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.
On Father’s Day, the 6 p.m. ET is a matchup between a pair of teams who would be in the wild card hunt if we had virtual playoffs. After 26 sims, the Eagles are 16-10 and the Panthers are 13-13. Both teams have struggled with consistency at times but have also had very impressive wins. The two teams have played 12 times in real life with the Eagles leading the all-time series 7-5. Can Philadelphia get a key win at home as they try to keep up with the Cowboys at the top of the virtual NFC East or will the Panthers get a big road win? I’ll give you my pick to win and the players you need to consider for your showdown lineup below.
Set your FREE to play lineups here: $1K FREE Contest (CAR vs PHI)
Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.
Madden Stream: Steelers at Titans
LIVE at 10 p.m. ET
There are only five players in all of Madden with a perfect 99 overall rating, and since two of them are on the Panthers, I’d expect they’d be better than just .500. However, their playcalling and conservative tendencies have limited their effectiveness. While the offense has been underwhelming at time, the defense has been legit, led by MLB Luke Kuechly, who has a 99 overall rating. The Panthers’ DST ($3,200) thrives on the splash type of plays that make a great fantasy defense. They have recovered 21 fumbles and added on five interceptions for 26 takeaways in 26 sims to go with 56 sacks and three defensive TDs. They have at least four sacks in three of their four most recent contests and are now averaging 6.2 DKFP per sim.
The other X-Factor Superstar with a perfect rating for the Panthers is Christian McCaffrey ($10,200). Unlike in real life, he has been inconsistent and mostly a fantasy letdown. He should be great with his 99 overall rating, 97 awareness, 93 elusiveness, 98 carry, 96 juke move and 82 catching rating. He also has X-Factor of “Satellite,” which makes him an elite weapon as a receiver along with his Superstar abilities of “Spin Cycle” and “Backfield Master.” He does have a high ceiling, which he flashed in the Panthers upset of the Chiefs, running for 164 yards and a touchdown on his way to 28.3 DKFP, but he showed how much of a letdown he can be in his most recent contest, following that big game with just 6.1 DKFP. To this point of the season, he has been the definition of “boom-or-bust” with a little too much bust for someone whose salary is over $10K.
When McCaffrey struggles, Cam Newton ($10,400) needs to carry the offense, which has happened a few times but not consistently enough to make the Panthers a great team. In his two most recent contests, Cam only managed 6.2 DKFP against Kansas City and 9.8 DKFP against New Orleans. He had multiple touchdown passes in six straight before those two stinkers, though, so there is upside even though he hasn’t shown it lately. He has a 79 overall rating and solid ratings for when he is on the move, but he doesn’t typically scramble much at all. I prefer him to CMC in this matchup, since the Eagles secondary has been more a better matchup for opponents than their run defense.
The struggles in the Eagles secondary sets up a nice matchup for WR1 DJ Moore ($9,200), who has also been hit-or-miss like Cam and CMC. He had a massive game against San Francisco with 29.6 DKFP but was held totally catchless the following game against the Chiefs. He had over 11 DKFP in six straight before putting up that bagel and bounced back a little with three catches against the Saints. I like his upside in this matchup if you can afford to get him at just over $9K. He earned an in-season upgrade to Superstar abilities with “Streak Specialist,” which makes him more effective on go routes. Curtis Samuel ($5,800) has also shown upside due to an impressive 95 speed rating to go with his 80 overall rating. He only had one catch in each of his past two sims but should fare better in this matchup. He has a nice ceiling for an option under $6K.
TE Greg Olsen ($7,600) has been getting very good volume lately with 30 total catches over his past six games. He has an 88 overall rating and acts as a security blanket for Cam, just like he did in real life for many years. Like Moore, he didn’t have a single catch against Kansas City but returned to the scoresheet against the Saints. He makes sense as a solid mid-range play, although I still like Samuel’s upside a little better.
If you need value, the Panthers’ DST is a great option, but you can also look to kicker Graham Gano ($3,800), who has a 99 kick power rating and is averaging over 6.3 DKFP per sim. Another great cheap play is slot receiver Jarius Wright ($2,000) who usually is involved even though he is the team’s WR4. He has averaged 5.7 DKFP per contest even when his average is adjusted for the five games he has been shut out in. He also has a high ceiling with over 12 DKFP in two of his past four sims with a catch. Wright could bust, but in this matchup, I think the Panthers will be able to pass, meaning he should get multiple targets.
The Eagles have two key contributors on offense and either one could end up with the lion’s share of Luke Kuechly’s attention. Whichever one gets Kuechly will probably have a tough game while the other will flourish. From his MLB spot, Kuechly can either cover TE Zach Ertz ($8,200) or focus on shutting down the run game and containing Miles Sanders ($7,000). While either one is a possibility, my feeling is that he’ll focus on Sanders, which actually could set up a monster game for Ertz. Ertz has a 90 overall rating with a 91 awareness rating, a 73 strength rating and a 93 catching rating which is the highest on the team. Even though he lost his X-Factor in a midseason update, he is still “In-Out Elite,” which means he runs sharper routes and makes catches more consistently while running in and out routes. He been a beast, averaging over 15 DKFP per contest on the season and surpassing that total in four of his past five contests. He has 12 touchdowns on the sim season averaging 5.2 catches for 67.9 yards per sim, and he has been even better in his 13 home games, averaging 76.2 yards and 16.2 DKFP per contest.
Sanders has also flashed significant upside, averaging over 16 DKFP per contest. He tends to be a liitle boom-or-bust but is fairly involved as a receiver out of the backfield as well. He has a 90 speed rating and an 83 elusiveness rating, so if he gets in space he can go off for a monster performance. He has over 11 DKFP in three of his past four, but I don’t think he’s a must-own since strong run defenses have been able to slow him down, and he could see lots of Luke.
The most expensive play in this sim is Carson Wentz ($11,000). He is coming off a monster game against the Raiders, in which he threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns on his way to 27.56 DKFP. He has over 15 DKFP in four straight and is definitely my preferred QB in this matchup. He has an 83 overall rating and good accuracy ratings and can even take off and run if needed. He hasn’t been as productive as the elite QBs in these sims but has been much more reliable than Cam.
The Eagles’ WR have been boom-or-bust since Ertz and Sanders tend to soak up so much usage. Alshon Jeffery ($9,400) had 120 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders for 28 DKFP but had been held to under 6.0 DKFP in four of his previous five contests. Jeffery has an 85 overall rating which is just one point higher than WR2 DeSean Jackson’s ($6,800) 84 overall rating. Jackson has a high ceiling based on his 94 speed rating and has found the end zone in three straight sims, posting 24.8 DKFP, 18.1 DKFP and 19.3 DKFP. I like Jackson’s matchup and upside in this contest. I also like slot receiver Nelson Agholor ($5,000) although his salary is a little elevated since it’s just under both WR2, who are more heavily involved.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles’ DST ($3,600) hasn’t been the turnover machine that the Panthers DST has been with only nine takeaways in 26 sims. However, they do get pressure on the QB with 57 sacks in 26 contests. I like the Panthers a little better, but the Eagles DST could be a solid consideration if you have to spend under $4K in a flex spot.
The Panthers can play with any of the best teams in the NFL when they’re defense is at its best. However, I don’t think Kuechly can take away both Sanders and Zach Ertz ($12,300 CP), who I think makes a lot of sense in your Captain’s Pick spot. Ertz has such a high ceiling and could absolutely go off against Carolina if he gets regularly matched up against other Panthers besides Kuechly in single-coverage. I like the flier upside of D.J. Moore ($13,800 CP), but he’s a little pricey as a Captain’s Pick play, so I’d actually look at Desean Jackson ($10,200 CP) or Curtis Samuel ($8,700 CP) in that top spot if you’re going for more balance in the flex spots. The Panthers DST is definitely worth a value look along with Wright if you need to go cheap to round out your roster.
The Panthers have been so up-and-down, that I’ll take the Eagles at home behind a big game from Ertz. It should be a fun game to watch, though, so lock in your lineup and keep a close eye on where Kuechly focuses his attention since that will be a key to who has success and who struggles.
Final Score: Eagles 24, Panthers 16
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.