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.
The 2 p.m. ET matchup should be a fun one between the Redskins and the Browns from the virtual Dawg Pound. Cleveland has gone 9-13 in its 22 sims while Washington has a very similar record at 8-14. We have seen plenty of offense from both teams, though, so it should be a solid fantasy matchup despite their losing records. These two teams are scheduled to meet in real-life Cleveland during Week 3 of the upcoming season. Who will pick up the win in this matchup and what players deserve a look for your Showdown roster? I’ll give you my pick to win and my favorite fantasy options below.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
The Redskins’ offense has actually been very productive since rookie QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($10,000) has outplayed his 70 overall rating. He has an impressive 5,562 passing yards in his 22 sims for an average of 242.8 yards per game to go with 43 touchdowns passes. He has a decent 89 throw power rating and a 70 awareness rating that makes him very aggressive. When his accuracy doesn’t hold him back, he can put up monster performances. He carries a lot of the workload in the offense and has multiple touchdowns and over 17 DKFP in four of his past five games. He also has shown a high ceiling with over 28 DKFP in six of his contests this sim season.
Haskins has had to carry the load due to a mostly ineffective run game. Derrius Guice ($6,600) is the RB1, but he has only managed 5.6 DKFP per sim. He has had two monster performances with 28.1 DKFP against the Bills and 20.4 DKFP against the Jaguars, but he had been held under 6.0 DKFP in most of the rest of his contests, including seven of his past eight. Guice does have the potential to go off but costs a lot for his boom-or-bust production. He loses work every game to Chris Thompson ($2,000), who is the third-down back. In his 22 sims, Thompson has averaged 6.9 DKFP per contest and found the end zone in his most recent game on his way to 14.5 DKFP. He has only scored a pair of touchdowns during this sim season but is always involved as a receiver out of the backfield as well as picking p a few carries. He has been a good return on investment with over 6.0 DKFP in five of his past eight.
The other pass-catchers for Washington also have some nice value to offer as well. Terry McLaurin ($9,400) has an 81 overall rating, a 93 speed and an 80 elusiveness rating, which gives him big-time playmaking abilities after the catch. He has found the end zone and produced double-digit DKFP in three of his past four sims but is only averaging 12.1 DKFP per contest. You can definitely roll with him if you’re looking for an option in this price-range, but the rest of the WR depth chart has more to offer on a per-dollar basis. WR2 Paul Richardson ($5,800), who also has a 93 speed rating is much, much more affordable and has averaged 13.9 DKFP per sim despite a 78 overall rating. He has been held under 10 DKFP in each of his past three games but could be due for a big performance. He has over 100 yards in four sims including an extremely rare 200-yard game against the Bucs. He has an extremely high ceiling and can dominate when at his best. Washington’s WR3 and slot receiver is Trey Quinn ($3,800), who also comes loaded with upside. He is averaging 11.7 DKFP per sim, which is almost more than McLaurin, who costs almost $6K more. Quinn had two catchless games early on the sim season, which hurts his average. Quinn had a quiet game against the Texans with just 4.8 DKFP but had over 9.0 DKFP in five straight sims before that, highlighted by a monster 32.6 DKFP performance against the Titans.
Another key piece of the passing game in Washington has been TE Jordan Reed ($8,000), who has an 84 overall rating, making him the highest-rated of Washington’s fantasy options. He has over 12 DKFP in three straight contests and in nine of his past 15. The Browns have been very beatable by tight ends and Reed is averaging 4.1 catches per sim, showing the volume is there for him to have another good game.
Washington’s passing game is definitely in a matchup I like and comes at affordable salaries, so I like getting as many as I can in the lineup against a struggling Browns secondary. Normally, I look to DST and kickers for value options, but I don’t love any of the options in this contest. Washington K Dustin Hopkins ($3,600) has been the most productive option of the bunch averaging 6.3 DKFP per sim. He has higher ratings than Browns K Austin Seibert ($4,000), who also has been shut out in two games, meaning his adjusted average to include those contests is 5.5 DKFP per contest.
The Browns had high expectations coming into the 2019 season and actually had five players with Superstar or X-Factor status at launch. However, the in-season updates reflected their underwhelming performance and their ratings sank and many players were downgraded. At the end of the season, which is the rosters used for these Madden Streams, the Browns were left with just two players with Superstar status. Nick Chubb ($8,400) actually didn’t have Superstar abilities to start the season but was added and has the X-Factor of “Freight Train,” which he can activate along with the Superstar abilities of “Arm Bar” and “Bulldozer.” Chubb has a 92 overall rating and 92 speed rating, giving him a blend of power and speed that gives him a high ceiling. The problem for Chubb is that he doesn’t usually get enough work to be a reliable option. He has only averaged 8.6 DKFP per sim and hasn’t reached 7.0 DKFP in nine straight games. He typically loses a lot of work to RB2 Kareem Hunt ($4,200), who is the third-down back and is averaging 6.6 DKFP per sim. Hunt has an 88 overall rating with a 90 speed rating and would be the starting RB on almost any team but this one. He can be a great option for saving salary but hasn’t been as consistent as Washington’s cheap plays.
The most expensive option in this matchup is the Browns’ other Superstar, Odell Beckham Jr. ($10,800). Even after losing his X-Factor in-season, he still has a 90 overall rating with a 94 speed rating and a perfect 99 spectacular catch rating, so there is still plenty of potential for him to go off. He had three touchdowns and 33.7 DKFP recently against the Chiefs, showing off his high ceiling, but has been held under 20 DKFP in each of his five games since including, producing under 10 DKFP in three of his past four. Based on ratings, the Redskins don’t have any defenders who can slow down Beckham, so it really comes down to how often and effectively Beckham is targeted. He is averaging just under 75 yards per sim and has scored an impressive 17 touchdowns in 22 games. There’s a good reason he’s so expensive in such a favorable matchup.
WR2 Jarvis Landry ($7,000) has a 84 overall rating and a 90 catching rating, but he hasn’t had a huge game lately. He has just 88 catches in his 22 sims and had a pair of games with no catches at all. When he is involved, he has potential, but remains a little inconsistent for someone priced so highly. Damion Ratley ($4,800) is the Browns’ WR3 and has flashed potential in these sims. Ratley has only a 69 overall rating, but his upside is due mostly to his 93 speed rating. He has been quiet in his past two games but did have a long touchdown against the Steelers for 14.9 DKFP three sims ago.
The Browns’ most reliable option lately has been David Njoku ($7,600), who has either a touchdown or at least 70 yards in six of his past seven games. He is up to 106 receptions on the sim-season, which ties him for the team lead with Beckham. He has an 80 overall rating and has shown a high ceiling along with heavy volume lately.
Most of the Browns’ inconsistent production is due to the up-and-down production from Baker Mayfield ($10,000). He started the season with Superstar abilities and a 83 overall rating at game launch, but finished the season without any Superstar abilities and just a 76 overall rating. He has had a few good games, including over 23 DKFP in four of five contests at one point during the season, but he has been pretty awful lately with under 12 DKFP in three of his past four contests. Mayfield has the lowest awareness rating of any starting QB in Madden at just 67, and he has been alarmingly bad at home. He has averaged just 14.7 DKFP in his 11 sims in Cleveland while putting up a significantly better 21.2 DKFP in his 11 sims on the road.
With Mayfield’s struggles recently and especially at home, it’s hard to count on any of the Browns for Captain’s Picks aside from Odell Beckham ($16,200 CP), who comes at a huge cost in the Captain’s spot. I’d actually lean towards using one of the Redskins options since Jordan Reed ($12,000 CP), Paul Richardson Jr. ($8,700 CP) and Trey Quinn ($5,700 CP) are such good options at very affordable prices. If you think Washington will spread the passing wealth around, you could even go with Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($15,000 CP) as your Captain’s Pick and use Thompson, Quinn, Richardson and maybe even Hopkins as salary-savers.
The fact that this game is in Cleveland actually makes me like Washington even more to come out the winner. The Browns are only 3-8 at home, and Mayfield has been pretty bad in home contests as noted above. Washington has actually gone 6-5 on the road, where Haskins is averaging over 20 DKFP in his 11 road contests. I’ll roll with the rookie and the Redskins on the road.
Final Score: Redskins 27, Browns 21
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.