Many DFS players putting together a DraftKings lineup for the Conference Championship games will focus on the Bengals-Chiefs AFC title tilt, but there are plenty of high-upside stars and value sleepers from the 49ers-Rams NFC Championship showdown, too. Our picks lean slightly toward the Bengals-Chiefs, but regardless of your strategy, it should be a fun slate of games.
Before we break down our picks, here are the most notable scoring rules for DraftKings contests: full-point PPR, four-point passing TDs, three-point bonuses for 100 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards, and 300 passing yards.
FULL-SLATE DFS LINEUPS: FanDuel
Conference Championship Round Full-Slate DraftKings Picks: NFL DFS lineup advice
QB Joe Burrow, Bengals @ Chiefs ($6,600)
Burrow has a similar ceiling to the more expensive Patrick Mahomes ($7,400) and a higher one than Matthew Stafford, who’s just $100 cheaper. You could go contrarian with Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,400), but you’re really taking a risk there, so we’ll take Burrow, who threw for 446 yards and four TDs against these same Chiefs just a few weeks ago. We’re not expecting that kind of performance again, but it’s certainly possible given Kansas City’s secondary issues and the likelihood of a shootout.
RB Elijah Mitchell, 49ers @ Rams ($5,900)
Based on San Francisco’s two games against the Rams this year, Mitchell figures to be busy on Sunday night. He had a combined 48 carries for 176 yards in Weeks 10 and 18, which is similar to his output the past two weeks (44 carries, 149 yards, TD). He’s arguably the “safest” RB on the slate, and at $900 cheaper than Joe Mixon, he could easily be a chalky pick.
RB Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs vs. Bengals ($5,100)
Paying $1,700 more for Mixon isn’t a bad idea since you know he’s going to get 15-plus touches, but we’re going a little cheaper with McKinnon, who’s totaled 33 touches for 220 total yards and a score in Kansas City’s first two playoff games. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($5,300) could easily see more than the eight touches he handled last weekend, but McKinnon will almost certainly remain the top receiving back. In DraftKings’ full-point PPR format, that could mean big points. Even if CEH gets the goal-line carries, McKinnon is a little safer because of his role.
WR Cooper Kupp, Rams vs. 49ers ($8,800)
Kupp is always a good bet to lead the slate in catches, yards, or both. He’s torched the 49ers for 18 catches, 240 yards, and a TD in two games this year, and a similar outing seems likely. You would be in a great spot if you fade him and he has a quiet game, but if he just has a normal outing, you’ll want/need him in your lineup.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals @ Chiefs ($6,700)
We’re not chasing Chase’s 11-catch, 266-yard, three-TD outburst against Kansas City in Week 17, but the fact he has that kind of ceiling is all the more reason to include him in our lineup. He’s hit the 100-yard bonus in each of his first two playoff games, but he’s yet to score in the postseason, so there’s still plenty of juice to squeeze out of him. It’s also worth noting he’s had four rushes for 25 yards in the postseason, so the Bengals are clearly making it a priority to get the ball in his hands.
WR Jauan Jennings, 49ers @ Rams ($3,200)
Jennings has been eerily quiet the past two weeks (four catches, seven targets, 35 yards), but he’s proven capable of big games in the past. His most impressive showing was in Week 18 against these same Rams (six catches, 94 yards, two TDs), and while we don’t expect that kind of production, he doesn’t need to do much to pay off his paltry price. He’s an obvious value choice if you pay up for guys like Kupp, Chase, and Travis Kelce, but he still likely won’t be a “chalk” pick.
TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Bengals ($6,500)
Kelce scored against the Bengals in Week 17, but he managed just 25 yards on five catches. Considering the Bengals were one of the five worst defenses against TEs this year, more was expected. That’s why we have no problem paying top dollar for Kelce in this rematch. He’s had at least 96 yards and scored in each of Kansas City’s playoff games, and we expect him to be leaned on heavily again. You could save significant dollars by taking Tyler Higbee ($3,700), who scored three times against the 49ers this year, or the equally explosive George Kittle ($5,000), but Kelce is the safest option by far. We’ll pay up and eat the chalk.
FLEX (TE) C.J. Uzomah, Bengals @ Chiefs ($3,400)
Going with a two-TE lineup — especially one with Uzomah — is likely to offer some differentiation, which is why we felt we needed to take this chance. Uzomah has been an uptick in production in the playoffs, receiving a six targets against the Raiders and topping that with a season-high eight targets against the Titans last week. With 13 catches, 135 yards, and a TD in the playoffs, Uzomah is on par with some more high-profile pass-catchers or ball-carriers at a fraction of the price.
DEF L.A. Rams vs. 49ers ($3,200)
Jimmy Garoppolo has looked shakier than his actual stats the past two games, but multiple sacks, a turnover or two, and a relatively low score are likely in the cards this week. San Francisco has had a decent amount of success in two games against the Rams this year, but that’s still resulted in four sacks and two INTs for L.A.’s defense. With things tightening up in the playoffs, the Rams have plenty of upside here.