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Madden Stream Picks: 49ers vs. Ravens DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy

Zach Thompson preps you for Friday’s 8 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between the 49ers and Ravens with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

NFL: Super Bowl LIV-San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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 DraftKings YouTube channel, the DK Live app or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team rack up some big fantasy points.

Friday’s 8 p.m. ET matchup should be a fun one as the 49ers travel across the country to virtual Baltimore to take on the Ravens. Since it’s in primetime, this is the daily $5K FREE Contest [5 Entry Max] (SF vs BAL), so make sure to take advantage and get your lineups in whether you go with five of the same lineups or five different rosters.

These two teams are meeting for the second time in these sims, and the 49ers won the first meeting 30-18. San Francisco has been the class of the NFC with a 22-9 record in their 31 sims, while the Ravens have been less impressive at just 15-16. They did get a nice win in their most recent contest, though, as they knocked off another visiting California team in the Chargers on Wednesday. Can they make it two in a row and avenge their earlier sim loss to San Francisco, or will the 49ers continue to find a way to pile up the wins? You can find my pick to win and my favorite fantasy plays for the single-game Showdown contest below.

Set your FREE to play lineups here: Madden Stream $5K FREE Contest [5 Entry Max] (SF vs BAL)


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Showdown Strategy

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers’ success in these sims has been mostly a result of their strong defense and run game. Unlike in real life where there is a backfield rotation, Tevin Coleman ($8,400) monopolizes most of the work serving as their RB1, power back and third-down back. Despite a mediocre 82 overall rating based on his 93 speed rating, 92 acceleration and 93 agility, he has consistently been one of the best RB in the Madden universe due to his high volume and great blocking. He went off for 150 yards, a touchdown and 27.2 DKFP in the first game the 49ers had against the Ravens and racked up 26 touchdowns over his first 31 sims while averaging over 17 DKFP per contest. He has a high ceiling in every matchup and also comes with relatively low risk since he gets so much volume in almost every scenario.

The highest-rated player on the 49ers offense isn’t Coleman, though, since TE George Kittle ($9,200) has a 97 overall rating. Kittle is also the only player on the offense with “X-Factor” status with his ”Rac ‘Em Up” ability, which when active increases his success rate on RAC catches against single coverage. He has to make multiple 20-plus yard receptions to activate that X-Factor, but will be a beast if he gets in the zone. Kittle’s Superstar abilities of “Route Apprentice” and “Double-Move Elite” make him a big-time threat anywhere on the field, and he has been a yardage monster, averaging over 72 yards per sim. He gets a high volume of targets as well, averaging over 5.0 catches per contest, which makes him a low-risk option even at $9K. He has only found the end zone 10 times, though, in 31 contests. He’s a very solid play but needs to get a touchdown to really return value at this salary.

With Coleman scoring so many touchdowns, there haven’t been as many passing touchdowns overall for QB Jimmy Garoppolo ($11,400), who is the most expensive player from the 49ers in this matchup. He does have 52 touchdown passes in 31 sims but is averaging under 17.0 DKFP per sim on the season. His 84 overall rating is solid, and he has stepped up with a few big games, but he also struggles with accuracy at times. He has under 12 DKFP in three of his past four games and definitely comes with bust potential, especially compared to his counterpart from the Ravens, who we’ll discuss below.

When Jimmy G does take to the air and look past Kittle and Coleman, his WR1 is Emmanuel Sanders ($10,000), who has a strong 89 overall rating. Sanders does have 13 touchdowns on the season but doesn’t get the consistent volume to be worth this salary. Kittle is a better play, in my opinion, and is in a slightly better matchup since Sanders does a lot of work out of the slot, where the Ravens get strong CB play. If you’re looking for a 49ers’ WR, I actually prefer saving salary and going with Deebo Samuel ($6,600), who has lots of upside with his 79 overall rating and an impressive 92 speed rating. He has 12 touchdown catches and is averaging over 11 DKFP per sim, having topped 10 DKFP in six of his past eight. Another option with upside is WR3 Kendrick Bourne ($4,000), who has scored 12 touchdowns and is averaging just under 10 DKFP per sim. He isn’t quite as consistently involved as Samuel is since he isn’t in quite as many formations, but Bourne is a great value play with plenty of upside due to his usage in the red-zone.

The 49ers’ DST ($3,400) has been a tricky one to figure out in these sims. They are not extremely aggressive and are usually content to limit their opponents scoring rather than go for the big-time splash plays that are rewarded in fantasy. The unit has elite talent led by Richard Sherman and Nick Bosa, who both are X-Factor Superstars with playmaking ability, and they also have two other players on defense with Superstar abilities in DE Dee Ford and MLB Fred Warner. In their 31 sims, they have 53 sacks but only 12 takeaways. They’re low risk since they are unlikely to get torched, but they don’t have a super-high ceiling. I’d actually go with Bourne or maybe even Robbie Gould ($4,400), who is averaging well over 7.0 DKFP as better value options than the DST.


Baltimore Ravens

The most expensive player in this contest and the biggest star is Baltimore’s X-Factor Superstar Lamar Jackson ($12,200). He is averaging over 20 DKFP in his 31 sims. He was upgraded and given the X-Factor of “First One Free” in a mid-season update and also has the Superstar traits of “Escape Artist,” “Fastbreak” and “Juke Box.” His running abilities have given him both a high ceiling and high floor since he can usually get going one way or the other. He has run for 18 touchdowns and over 60 yards per contest and thrown for 37 touchdowns. In his most recent sim, He helped the Ravens slide by the Chargers in the rain on Wednesday with a pair of rushing touchdowns and 26.66 DKFP. That performance raises his average to 20.6 DKFP per game and gives him 18 rushing scores on the season. He’s in a tough matchup against the 49ers in this sim, but he’s still clearly the QB with the higher ceiling. There’s no player in this single-game contest except maybe Coleman who can match his ceiling.

When Jackson does throw the ball, he’s often locked in on TE Mark Andrews ($7,400), who has a team-high 112 catches for 3.6 catches per contest. He hasn’t been nearly as productive as Kittle or even Samuel but has an 85 overall rating, which is higher than any WR on the team, along with an 85 catching rating, which is tops among starters. His 86 speed rating isn’t elite, but it is solid for a TE and gives him enough ability to make things happen after the catch.

Speaking of the ability to make things happen after the catch, WR1 Marquise Brown ($8,000) has an incredible 97 speed rating and 84 elusiveness, which makes him a dangerous option any time the ball is in his hands. However, he hasn’t been a consistent producer in these sims and could be matched up one-on-one with Richard Sherman. He only had 103 catches on the sim season, so his low volume and bad matchup make him a high-risk play at $8K. Willie Snead IV ($5,000) has also struggled as the WR2, averaging well under 6.0 DKFP per sim with only two touchdowns all season. My favorite Ravens WR on a per-dollar basis is their WR3 Seth Roberts ($3,800), who has nine touchdowns on his 81 catches and has been regularly involved with his 90 speed rating and 85 spectacular catching rating, which is higher than both Brown’s and Snead’s rating in that category.

When Jackson does hand the ball off instead of running in himself, the Ravens rely virtually exclusively Mark Ingram II ($8,800), who is the team’s third-down back and power back as well as the starter. He has decent ratings with an 86 overall rating along with an 82 strength rating and 93 awareness, but he only has an 88 speed rating, which is low for an RB. He also loses a lot of rushing scores to Jackson, so he is only averaging just over 10 DKFP per contest and has just 10 touchdowns in his 31 sims.

The Ravens’ DST ($3,200) is similar to the 49ers in that they have highly-rated players but don’t make a ton of splashy fantasy plays. They have only managed 45 sacks (1.5 per game) and 12 takeaways in their 31 sims. They’ve got a tough matchup against Coleman, so it’s best to probably pass on them at this price. If you need value from Baltimore, a better option would be Justin Tucker ($4,200), who has produced 6.3 DKFP per contest and has one of the highest ratings of all the kickers in Madden with his 87 overall rating due to 98 kick power and 98 kick accuracy ratings.


The Outcome

The two obvious plays for Captain’s Pick responsibilities are Lamar Jackson ($18,300 CP) and Tevin Coleman ($12,600 CP). Coleman’s lower salary will leave you a lot more to spend in the flex spots, so I’d make him my top target to Captain in this showdown. However, if you want to go a little more “off-the-radar” with a lineup or two, you could try captaining Deebo Samuel ($9,900 CP), or even Kendrick Bourne ($6,000 CP) or Seth Roberts ($5,700 CP) as a more contrarian Captain’s Pick, who could go off. For value plays, I’d look to Bourne, Roberts and the kickers since there aren’t any extremely involved RB2 or TE2 options.

This could be a low-scoring game due to both sides liking to run the ball and rely on their defense. Eventually, though, I think Coleman and the 49ers’ great run-blocking will be enough to carry the day on the road. It’s hard to pick against Jackson since he has so much potential to make big plays, but I think the 49ers’ defense does have the highly-rated players needed to keep him in check enough to get the win.

Final Score: 49ers 20, Ravens 17


DEPTH CHARTS

49ers

Ravens


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.