We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing their part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Chargers vs. Panthers matchup, which will take place at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 11.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
Los Angeles Chargers
Phillip Rivers ($11,200) is not only the most expensive player in this game, but he’s also the man with the best overall DKFP average at 17.7. It’s easy to look at his game log and see that he hasn’t exactly been crushing it lately, but he still is averaging 243 passing yards per game with 62 touchdowns thrown and 12 interceptions. Between the two quarterbacks in this game, he feels like the safer play.
The two receivers you want to focus on in this offense are Mike Williams ($7,200) and Keenan Allen ($10,000). These two combined are essentially the Chargers offense, and their numbers do the talking. Despite being the WR2, Williams has the second-highest DKFP average with 16.8 DKFP per sim with a catch, thanks to an average of 4.2 receptions and 70.5 receiving yards with 22 touchdowns scored. He could easily be much more expensive, so for me, he’s someone I’m always locking in when the Chargers play. Allen is harder to get into your lineup because of how expensive he is, but he’s the volume king in this offense. Allen is averaging a ridiculous 5.3 receptions, 71.6 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns scored. Pairing all three together essentially covers you for what offense the Chargers generate. If you want to look elsewhere, Travis Benjamin ($5,400) is a decent WR3. He doesn’t generate many looks with his 2.5 receptions, but he has scored 13 times. Hunter Henry ($6,400) has finally seen his salary come down to a reasonable level. He has only scored four times, which is a huge knock against him. Otherwise, he’s seeing 3.7 receptions and 44.3 yards per game.
If you’re taking a running back in this game, I’d only be looking toward Austin Ekeler ($3,200) at his cheap salary. He’s making over two receptions per game and has scored five times through 32 games. With how cheap he is, he’ll help offset some of the salary burden you’ll take on with the more expensive players.
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As mentioned, I do prefer using Rivers over Cam Newton ($10,600). Newton has been better lately, but he’s too inconsistent for me at the quarterback position. The Chargers also have some tough cornerbacks that Newton will have to try and get some passes against, whereas the Chargers have a softer matchup overall.
D.J. Moore ($8,800) has been earning his keep as the WR1 in this offense, averaging 13.4 DKFP overall and 15.5 over his last five games. He’s seeing four receptions and 54.8 yards per game while scoring 15 times. He’s cheaper than Keenan Allen by a fairly big margin despite having the same role on the depth chart. He, along with Curtis Samuel ($6,200), has been generating the most noise in this offense lately. Samuel, backed by his speed, is averaging 3.8 receptions, 50.2 yards and 14 touchdowns scored. His numbers are extremely similar to those of Moore, and that makes him by favorite play on the Panthers. Quite frankly, you can’t get a better bang for your buck than Samuel has been providing. Greg Olsen ($6,800) is another player seeing decent volume, but his price tag being $600 more than Samuel doesn’t make much sense. With 3.7 receptions and 54.5 yards per game, Olsen is a fine addition, but I would make sure I have Samuel in my lineup first.
Christian McCaffrey ($9,800) continues to be one of the hardest players to roster in these simulations. We all know his talent, and he’s one of five players who have a 99 overall rating in Madden. Despite that, he’s averaging only 13.7 DKFP with 76 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns scored through 33 games. It’s not exactly the type of numbers I want to see when spending nearly the same amount of money on for someone like Allen, who does get the consistent work.
Both WR2 on these teams make for excellent captain picks. I love the idea of using either Mike Williams ($10,800 CP) or Curtis Samuel ($9,300 CP). Neither player will break the bank for you as a captain, and yet, you’ll likely be generating some strong volume and good touchdown upside. If you have the money to spend up, Keenan Allen ($15,000 CP) is averaging the most receptions of any player in this game.
Final Score: Chargers 24 Panthers 21
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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.