 8000 DK 6700
Draft points FD – 17.58 DK – 20.86
Chase is coming too cheap on DraftKings right now where I think we can load up on WR1 for this weekend. The Bengals rookie, the big-play threat, has topped 100 receiving yards in four of the past five weeks with 642 total yards in the span. And that includes Week 18 that the Bengals basically kicked off. It was an amazing race and I think he still has value on DK. Because running back is such a weak position, catching Chase here and pairing him with Kupp and Hill makes a lot of cash-game sense.
Higgins t-shirt FD 6400 DK 5700
Draft points FD – 12.67 DNK – 15.35
Meanwhile, Higgins is really helping things run on FanDuel where his $6,000 average salary opens things up at other points in the lineup. He had a terrible Wild Card weekend, but rebounded spectacularly against the Titans, getting nine targets and turning them into seven catches for 96 yards. He averaged eight targets per game throughout the regular season, and as we said with Burrow, it stands to reason the Bengals are throwing a ton of them here.
I think CJ Ouzomah is very present this week in cash games on both sites. He’s seen six or more targets in six of the past seven weeks. Considering it’s going in the low $3,000 range on DraftKings, I think we can insert it to have a solid floor.
Tyler BoydThe price of is down to $4200 on DraftKings. That’s with good reason considering the targets haven’t been there in the playoffs. But it’s worth mentioning that this guy has four touchdowns in the Bengals’ last five games.
San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)
Cooper Kupp FD 9700 DK 8800
Project Points FD – 22.02 DK – 26.93
He’s been an impossible fade on DraftKings all season and this week is really no different. He’s coming off a record-breaking season and in the divisional round he had one of his best games of the season with nine catches for 183 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. It’s just been monster week after monster week for this guy and the defenses just don’t have an answer. In a must win for the Rams, you’d think Stafford and company would turn around early and often. Avoiding it in full PPR formats is a risky proposition.
Elijah Mitchell FD 7000 DK 5900
Draft points FD – 15.9 DK – 16.42
The running back squad is thin this week with at least one team in full committee. That doesn’t leave us with many safer options, but Elijah Mitchell probably fits the bill here. He touched the ball 21 and 29 times respectfully in the first two rounds of the playoffs, with the 49ers really wanting to rely on the running game as much as possible. And it’s an encouraging sign that they’ve got him involved in the air a bit too. Even with Deebo Samuel in the backfield mix for this team, I think we can lean on Mitchell right here against a strong Rams run defense.
Cam Akers FD 6200 DK 5000
Project points FD – 16.1 DK – 17.04
While I hate tossing running backs into this 49ers defense, there are few options on the slate. The good sign for Akers is that he entered as a bell cow in the divisional round for the Rams, touching the ball 27 times (24 carries and 3 targets). That’s a good sign for the intended use in this one. The problem is that he was largely ineffective, totaling just 51 yards. But for this list, we’ll just have to live with the usage and hope it works against the second-best running defense in the league.
Tyler Higbee FD 5500 DK 3700
Draft points FD – 8.45 DNK – 10.72
Higbee is coming in too cheap on DraftKings at $3700 and that’s a big reason why I think you might end up running tight double cash queues there with him and Uzomah. You don’t have to, but it really frees up some cash for other lineup members like Kupp. Higbee has six or more targets in five of the last six games, averaging nearly six catches and 50 yards per game over that streak. You will definitely take this production in the DraftKings salary tier.