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 Cardinals-Bears game that’ll take place at 12 p.m. ET Friday afternoon.
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This one has the potential to get ugly. I’m not going to mince words here: the Cardinals have been arguably the worst team throughout these Madden simulations, a fact evidenced by the squad’s NFC-low eight wins in 28 games. In particular, it’s been Arizona’s offense letting down the virtual franchise, and as you might expect, no player embodies these struggles more than Kyler Murray ($11,200). Don’t get me wrong, the rookie’s ability to scramble is a welcomed skill-set in DFS and he’s easily been the Cardinals’ best asset; however, he’s also failed to throw even a single touchdown on 13 different occasions. That inconsistency doesn’t seem to bode well heading into a matchup with a very good Bears DST ($3,600). Murray remains viable almost out of necessity, yet I wouldn’t be giving serious consideration to Captaining the first-round pick.
The other issue with Murray’s sporadic production is how it lowers the ceiling of every wideout on Arizona’s roster. It’s actually a fantasy quandary best illustrated by Buffalo’s Josh Allen. How do you go about stacking a Showdown slate when a QB’s propensity to tuck and run is generally his most successful DFS trait? Murray’s only exceeded 20.0 DKFP seven times in these streams and, in six of those seven contests, he either rushed for 70-plus yards or scrambled for a touchdown. That’s not exactly something that correlates well with the upside of Larry Fitzgerald ($9,800), Charles Clay ($6,400) or Christian Kirk ($6,200). It’s for this reason that I’d choose to be frugal at the WR position. While Fitzgerald does lead the Cardinals in receptions (119) and yards (1,241), he’s also averaged a measly 8.6 DKFP in Arizona’s prior 14 simulations on the road. I’d rather save some salary with Clay, who’s producing a respectable 4.5 catches per game across his last eight appearances; or someone like Damiere Byrd ($4,600), who’s 95 speed rating opens up the possibility of big, slate-changing plays.
Finally, let’s break down the Cardinals’ crowded backfield. To simplify matters slightly, unlike in real-life, Chase Edmonds ($1,400) isn’t involved in this committee at all. It’s only Kenyan Drake ($8,600) and David Johnson ($2,600) and that actually makes assessing each player’s viability pretty easy. There’s just no way to feel comfortable about using Drake. With the former Dolphin excluded from the passing attack, Drake’s failed to score at least 5.0 DKFP in seven of the Cardinals’ last eight simulations, while he’s only reached the 10.0 DKFP plateau once in his 28 total opportunities. Now, it’s not as if Johnson is the picture of consistency, either; yet he has reached that modest threshold in nine games and he has registered three touchdowns in his past two appearances. Plus, crucially, he’s priced at less than $3K. When it comes to an offense that struggles to score, the best upside is inexpensive upside.
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From a certain angle, Chicago’s offensive system might look somewhat similar to Arizona’s, at least in the sense that things are lead by a duel-threat quarterback that tends to concentrate the roster’s potential fantasy impact. The difference is, where the aforementioned Murray has almost come up empty as often as he’s thrived, Mitch Trubisky ($11,000) has generally performed as one of the best assets in these Madden streams. While the results have been somewhat underwhelming in the former first-round pick’s past four starts, Trubisky exceeded 20.0 DKFP in eight of the nine games he played in prior to this recent stretch. Basically, the pivot has one heck of a ceiling. Trubisky’s managed to eclipse the 30.0 DKFP plateau four times and he holds the record for most rushing yards (139) and rushing touchdowns (3) by a quarterback in a single simulation. Maybe $200 isn’t worth get heated over, yet there’s no way to justify Trubisky being cheaper than Murray on this slate.
You’ll also notice some difference between the two teams when it comes to the success of the Bears’ receiving corps. There’s a chance you’ll have to fade Allen Robinson ($10,600) based solely on price – as I believe the proper build involves rostering both QBs – but don’t twist that narrative into a lack of production. In fact, Robinson’s hauled in 11 touchdowns in his past 11 streams – a figure that would easily make him the Cardinals’ team-leader for the “season” as a whole. Still, more affordable targets like Trey Burton ($7,800) and Taylor Gabriel ($7,000) are also viable options, with the tight end specifically standing out. Burton just possesses an enticing floor, as the former Eagle’s 113 receptions give him the most of any person in a Chicago uniform. Has he done less with that volume than Robinson? Of course. However, in a full-point PPR setting, sometimes the volume is all you need.
Alright, we’ve reached the point where I guess I’m obligated to bring up David Montgomery ($7,200). Here’s the lone positive thing I can say about the rookie RB in the context of these streams: He’s got slightly more value than the previously mentioned Drake. That’s it. That’s the nicest thing I can muster when discussing a back that’s failed to exceed 15.0 DKFP in all 27 games in which he’s appeared. To be fair, none of this is really Montgomery’s fault, he just happens to be the man most effected by Trubisky’s elite scrambling ability. To wit, Chicago’s “goal line” running back has scored a measly four rushing touchdowns coming into Friday’s slate. Trubisky’s used his legs to get into the end zone 10 times. Tarik Cohen ($2,800) isn’t a fantasy savior by any means, but if you’re looking to get a piece of this backfield, he’s the lone asset I’d be willing to get exposure to.
Both Mitch Trubisky ($16,500 CP) and Kyler Murray share a tantalizing archetype at the QB position. Each man can rack up fantasy points with their arm, but as shown time and time again, it’s their ability to run that puts their ceilings so high. I’d recommend finding a way to get both into your lineup for what I’d expect to be a pretty low-scoring contest; however, it’s only Trubisky that I’d consider in the Captain’s slot. With decent values like Trey Burton, Charles Clay, David Johnson and the Bears’ DST, you’ll be able to work around the quarterback’s $16K salary.
Final Score: Chicago 17, Arizona 7
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