When it comes to assessing NFL DFS sleepers and busts, there are plenty of factors to be considered. That is especially true when looking at fantasy football value in a four-team slate. On a slate of that size, it’s hard to view anyone that is a starter as a true sleeper or bust. However, we can try to identify which players might be able to be a difference-maker in your lineup at their current prices and who might not be worth the cost.
NFL DFS Sleepers for the Conference Championships
The picks below are made using data analytics and based on half-PPR scoring. Therefore, they are perfect for use on FanDuel, which is why we have used their pricing to make our recommendations. However, where we see added value based on pricing from DraftKings, we’ve made note of it in the player writeups below.
Brock Purdy, QB | SF at PHI ($6,900)
The QB position is somewhat strange this week in DFS. But Brock Purdy is priced exactly where we expect him to be as the cheapest option on both FanDuel and DraftKings. You could actually make the case that Patrick Mahomes is a somewhat strange sleeper merely based on the fact his roster percentage could be low due to injury concerns. Although, with the Chiefs not even listing him on their final injury report, that may well have changed.
Therefore, all eyes come back to Purdy. Yes, he struggled from a fantasy perspective in the Divisional Round with zero passing touchdowns and under 10 fantasy points. But that was the first time he didn’t throw a touchdown this season, having averaged 2.29 passing touchdowns per game in his previous seven matchups.
Heading into the NFC Championship Game, Quarter 4 has Purdy projected for 18.74 fantasy points from his projected passing statistics alone. At his price on both FanDuel and DraftKings ($5,300), that would be more than a solid return.
Jauan Jennings, WR | SF at PHI ($4,900)
My bargain-basement WR with upside for the NFC Championship Game is Jauan Jennings. His price is significantly below Brandon Aiyuk, who’s seen similar usage in recent weeks.
The 49ers have used Jennings as a deep-threat WR option who, in the right moments, can break a game open. Against a stifling Eagles’ defense, giving Jennings a couple of deep shots could be valuable to force Philly into moving some defensive pieces around. At this price, one big play can see Jennings return value.
Another intriguing option this week is Kadarius Toney at $5,600. With Mahomes potentially limited by injury, the Chiefs may have to utilize Toney as a gadget option more frequently than usual.
With Mecole Hardman still injured, Toney could be in line for seven-plus touches in this game and has a good chance to find the end zone, having done so twice in the last four weeks.
Hayden Hurst, TE | CIN at KC ($5,400)
I should be clear in saying that Dallas Goedert is the tight end I am trying to get in my lineups this week. However, the brave call would be to throw Hurst in your lineup at $1,000 cheaper than any of the other main options on the Sunday slate. He found the end zone last week, and the Chiefs have had their struggles against tight ends this season. In tournament play, having some exposure to Hurst makes some sense.
NFL DFS Busts for the Conference Championships
Miles Sanders, RB | PHI vs. SF ($6,200)
Of the top-choice RBs from the four teams this week, Miles Sanders is the one that worries me the most. He had a solid outing last week and still only managed nine fantasy points. The problem with Sanders’ fantasy value is that there are so many mouths to feed around the goal line. Even when the Eagles run it in the red zone, they have Jalen Hurts, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott in the mix.
Sanders is the cheapest of the four “starters” on both sites, but the discount over the likes of Christian McCaffrey and Joe Mixon is not enough, given the uncertainty around his ceiling. When you then add in the way that the 49ers’ defense has played RBs, including shutting down the Dallas Cowboys run game last week, there are a number of red flags.
I would rather try to find a way to make a McCaffrey-Mixon pairing work than rely on Sanders this week. If you save some money at QB and TE, then you can still get McCaffrey, Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, and another high-priced WR in your lineup.
A.J. Brown, WR | PHI vs. SF ($8,000)
While I absolutely love A.J. Brown from a fantasy perspective, there are some red flags that are tough to avoid this week. We saw Brown underutilized last week, with just three receptions on six targets for 22 yards. While it seems unlikely he would struggle that much again, the 49ers aren’t going to want to let the Hurts-to-Brown combination beat them.
It would be no surprise to see a lot of double teams on Brown this week, with the 49ers daring the Eagles to beat them with their other options. We could see a situation where the 49ers’ defense uses Charvarius Ward to limit DeVonta Smith while deploying Deommodore Lenoir in a double team on Brown. At the second-highest price on the slate, there is just too much risk with Brown this week.
George Kittle, TE | SF at PHI ($6,800)
The pricing for George Kittle this week is in no-mans land. It’s slightly better on FanDuel, where he only costs $400 more than Goedert. Meanwhile, on DraftKings, his price at $5,200 is significantly above Goedert’s. With the two having similar projections, it doesn’t make sense to pay extra for Kittle.
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