With just four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs, the pool of players to pick from gets that much smaller for fantasy football. Luckily, there are plenty of talented options left in each game. Both top seeds from each conference, the Chiefs and Eagles, are still alive, while high-powered contenders, the Bengals, and 49ers, look to move past them to get to the Super Bowl. I’m expecting fireworks from both Conference Championship games this weekend. Let’s see which players have the best chance to light it up.
NFL Conference Championship Positional Rankings
|2||Joe Burrow||CIN||@ KC|
|4||Brock Purdy||SF||@ PHI|
Jalen Hurts leads all quarterbacks in points per game this fantasy football season. He has the highest ceiling of all quarterbacks remaining with his upside as a runner. He rushed nine times for 34 yards and a touchdown last week, bolstering his score of 27.56 points for the week.
Joe Burrow is averaging 225 yards on an average of 34 pass attempts per game in the playoffs. In the AFC Conference Championship game, he gets a Kansas Chiefs defense that allowed the most passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Patrick Mahomes gets an obvious downgrade after suffering a high ankle sprain last weekend. If he goes, he’s at least playing on his home field with plenty of weapons around him. Cincinnati’s defense allowed the fourth-least points to quarterbacks this season, but 19.82 to Mahomes when these two met at the beginning of December. Patrick Mahomes isn’t going to be 100%, but he’s still the likely 2022 Most Valuable Player.
The Eagles will be Brock Purdy‘s toughest challenge yet, especially in his first-ever road playoff game. He scored just 9.36 fantasy points last week at home against the Cowboys. With a few nagging injuries to key pieces of this offense, I’m the lowest on Purdy for this round of the playoffs.
|1||Christian McCaffrey||SF||@ PHI|
|2||Joe Mixon||CIN||@ KC|
|6||Elijah Mitchell||SF||@ PHI|
|8||Samaje Perine||CIN||@ KC|
|9||Kyle Juszczyk||SF||@ PHI|
Christian McCaffrey remains at the top of the playoff rankings for Conference Championship weekend. He’s averaging over six yards per touch in the playoffs thus far.
After logging 122 total yards and a touchdown on 22 total touchdowns, Joe Mixon easily locks in behind McCaffrey here. Kansas City allowed the fourth-most receiving yards on the most receptions to running backs this season giving Mixon a big boost in points per reception formats.
On the other side, Jerick McKinnon is still a top-three back after failing to record a target last weekend. He should be a focal point in the short yardage pass game for the Chiefs.
San Francisco remains the worst matchup for opposing running backs. Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell have their work cut out for them, especially with Jalen Hurts logging carries of his own. This offense can put up points though and will likely look to kill the clock at home. They both have potential to get into the end zone in more frequent than most goal-to-go situations.
|1||Ja'Marr Chase||CIN||@ KC|
|4||Tee Higgins||CIN||@ KC|
|5||Deebo Samuel||SF||@ PHI|
|6||Brandon Aiyuk||SF||@ PHI|
|8||Tyler Boyd||CIN||@ KC|
|11||Jauan Jennings||SF||@ PHI|
|12||Trent Irwin||CIN||@ KC|
|14||Ray-Ray McCloud||SF||@ PHI|
Despite allowing just the 17th-most yards to wide receivers this season, Kansas City’s defense is tied for touchdowns allowed to the position in 2022. That cements Ja’Marr Chase at the top of the Conference Championship rankings and boosts Tee Higgins into the top four.
San Francisco’s defense is one of the best in the league. However, their secondary is beatable, especially by an alpha receiver like A.J. Brown. Two weeks ago, D.K. Metcalf caught 10 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Last week, Ceedee Lamb hauled in 10 of his own for 117 yards.
Deebo Samuel gets a downgrade as he continues to deal with an ankle injury. He’s still one of, if not the, most dangerous player left in the playoffs with the ball in his hands. Brandon Aiyuk should see more looks, especially downfield.
Juju Smith-Schuster is the second option in Kansas City’s passing game behind Travis Kelce, but this offense spreads the ball around. Nine different Chiefs drew a target last week and that doesn’t even include Jerick McKinnon. With a banged-up Mahomes, I’m not so sure Marquez Valdes-Scantling, or anyone, will see a ton of deep ball opportunities.
|2||George Kittle||SF||@ PHI|
|4||Hayden Hurst||CIN||@ KC|
Travis Kelce is far and away the best tight end remaining in the playoffs. His 14 receptions last week are mouthwatering for fantasy football purposes. Whether it’s Mahomes or backup Chad Henne under center, Kelce is the go-to guy in this offense. He caught a touchdown from each of them last week.
George Kittle has five or more targets in six of his last seven games. His rapport with Brock Purdy is undeniable. With Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel playing through injuries, however minor, there’s no reason Kittle’s stretch of strong play can’t continue.
Dallas Goedert is ever so slightly behind Kittle in the Conference Championship rankings with a tough matchup against the 49ers. They’ve allowed the eighth-least yards (676) to tight ends as well as the sixth-least touchdowns (4) to the position this season. Goedert is the clear third option in the Eagles’ passing game behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
Hayden Hurst feels more touchdown dependent than the players above him at this point in the playoffs. He has exactly six targets per game, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in the Cincinatti passing game.
|2||Robbie Gould||SF||@ PHI|
|3||Evan McPherson||CIN||@ KC|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||@ PHI|
|3||Cincinnati Bengals||@ KC|
|4||Kansas City Chiefs||CIN|