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Madden Stream Picks: Washington vs. Cardinals DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy

Steve Buchanan preps you for Saturday’s 2 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between Washington and the Cardinals with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

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 Washington vs. Cardinals game, which starts at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 18.

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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.



This game could also be dubbed, “The battle of meh offenses.” Neither of these teams are exactly smashing these simulations, which is going to make for some interesting lineup builds. Dwayne Haskins ($11,600) isn’t even the most expensive player in this game (what!?), which is shocking. He’s been decent with an average of 16.6 DKFP, 237 passing yards and 61 touchdowns thrown. Haskins doesn’t have much of a secondary to beat out in this game, as the Cardinals have simply been torched through the air. He’s very much in the conversation for me in this game.

When it comes who he relies upon in these simulations, one of his favorite targets has been Paul Richardson Jr. ($7,600). He doesn’t get the volume like some of the other receivers in this offense, but he has scored 21 times, which is by far the most on the team. Overall, he’s averaging 13.1 DKFP, 3.6 receptions and 55.8 yards per game. At his salary of $7,600, Richardson is a great receiver to lock in early in your build. Jordan Reed ($8,200) has showed since he’s healthy in these sims, he’s a great talent on the field! Reed is seeing 4.2 receptions and 49.8 yards per game but his touchdowns are only at 11. He and Richardson are the mainstays in this offense, so if you wanted minimal exposure to Washington, these two would be the guys.

After that, it gets a bit dicey. Trey Quinn ($5,200) is a bit more expensive than I’d like for him to be nowadays. He was much more enticing in the low $4K range, as he doesn’t always make a catch in these sims. He’s averaging 3.4 receptions and 48 yards per game with nine touchdowns. Quinn is certainly not unplayable but I think the Cardinals have some better value to look at. Terry McLaurin ($9,400) as the WR1 is too inconsistent for my taste. He’s very expensive and averaging just 3.8 receptions, 50.6 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those sound more like numbers from a WR2 in the mid-$7K range, not at WR1 at nearly $9,500.

The RB you want on this team is by far Chris Thompson ($3,000). The pass-catching backs continues to remain king, as Thompson is averaging 44.8 scrimmage yards per game. Thompson nearly has as many receiving yards as he does rushing, making him a great dual threat on the field. At his salary, he’s a great way to level off your salary restrictions if you take some of the more expensive guys.

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Arizona Cardinals

I’m having a really tough time understanding why Kyler Murray ($12,000) is the most expensive player in this game. Granted, we don’t have a ton of options to take the honor, but $12K for Murray is egregious. Yes, he’ll throw and run the ball, but it hasn’t been anything great. Murray is averaging 173 passing yards with only 32 touchdowns thrown and 46.5 rushing yards with five touchdowns. Not exactly numbers that blow you away for the most expensive guy in this game, right? This is a matchup against two bad secondaries so one would think the offenses should flow in this game, but I’m not convinced with how poorly Murray has been in the past.

With the lack of production through the air for Murray, it puts a damper on some of his receivers. Larry Fitzgerald ($10,200) is another player with a curious price tag. I had to check twice to make sure I wasn’t looking at his captain price and confirmed, this is indeed his salary for today. He’s coming off back-to-back game of single digit-fantasy points, making six receptions for 52 yards in those games. He does have 10 touchdowns, which is 31% of those thrown by Murray, so we have that. I just don’t want to pay so much for someone averaging 3.9 receptions and 40 yards per game. Quite frankly, I can get similar production from Charles Clay ($7,000) at a discount. Clay has gone three games this sim season without making a catch but is still averaging 3.6 receptions, 36.3 yards and seven touchdowns scored. Christian Kirk ($6,600) is another play you can consider averaging 3.1 receptions and 40 yards per game with six touchdowns scored. Truly, all of these players are overpriced to begin with, so you’re simply going to have to deal with it on the Cardinals side. Future Patriot Hall of Famer Damiere Byrd ($4,400) is the only Cardinal that is priced correctly, averaging 2.2 receptions and 38.3 yards. Those numbers aren’t great but he has scored nine times, giving him some potential upside at a cheap price.

Per the usual, it’s the RB2 you’ll be looking at in this game and not the RB1 in Kenyan Drake ($4,800). To be fair, Drake is quite cheap, but it’s a classic “you get what you pay for” scenarios, so I’m leaving him on the board. David Johnson ($3,800) is $1K cheaper and will catch out of the backfield, unlike Drake. Johnson is averaging 38 scrimmage yards per game with 10 touchdowns scored. No need to overthink this one.

The Outcome

I mean, this is not a game full of options to use in your captain spot. Dwayne Haskins ($17,400 CP) is likely your best option because he’ll be lucky enough to throw against this putrid Cardinals secondary. Paul Richardson ($11,400 CP) is my favorite receiver to take in that spot if you want a bit of lower ownership. If you want the best salary saving option in this spot, David Johnson ($5,700 CP) fits the mold.

Final Score: Washington 20, Cardinals 17

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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.