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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for October 15

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Thursday’s three-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

With no Thursday Night Football from the NFL this week, the DraftKings Dream Stream will be stuffed with a full six-game schedule starting at 12:00 p.m. ET and going for almost 12 hours. The main slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with the Falcons hosting the 49ers. The Vikings host the Colts in the 8:00 p.m. ET primetime game, and the final game of the night is a matchup of two undefeated teams in the real world as the Packers visit virtual Nashville to take on the Titans on Madden after Dark. It shapes up to be a fun slate jam-packed with elite RB options, so it will take some creative roster-building.

The roster for each team includes all player movement that occurred prior to Week 1 of this season and you can find the depth charts, abilities and X-factors for Madden 21 along with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page. The rosters have also been adjusted to get the best players on the field and will not be impacted by any COVID-19 opt-outs or injuries.

Check out the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests lobby with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. Each simulation will be played out computer vs. computer via an online Madden Stream using Madden 21. In this format, you can enjoy watching the game stream on the DraftKings YouTube channel, the DK Live app (download here) or right here in this post.

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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers, $6,500 — Despite the struggles of the Falcons in real life, Ryan has been one of the best QBs in Madden 21, and led the Falcons to the win in the preseason Madden 21 tournament. In his 16 sims in Madden 21, he has thrown an impressive 34 touchdowns, including multiple touchdowns and over 18 DKFP in six of his past seven sims. He had 333 yards in his most recent sim against the Lions, and Ryan is now averaging 275.1 yards per sim in addition to all those touchdowns. Ryan doesn’t typically bring any rushing yardage to the table, totaling -4 yards in his 16 sims, but with the other options on this slate, he’s the best play since his passing prowess is so far above the rest of the QBs, and there aren’t any big-time rushing threats.

Other Option — Aaron Rodgers ($7,000)


Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings, $5,400 — Rivers and the Colts have won three of their past four sims, and Rivers has thrown eight touchdowns, averaging 15.9 DKFP per contest over that span. He showed he has a high ceiling with 24.74 DKFP against Dallas earlier in these sims, but he has been boom-or-bust with under 12 DKFP in four of his past seven, as well. Rivers does have plenty of speed at WR to work with, which leads to big plays at times, and gives him a high ceiling at such an affordable salary.

Other Options — Ryan Tannehill ($5,900), Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,300)

Running Back


Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons, $7,700 — This is one of the most loaded slates at running back we have ever had in Madden, led by three of the top RBs in all of Madden 21 with Mostert, Derrick Henry ($8,200) and Dalvin Cook ($8,500) all in play. Not only is Mostert the most affordable of the three, he also has the best matchup against a very beatable Falcons defense. Mostert has been red-hot lately with 32.5 DKFP against the Texans and 35.2 DKFP against the Steelers in his two most recent sims. Even though the Steelers are well-stocked with highly-rated defenders, Mostert finished with over 200 scrimmage yards, totaling 151 yards and a touchdown on the ground and adding 51 more yards on six catches. He typically gets a very heavy workload as the full-time RB1 and has produced over 19 DKFP in eight of his past nine sims including three games with over 32 DKFP. His high ceiling and great matchup make him my favorite option of this great trio of RBs, but it’s really hard to go wrong with any of the top plays, and you might even try cramming two of them under your salary cap

Other Options — Dalvin Cook ($8,500), Derrick Henry ($8,200)


Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at Tennessee Titans, $6,400 — This is usually much too expensive of a play to be the top value, but this slate is unique in that there are so many top options and only one real timeshare. Nyheim Hines ($6,000) and Marlon Mack ($4,500) split work in Indy, but I’d avoid them on this slate and find a way to pay for two workhorse backs if possible. Jones has been exactly the kind of workhorse to target in Madden 21 after sharing work in Madden 2020. In his 14 sims since the upgrade, he has averaged 68.1 rushing yards and 23.2 receiving yards per sim while scoring 12 touchdowns in those 14 games. Jones is coming in off a couple of rough outings but posted four straight games with over 21 DKFP before being held under 10 DKFP his two most recent sims. Those down performances serve to keep his salary close to $6K on this slate, though, and he still comes packed with plenty of high-end upside in his role as both RB1 and third-down back.

Other Option — Marlon Mack ($4,500)

Wide Receiver


Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers, $8,000 — While paying up for RB is almost a necessity, don’t overlook some great options at the top of the WR list as well. Jones has been one of the best wide receivers in Madden 21 and is averaging 22.2 DKFP per game, over 5.0 DKFP more than any other WR on this slate. Jones has been getting great volume with 5.7 catches and 99.3 yards per game, and he has been a regular in the end zone as well with 13 touchdowns in 16 sims. He actually hasn’t scored in each of his past two games, which makes him overdue for a big game. San Francisco’s secondary is solid but usually doesn’t use Richard Sherman to shadow opposing WR1s, so Jones can probably get in favorable matchups with creative formations like the Falcons typically use to scheme him into space.

Other Option — Adam Thielen ($6,300), Calvin ($5,500)


Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings, $4,700 — Campbell has a ton of upside due to his 94 speed rating and has been able to break some big plays in his role as slot receiver. He had just three catches in his most recent sim but still reached the 100-yard. bonus for the second time in his 11 sims. He is averaging 3.7 catches for 48.5 yards per sim and has found the end zone four times. Lately, he has been more consistently involved with over 8.0 DKFP in three of his past four games, highlighted by 23.3 DKFP in his most recent contest. The Vikings don’t have a great option to limit opposing slot WR, so Campbell could be find space and pay off from this affordable salary under $5K.

Tajae Sharpe, Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts, $3,800 — If you need to go even cheaper at WR, check out Sharpe, who is actually the WR2 in Minnesota on these depth charts. As a result, he has been getting regular targets with 3.0 catches for 39.6 yards per sim. While those numbers aren’t awe-inspiring, they have been consistent, and Sharpe has been able to produce at least 6.5 DKFP in four straight and eight of his past nine. Despite his lack of involvement in real life and limited ceiling, he is a very consistent option to provide good production from under $4K. He’s also in a favorable matchup against the Colts, who don’t have many highly-rated CBs.

Other Options — Deebo Samuel ($5,000), Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($4,200), Russell Gage ($4,000)

Tight End


Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans vs. Green Bay Packers, $5,200 — Smith comes in with a nice streak of three straight games with double-digit DKFP. He has found the end zone in each of his two most recent sims to bring his average up to 10.7 DKFP per game with four touchdowns in his 12 sims. Smith is a PPR beast with multiple catches in all of those 12 contests and an average of 4.4 catches for 41.4 yards per game. His high volume should put him in a good spot to put up a big number as the Titans try to keep up with the Packers. If game flow requires more pass attempts for Tennessee, I think Smith can be the top TE on the slate.

Other Option — George Kittle ($6,100), Hayden Hurst ($4,600)


Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings, $3,700 — Burton’s salary is finally starting to catch up with his production in his new role as the Colts’ top TE. He took over that spot in the latest roster update but started slow even with increased opportunity. He has been hot lately, though, with double-digit fantasy points in four of his past six games including his most recent contest against the Jets, when he hauled in four catches for 68 yards and 10.8 DKFP. The Vikings have had trouble with TEs in these sims, and Burton is a great way to save salary for some of those expensive RBs while still getting production from a regular starter.

Other Option — Kyle Rudolph ($4,100)



Colts DST at Minnesota Vikings, $3,000 — The Colts have been a very productive defense with 27 sacks and three defensive touchdowns in their 12 games along with seven takeaways. Indianapolis has double-digit DKFP in four of its past seven games after posting 14.0 DKFP against the Jets in their most recent sim. While it’s true that most of their best defensive performances have come at home, they should still be able to make plays on the road in Minnesota since the Vikings have been turnover-prone and sometimes struggle to score if they have to rely on Kirk Cousins ($5,700)

Other Option— Titans ($3,200)


Vikings DST vs. Indianapolis Colts, $2,900 — The Vikings also make sense on the other side of the primetime matchup since Rivers has been turnover-prone as well. Minnesota has forced 11 turnovers in 12 sims while piling up 24 sacks and two defensive touchdowns. They have multiple sacks in four of their past five games and have produced at least five DKFP in five of their past seven. While their ceiling isn’t as high as the Colts, they have been a little more reliable, especially when they have played at home like they will in this contest.

Other Option— 49ers ($2,700)

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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.