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 Steelers and Texans game that’ll take place at 8 p.m. ET Thursday evening.
Madden Stream: Jets at Chiefs
LIVE at 10 p.m. ET
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
For all info on settings and upcoming games, click HERE
Set your free to play lineups here: Madden Stream $10K FREE Game of the Week Contest [5 Entry Max] (PIT vs HOU)
Ben Roethlisberger ($11,000) went over the 50 touchdown threshold last night in a loss to the Patriots. On the season, he’s now thrown 51 TDs with 10 interceptions while averaging 227 passing yards through 28 games. He hasn’t been bad in these simulations, but he hasn’t exactly been living up to his high salary as of late. Over his past five games, Big Ben is averaging 14.8 DKFP and 232 passing yards. When you consider that on the other side sports an extremely mobile quarterback who is only $400 more, it’s hard to be excited about Roethlisberger. The only salvation here is that this is a five-entry max contest, meaning you have multiple opportunities to get your lineup right.
JuJu Smith-Schuster ($9,600) comes into this game averaging 4.5 receptions, 65.1 yards and 16 touchdowns scored. He’s been seeing some heavy volume, especially lately, making at least six receptions and scoring three times in three of his past five games. The Texans do have some speed in the secondary but he’s also the second-highest rated offensive player in this game at 86. If you’re not looking to spend up on a Steelers receiver, you’re in luck because the team boasts a good amount of cheapies. Vance McDonald ($6,400) continues to be one of the cheaper TE1 in these sims despite averaging four receptions, 51.8 yards and nine touchdowns scored. His yardage can be a disappointment at times but for the most part, he’s seen some good volume considering his salary. James Washington ($5,000) continues to be one of my favorite plays on the Steelers at his mid-range price. His volume can be inconsistent at times but he’s still scored 14 times, which isn’t far off from the more expensive JuJu. Diontae Johnson ($4,400) actually dropped $400 fresh off his 18.1 DKFP performance against the Patriots after making three receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. He’s gone three games without making a catch but again, he’s seeing some looks in the red zone, which you can’t beat at this price tag.
If you haven’t noticed, James Conner ($7,800) stinks in these simulations so don’t even bother with him. He’s so extremely overpriced despite him topping the RB depth chart, as he’s averaging just 6.5 DKFP. Jaylen Samuels ($1,000) will help you fit the pieces you need in your roster and he won’t necessarily hurt you either. Despite scoring only once, Samuels is averaging 38.3 scrimmage yards, which is more than enough at his minimum salary.
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Deshaun Watson ($11,400) is the reason why I’m not necessarily looking to use Roethlisberger. With five entries, it’s worth getting some exposure to Big Ben, but I’d be looking to be in heavily on Watson. His ceiling is much higher due to him using his legs often, as he’s rushed in for nine touchdowns and 47 yards per game. Through the air, he’s only averaging 218 yards but has 48 touchdowns thrown and nine interceptions. The duel threat has given him an average of 22.2 DKFP, which is by far the highest in this game and one of the top in all of the Madden sim land.
If you’ve been pairing Watson with his WR1 in Deandre Hopkins ($10,800), it hasn’t exactly gone well lately. Hopkins, despite being a 98 overall, is averaging just 11.8 DKFP over his past five games. Despite the lackluster performances, he’s a scary player to fade, as we’ve seen him go for 25-plus DKFP in seven games. In this situation, I’d be looking to take Watson more, over Hopkins. If it’s a speedy receiver you crave, Will Fuller V ($7,000) is your man. His 95-speed rating is the best in this game and he’s coming off a monster performance against the Raiders, scoring twice on six receptions for 138 yards. Like Hopkins, he has massive potential but Fuller does provide a $3,800 discount, for what it’s worth. Another value to consider is KeKe Coutee ($2,400), who has been the Chester Rogers of sorts for the Texans. Coutee is averaging 2.5 receptions, 30 receiving yards and four touchdowns in these sims. He isn’t a double-digit fantasy guy but at his salary, grabbing a couple of receptions while jamming in some high-priced guys is enticing. You could either use Coutee or pay way up for Kenny Stills ($6,600), who has nine total receptions.
Lamar Miller ($8,600) looks overpriced when you see he’s averaging just 8.7 DKFP overall. However, over his past five games, that average has jumped dramatically to 14.8. He’s been carrying the ball a lot more and has scored three touchdowns over that five-game span. This isn’t the best matchup by any means but you could potentially get some low ownership on him if people are simply judging by his 8.7 DKFP average.
We have five entries to toy with so you can try and cover all bases and use a number of different guys in the captain spot. Among this player pool, my two favorite options that aren’t quarterbacks are Vance McDonald ($9,600 CP) and Will Fuller V ($10,500). McDonald brings the volume while Fuller and his speed can always be such a difference-maker.
Final Score: Steelers 24, 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.