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Madden Stream: Cardinals vs. Panthers DraftKings Showdown Strategies, Depth Charts and Captain’s Picks

Julian Edlow preps you for Monday’s 2 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between the Cardinals and Panthers 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 Cardinals and Panthers game, which starts at 2:00 p.m. ET Monday.

Set your FREE to play DraftKings lineups here: Madden Stream $1K FREE Contest (ARI vs CAR)

Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.

Is there more information on the video game simulation?

Yes, see more details on our DraftKings Madden Info Page.

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



Kyler Murray ($11,000) has been one of the most inconsistent QB plays in the Madden sims, but Cam Newton’s ($11,400) game log takes you on a pretty similar rollercoaster ride, and it’s extremely unlikely you’re going to fade both QBs in the contest. It’s a more difficult matchup for Kyler, but that could push ownership toward Cam. Murray’s recently rushed for over 100 yards in two different sims and shown 25-plus DKFP upside in tough matchups. He’s a nice tournament flier.

Larry Fitzgerald ($9,200) just doesn’t have the ceiling we need to see to pay WR1 salary for him. He can put together a solid outing approaching 20 DKFP, but he’s only actually exceeded that number twice and hasn’t done so since Week 14. There’s also an extremely low floor, with more than half his sims finishing under 10 DKFP.

Murray’s enticing upside stemming from his rushing ability means we don’t have to pair him with a top WR play. Christian Kirk ($6,400) grades out as a pretty good play from his ratings, so while I’d take the discount on Kirk over Fitz, he comes with similar restrictions. Kirk has just one sim with over 20 DKFP and generally struggles to put up double-digit DKFP due to his inability to find the end zone as he has just five scores on the sim season.

The best bang for your buck is Damiere Byrd ($3,200), who is significantly cheaper as the WR3 but has the most big-play ability thanks to his game-changing speed. Byrd has sims of 27.8 and 33.1 DKFP, which are the two best of any Arizona WR. He’s scored in double figures in three of his past five sims with a catch, reaching the end zone for the seventh time two sims ago. Even if you want to take a chance on a pricier Cardinals pass-catcher, Byrd’s the top value to roster.

The TE position has been the go-to-target for Murray, leaving the underpriced Charles Clay ($5,000) in a pretty safe spot. He has been a super consistent play, offering pretty similar expectations to Fitz and Kirk.

The RB position gets interesting for the Cardinals, with Kenyan Drake ($7,000) essentially valueless as the starter. He commands a high price tag because of his spot on the depth chart, but has absolutely no upside to breakout — he’s reached 10 DKFP once.

That leaves David Johnson ($4,600) as the play, sneaking onto the field for passing downs but staying out there for additional snaps, which turn into carries. Being the backup comes with the risk of a low floor, but DJ’s also cracked 10 DKFP in three of his past five sims. The goal-line work is the real game-changer, with nine rushing TDs for DJ.


Newton really doesn’t accomplish as much as you’d think as a rusher in these sims. He actually ran for a sim-high 33 yards in his last outing, which is a pretty significant drop off from what Murray’s capable of. Cam has failed to reach 19 DKFP in nine consecutive sims but exceeded that number in six straight prior to his cold streak. Murray’s the safer play because of his legs (which says a lot with how inconsistent he is), but Cam’s due for a breakout game and the Arizona defense could be the spot that helps him find it.

Despite the down games for Cam, DJ Moore ($9,800) has still been finding his. After a really slow start in the sims, he’s come into his own with some big outings. Moore’s coming off a dud, but he has scored at least 18.8 DKFP in his four previous contests, averaging 23.8 DKFP in those sims. He can get behind this Arizona secondary for a big play.

Curtis Samuel ($7,200) is headed in the other direction, starting off really strong in the sims but tailing off since Moore started getting hot. His price has also come up over $1,000 since Week 1, so there’s not much value in rostering Samuel and looking for a bounce-back.

Chris Hogan ($3,000) is the WR3 on the depth chart but a non-factor when it comes to touches. Jarius Wright ($2,200) is significantly more involved, and while he doesn’t have the ceiling Byrd does, he is worth considering as a punt play.

Greg Olsen ($8,400) is a pricey TE, but we have to find some pay up spots in this contest, especially with so many strong values. He’s much like Fitzgerald when it comes to a typically consistent player that actually has a much lower floor than you’d expect in Madden. But the similarities stop there, as Olsen’s capable of putting up some monster games. During Newton’s last hot stretch of games, Olsen went four straight with at least 25 DKFP.

No RB controversy here, as Christian McCaffrey ($10,600) handles every snap in the Panthers’ backfield. Like Olsen, CMC is probably overpriced, but not so much to the point you can’t roster him if you play the right value. CMC has the safer floor and higher ceiling, thanks to easily handling more touches.

The Panthers’ DST ($4,200) is also a consideration, just because of the playmaking ability of Luke Kuechly. With a 99 rating, he’s one of the most impactful players on the defensive side of the ball, which can make an even larger impact if a poor Arizona offense tanks.


I think we have enough value to spend up at CPT and still have room to roster a few more studs. Moore ($14.700 CP) has been hot and has as high an upside as any play on the slate. I’ll pay the $14,700 and play the values I’m most confident in to make the room.

Final Score: Cardinals 17, Panthers 24


Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.