Conference. Championship. Football. It is the last weekend for months that will include multiple NFL games and multiple showdown slates. The Niners and Packers will face off for the second time this season, with the first matchup being all San Francisco. Green Bay lost by a score of 37-8. We will see if the game can be closer the second time around, and what that may mean for fantasy.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
PLAYS TO CONSIDER
— The favorites have won each of the 49ers’ last seven postseason games.
— The Packers have covered the spread in six of their last seven games against teams that held a winning record.
— Each of the Packers’ last four postseason games has gone OVER the total points line.
— Davante Adams has scored the first touchdown in three of the Packers’ last six games.
— Raheem Mostert has scored at least one touchdown in six of the 49ers’ last seven games.
— George Kittle has scored a touchdown in four of his last seven appearances against NFC opponents.
— Kendrick Bourne has scored at least one touchdown in three of the 49ers’ last four day games against NFC opponents.
— Aaron Jones has scored two touchdowns in three of the Packers’ last four games.
San Francisco 49ersThe passing game has been up-and-down all year for the Niners in terms of the raw statistics. Jimmy Garoppolo ($8,200) has three games with 300 or more yards passing and four touchdowns, but he also has seven games of 200 or less passing yards, and five other contests with one or less touchdown pass. Garoppolo’s variance is accounted for in his price, but it could lead to higher ownership than is warranted in this spot.
The run game is where the Niners have made their money for most of the year. Only the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens ran the ball more often or for more yards than San Francisco did in the regular season. Last week against Minnesota, the Niners ran it 47 times for 186 yards and two scores. Kyle Shanahan appears to prefer a run-heavy approach in the post-season. When the Falcons made their Super Bowl run in 2016, with Shanahan running the offense, the team ran the ball 50% of the time in the first two rounds, both blowout victories. That was with league MVP Matt Ryan under center. This is a rare opportunity to play multiple RBs from the same team in showdown, with both Tevin Coleman ($8,800) and Raheem Mostert ($6,400) roster-able options.
This passing game disappointed greatly last weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should fade them in this matchup. George Kittle ($9,400) is the top option in the passing attack, responsible for 28% of team targets during the regular season. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders ($6,800) and rookie Deebo Samuel ($7,400) finished with 17% and 18% target shares respectively. Though they finished very tight, Samuel is likely the better option. He has received at least one carry in six straight games, giving the rookie additional upside outside of what he can do as a receiver.
Green Bay PackersThe Packers were productive in both the run and pass game last weekend, with Aaron Rodgers ($10,000) throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns. He has had a few more highs than Garoppolo but has overall had a fairly disappointing season from a fantasy perspective. Now Rodgers has to face the second-ranked pass defense by Football Outsiders DVOA. The Niners have only allowed three 300-yard passers all year, and only one QB has thrown for more than two touchdowns against them.
The Green Bay backfield continues to be dominated by Aaron Jones ($9,600), who saw 84% of snaps against Seattle, along with 21 carries and two targets. This is not a very attractive matchup or expected game script, so I would feel comfortable with fading Jones. If you’re looking to play a backup in the hopes that Jones is pulled off the field in some passing situations, I prefer Tyler Ervin ($600) to Jamaal Williams ($4,200). The former played only one less snap and has also been featured in the return game.
If there is one Packer to consider in this game, it has to be Davante Adams ($11,400). He is one of the league’s true target-hog wideouts, seeing 29% of Packer targets in the regular season. Last week, he scored 39 DKFP on 11 targets. This Niner secondary is excellent, but Adams should be able to overcome it with volume. I’m not particularly interested in the secondary receiving options for Green Bay, which include a banged-up Allen Lazard ($5,600) and 100-year-old Jimmy Graham ($4,400).
The OutcomeThe Packers have been one of the biggest fraud teams of the 2019 season. Though they won 13 games in the regular season, their Pythagorean win expectation based on points scored and allowed was only 10. I do not think they will compete at all in this game, as indicated by the (-7.5) point spread on DKSB. With that game script in consideration, I like going with one of the Niner RBs. Based on price, I prefer Mostert ($9,600 CP) over Coleman ($13,200 CP). I could also get around on Adams ($17,100 CP) as a captain, even in 5-1 Niner stacks. If this game just goes way under the 46.5 point total, Adams is the skill player most likely to have the highest point total.
Final Score: 49ers 31, Packers 7
Set your lineups here: NFL $750K Sunday Night Showdown [$200K to 1st]
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