Volpe's 1/29/23 AFC Championship Showdown - 4 Deep Sports


Volpe’s 1/29/23 AFC Championship Showdown

Sunday Night Showdown 1/29/23
Bengals @ Chiefs 6:30 PM EST
Chiefs -1.5, o/u 48

Included on the projections are the last three games between the Chiefs/Bengals.

The Bengals are the only team that have figured out the Chiefs’ code and have beaten the Chiefs in three consecutive games. Joe Burrow is locked in, even though his OL is working through key injuries. Last week the OL was not an issue for Burrow, but that was against a Bills defense that struggles to get pressure. The Chiefs rank 2nd in the NFL in pressuring the QB and will create more difficulty for Burrow. I do have some worries about the OL and recall the Browns bringing pressure and giving Burrow problems on Halloween and week 8 (they were without Chase). As for the Chiefs, we are still trying to gauge how bad Patrick Mahomes’ high ankle sprain is. My inkling is his mobility will be limited, especially because of the cold temperature, which will result in more of the ground game.


Key Injuries: CIN OUT: J. Williams OT, A. Cappa OT.  KC: QUES: M. Hardman (WR), J. Watson (WR)

Notes: Jody Fortson (TE) and Marcus Kemp were activated. Fortson has been on the team for a few years and was a part of a three TE rotation this year. With Kelce and Gray locked into their roll he will likely play over Blake Bell. You can only expect 7-15 snaps with 2 targets max from Fortson. Kemp should be an emergency option if Watson and Hardman were to both miss. 

Weather: 23 degrees, 10-15 MPH winds, 0% chance of rain
Previous Matchups: 

  • 12/4/22: Bengals 27-24
  • 1/30/22: Bengals 27-24
  • 1/2/22: Bengals 34-31

QB Matchups:

  • CIN: The Bengals rank 6th, allowing 15.2 fantasy points per game to QBs
  • KC: The Chiefs rank 29th, allowing 21.7 fantasy points per game to QBs

RB Matchups:

  • CIN: ranks 8th, allowing 20.4 fantasy points per game to RBs. They allow 3.9 YPC and 80.1 rushing yards per game. The Bengals also allow 4.5 receptions for 31.6 yards per game to the position.
  • KC: ranks 21st, allowing 24.2 fantasy points per game to RBs. They allow 4.4 YPC and 83.2 rushing yards per game. The Chiefs also allow 6.6 receptions for 48.6 receiving yards per game. 6.6 receptions allowed per game is the most in the NFL.


Name Notes Proj. Price Value 12/4/22 1/30/22 1/2/22
Joe Burrow Threw for at least two TDs and 250 yards in all three games against KC. It is a good matchup if his OL can hold up 22.4 10600 2.11 30 19.5 34.2
Patrick Mahomes His numbers have been pretty modest against the Bengals over their last three games and he is dealing with a high ankle sprain 21.7 11400 1.90 19.8 22.9 20.5
JaMarr Chase Chase has dominated KC. Seven for 97 in their first matchup this year in his first game back from a hip injury. His previous two games last year were six for 54 with a TD, and 11 for 266 with three TDS! 18.9 10400 1.82 16.7 17.7 55.6
Travis Kelce The Bengals were mediocre against the TE position this season. In the postseason, they allowed five for 65 to Knox last week and five for 73 to Mark Andrews. We are hoping for similar numbers plus a TD. Kelce had four for 56 against Cinci in week 13. He is now listed as questionable with a back injury 17.8 11000 1.62 9.6 25.5 13.4
Joe Mixon He has been splitting time with Perine, but still had 22 touches last week. The Chiefs allow the most receptions to RBs in the NFL this season 14.2 9800 1.45 DNP 14.5 15.6
Tee Higgins Five out of the last six games that Higgins played in have been extremely modest. He had 37 receiving yards or less in five of those last six, including three for 35 against KC. He did score a TD in that game 13.2 8400 1.57 12.5 16.3 9.2
Jerick McKinnon The game script was weird vs. Jax. He managed a season high 11 carries, but didn’t have a reception last week. His game script makes more sense this week: close game, possibly playing from behind, Mahomes getting the ball out quicker because of his ankle injury 12.6 6600 1.91 14 12.5 DNP
Isiah Pacheco Has been between 9.7-12.9 in each of his last six games. With Mahomes dealing with an ankle injury, he could see an uptick in carries 11.9 6400 1.86 16.2 DNP DNP
Kadarius Toney He has played approximately 30% of the snaps in each of his last four games. Which has resulted between 7.8-12.4 points. I would like him more if Hardman were to be out. 9.1 4800 1.90 DNP DNP DNP
Tyler Boyd Boyd has also struggled. He has not had more than 60 yards in a game over his last 10 games. However, that 60 yard game came against KC in week 13.  8.8 5000 1.76 10 5.9 13.6
Hayden Hurst TE Evan Engram had 5 for 31 against KC last week. Hurst has had at least four receptions in his last three games. He scored his first TD last week since week 3. He only had two for 12 against KC in week 13. He had a season-high 59 yards last week. 8.1 5200 1.56 3.2 DNP DNP
Evan McPherson McPherson has great history vs. KC and he has proven himself in the postseason 8 4000 2.00 10 15 11
JuJu Smith Schuster He has not surpassed 5.7 fantasy points over his last four games. In week 13 against Cincy, he had three receptions for 35 yards. Slot corner Mike Hilton has played well 7.9 5400 1.46 6.5 DNP DNP
Samaje Perine Perine has seen at least 30 snaps (41%) over his last four games. Last week he saw seven rushes and had five receptions. He had 106 rush yards in their earlier matchup with Joe Mixon out. The Chiefs are allowing nearly seven receptions to RBs, which is a league-most 7.2 4600 1.57 20.5 13.3 2.4
Harrison Butker Made a 50 yarder at home last week. Given Mahomes’ ankle situation, I can see KC settling for some FGs 7 4200 1.67 6 7 7
M. Valdez-Scantling Has not had more than three catches in any of his last seven games. He had two for 71 in week 13 vs. CIN 6.4 4800 1.33 9.1 DNP DNP
Chiefs DST This defense forced the 2nd most pressures in the NFL and Cincy has OL problems. Burrow is in top form and this defense wasn’t able to force a turnover last time they met 6 3800 1.58 1 3 3
Bengals DST This defense has forced turnovers and Allen had three of them last week. Allen was also sacked seven times. Given their cheap price, they are in play as well 6 3400 1.76 4 8 -1
MeCole Hardman Listed as questionable and hasn’t played in 12 weeks 5.5 3200 1.72 DNP 16 6.3
Noah Gray Never a bad min option. He plays half the game, gets a few targets, and is a  potential goal line option. Fortson could steal it from him though 3.9 1400 2.79 2.5 0 1.6
Justin Watson Did not practice Friday with an illness. Watson played more snaps than MVS last week. He is very much in play at his price with Mahomes. 3.4 2200 1.55 2.5 DNP DNP
Skyy Moore Skyy Moore should still see 15-20 snaps no matter what. However, if Watson and Hardman were both out he would be my cheap option 3.2 1200 2.67 1.2 NA N/A
Trenton Irwin He did play 25% of the snaps last week, so he is another great cheap option 2.9 2800 1.04 2.2
Mitchell Wilcox 45% of the snaps, might be able to snake a TD at $600 1.8 600 3.0 2.3

Best Values: Toney, Boyd, Perine, Hardman
Less Of: JuJu, MVS, Hurst
More Of:
Burrow, Chase, Mahomes, Kelce, Mixon, McKinnon, Pacheco, McPherson, Perine
Prediction: Bengals 26-24
Core: Burrow, Chase, TBD (Awaiting Chiefs WR status)

Bets (37-32):

  • Burrow OVER 17.5 rush yards (L3 games: 11 for 46 rushing, 5 for 25 rushing, 5 for 10 yds rushing).
  • Perine OVER 2.5 receptions
  • McPherson OVER 1.5 FGs

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