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Wide Receiver Matchups to Target in the Conference Championship Round: DeVonta Smith, Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins

DeVonta Smith - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

The playoffs have begun and have been amazing thus far. The Divisional Round was incredible and was full of surprising moments. From Patrick Mahomes getting a scary injury during the Chiefs' victory over the Jaguars to the Bengals beating the Bills 27-10 on the road. The Giants could not keep their hot play going, suffering a devastating 38-7 loss to the Eagles, while Brock Purdy again led the 49ers to victory over the Cowboys.

The NFL has been full of surprises all season, between the Brock Purdy breakout and the Russell Wilson trade having the opposite effect that was expected, seeing Seattle make the playoffs and the Broncos collapse. Hopefully, this DFS article will help you win some money while we watch our favorite teams and players this weekend. With just two games this weekend, this week we will showcase the top three matchups to exploit while also taking into account the risk/reward based on the DFS price.

Matchups for the wide receiver position aren't always as black and white as they can be for other positions. Receivers sometimes move around the formation or may face shadow coverage, meaning these matchups need to be broken down deeper based on that data. Now, here are the top WR vs. CB matchups for the Conference Championships. Use these to set season-long lineups, as well as gain a competitive edge in the DFS games. The matchup data used in this article is from PFF.

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DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

DraftKings $6800 / FanDuel $7700 - vs. Deommodore Lenoir

DeVonta Smith had a slow first half of the season but caught fire over the final nine weeks of the regular season and continued that stellar play through the Divisional Round game last weekend. Through Weeks 10-18, Smith averaged 6.1 receptions, 83.8 yards, and 0.6 touchdowns per game. During that span, he had a team-high 83 targets, boasting a 30% target share.

He had a tremendous sophomore season, finishing with 95 receptions for 1196 yards and seven touchdowns. Last week against their division rival New York Giants, Smith finished with six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. He earned 10 targets that game, boasting a 41.6% team target share. This week, the Eagles take on the surging San Francisco 49ers, who are fresh off eliminating the Dallas Cowboys last week.

The 49ers' defense had a tough time against wide receivers this season, allowing the fifth-most fantasy points and the sixth-most receiving yards to the position. Last week, CeeDee Lamb was able to torch the 49ers' defense with 10 receptions for 117 yards. San Francisco will have their hands full this game, covering multiple weapons, including A.J. Brown, Miles Sanders, Jalen Hurts, and Smith himself.

This game should be full of fireworks, with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith rightfully the second and third-highest-priced receivers on DraftKings and FanDuel, respectively. Smith is slightly cheaper and has been much more consistent in the latter half of the season. Confidently fire up DeVonta Smith in DFS lineups for Championship Weekend.


Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

DraftKings $7600 / FanDuel $8600 - vs. Trent McDuffie

Ja’Marr Chase will be in a lot of lineups this week, but we have to consider that he could be the highest-scoring wide receiver this weekend. Chase has had a phenomenal season, averaging 20.53 PPR points per game through 18 weeks. He boasted a 29% target share, earning 11.2 targets per game. He’s also had a nose for the endzone, scoring nine touchdowns in his 12 games played.

He’s been a massive part of the Bengals’ offense, especially through the playoffs thus far. Over the past two weeks, he’s averaged seven receptions for 72.5 yards and one touchdown per game. This week, the Bengals take on the NFL MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. These two teams have played each other three times over the past two seasons, and Chase has played a significant role in getting the Bengals a 3-0 record in the series.

Through those three games, he has averaged eight receptions for a whopping 139 yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game. Chase will be in many DFS lineups this weekend, but rightfully so, as he easily has the highest ceiling of all wide receivers still in the playoffs.


Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

DraftKings $5400 / FanDuel $6700 - vs. Jaylen Watson

Tee Higgins has had a rocky year, finishing with a boom-or-bust-type 2022 season profile. Higgins averaged a modest 4.6 receptions for 64.3 yards per game. In his defense, he had gone through a couple of injuries this season. Although he has disappointed a bit this year, he could be a great value this weekend based on his current price.

Higgins has had six games of over 90 receiving yards this year and likely has the highest ceiling among all the wide receivers in his current price range. Last year, during the first AFC Championship against the Chiefs, Higgins finished with six receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. A lot is riding on this game, and Burrow will no doubt let it fly against the weak Kansas City pass defense.

The Chiefs allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year and have been a matchup to exploit. Even though Higgins has burned some DFS players this season, based on the matchup and the players around his price, he could be a great value for Championship Weekend.

All data is from PFF, FantasyData, RotoViz, and The 33rd Team. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your DFS contests!

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