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Championship Round Underdog High/Low Picks: McKinnon Being Phased Out in KC?

Championship Round Underdog Picks

A great divisional round saw my picks go 4-1 with Hayden Hurst ruining our chances at a perfect week. We are 6-4-1 for the playoffs this year, and with so many lines posted this week for these two games, there are some great values to be found. As always, I included a confidence rating out of five for all of my picks and also where I would play the lines to if they move.

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Robbie Gould HIGHER than 1.5 Field Goals

Brock Purdy hasn't just brought the 49ers offense back to life, he’s revived Robbie Gould’s season. Gould has gone over 1.5 field goals in four of the last five games and is averaging 2.1 field goals made with Purdy at QB. The Eagles defense should help this play too, as their great defense will likely cause several 49ers drives to stall in field goal range. There is a lot of variance that goes into field goals and so I do not feel super confident in this play, but it is too good to not include. I rate it 3/5 for confidence and would not play it any higher.

Brock Purdy LOWER than 14.95 Fantasy Points

The Cowboys defense finally brought Brock Purdy back to Earth last week. Dallas pressured Purdy on 16 of 33 dropbacks. On those 16 dropbacks, Purdy was sacked twice and completed only four passes. He was able to pick apart the Dallas defense when he wasn’t pressured and still finished with 9.36 fantasy points. The Eagles should be able to get plenty of pressure on Purdy as they rank second only behind Dallas in pressure rate. Assuming Philadelphia is able to apply pressure, Purdy should continue to struggle and go lower than this line. I rank it 4/5  for confidence and would play it down to 14.0 fantasy points.

George Kittle HIGHER than 47.5 Receiving Yards

I wrote about this line earlier in the week, and I am extremely surprised it has only been bumped up one receiving yard since then. George Kittle has been a safety valve for Purdy as Kittle leads the team in target share when Brock Purdy is pressured. With the Eagles pressuring the quarterback 38.2% of the time, Purdy should be looking to Kittle early and often this week.

I do not like receptions for Kittle here, (Underdog has him posted at 5.0) but I really like the possibility of him getting a big yardage play. With Purdy at quarterback, Kittle is averaging over 14 yards per reception, including 19.0 yards per reception last week. Kittle’s consistent usage combined with his big play ability makes this a great play. I only worry that 47.5 is a very high line for Kittle, especially if Purdy struggles, and so I rank it 4/5 for confidence and would play it to 50.5.

Jerick McKinnon LOWER than 4.0 Receptions.

Between Week 9 and 15, Jerick McKinnon was dominant in the receiving game as he was averaging 4.7 receptions per game. Then in Week 16, Kadarius Toney started being integrated back into the offense after his injury. Since Week 16, McKinnon has averaged 2.5 receptions per game and Toney has averaged 3 receptions per game.

I do not expect McKinnon to have zero receptions again like he had last week, but it seems that Toney is eating away at McKinnon’s usage in the receiving game. It is hard to feel confident in much the Chiefs offense with Patrick Mahomes dealing with an ankle injury, but I feel very confident in this pick. I rate it as 5/5 for confidence and would play it down to 3.5, but not with as much confidence.

DeVonta Smith HIGHER than 5.0 Receptions

If this seems familiar, it's because it was my most confident pick of the week last week and weirdly enough, I think it’s an even better pick than last week. DeVonta Smith continues to be a very important player in this offense and is seeing nearly a 35% target share on 3rd downs. He has also led the team in receptions for the past four weeks. Over the last nine games, he has only had less than 5 receptions once. I really liked this play last week because of its push potential, and as long as it stays at 5.0, it's still a great part of this pick. Play this pick with confidence again as it is my highest confidence play of the week two weeks in a row now. I would play it to 5.5 receptions, but with less confidence.

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