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Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Divisional Round Matchups Analysis

Patrick Mahomes - Fantasy Football Rankings, DFS Lineup Picks, NFL Injury News

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Divisional Round Matchups Analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Last week featured four highly competitive games and two blowouts. Several of the underdog teams kept their matchups incredibly close, making them very entertaining. It was also a rematch for all twelve teams, compared to just two this week. There are now only eight teams left to compete for a Super Bowl. A note about the fantasy points allowed statistic, the higher a team is ranked the more points they allow, which is negative for that team's defense but positive for the opposing offense.

For those who are unfamiliar, we'll be analyzing every game, helping you optimize your fantasy lineups for whatever format or competition you're participating in. Check back regularly for any updates on player injuries, statuses, or other pertinent information. I also wanted to express my gratitude for some of the great resources that help me write this article each week such as Football Outsiders, Pro Football Focus, Rotovitz, Pro Football Reference, Draftkings Sportsbook, and Fantasy Points. Furthermore, a thank you is deserved by all of you for reading this article.

I will cover the entire slate of games. As a reminder, there is not a Thursday Night Football game or a Monday Night Football game this week. Hopefully, you found success during Wild Card Weekend and are ready to double down for the Divisional Round! Regardless of what format you're playing this week, we'll make sure you're ready to go. If you have any additional lineup questions, follow me on Twitter @JoshCon, and ask away. Let's dive into the matchups.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off and win big in 2023. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, 15 lineup tools, new Team Sync platform, Lineup Optimizer, Premium DFS tools and cheat sheets, and much more! Sign Up Now!


Matchups Analysis - Saturday Games

Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs

Spread: Chiefs -8.5
Implied Total: Jaguars (22.25) vs. Chiefs (30.75)
Pace: Jaguars (12th) vs. Chiefs (11th)
Jaguars Off. DVOA: 27.1% Pass (6th), -7.5% Rush (20th)
Chiefs Off. DVOA: 41.1% Pass (1st), 1.3
% Rush (9th)
Jaguars Def. DVOA:
19.7% Pass (30th), -11.8% Rush (11th)
Chiefs Def. DVOA: 6.5% Pass (20th), -6.9% Rush (15th)
Weather: Mix of rain/snow, calm winds - minor impact (favors rushing attack)
Fantasy Points Allowed:
Jaguars (QB - 9th, RB - 11th, WR - 20th, TE - 8th) vs. Chiefs (QB - 2nd, RB - 14th, WR - 9th, TE - 14th)
PFF Coverage:
Jaguars (23rd) vs. Chiefs (4th)
PFF Run Defense:
Jaguars (10th) vs. Chiefs (18th)

Matchups We Love:

Patrick Mahomes (QB, KC)

We saw Herbert and the Chargers carve this defense up for 27 points in the first half before an epic collapse, setting Mahomes up for a massive game. These two teams played earlier this season in a game that started out almost the same way. The Chiefs scored the first 21 points before coasting through the fourth quarter, finishing with a 27-17 win. Mahomes tossed four touchdowns and 331 yards in that one, adding another 39 on the ground. Furthermore, both teams are in the top 12 in pace, meaning there will be more plays run by each offense. He's the QB1 this week, especially now that the Jaguars' offense has shown it can keep up.

Travis Kelce (TE, KC)

Kelce was the recipient of one of those scores in Week 10 and he's as good of a bet as anyone to find pay dirt this week. Jacksonville is a top-10 matchup for tight ends, their coverage is ranked 23rd, and their 30th in pass DVOA. Kelce is right there as the TE1.

Trevor Lawrence (QB, JAX)

The over/under suggests that Vegas believes Lawrence and his teammates will put up points following their incredible comeback victory. They're heavy underdogs but losing doesn't preclude them from scoring another 20-plus points, especially considering Kansas City allowed the most passing touchdowns this season. Lawrence has a great supporting cast, positioning him as a great option because he isn't viewed in the same tier as Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts, but his ceiling is similar. It's worth noting that Lawrence is technically listed as questionable, but this has been a theme for several weeks now, and it's yet to impact his ability to play at a high level.

Christian Kirk/Zay Jones(WR, JAX)

When Lawrence airs it out 47 times, there's an opportunity for both receivers and their tight end to succeed. There's no guarantee he hits that mark in this one, but with an expectation of a negative game script against the league's highest-scoring offense, 35 or more attempts is a lock. It's also a number he's hit nine times this season if you include their win over the Chargers. Each of these two received double-digit targets, caught eight passes, and found the end zone. Kirk is still the No. 1 option and will face easier coverage, but both are excellent upside options in a potential shootout, plus it's a top-10 matchup for receivers.

Evan Engram (TE, JAX)

As the third member of that trio, Engram has been dominant as a tight end. Many analysts and broadcasters have commented on his role as a wide receiver, which is extremely valuable. Additionally, we know the upside is there as evidenced by his performance against Tennessee when he had 11 receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns. The matchup is slightly worse for tight ends, but because he operates as a receiver, he remains a strong option.

Travis Etienne (RB, JAX)

We know the talent Etienne possesses. In what was essentially his rookie season, he finished with the 20th-highest yards after contact, 16th-highest elusive rating,  and fifth-most missed tackles forced. He also had the fourth-most breakaway runs (15-plus yards) with 17 of them. In addition, during their past two contests, which were elimination games, he accounted for all but three running back carries and all but two running back receptions, showcasing his ability to handle a full workload. The Chiefs are an average matchup, ranking around the middle of the pack in all defensive rushing categories. The only drawback of Etienne is his lack of involvement as a receiver. He's received more than three targets in a game just one time this season, limiting his overall ceiling. The volume and opportunity to score will be there, but the upside isn't as high as some other backs playing this week.

Jerick McKinnon (RB, KC)

McKinnon is exactly the opposite, he's the poster child for pass-catching running backs, with a receiving touchdown in six straight outings, tallying eight through the air during that stretch. He's averaged about six targets per game over the past five weeks, which is comparable to the amount of volume many wideouts receive. The rushing attempts haven't been consistent, but a fast-paced high-scoring game is a perfect environment for McKinnon to thrive. There's also an element of trust and pass-protection that he brings to the offense, which is amplified in the playoffs because those things matter most. You can expect him to be on the field often, especially in valuable spots like the goal line and passing downs. He's a lower-floor option who could find paydirt multiple times.

Matchups We Hate:


Other Matchups:

Isiah Pacheco (RB, KC)

The reason McKinnon isn't doing much as a runner is that that role is designated to Pacheco. Despite being a rookie in a timeshare, he finished the year with 31 carries in the red zone, including nine over his past four games. He scored in each of their past two victories and projects to be more involved later in the game when Kansas City is running out the clock with a lead. Ronald Jones returned to action a few weeks ago and wasn't impacting the workload of Pacheco until their blowout victory over the Raiders, when he totaled 10 carries, one of which found the end zone. It's not enough of a concern to completely avoid Pacheco, but it does add a level of risk that wasn't there previously. The team has activated Clyde Edwards-Helaire from Injured Reserve, but even if he's active, he poses a minimal threat in his first game back. Overall, Pacheco is back to bet on for a touchdown and eight to twelve carries, but not someone to chase.

UPDATE: Edwards-Helaire won't be active for this game, which is good news for Pacheco.

JuJu Smith-Schuster/Kadarius Toney (WR, KC)

The equation for success is hyper-targeting Kelce while distributing the ball among the receivers, running backs, and backup tight ends, which makes it difficult to predict the usage of their receiving corps. The two primary standouts this season have been Smith-Schuster, who trailed only Kelce in targets and receptions, and more recently Toney, who continues to become more of a focal point. That said, the team still utilizes Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, and Justin Watson. Each and every one of these receivers has a shot to make a big play and/or find the end zone, but correctly identifying who it will be is a challenge. Smith-Schuster is the best bet for volume, while Toney seems to be the favorite for designed plays. However, taking a shot on Watson and Valdes-Scantling could work out as well, especially if the cost or roster construction makes sense.


Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle)

Mecole Hardman (pelvis)


New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Spread: Eagles -7.5
Implied Total: Giants (20.25) vs. Eagles (27.75)
Pace: Giants (15th) vs. Eagles (8th)
Giants Off. DVOA: 20.2% Pass (10th), 4.9% Rush (7th)
Eagles Off. DVOA: 23.9% Pass (9th), 15.4% Rush (1st)
Giants Def. DVOA:
9.2% Pass (22nd), 11.6% Rush (32nd)
Eagles Def. DVOA: -15.5% Pass (1st), -1.9% Rush (21st)
Weather: Cold, no rain/snow/wind - no impact
Fantasy Points Allowed:
Giants (QB - 18th, RB - 18th, WR - 17th, TE - 11th) vs. Eagles (QB - 24th, RB - 16th, WR - 27th, TE - 20th)
PFF Coverage:
Giants (28th) vs. Eagles (5th)
PFF Run Defense:
Giants (28th) vs. Eagles (14th)

Matchups We Love:

Jalen Hurts (QB, PHI)

This matchup is the only one featuring two teams from the same division. Their first meeting in Week 14 was a 48-22 blowout, where the Eagles did whatever they wanted. They racked up 253 rushing yards on 31 attempts, and every fantasy-relevant player found the end zone. That was prior to Hurts's injury, which he returned from just in time for their second matchup in Week 18. The Giants rested many of their starters, but the game was much closer, losing 22-16 with the backups in. Hurts was far from healthy, but they needed to secure the No. 1 seed. Fortunately, he is off the injury report coming out of their bye week, which means you can expect a performance closer to Week 14. If not for the time he missed, he would have finished as the overall QB1 this season, thanks to his athleticism and talent as a ball carrier. His rushing numbers of 760 yards and 13 touchdowns ranked 32nd and second among all running backs, despite playing only 15 games. Furthermore, he was an excellent passer too, finishing 10th in yards and 14th in touchdowns. Hurts is right there with Mahomes as the most likely player to finish No. 1 overall this week.

Dallas Goedert (TE, PHI)

One player who was absent in their initial meeting was Goedert, who was dealing with injuries of his own. He was just outside that elite tier this season, finishing third in yards per route run at the position with 1.82 along with the fourth-highest PFF grade. He was also sixth in receiving yards. The only area he struggled with was finding pay dirt, ending the year with only three touchdowns, all of which came prior to his injury. New York's defense faded down the stretch, giving up 27 or more points to their opponent in six of their final nine games, with the exceptions being Washington twice and Philadelphia in Week 18. Their pass defense is bottom ten and they're a plus matchup for tight ends, making Goedert a great option.

A.J. Brown/DeVonta Smith (WR, PHI)

A large reason why Hurts had such a successful season is the acquisition of Brown, who proved he can dominate regardless of the team and scheme. He ended the year on fire, totaling 35 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns in their final six games, two of which were without Hurts. He finished tied for second in touchdowns with Davante Adams, racking up the fourth-most yards. He's likely to be the focal point of Adoree Jackson and the defense, much like Justin Jefferson was last week, but this offense is too potent to sell out for one player, especially with Smith playing second fiddle. The amount of attention on Brown will create opportunities for Smith, who had a tremendous sophomore season, finishing thirteen spots behind his teammate in touchdowns and only four spots behind him in yards. These two are arguably the best duo in the league, making them a nightmare for New York. They're both fantastic options, who could blow up if the score gets high enough, and Hurts shreds their defense as anticipated.

Miles Sanders (RB, PHI)

It's a get-right spot for Sanders, who has struggled immensely the past four weeks, failing to reach seven fantasy points with a high of 6.1. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry in their last meeting, totaling over 150 yards and two scores. There's always the risk of competition for touches between Hurts and the other backs, but the Giants' porous run defense is vastly outmatched by the Eagles'offensive line, which gets Lane Johnson back. Sanders is an excellent bet for a touchdown with a shot at a huge game.

Matchups We Hate:


Other Matchups:

Daniel Jones (QB, NYG)

Jones was extremely impressive against the Vikings, torching their defense for the second time in four weeks. It's worth noting that his two best games in terms of passing yards are against the Vikings, with the next best one coming in a loss to Dallas with a total of 228. He's also never thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game all year and this is not the spot to expect him to given that the Eagles are No. 1 in DVOA pass defense, No. 5 by PFF, and ninth versus fantasy quarterbacks. Thus, he'll need to make up the production on the ground. Thankfully, much like Hurts, it's an area he's been effective, totaling 708 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He's a volatile quarterback, who could really struggle in a tough matchup but should offer a solid baseline because of his rushing.

Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG)

The matchup is more favorable for Barkley, both because the Eagles are worse against the run and because the deep throws that were available in Minnesota won't be there as often this week, resulting in more check downs. He's found the end zone in three of the past four games, while Philly has given up at least one rushing score in each of their past five contests. Additionally, outside of last week and the last time these teams met when he entered the game banged up, he's caught four-plus passes each week. Barkley will be the primary weapon for this offense to reduce possessions and keep the game close.

Isaiah Hodgins/Darius Slayton/Richie James (WR, NYG)

The beneficiaries of those deep passes last week were Hodgins, who totaled over 100 yards with a 32-yard grab, and Slayton, who averaged 22 yards per reception and hauled one in for 47 yards. They'll both be in for a challenge against Darius Slay and James Bradberry, the former Giant, which could open things up for James, who was quiet last week and plays in the slot. The implied total for New York suggests they'll put up nearly three touchdowns, any one of which could find its way into the hands of these wideouts. Hodgins and James are the favorites for volume, leaving Slayton as the big-play option, making him more boom-bust.

Boston Scott/Kenneth Gainwell (RB, PHI)

The other backs refer to Scott and Gainwell, each of whom is intriguing in this matchup. We already discussed how bad the New York rush defense is, but Scott has an extraordinary ability to find pay dirt when they play one another, scoring two of his three touchdowns against them this season, plus he scored both times they played each other in 2021. It's an odd statistic, but they're likely to utilize all three tailbacks in this one, keeping him and to a lesser extent Gainwell, in play as cheaper dart throws.




Matchups Analysis - Sunday Games

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills

Spread: Bills -5.5
Implied Total: Bengals (21.5) vs. Bills (27)
Pace: Bengals (20th) vs. Bills (7th)
Bengals Off. DVOA: 24.9% Pass (7th), 7.5% Rush (4th)
Bills Off. DVOA: 36.5% Pass (2nd), 0.5% Rush (11th)
Bengals Def. DVOA:
-0.5% Pass (12th), -9.5% Rush (14th)
Bills Def. DVOA: -4.9% Pass (9th), -19.7% Rush (3rd)
Weather: Mix of rain/snow, calm winds - minor impact (favors rushing attack)
Fantasy Points Allowed:
Bengals (QB - 30th, RB - 25th, WR - 21st, TE - 13th) vs. Bills (QB - 29th, RB - 23rd, WR - 7th, TE - 30th)
PFF Coverage:
Bengals (7th) vs. Bills (9th)
PFF Run Defense:
Bengals (17th) vs. Bills (25th)

Matchups We Love:

Josh Allen (QB, BUF)

These two will be meeting in a rematch of the Damar Hamlin game that was canceled, which could create a lot of emotions when they take the field. The game will be in Buffalo this time, but you can count on their fans to make it an electric atmosphere. There's a strong chance Allen either wins or loses the contest for his team after the inconsistency we've seen from him. They made a clear effort to throw the ball deep against Miami, evidenced by his average depth of target of 16 yards, which resulted in some big plays and some unnecessary risks that led to turnovers. He had two interceptions and three fumbles, losing one of them that happened to get returned for a score. He still threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, but he took seven sacks, making it difficult to sustain drives. Allen's ceiling is sky-high because of his combined talents as a passer and rusher, but it might be a rocky ride against a much better pass defense.

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)

Diggs caught seven passes for 114 yards, which is a pretty typical outing for him. He wasn't able to find pay dirt to really solidify a great performance, but he could certainly rectify that this week. The Bengals' best cornerback is Mike Hilton, who'll guard the Bills' slot receiver, meaning there is no one on the defense capable of keeping pace or slowing Diggs down. He's right there with the No. 1 receiver on the opposite team as the most likely to lead the position this week.

Dawson Knox (TE, BUF)

One of the players who did find the end zone was Knox, who is riding a five-game touchdown streak. We saw this last season from Knox, but it was slow going for him in the earlier part of this year. However, Allen seems locked in on him when they get near the red zone. His yard totals are usually lower, but the touchdown upside is definitely there, keeping him in play as one of several impressive tight ends available this week.

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Much like Buffalo, Burrow and company had to grind out a win against a divisional opponent that would not quit. In fact, they may have lost the game if not for a fumble return touchdown. He found a way to win, scoring once through the air and once on the ground. Part of the issue was the offensive line, which suffered another loss, this time it was their left tackle, Jonah Williams. Burrow was sacked four times, struggling to find time and get comfortable, averaging only 6.5 yards per attempt. The Bengals ranked 30th in pass block win rate this season, and that was prior to the most recent injury, while the Bills ranked 11th in team pash rush win rate, making this a key matchup. A lot like with Allen, we know he can total four touchdowns and dominate the week, but there's more risk of a bust game given the offensive line situation.

Ja'Marr Chase/Tee Higgins (WR, CIN)

Despite missing four games, Chase still hauled in 87 passes for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, demonstrating just how special he is. We again encounter a receiver that cannot be stopped or covered, plus he accounted for nine of Burrow's 23 completions (39.1%), 12 of his 32 attempts (37.5%), and 84 of his 209 passing yards (40.2%). He was the offense and will need to play a significant role again this week for them to win. It's also a great matchup for Higgins, who continues to see sufficient volume and find the end zone frequently, including four of his past six outings. The rematch could be uniquely emotional for him as he was directly involved in the play with Hamlin. Buffalo allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to receivers this season, positioning these two to have a nice game.

Matchups We Hate:

Hayden Hurst (TE, CIN)

It's not a great matchup in terms of fantasy points allowed, and Hurst is often buried in the depth chart behind Chase, Higgins, and Joe Mixon, plus sometimes others. Additionally, he rarely finds pay dirt, which is necessary for most tight ends in order for them to be valuable. There are too many other quality options at the position this week to rely on Hurst.

Tyler Boyd/Trenton Irwin (WR, CIN)

It's a similar argument here for these two. They slot in fourth, fifth, or sixth in the pecking order, reducing their consistency while eating into each other's volume. Furthermore, they are both downfield threats, which means they require Burrow to have more time in the pocket to find them, a luxury he'll likely be without this week. Neither offers much excitement, even as a dart throw.

Isaiah McKenzie/Cole Beasley (WR, BUF)

Much like the pair of Cincinnati receivers above, these two should be off your radar. They'll likely share the slot role, plus they have a difficult matchup as discussed earlier, limiting any intrigue they would otherwise possess.

Other Matchups:

Gabe Davis (WR, BUF)

Perhaps "playoff Davis" needs to become an alias for him because he keeps showing up when the spotlight is brightest. We all remember his record-breaking performance against the Chiefs last year in the divisional round, which enticed many fantasy managers into taking a shot on him in drafts. Despite not meeting expectations during the season, he was fantastic again in their playoff debut last week, finishing with the same amount of targets as Diggs, one fewer reception, one less yard, and a touchdown. There's no guarantee he repeats those numbers, but depending on cost and roster construction he's worth considering as a player who could boom.

Khalil Shakir (WR, BUF)

Shakir is someone to keep an eye on entering next season with potential changes in personnel for this receiving corps. He did flash last week, producing 51 yards on three catches along with two other targets that could have resulted in a better day. He has sneaky upside if one of those downfield attempts hits.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Mixon hasn't been great on the ground in a while, surpassing 40 rushing yards twice in his past six outings with only one trip to the end zone. That's unlikely to improve this week as Buffalo allowed the sixth-fewest rushing touchdowns this season, ranks third in run DVOA, and is a bottom-ten matchup for fantasy running backs. His saving grace has been his role as a receiver, averaging five receptions per game over the past four weeks. He'll need to make those targets count in order to pay off, otherwise, he'll be headed for another mediocre performance.

James Cook/Devin Singletary (RB, BUF)

It's hard to separate these two because neither can overtake the other, despite Cook seeming like the better talent. Their elusive ratings are also comparable, 54.3 for Singletary versus 62.2 for Cook, the touches last week were 12-10 in favor of Cook, and he was also the one to score. Moreover, Allen only targeted the running back position twice, both of which went to Nyheim Hines, reducing their involvement in the passing attack. Cook would be the preferred option, but neither stands out as someone to go after.




Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Spread: 49ers -4.0
Implied Total: Cowboys (21) vs. 49ers (25)
Pace: Cowboys (4th) vs. 49ers (32nd)
Cowboys Off. DVOA: 12.8% Pass (13th), 1.2% Rush (10th)
49ers Off. DVOA: 35.7% Pass (3rd), -0.5% Rush (13th)
Cowboys Def. DVOA: -11.3% Pass (3rd), -15.7% Rush (5th)
49ers Def. DVOA:
-8.0% Pass (5th), -23.6% Rush (2nd)

Weather: No rain/snow/wind - no impact
Fantasy Points Allowed:
Cowboys (QB - 21st, RB - 30th, WR - 27th, TE - 31st) vs. 49ers (QB - 27th, RB - 32nd, WR - 5th, TE - 25th)
PFF Coverage:
Cowboys (12th) vs. 49ers (1st)
PFF Run Defense:
Cowboys (21st) vs. 49ers (4th)

Matchups We Love:

Christian McCaffrey (RB, SF)

McCaffrey made his playoff debut as a lead back, the last time he was in the playoffs he was behind Jonathan Stewart, and made sure it was memorable. He totaled 136 scrimmage yards and a score, much of which came on a 68-yard run. He finished with the highest elusive rating among all tailbacks in the wild-card round with a spectacular 244.3.  He also forced seven missed tackles on 15 rushing attempts. The Cowboys will certainly be a more difficult matchup, but their run defense has been questionable at times, most recently allowing 150 rushing yards to the Commanders. McCaffrey wasn't utilized as much as a receiver, seeing only two targets, but he did turn one into a touchdown grab. He'll operate as their primary weapon, especially if this game remains competitive and they need their best player to win.

Deebo Samuel (WR, SF)

Samuel also showcased his dual-threat role, rushing the ball three times for 32 yards to pair with his massive receiving day that featured a 74-yard catch-and-run for a score. We know his yards-after-catch ability is elite, a category he ended the year 12th in, even though he missed four games. Furthermore, he led all wideouts last week with 4.59 yards per route run. He'll be a critical part of the game plan against a ferocious Dallas pass rush that ranked second in win rate, providing an outlet for Brock Purdy, who will face his toughest test. Samuel's combination of volume and explosiveness provides him with a huge ceiling and a decent floor.

Dalton Schultz (TE, DAL)

Schultz stole the show in Tampa Bay, leading the team in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns, which is an accomplishment very few tight ends can achieve, particularly with a final line of seven for 95 and two. San Francisco has an awesome defense, ranking at or near the top of the league in almost every category, but the role Schultz has is so valuable, he's still worth considering, especially because they'll need to rely on their passing attack to win.

CeeDee Lamb (WR, DAL)

The other star of that passing attack is Lamb, who despite trailing Schultz in all receiving statistics, still had a nice game. Lamb finished the year 10th in yards per route run with 2.38, sixth in receiving yards, and fourth in receptions, establishing himself as a top-tier wideout. It'll be harder to earn that same production against the 49ers, but they are more vulnerable to slot receivers, which is beneficial for Lamb because he's moved all around the formation.

Matchups We Hate:

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

The 49ers have shut down opposing running backs, allowing the second-fewest yards and the fewest fantasy points to the position. Elliott continues to be phased out of the passing game while losing the lead-back role to Tony Pollard on the ground. He's become a touchdown or bust type option, which is not a bet you want to make against a team that allowed only 11 on the ground all season.

Michael Gallup/T.Y. Hilton/Noah Brown (WR, DAL)

This trio is going to draw that difficult coverage we spoke about with Lamb, including Charvarius Ward. Lamb is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver, and Schultz is the second look for Dak Prescott, so secondary players like Gallup, Hilton, and Brown are best avoided in a matchup this poor. Gallup has the highest chance to come through, but he's still very risky.

Brandon Aiyuk (WR, SF)

Aiyuk made the most of his five targets, catching three of them for 73 yards. However, he now faces Trevon Diggs in what will be a difficult matchup. Additionally, we know the identity of this team is to run the ball and take advantage of their playmakers with easy completions, which favors the other options whose depth of target is shorter, especially against the Cowboys' pass rush. He's a player to avoid.

Elijah Mitchell (RB, SF)

As anticipated, Mitchell finished with 11 touches. Unfortunately, they only yielded 27 scrimmage yards because his rushing numbers were brutal. He'll be mixed into the backfield again with a similar workload, but the matchup is worse and the probability of the 49ers establishing a big lead is lower, making him a player to fade.

Other Matchups:

George Kittle (TE, SF)

It wasn't the performance you wanted from Kittle, especially given the plus-matchup, but his talent is undeniable. He was riding a four-game touchdown streak entering the playoffs, so it's very possible he picks that up against the Cowboys. The target competition and difficult matchup bump him down the ranks this week because there are other tight ends better positioned for week-winning production.

Brock Purdy (QB, SF)

As eluded to above, Dallas is going to reveal just how capable Purdy is when facing a legitimately talented defense. He's been astoundingly productive and successful to this point, winning all seven contests he participated in with 18 total touchdowns and only three interceptions. However, the defenses he's faced are the Dolphins, Buccaneers, Seahawks twice, Commanders, Raiders, and Cardinals. None of them are in the same tier as Dallas. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is likely to scheme and call another great game, but Purdy's ceiling and floor are both a little lower this week.

Tony Pollard (RB, DAL)

Pollard will deal with the same challenge as Elliott, but he'll see more volume, particularly as a receiver. Aside from the strange Week 18 game against Washington, Pollard has seen three or more receptions in his past four games, totaling 80-plus scrimmage yards in three of them. He led all backs last week with nine forced missed tackles on 15 carries, had the third-highest elusive rating at 170, and tied for the most breakaway runs with two. His talent is undeniable, and now he's getting the opportunity to go with it. It'll be difficult for him to have a blow-up game, but he's still a strong option.

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

We ended the Cowboys matchup, which was the final one in last week's article, talking about what kind of performance Prescott will have and how that will determine the confidence in the rest of the offense. He absolutely crushed the Buccaneers, combining for 329 yards and five touchdowns. I certainly did not see that coming, and I suspect few people thought he could produce those types of numbers against a respectable Tampa Bay defense. To expect anything near that in San Francisco would be foolish, but if he plays at that level again, he has a shot to be a bargain for fantasy and beat the 49ers. He has all the weapons around him, it'll come down to execution, decision-making, and poise. Once again, what you believe we'll see from Prescott will drive the belief you should have in the other pieces.




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Anthony Rendon8 hours ago

On Fire This Spring
Tyler Anderson8 hours ago

Wraps Up Strong Spring Monday
Miguel Rojas8 hours ago

' Two-Strike Approach Leading To Success
Akil Baddoo8 hours ago

Optioned To Triple-A Toledo Monday
Zach McKinstry8 hours ago

Tigers Acquire Zach McKinstry Monday
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander9 hours ago

Questionable Versus Charlotte
Ja Morant9 hours ago

Doubtful Versus Orlando
Terry Rozier9 hours ago

Out Again On Tuesday Evening
Gordon Hayward10 hours ago

Unlikely To Play Against OKC
Daniel Gafford10 hours ago

Dealing With A Sore Foot
Kyle Palmieri10 hours ago

Records Three Points Monday
Monte Morris10 hours ago

Uncertain For Tuesday Night
Kyle Kuzma10 hours ago

Remains Out Versus Boston
Triston McKenzie10 hours ago

Could Be Out Up To Eight Weeks
Gustav Forsling10 hours ago

Scores Twice Despite Florida Loss
Bradley Beal10 hours ago

Sidelined Again On Tuesday
Nico Hoerner10 hours ago

Cubs, Nico Hoerner Agree On Three-Year Extension
Brady Tkachuk10 hours ago

Logs Two Points In Ottawa Win
New England Patriots10 hours ago

Jerod Mayo To Be Bill Belichick's Successor?
Buffalo Bills11 hours ago

Taylor Rapp Signs One-Year Deal With Bills
Jarrett Stidham11 hours ago

Broncos Think Jarrett Stidham Has Starting Potential
Gardner Minshew11 hours ago

To Compete For Starting Job
Mac Jones11 hours ago

Not Guaranteed To Start In 2023
Samaje Perine11 hours ago

Could Fill In As Starter
Justin Herbert11 hours ago

Chargers Confident They'll Keep Justin Herbert Long Term
Joe Musgrove12 hours ago

Throws In B Game Monday
Michael Brantley12 hours ago

Timeline Moved Back
Jose Altuve12 hours ago

Could Go On 60-Day Injured List
Christopher Morel12 hours ago

Optioned To Triple-A
Ezekiel Elliott12 hours ago

Cowboys Open To Re-Signing Ezekiel Elliott
Rashod Bateman13 hours ago

Will Be Running In Three Weeks
Odell Beckham Jr.13 hours ago

Giants Open To Reunion With Odell Beckham Jr.
Saquon Barkley13 hours ago

Giants Hopeful Of Long-Term Extension With Saquon Barkley
Lamar Jackson13 hours ago

Commanders Won't Pursue Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson13 hours ago

Colts Pursuing Lamar Jackson?
Aaron Rodgers13 hours ago

No Timeline On Aaron Rodgers Trade
Jalen Hurts13 hours ago

Eagles Want To Get Extension Done With Jalen Hurts Soon
Fernando Tatis Jr.13 hours ago

Could Serve As Leadoff Man
Maxi Kleber13 hours ago

Questionable On Monday
Jrue Holiday13 hours ago

Ruled Out Monday
Logan O'Hoppe14 hours ago

Makes Opening Day Roster
Max Stassi14 hours ago

Jared Walsh, Max Stassi Opening On The Injured List
Marcus Morris14 hours ago

Sr. Sitting Out On Monday
Trevor May14 hours ago

Jeurys Familia, Dany Jimenez Options For Saves
Karl-Anthony Towns14 hours ago

To Sit Out On Monday
Triston McKenzie14 hours ago

Undergoes MRI Exam
Tyrese Haliburton14 hours ago

Won't Play On Monday
Myles Turner14 hours ago

Unavailable On Monday
Kyle Wright14 hours ago

Officially Placed On Injured List
Brice Turang14 hours ago

Makes Opening Day Roster
Chad Pinder14 hours ago

Signs Minor-League Deal With Nationals
Reilly Smith14 hours ago

Ruled Out For At Least Three Games
Erik Gudbranson14 hours ago

Won't Return This Season
Todd Gilliland14 hours ago

Impressive At COTA
Ville Husso14 hours ago

Could Be Done For The Season
Ty Gibbs15 hours ago

Finds His Footing At COTA
Robby Fabbri15 hours ago

Likely Finished For The Season
Detroit Lions15 hours ago

Calais Campbell To Meet With Lions
Troy Terry15 hours ago

Sits Out Monday's Game
Chris Buescher15 hours ago

Continues To Shine On Road Courses
Bryan Edwards15 hours ago

Joins Saints
Frank Vatrano15 hours ago

Returns To Ducks Lineup
NASCAR15 hours ago

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Finishes Seventh
DeAndre Hopkins15 hours ago

Deandre Hopkins Granted Permission To Seek Trade
Tage Thompson15 hours ago

A Game-Time Call For Monday
Brandon Aiyuk15 hours ago

49ers Planning To Exercise Brandon Aiyuk's Option
Brock Purdy15 hours ago

Viewed As Starter
Austin Cindric15 hours ago

Has A Solid Day
Lamar Jackson15 hours ago

Requests Trade
Jonas Johansson16 hours ago

Tends Twine Monday In Anaheim
Sergei Bobrovsky16 hours ago

In Goal Monday Against Ottawa
Ilya Sorokin16 hours ago

Starting Monday
John Gibson16 hours ago

Minds The Crease For Ducks Monday
Marc-Andre Fleury16 hours ago

Protects The Crease Versus Seattle
Buddy Hield17 hours ago

Listed As Out For Monday
Jake Allen17 hours ago

Between The Pipes Against Buffalo
Luka Doncic17 hours ago

Available On Monday
Giannis Antetokounmpo17 hours ago

To Sit Out On Monday
De'Aaron Fox17 hours ago

Available On Monday
Joel Embiid17 hours ago

Won't Suit Up Versus Nuggets
James Harden17 hours ago

On Track To Play Monday
Marlon Vera20 hours ago

Has Four-Fight Winning Streak Snapped
Cory Sandhagen20 hours ago

Dominates Striking Department
Yana Santos20 hours ago

Dominated In Decision Loss
Holly Holm20 hours ago

Dominates In Co-Main Event
Austin Lingo20 hours ago

Suffers Submission Loss
Nate Landwehr20 hours ago

Shines With Second-Round Submission Win
Andrea Lee20 hours ago

Suffers Defeat In Close Matchup Saturday
Maycee Barber20 hours ago

Takes Close Matchup On Saturday
Chidi Njokuani20 hours ago

Takes Close Loss In Split-Decision Showing
Albert Duraev20 hours ago

Holds Off Opponent In Tight Split Decision
Mikal Bridges22 hours ago

Goes Off For 44 Points Sunday
Viktor Arvidsson23 hours ago

Continues Scoring Surge Versus Blues
Tyson Barrie23 hours ago

Stays Hot With Two Points
William Byron23 hours ago

Rounds Out Top Five At COTA
Ross Chastain23 hours ago

Caught Up To Fourth At COTA On Sunday
Alex Bowman24 hours ago

Brings Home Third Place Finish At COTA
Kyle Busch24 hours ago

Scrambles Up To Second At Austin
Tyler Reddick24 hours ago

Dominates And Wins At COTA
Jordan Taylor3 days ago

Making NASCAR Debut At COTA, Will Start 4th
Austin Cindric3 days ago

Excited To Showcase Speed At COTA This Weekend
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Starts 28th At COTA For Sunday
Ricky Stenhouse Jr3 days ago

. In Middle Of Pack For COTA
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

Rough Patch In Qualifying On Saturday
Kyle Busch3 days ago

Starts Ninth For COTA Race On Sunday
Kyle Larson3 days ago

Could Be A Wildcard On Sunday
Noah Gragson3 days ago

Finds Way To Qualify 10th At COTA
Brad Keselowski3 days ago

A Few Seconds Off the COTA Pace
Ryan Blaney3 days ago

Begins 38th For Sunday's Race At COTA
Chase Briscoe3 days ago

Just A Little Off At COTA On Saturday
Cory Sandhagen4 days ago

Can Earn Back-To-Back Victories
Marlon Vera4 days ago

Finds Himself In Main-Event Spotlight Saturday
Yana Santos4 days ago

Looking For Biggest UFC Win Of Her Career
Holly Holm4 days ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Austin Lingo4 days ago

On Verge Of Three-Fight Winning Streak
Nate Landwehr4 days ago

Hoping For Third Straight Strong Performance
Maycee Barber5 days ago

Can Continue Her Flyweight Ascent
Andrea Lee5 days ago

In Need Of Victory To Keep Momentum Going
MMA5 days ago

Manel Kape On The Hunt For Fourth Straight Victory Saturday
Alex Perez5 days ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Albert Duraev5 days ago

Can Rebound With A Victory