We have three more games to cash in on Underdog Fantasy’s Pick ‘Em contests, and there’s no better time to build your Super Bowl bankroll than Conference Championship Sunday, where the Chiefs will take on the Ravens and the Lions will battle the 49ers for the right to hoist the Lombardi in Vegas.
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UNDERDOG FANTASY PICK ‘EM: CHIEFS VS RAVENS AND LIONS VS 49ERS
PATRICK MAHOMES HIGHER 26.5 RUSHING YARDS
When Patrick Mahomes faces a tough front seven, he typically relies on his legs to gain yardage and extend drives– especially in the playoffs. Over his last 14 playoff games, he’s exceeded this number eight times. Just two weeks ago, against Miami, he finished with 41 yards on the ground. In last year’s Super Bowl, he racked up 44 rushing yards on six carries. Over the last 14 playoff games, he’s rushed the ball three or more times in all but one game, which should get him over this mark.
While very stout, the Ravens’ defense has allowed some big games on the ground to opposing quarterbacks this season. They’ve allowed 20 or more rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks seven times, highlighted by Trevor Lawrence’s 41 yards, Justin Herbert’s 47 yards, Jake Browning’s 40 yards, and Deshaun Watson’s 37 yards.
Mahomes will get there on Sunday.
TRAVIS KELCE HIGHER 11.55 FANTASY POINTS
Travis Kelce looked like the Kelce that we all know and love against the Bills, racking up five receptions for 75 yards and two scores on six targets. We all understand the Chiefs lack consistency at receiver outside of rookie Rashee Rice, so expect Mahomes to target Taylor Swift’s boyfriend as much as possible on Sunday.
Although the Ravens only allow 8.5 half PPR points to tight ends per game this season, they have allowed a few tight ends to go off this season, most notably George Kittle’s 7-126 and Trey McBride’s 10-95-1. Plus, they’ve given up an average of nearly seven targets, five receptions, and 50 yards to tight ends this season.
Mark Kelce down for a touchdown and a handful of receptions. I also like his yardage over at 61.5.
GEORGE KITTLE HIGHER 61.5 RECEIVING YARDS
Not only do the Lions get crushed through the air by opposing No. 1 wideouts, but they also get worked by opposing tight ends. Just last week, Cade Otton posted a 5-65-1 stat line. They also allowed big games from Mark Andrews, Johnny Mundt, TJ Hockenson, and Cole Kmet.
Kittle put up another 1,000-yard season and is coming off a 4-81-1 game on seven targets. Kittle has exceeded this number 10 times over his last 15 games, and we should expect him to feast in the seam. Kittle should get loose on play-action, as the Lions boast the league’s top run defense.
AMON-RA ST. BROWN HIGHER 7.5 RECEPTIONS
The Amon-Ra St. Brown is the definition of a target hog alpha wide receiver, and he hasn’t slowed down in the playoffs. Over his two playoff games, he has 15 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown on 23 targets. With Jameson Williams and Josh Reynolds as his only target competition on the perimeter, it’s easy to see why the Sun God has an eight-target floor.
While the Lions will have to lean on its run game to keep possession on Sunday, St. Brown will be targeted early and often, especially in the quick game out of the slot, to limit the 49ers’ pass rush. A double-digit reception game is in the cards for St. Brown.
CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY HIGHER 36.5 RECEIVING YARDS
I felt better about this play mid-week when Deebo Samuel was trending out, but now that he’s good to go, I’m a bit weary. However, the recipe is right; sometimes, we must #TrustTheData. The Lions are borderline impossible to run on (allowed 100+ rush yards once), but they are susceptible in coverage to running backs, allowing the second-highest yards per reception.
Throughout the season, the Lions have let this number cash nine times and are allowing 33 receiving yards to running backs this season at nine yards per reception. Last week, Bucs running backs caught six of seven targets for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Even with Samuel set to play through the shoulder injury, expect Kyle Shanahan to limit his touches and scheme up ways to deploy Christian McCaffey— especially through the air. Don’t overthink it.
TOUCHDOWN BONUS: DAVID MONTGOMERY HIGHER 0.5 RUSH + REC TD (x1.25)
Aaron Jones got busy against the 49ers last week, going for 108 rushing yards on 18 carries. The Lions will need to control time of possession to keep pace with San Francisco, which is why they would lean on David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs to keep the 49ers offense off the field.
The Bucs kept Montgomery quiet last week, but he scored against the Rams on their first drive of Wildcard Weekend and scored in all but three regular season games, finishing the season with 13 touchdowns. The 49ers looked susceptible against the run last week and look for a healthy dose of physicality from the Lions on Sunday — especially around the goal line.
The x1.25 will be a nice bonus to your slip.
OTHER PROPS I LIKE: Brandon Aiyuk higher 5 receptions, Justin Tucker higher 1.5 FG made, Odell Beckham Jr higher 19.5 receiving yards, Marquez Valdes-Scantling higher 14.5 receiving yards, Mark Andrews higher 5.0 targets, Isiah Pacheco higher 14.5 rush attempts, Christian McCaffrey higher 36.5 receiving yards
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