AFC Championship Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Bengals vs Chiefs in NFL Playoffs
By Max Staley
Two of the NFL's best young quarterbacks will meet in the AFC Championship Game, as Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City is currently a 7-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
But betting isn't the only way to add some excitement to this game. Fantasy football is still alive and well in the playoffs. If you need some help with your lineups this week, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for the AFC Championship.
Joe Mixon Fantasy
Start Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have to get Joe Mixon going on Sunday. Kansas City's run defense is pretty weak, sitting No. 20 in rush defense by DVOA while allowing 4.8 yards per carry – the second-worst mark in football. Mixon, meanwhile, is averaging 98.0 yards from scrimmage per game since Week 9, scoring 10 TDs in those 10 games. The fifth-year back looks like the top RB play of the week.
Patrick Mahomes Fantasy
Start Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: We're not exactly breaking news here, but Patrick Mahomes is red hot right now. The fifth-year QB has already racked up 782 passing yards with 8 TDs to 1 interception, tacking on another 98 yards and a TD on the ground. He's undoubtedly the best QB left in the playoffs, and he's also got the best matchup of the weekend. Cincinnati ranks No. 24 by pass defense DVOA – last among all remaining playoff teams. Do whatever it takes to get this guy in your lineup this week.
Tyler Boyd Fantasy
Sit Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals passing attack has been exploding recently, but the success hasn't helped Tyler Boyd all that much. Though Joe Burrow is averaging 346.0 passing yards per game over his last three, Boyd is only averaging 26.3 yards per game and hasn't reached even 40 receiving yards once in that span. It's not like the volume is there, either. Boyd is only averaging 4.7 targets per outing, trailing Ja'Marr Chase (7.3), Tee Higgins (6.0) and even tight end C.J. Uzomah (6.7). Boyd is nothing more than a TD-dependent option this week.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Fantasy
Sit Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Jerick McKinnon has supplanted Clyde Edwards-Helaire as Kansas City's top pass-catching back. He's turned 13 targets into 11 receptions for 135 yards and a TD through two playoff games. CEH, meanwhile, has only recorded 129 receiving yards all year (10 games). It's a strange development, as his best attribute coming out of college was his pass-catching ability, and it's a detrimental one for his fantasy value. His volume and efficiency on the ground just aren't good enough to make up for his absence in the passing game. McKinnon is the preferred play here, though CEH could make some noise if KC jumps out to a massive lead.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.