Christian McCaffrey ($18,000):
The most expensive player on this slate is not only the safest option but also has one of the highest ceilings on the slate. McCaffery has been the focal point of the 49ers' offense during the playoffs, as he has scored 31.8 and 29.2 DraftKings Points with over 22 total touches in each game.
McCaffery is also a heavy favorite (-210) to score a touchdown, making him worth the investment despite his hefty salary.
Patrick Mahomes ($15,900)
Mahomes is also worth consideration to be your team’s captain as he is the favorite to win Super Bowl MVP.
Mahomes has been able to turn the struggling Chiefs offense around at the perfect time, as they have defeated the Dolphins in the Wild card round and both the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens on the road the previous two weeks. In these games, Mahomes has never dipped below 15 DraftKings Points.
The 49ers defense has struggled in their previous two playoff games, which could suggest a big for Mahomes as he hopes to win his third Lombardi Trophy.
Travis Kelce ($15,300)
Travis Kelce was under heavy criticism from fantasy managers down the stretch, but after three big playoff games, he has put these claims to rest. Kelce scored 24.5 points in the Divisional Round and followed that up with 32.1 in the Conference Championship.
The star tight-end is averaging a hefty nine targets in playoffs, making him a safe and high-upside bet as a captain.
Deebo Samuel ($13,800)
The final player I would consider as a captain would be Deebo Samuel. Samuel entered the Conference Championship game with a questionable tag, but that did not affect him, as he scored 17.6 DraftKings Points on eight catches and three rushing attempts.
Samuel is always a big-play threat, with an excellent average of 9.0 yards after the catch. If the ball is in his, he can make big plays. Samuel affords you some roster flexibility and still has one of the highest ceilings on the slate.
Brock Purdy ($10,000)
Purdy has been a consistent fantasy quarterback all season. However, Purdy has a limited ceiling as he rarely carries the ball so I would use him as a flex player, not a captain.
Mr. Irrelevant did struggle in the early part of the Conference Championship, but once he found his stride, he began to rack up the points. However, when the 49ers reach the red zone, they are much more likely to lean on their run game to push the ball over the pylon, which will also hinder Purdy’s final box score.
Brandon Aiyuk ($8,800)
Aiyuk has had a relatively quiet playoff, as he only had three catches in both games, but he did find the end zone against the Lions. Aiyuk consistently scored over 15 PPR points all season, which is making his slump seem unlucky more than anything.
The Chiefs are a dangerous offense, which could push Purdy to push the ball in the air more than they would like, making Aiyuk an intriguing flex play.
If you want to stack your lineup with heavy hitters like Mahomes, Kelce, and Samuel, you will be short on salary as you look to fill the final spots on your lineup. Here are a few high-risk options that could lead you to victory.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3,000)
Valdez-Scantling has settled into the distant third receiving option for Patrick Mahomes, well behind Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice. However, despite his low target share, he ran most of his routes deep downfield, making him a sneaky option.
He caught a 32-yard pass in the previous two games. If one of those went for a touchdown, his salary would be much higher. Take the discount and gamble on the Kansas City deep threat.
Chiefs DST ($3,400)/ SF DST ($4,400)
The Chief's defense dominated Lamar Jackson and the Ravens en route to their 14.0 DraftKings Points performance in the Conference Championship. If you believe the 49ers' early struggles in this playoff will hurt them again on Sunday, take the Kansas City defense. However, this play is risky as the Kansas City defense scored 0.0 points against the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round.
Both defenses have high upsides but very risky plays. If you feel very comfortable with one of them, try to fit them in your lineup, as you can roster many high-end players.
Lastly, when constructing your lineup, you want it to match what you believe the game script may be. While this may seem common knowledge, many lineups have little to no chance of winning due to not following this simple rule.
Kansas City Victory Lineup
Flex: Chiefs DST
In this lineup, we predict a Chiefs-dominating victory with Samuel as the “bring-back” option. We hope Samuel is the featured player as the 49ers try to claw themselves back in this game. Brandon Aiyuk or George Kittle could also sub here based on personal preference.
49ers Victory Lineup
Flex: 49ers DST
This lineup is predicting the opposite of our first lineup, with the 49ers taking care of business as they get their revenge from just a few seasons ago.
The best of both worlds
Flex: 49ers DST
This lineup predicts a close game, with the 49ers just coming out on top with a bit of help from their D/ST and Deebo Samuel leading the way.