NFC Championship Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for 49ers vs Rams in NFL Playoffs

Max Staley
NFC Championship fantasy picks: start 'em, sit 'em for San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams.
NFC Championship fantasy picks: start 'em, sit 'em for San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams. / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams will meet for the third time this season – this time, with a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line. San Francisco won both matchups this year and have actually won six straight against Los Angeles. Even so, FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Rams as 3.5-point home favorites.

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 NFC Championship.

Deebo Samuel Fantasy

Start Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers: The Rams are one of the best defenses in football, so we're going to play it safe and roll with the 49ers' most productive player. Deebo Samuel has been flat-out dominant since getting unleashed as a rusher. Week 10 was his first game of the season with 5-plus carries, and he's had at least 5 carries in each of his 10 games since, averaging 105.9 yards from scrimmage per game in that time. Deebo has recorded at least 95 receiving yards and 36 rushing yards in both of his appearances against LA this year, averaging 136.5 yards from scrimmage against the Rams. He's an absolute no-brainer this week.

Matthew Stafford Fantasy

Start Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams: The quarterback play in the NFL Playoffs has been so good that no one is really talking about Matthew Stafford. But they should be, because he's really hit his stride. Stafford has completed 41-of-55 attempts in the postseason (74.5%) while throwing 4 touchdowns to 0 interceptions with 568 yards. That's good for 10.3 yards per attempt, which would've been the best mark in the NFL this season (by far). He's just red-hot and is facing a defense that might be overachieving a little bit recently.

Brandon Aiyuk Fantasy

Sit Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers offense probably isn't going to throw the ball enough to support three fantasy-relevant receivers. That should make Brandon Aiyuk the odd man out behind George Kittle and Samuel. Aiyuk only saw 1 target (0 receptions) last week as this team clearly wants to pound the rock. In fact, Jimmy Garoppolo has attempted 25 or fewer passes in four of his last five postseason starts. Aiyuk is unlikely to see much volume at all this week.

Van Jefferson Fantasy

Sit Van Jefferson, WR, Los Angeles Rams: When Robert Woods went down, it looked like Van Jefferson was primed for a huge role in this offense. But the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. has shrunk Jefferson's role. He has only reached 60 receiving yards once in his last eight games, and he hasn't seen more than 3 targets in each of his last three games. He might break away for one big play, but starting him just isn't worth the risk.


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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.

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