With real-life sports in the midst of an extended time out, DraftKings has been helping to fill the void with some very entertaining simulated sports action. Each day, there are six Madden Streams and eight free contests, with a single-game Showdown for each game along with a pair of classic contests. Each of the simulations is played out via an online Madden Stream using Madden 2020 with rosters and ratings from the end of the 2019-20 season. In this format, you can enjoy watching the game stream on the DK Live app or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team rack up some big fantasy points.
The “Madden after Dark” matchup for Friday at 10 p.m. ET is the Dolphins and the Packers from virtual Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers have lost the division lead in the virtual NFC North but are still a solid 17-9 in their 26 sims, which would be good enough to get them into the playoffs if they started today. The Dolphins, on the other hand, are just 9-17, but they have played some very entertaining games and pulled off a few upsets recently. These two teams met most recently on the real field in Week 10 of the 2018 season when the Packers won 31-12. Can Green Bay get a similar win in this simulated matchup or will the Dolphins be able to get a nice road win on the frozen tundra? I’ll give you my pick to win and the players you need to consider for your showdown lineup below.
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Madden Stream: Dolphins at Packers
LIVE at 10 p.m. ET
The player with the highest overall Madden rating for Miami is DeVante Parker ($9,200) with his 84 overall rating, which is a full five points higher than any other fantasy option from Miami. He’s actually pretty affordable for a WR1 and has shown some huge upside when given volume due to his 91 speed rating. He is averaging 14.0 DKFP per contest and has double-digit DKFP in eight of his past 10 contests, including a massive 44.8-DKFP performance against the Falcons. Parker will have a tough matchup against a good Packers secondary led by CB Jaire Alexander in this contest, but he still has one of the highest ceilings on the Dolphins if you can get his salary under your cap.
The most productive player for the Dolphins has been Ryan Fitzpatrick ($10,800), who has averaged 16.7 DKFP per sim. While he has often out-played his 74 overall rating, he also has a low floor and has been a bust in several of his contest. Recently, though, he has been pretty good with four straight games of multiple touchdown passes and two games during that stretch with over 29 DKFP. Like Parker, he isn’t as consistent as the higher-rated options on the Green Bay side of things, but he still does come with that high ceiling.
Aside from a game where he was held oddly catchless, the most reliable option in Miami’s passing game has been TE Mike Gesicki ($7,600). Gesicki had over 11 DKFP in three straight games before posting just 6.8 DKFP in his most recent sim in a tough matchup against the 49ers. The Packers have a solid secondary but have been beatable by TEs. Gesicki’s solid 79 overall rating is enhanced by an 85 catching rating and an 85 spectacular catching rating which are enough to make him a solid play in this matchup.
The other Dolphins’ WRs have been boom-or-bust lately. Albert Wilson ($5,200) is the slot receiver and WR2 and has a 91 overall speed rating. He had two games with over 27 DKFP but then didn’t manage a single catch in a high-scoring game against the Texans. He bounced back with a score and 13.4 DKFP against the 49ers, giving him double-digit DKFP in each of his past four games with a catch around that weird outlier. Wilson has the speed to make big plays but can also disappear in some matchups. Wilson’s usage seems directly opposite Jakeem Grant ($4,800), who has a blazing 96 speed rating. He had a monster 31.9 DKFP against the Texans while Wilson was catchless, and Grant has over 11 DKFP in four straight. He can be boom-or-bust but that speed give him good upside.
The Miami backfield is a timeshare that has limited the value of both Kalen Ballage ($6,800) and Patrick Laird ($1,000). Ballage has only averaged 4.8 DKFP per sim and is a hard pass for me at his 70 overall rating. Laird, though, is intriguing since he has played in all 26 sims and is averaging 6.8 DKFP as the power back and third-down back for the Dolphins. He had 88 receiving yards two games ago against Houston, showing off his ceiling with 16.9 DKFP even though he didn’t get into the end zone in that contest.
I’m passing on the Dolphins special teams and defensive options in this matchup since I prefer the Packers’ affordable plays.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers offense has been pretty productive behind QB Aaron Rodgers ($11,600), who comes in as a very highly-priced option in this contest. He only threw one touchdown in their most recent game and has actually been held under 14 DKFP in three of his past four contests and under 20 DKFP in five of his past six. He has been better at home in these sims, though, averaging 19.0 DKFP per sim at Lambeau. Rodgers has an 89 overall rating along with the X-Factor of “Gambler.” After he makes multiple consecutive passes for five-plus yards in the air, Rodgers cannot be intercepted by AI defenders, which is all of them in this case. That ability is part of how he has racked up 36 touchdowns with only four interceptions in his 20 sims. He is also loaded with Superstar abilities of “Pass Lead Elite,” “Dashing Deadeye” and “Roaming Deadeye” which help his accuracy and range in specific situations, including when he’s on the run. Even though he hasn’t been awesome lately, he should excel against an iffy Dolphins’ secondary.
The highest-rated skill player in the game is Davante Adams ($10,600), which is why his salary is also a bit on the high side. He has the Superstar abilities are “Red Zone Threat,” giving him a better chance to win contested catches against single coverage in the red zone, and “Double-Move Elite,” which increases his success when running double moves. He has 18 touchdowns in his 26 sims including four in his six most recent contests. In each of those four games, Adams has at least DKFP, a level he has reached in 12 of his past 17 sims. He can be a bit boom-or-bust but there’s no denying his upside in this juicy matchup.
The rest of the Packers’ pass-catchers have been even more inconsistent than Adams but have flashed upside as well. Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,000) remains a very affordable WR2 because of his 73 overall rating, but his impressive 93 speed rating gives him boom-or-bust potential. He has only scored 11 or more DKFP once in his past six contests, though, so he may be a bit overpriced. Allen Lazard ($4,600) is the WR3 with a 70 overall rating, but he has been much less involved than WR4 Geronimo Allison ($2,200) since Allison works as the team’s primary slot receiver and has a 73 solid overall rating. Allison blew up for three touchdown catches and 33.5 DKFP against the Giants two sims ago but came back to earth a bit with 7.2 DKFP against the Chargers in his most recent sim. However, even that level is a nice return at this salary, so roll with the very affordable option again in this matchup if you need to save salary. TE Jimmy Graham ($8,400) has a solid 80 overall rating, which is better than all the WRs besides Adams, but he has been very hit-or-miss, so I don’t think he’s worth paying up for especially when compared to Parker and Gesicki from Miami who are just above and below him on the salary structure.
Another Packer I’m avoiding is Aaron Jones ($9,800), even though he has 10 scores in his 26 sims and a solid 87 overall rating. The problem with Jones is that he loses so much work to Jamaal Williams ($2,800), who is both the third-down RB and the power back. Williams has a decent 78 overall rating and carves out enough work to be viable. He will almost always give you something, but his ceiling isn’t all that high. I’d prefer Allison to Williams and take a look at both Ks and DST, if you can afford them, before going to Williams.
The Packers’ DST ($4,000) has been one of the better units in our sims with 65 sacks in 25 games. They don’t create as many turnovers as the Panthers, Vikings, Jets or Seahawks but they can make plays and limit opponents, which sets up well for them against the Dolphins. They’re coming off 12 DKFP in their most recent sim against a solid Chargers’ offense. If you want a kicker, Mason Crosby ($4,200) has been solid, averaging 7.2 DKFP per sim and posting at least 9.0 DKFP in six of his past eight contests.
With some nice value options, I think you can pay up for Davante Adams ($15,900 CP) as your Captain’s Pick or even stretch to go with Aaron Rodgers ($17,400 CP) if you think he’ll light up the Dolphins. If you want a pivot play, Mike Gesicki ($11,400 CP) has a nice mismatch and Albert Wilson ($7,800 CP) has a high ceiling but is a boom-or-bust option. Geronimo Allison, Mason Crosby and the Packers DST are all great value plays if you need to squeeze players under your salary cap.
The Packers have been pretty consistent at home, but the Dolphins have managed to keep games close even against good opponents. I don’t see Miami pulling the upset, but I don’t think it will be a blowout either. I’ll take the Packers in a close contest.
Final Score: Packers 30, Dolphins 24
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.