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NFL Picks and Player Props for Conference Championship Weekend

Here we go. It's Conference Championship weekend and Super Bowl berths are on the line. We have two incredible matchups set for Sunday and it's my opinion that these are the four best teams in the league squaring off. The spreads for both games are under a field goal so we're expected to get two extremely close games that could go either way. Before I lose you with more groundbreaking analysis like that, let's get to the picks.




DeVonta Smith over 66.5 receiving yards, -114 (FanDuel)


While the 49ers defense finished a close second in the fewest rushing yards allowed this season, they also ranked 20th in receiving yards allowed, while also ranking 26th in fantasy points allowed to WR's. Smith has been heavily involved in the Eagles offense of late, receiving double-digit targets in three of his last four games. He has also gone over 100 receiving yards in four of his last seven games, with the three games he didn't go over a hundred yards all landing in the 60's. With the Eagles no doubt looking to throw this weekend due to matchup considerations, this total seems like the low end that we can expect from Smith.


A.J. Brown over 70.5 receiving yards, -118 (FanDuel)

Brown laid an egg last week with only three catches for 22 yards, but that was due at least in part to Dallas Goedert's increased usage, and also because the Eagles ran the ball 44 times vs. the Giants (which doesn't figure to be the case vs. the 49ers' elite rushing defense). Prior to last week, Brown had logged at least 95 receiving yards in five-of-six games, with his lone miss coming in at 70 yards. So again, with the Eagles looking to throw more this week, this total seems to be more representative of a floor game than a ceiling game for the Eagles receiver.


DeVonta Smith anytime touchdown, +180 (FanDuel)

Similar to last week's touchdown combo with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, a DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown pairing looks useful with both players listed at a sizable plus. While the 49ers ranked 26th in fantasy points allowed to WR's this season, note that Smith has scored a touchdown in four of his last seven games, including last week's playoff game vs. the Giants. It's also notable that Brown scored in one of those three games where Smith didn't, meaning at least one of them has scored in 5-of-7 games, with both players scoring in the same game twice during that same period (both players scoring would equal +3.35 units this week). So that pairing has indeed been profitable over the last couple of months, and is probably worth taking here in a game where the Eagles figure to be leaning on the pass a little more than usual.


A.J. Brown anytime touchdown, +155 (FanDuel)

Similar to Smith, Brown has scored a touchdown in four of his last eight games, which is a perfectly reasonable rate at better than 3/2 odds. Note that the only touchdown the 49ers allowed last week came through the air (albeit to the TE), and the 49ers also allowed a huge 10-136-2 receiving line to D.K. Metcalf during the opening round of the playoffs. To me, it seems likely that one of the Smith/Brown combo will score, with both scoring (+3.35 units) perhaps being just as likely as neither scoring (-2.00 units), with a split (either +0.80 or +0.55 units) being the most likely outcome.


Travis Kelce over 77.5 receiving yards, -114 (FanDuel)

With Kelce being far-and-away the main cog in the Chiefs passing game, and with this being their biggest game of the season (note that Kelce recorded a huge 17 targets in last week's playoff game), he appears set for a big game vs. the Bengals, who ranked 22nd in fantasy points allowed to TE's this season. Look for Kelce to be targeted early and often, particularly if they fall behind, which could clearly happen vs. Cincinnati.


Ja'Marr Chase over 6.5 receptions, -140 (DraftKings)

The juice is a little steep on this one, but that's to be expected with Chase having recorded seven or more receptions in nine of his last ten games, with his only miss coming last week in blizzard-type conditions where the Bengals were nursing a big lead. He has already covered this total in 2-of-3 games vs. the Chiefs, and his role in the Bengals passing game has only grown, with Higgins seemingly taking more of a backseat recently. With the Chiefs ranking 29th in fantasy points allowed to WR's this year, this looks like a plum matchup for Chase, who seems more likely to approach 10 catches this week than he does to have six or less.

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