At this stage of the season, fantasy football lineups become very similar, with just four teams remaining. Therefore, identifying fantasy football sleepers is key to try and differentiate yourself from the pack. Let’s take a look through the four teams playing this week to see if we can identify any options to help fantasy managers make their lineups stand out.
Top Fantasy Football Sleepers for the Conference Championships
The sleepers outline below can help fantasy managers across a number of formats. Whether you play traditional DFS formats or Underdog Fantasy Best ball leagues, the options outlined below give you a chance to turn a low-priced player into a matchup-winning return.
All of the recommendations below are high-risk options that we are looking to return value on their relatively low price. Managers should not be looking to rely on any of the players below to be key cogs in lineups. The options are below are purely considerations to be low-cost options to balance lineups or to target in the later rounds of drafts.
Brock Purdy, QB | SF @ PHI
The performance of Daniel Jones last week will have fantasy managers looking warily at the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense. However, Purdy has a far better set of weapons around him than Jones has. While you might consider Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley as a wash, the trio of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle is a significant step up on Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, and Daniel Bellinger.
Last week was the first time as a starter that Purdy has not thrown for two or more touchdowns. In the previous seven weeks, he averaged 2.6 passing touchdowns per game. While you would not want to count on two passing touchdowns, Purdy has a great chance to finish with 10-15 fantasy points, which at his likely price-point is a solid return.
Samaje Perine, RB | CIN @ KC
It is so hard to know what role Samaje Perine will have week-to-week because it has varied so much. What we do know is that if something were to happen to Joe Mixon, Perine would likely be the next man up. The problem in one-week tournaments is that selecting a player in the event someone gets injured is extremely risky. That is why the likes of Perine and Elijah Mitchell are solid options to take a chance on.
Last week we saw Perine score 8.9 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring with 64 total yards and five receptions. He had “failed” for fantasy managers in the previous two weeks, which is a concern, but there has been some role for him in a handful of weeks. We can also look back to the last time these two teams met when Perine had 106 rushing yards on 21 attempts and added 49 receiving yards on six receptions. While he won’t start the game as the lead back, the matchup is at least a nice one for the Bengals’ RBs.
Kadarius Toney, WR | KC vs. CIN
With uncertainty over the health of Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs WRs is a position that many will be fading. However, if the Chiefs QB is limited, then a player like Kadarius Toney could actually benefit in some ways. Toney’s skill set lends him to gadget play opportunities, which may be something the Chiefs have to use more of if Mahomes is limited in his movement.
Last week, Toney saw eight opportunities after five and four in the previous two weeks. The risk with Toney is that you really need him to make things happen himself because his work is usually limited to in and around the line of scrimmage. In full-PPR formats, Toney is a much better value compared to those around him than in non or half-PPR formats.
Jauan Jennings, WR | SF @ PHI
The role of Jauan Jennings is always intriguing to me. Often the forgotten man in the San Francisco 49ers’ offense, they utilize him in a way that is extremely boom or bust for fantasy managers. In the Wild Card Round, we saw San Francisco using Jennings to try and break open the passing game with deep shots. His usage against the Dallas Cowboys was more limited, but he still played on 45% of the snaps.
The Eagles’ secondary is very good, but Jennings could easily fly under the radar. With the focus centered on the likes of Kittle, Aiyuk, Samuel, and McCaffrey, the 49ers could look to Jennings as that difference-making option. Jennings really only needs to break one big pass to return value on his price. Even if he has a two-reception for 30 yards line again, as a worst-case, he is simply returning average value on the price you paid for him.
Hayden Hurst, TE | CIN @ KC
It has certainly been an up-and-down season for Hayden Hurst when it comes to his fantasy value. Largely, fantasy managers are reliant on him scoring a touchdown to be a real asset. However, if you are not willing to pay for any of Kittle, Travis Kelce, or Dallas Goedert, then Hurst is by far the best of the rest.
The last three weeks have seen Hurst targeted a total of 17 times. From those opportunities, he has 13 receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown. By no means are those knock-you-down type numbers, but at the price he currently commands, he is intriguing in a relatively friendly matchup for tight ends. The Chiefs allowed more than 15 fantasy points to opposing tight ends in each of their three games between Weeks 15 and 17.
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