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Jahnke: Best 2022 NFL AFC & NFC Championship player props bets

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) waives after converting a third down during the game winning final Cincinnati Bengals drive in the fourth quarter of the NFL game on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Bengals defeated Kansas City Chiefs 34-31. Cincinnati Bengals And The Kansas City Chiefs 481

The conference championship weekend is here, and it's time to take advantage of some high-value player props.

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My picks went 2-1 last week. Tee Higgins started strong against the Tennessee Titans, catching five passes for 71 yards in the first half. He reached the over on his reception prop early in the third quarter and was barely involved in the offense for the rest of the game. Josiah Deguara was held without a catch on one target in the following game, as Dominique Dafney led the Packers tight ends in targets with two. This left Deguara comfortably under 2.5 receptions. Cole Beasley’s 60-yard performance was the one miss, as I expected him to stay under 30 yards. His playing time remained lower than usual, but his threat rate jumped up to 32% despite hovering around at 20% in the regular season. His 10 yards per reception also exceeded his regular-season average.

This article's record now stands at 30-23 on the season

Leverage PFF's player props tool to find the most valuable bets to make during the conference championship round.

RB Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers: Over 11.5 receiving yards (-111)

Mitchell is the 49ers' early-down back when healthy, playing in 79% of the 49ers' offensive snaps on first and second downs in his last six games. He’s not considered a receiving back, but he’s still running routes whenever San Francisco throws. His ability to gain over 10.5 receiving yards is heavily tied to how much the 49ers need to pass on early downs. He’s averaging 16 receiving yards per game when running 11 or more routes, and zero receiving yards when running 10 or fewer.

The 49ers are underdogs in this game despite beating the Los Angeles Rams twice during the regular season. Mitchell has caught more passes in their losses than wins, and he also catches more passes when Jimmy Garoppolo is under pressure. The Rams have the best pass rush in the league by PFF grade, but they haven’t had great games against San Francisco so far this season. Nonetheless, Los Angeles' pass rush should turn things around in this game.

All Mitchell needs is one good catch, or two OK ones, to hit the over.

Mitchell receiving stats in 49ers loses
Week Routes Targets Receptions Yards
5 16 2 2 19
7 15 0 0 0
9 28 5 5 43
13 16 3 3 18

It’s worth noting that Mitchell is dealing with a knee injury, but it shouldn’t impact his playing time.

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