We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing its part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Bengals and Texans game that’ll take place at 6 p.m. ET Friday evening.
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The settings for this and all other Madden games are as follows:
Game Style: Arcade
Event Type: Exhibition
Even Teams: Off
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
Accelerated Clock: On
Play Clock: 20 seconds
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When it comes to comparing the two quarterbacks in this game, Andy Dalton ($10,000) is certainly the weaker of the two. He enters this game averaging 15.8 DKFP with an average of 229 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and four interceptions. Aside from his 18.2 DKFP performance in his last game, Dalton has really been struggling as of late, averaging just 12.5 DKFP over his past five games. With Deshaun Watson being a mobile quarterback, it just adds a different dynamic to him and gives him much more upside compared to Dalton, who has a total of 27 rushing yards through 26 games.
Dalton does have some viable receivers to use despite his struggles. One of the best values on the team has been John Ross ($4,200), who is averaging 11 DKFP, 3.3 receptions, 50 receiving yards and eight touchdowns scored. While he doesn’t get the volume, his average DKFP output is right in line with some of the more expensive guys like A.J. Green ($9,800) at 11.6 and Tyler Boyd ($7,600) at 11.4. Green does get the volume with an average of 4.1 receptions and 56.3 yards per game, but he’s only reached the end zone six times through 26 games. If anything, Green feels more like a fade in this spot with Boyd not far behind with his numbers, averaging 3.7 receptions, 50.8 yards and nine touchdowns scored. The Texans have the more expensive receivers I want to pay up for so I’m completely fine with leaving Green on the board and using Boyd and Ross. The Texans also aren’t the best team against opposing tight ends, so Tyler Eifert ($6,800) is also an option to consider. He’s another strong volume guy at a mid-tier salary, averaging 3.6 receptions with 43.1 yards and eight touchdowns scored.
Joe Mixon ($9,000) has some pretty poor numbers across the board but he’s used in the red zone frequently. Mixon has rushed in 13 touchdowns but has just 38.5 rushing yards per game. He doesn’t catch out of the backfield with just 13 receptions through 26 games so he’s a very, very risky play, especially if he doesn’t score. Gio Bernard ($2,600) is the guy you want if you need salary savings, as he’s averaging 2.6 receptions and 23.7 rushing yards per game.
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With this being only a single-entry contest, the ownership will be heavily weighted on the Texans and especially Deshaun Watson ($10,800). As I mentioned, he is the far superior option compared to Dalton and his legs are a huge reason why. He’s averaging 218 passing yards and has thrown 45 touchdowns through 26 games, which is great. The biggest appeal is his 48.2 rushing yards to go with nine touchdowns that he’s run in on his own. Having that type of duel threat is extremely enticing and is a huge reason why he’s averaging 22.5 DKFP.
When Watson isn’t running the ball, he’s trying to get it in the hands of his WR1 DeAndre Hopkins ($10,400). As you’d expect, Hopkins is seeing some heavy volume in his (former) offense, averaging 4.3 receptions, 68.7 receiving yards and scoring 19 times. To be fair, Hopkins has been a real bust of late, averaging just 10.4 DKFP. It makes you question if he’s worth paying up for or not and while he has the ability and the ceiling, he’s been posting a scary floor as of late at his salary. Will Fuller ($6,400) always has one of, if not the best speed in a particular game at 95. Only John Ross has a better rating in this game at 97. Still, even with the speed, Fuller is averaging just 11.4 DKFP with an 3.5 receptions, 47 yards and 13 touchdowns scored. Like Hopkins as of late, his floor is scary and he’s averaging just 9.2 DKFP over his past five games. The problem is, these players no doubt have the ability to totally pop off and I honestly believe this could be one of those spots. The Texans also have one of the cheaper TE1s with Darren Fells ($5,400). Sure, he’s only scored four times but his four receptions and 37.1 yards per game at just $5,400 is nothing to scoff at. The ultimate value play is with Keke Coutee ($1,800). He’s only grabbed just over two receptions per game and 33.6 yards but with how cheap he is, he will help you fit in some of the pricier options.
I’m very curious on where Lamar Miller ($8,400) will land with his ownership. He’s been catching more lately and it’s lead him to some stellar performances lately. Over his past five games, he’s averaging 17.4 DKFP with four touchdowns scored. At his salary, if he continues to perform as he has, it would be quite the steal.
The top captain by far is Deshaun Watson ($16,200 CP), but it’s quite the hefty price tag. It really limits what you can do with the rest of your roster and quite frankly, his receivers have been extremely inconsistent as of late. However, you won’t get a group of guys who have as high of a ceiling as they do. I don’t mind taking a shot with someone like John Ross ($6,300) and hoping his game-high speed rating will overcome his coverage.
Final Score: Bengals 20, Texans 27
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.