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 Chargers and Falcons on Thursday afternoon.
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Game Style: Arcade
Event Type: Exhibition
Even Teams: Off
Quarter Length: 8 minutes
Accelerated Clock: On
Play Clock: 20 seconds
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Philip Rivers ($10,600) arguably has the best WR duo in the Madden sims so far, which has led to plenty of success for himself. Yet somehow, we’ve still only seen Rivers exceed 30 DKFP once, but if there’s a matchup that dictates another outburst, it’s at the Falcons. Atlanta has one of the worst secondaries in Madden and has given up some of the biggest games we’ve seen out of QBs.
Keenan Allen ($9,400) and Mike Williams ($6,200) are both obviously in play. While I want exposure to both, Williams is the one for me when it comes down to it. He’s made the bigger plays out of the WR2 spot, and downfield threats have the ability to break this sim open.
Travis Benjamin ($4,800) is a nice value consideration. He brings 20-DKFP upside and has found the end zone an impressive 12 times so far in the sims.
Hunter Henry ($7,800) may be coming off a string of his best performances, but don’t let that momentum trick you into believing he’s a strong play. Henry’s overpriced and has difficulty producing with all the offense that flows through the WRs.
With so many good places to pay up in the passing game, we’re definitely not burning a chunk of salary on Melvin Gordon ($7,000). In 27 sims, Gordon’s only reached 10 or more DKFP four times. No upside at a high salary is an easy fade for me. Austin Ekeler ($2,800) is essentially the exact same play, maybe with even more consistency, for significantly less than half the cost.
Matt Ryan ($10,800) has been a very consistent play and nearly identical to Rivers. I’m all for rostering Ryan if you have the salary, but not until Rivers is in my lineup first. The matchup against the Falcons easily gives the nod in upside to Rivers.
Julio Jones ($10,200), interestingly, is where I will start to fade studs. He could easily make me look bad, coming off consecutive sims with over 26 DKFP, but he doesn’t do that as often as he should for where he’s priced. We like a lot of stars in this game, so at some point, we have to draw the line.
I’d much rather take the savings on Calvin Ridley ($6,400), who actually has the same number of 20-DKFP sims as Jones. Ridley has a WR1 skillset, but draws matchups against lesser cornerbacks, leading to big-play ability.
Russell Gage ($4,600) also has some upside as the lesser-known WR3 but comes with a much lower floor than the other WRs. He’s a very dicey play, but you’ll get low ownership on him. It’s not often a WR4 even gets targeted in Madden, but Justin Hardy ($2,000) has three touchdowns, making him worth mentioning.
The TE position has been crucial in these sims, but Austin Hooper ($8,200) is just too overpriced. Hooper doesn’t average double-digit DKFP, which you can get some both WR2 plays for almost $2,000 less.
We’ll end on a high note with Devonta Freeman ($8,800), who’s been one of the most explosive players in the game. He’s the every-down back for the Falcons, leaving him as a pretty safe and constant play. But you wouldn’t expect the 40-DKFP upside, which he’s flashed twice in his past three sims — 34.9 DKFP against Tampa and 45.7 DKFP against Denver. He’s always worth rostering on upside alone.
Final Score: Chargers 31, Falcons 27
The Chargers’ passing attack has the largest advantage in the sim, so that’s where I want my exposure at CPT. Paying all the way up to Philip Rivers ($15,900 CP) is ideal if you have it, but I’m also comfortable with Mike Williams ($9,300 CP) if you want a more balanced build.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.