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NFL DFS Value Plays for the Conference Championships

Samaje Perine - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

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Welcome to the Conference Championships, Rotoballers! This season, the DFS Value Plays will look at the word "value" from all angles. Usually, it implies a player that won't cost you much of your salary on DraftKings or FanDuel. However, if I see a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, or tight end horrendously underpriced... he's going in the article.

Away Home Over/Under Spread Away Total Home Total
SF PHI 45 PHI -2.5 21.25 23.75
CIN KC 47.5 -1 23.25 24.25

Each week, this article will highlight the value plays who can take home the win in a cash game or tournament on the main slate and help you diversify your lineups. Ensure you're thoroughly informed before building your lineups by checking out the rest of our daily fantasy articles heading into the weekend. Then, send me a last-minute tweet @EuanOrYouOut for more advice if you have any questions before lineups lock. Good luck this week!


DFS Value Plays for the Conference Championships


Jalen Hurts vs. SF ($7,200 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel) - Better on DK

It's tough to say Patrick Mahomes doesn't deserve to be the most expensive quarterback on this slate, but Jalen Hurts shouldn't be $400 cheaper than him on DraftKings. First, Hurts averaged more FPPG than Mahomes this season. Second, Mahomes (ankle) will be playing injured against an aggressive Bengals D-Line, and the lack of mobility will undoubtedly affect his DFS output. Finally, Hurts barely broke a sweat in the Divisional Round versus New York and still collected 23.6 points.

San Francisco is a far greater challenge than New York, but the supporting cast of A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, and the Eagles' running game provides a high floor for Hurts. And let's not forget his running ability. He had 758 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground this year. Mahomes versus Hurts is a toss-up, but I'll take the $400 in savings and use it elsewhere in my DFS lineup.

Joe Burrow at KC ($6,800 DK;  $8,300 FD)

In the non-DFS NFL world, people are racing to provide the hot take about Joe Burrow being better than Patrick Mahomes. While I'm not ready to go there (yet), I do prefer the former LSU quarterback in daily fantasy for the AFC Championship. He's scored at least 20 DK points in four of his last five games and is facing a Kansas City defense allowing the second-most DK and fourth-most FD PPG this year.

Burrow has tremendous upside this weekend with Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, and others at his disposal. It also doesn't hurt that the former No. 1 pick is 3-0 versus the Chiefs, with eight touchdowns to one interception in those three contests, and averages 327 passing yards per game. Like Hurts, if they were equally priced, Burrow versus Mahomes is tough to call. However, the savings are there to be had, and we should grab them with both hands.


Running Backs

Elijah Mitchell at PHI ($4,900 DK; $5,600 FD)

Christian McCaffery (calf) is questionable for the NFC Conference Championship, but 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan expects his star ball carrier to play. Elijah Mitchell (groin) is also questionable but expected to suit up, and he's a great value play against the Eagles. The San Fran backup saw 14 carries against Dallas and is in line for a similar workload in the matchup with Philadelphia. CMC is the primary option in the bay area, but Mitchell is in consideration for DFS managers with multiple lineups.

Samaje Perine at KC ($4,500 DK; $5,300 FD)

The four remaining teams are one, two, three, and four in offense DVOA this postseason. However, when it comes to defense, it's a different story. Of the 14 teams to play in the playoffs, Philadelphia is first, Cincinnati is third, San Francisco is sixth, and Kansas City is ninth. Furthermore, Kansas City is 14th of 14 teams in run defense DVOA. So that was a long, kind of stretchy, number-twisting way of saying Samaje Perine has a favorable matchup.

While Joe Mixon came away with 123 yards and a score for Cincinnati, he only played 56 percent of the snaps to Perine's 44 percent. However, the backup was a lot more involved than people realized. The 27-year-old received seven carries and caught all five of his targets for 64 total yards. More importantly, those five targets were two more than Mixon saw in the Divisional round. That leads me to believe Perine is still an essential part of this backfield.

Furthermore, the Oklahoma back has already torched the Chiefs. When Mixon was on the sidelines in Week 13, Perine came through with 21 carries for 106 yards, with another six catches for 49 yards. While he won't receive that workload this weekend, it's encouraging to see he's already succeeded against his next opponent. And, finally, his massive discount compared to Mixon makes Perine an excellent tournament play in a likely high-scoring shootout.


Wide Receivers

Kadarius Toney vs. CIN ($3,700 DK; $5,600 FD)

If the Cincinnati Bengals watch the tape of Kansas City versus Jacksonville, their first takeaway must be taking away Travis Kelce. The All-Pro tight end tortured the Jags all over the field. While there's no doubt, Kelce will still get his fair share of looks; the Chiefs would be wise to counterpunch Kelce being blanketed by spreading it out amongst their wide receivers.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is the biggest name in the wide receiver room, but he's been limited to 11 targets in his last four games. Meanwhile, Kadarius Toney came out of Saturday's game versus Jacksonville with seven targets, five catches, and a rushing attempt. It looks like Kansas City wants this electric playmaker more involved than Smith-Schuster right now, and we need to follow that trend and get Toney in our lineups over JuJu.

Brandon Aiyuk at PHI ($4,400 DK; $6,000 FD)

New York Giants receiver Richie James had success against Philadelphia in 2022. Across two games, James totaled 14 catches on 19 targets for 112 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Aiyuk fits that role in San Francisco. George Kittle has exploded with Brock Purdy under center, but Aiyuk has been heads and shoulders above other wide receivers. He leads the position with 39 targets, 27 catches, 349 yards, and two scores since Purdy took over the offense.



Tight Ends

Hayden Hurst at KC ($3,000 DK; $5,400 FD)

Are we prisoners of the moment if we hulk smash Hayden Hurst into our DFS lineups? Maybe. However, you can't deny the 29-year-old's involvement in the Bengals' offense since his return. Hurst missed four games before returning in the regular season finale against Baltimore. Since then, the 2018 first-round pick has racked up 17 targets, 13 catches, 118 yards, and a touchdown.

The Chiefs concede the 14th-most DK points and 13th-most FD points to tight ends this year. Four teams on the slate leave Hurst with the best matchup among the four starting tight ends. His increase in targets and the lack of other value options leaves the former South Carolina standout as the favorite value play at this position.


Premium Sample Lineups - Conference Championships

DraftKings lineup

FanDuel lineup

Please note that we provide sample lineups as a tool for you to use. They are designed to give you building-block options as you go about choosing your lineups, but in no way can we guarantee success. Be sure to examine the latest injury up; Las, Las Vegas projected game totals, and late scratches before finalizing your lineups to ensure the players you choose are active on game day.

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Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

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