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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for October 17

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

It’s another solid Saturday of sims on the DraftKings Dream Stream where there are six games on the schedule starting at 12:00 p.m. ET and running all day long. The three-game main slate gets underway with a matchup from the NFC South as the Bucs take on the Panthers at 6:00 p.m. ET. Following that at 8:00 p.m. ET in the primetime matchup, the Giants head to virtual Baltimore to take on the Ravens, and we close out the day with what should be an entertaining contest between the Cowboys and the Bills in a rematch of Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII.

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.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $3K Saturday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest.


Put your DraftKings daily fantasy football skills to the test against Jim Cramer, his followers and other members of the DraftKings Playbook community! Check out the new Cramer’s Cash Contest and set your lineup for Week 6.


Quarterback

Stud

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants, $7,500 — Jackson has been solid overall in Madden 21, which isn’t a surprise since he is the cover athlete. He has had a few duds, but for the most part, he gets the job done with a combination of rushing and passing. He is averaging a very impressive 80.8 rushing yards to go with his 164.5 passing yards per game, and he has thrown 16 touchdowns in 13 games while rushing for seven more scores. That production has resulted in a 22.9 DKFP per game average in Madden 21, and he has been even better than that lately with over 24 DKFP in three of his past four sims. His multi-faceted production gives him a very high ceiling, which he showed off with 36.16 DKFP three sims ago when facing the Patriots. He struggled the following game against the Chiefs, but I think he’ll bounce back just fine in this favorable matchup with the Giants. No other QB available on this slate comes close to matching his average production or his ceiling.

Other Option — Dak Prescott ($6,800)

Value

Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $6,100 — Bridgewater and the Panthers played the Bucs in the divisional round of the Madden 21 Tournament and lost a close game, 24-21. In that game, Bridgewater threw a touchdown and ran for a second score on his way to 21.3 DKFP. Carolina played Tampa Bay in a rematch three sims ago, and Bridgewater led his team to a 28-21 victory with over 250 passing yards, 23.82 DKFP and another two-touchdown performance. While he has had a few down outings, Bridgewater has also shown good upside with over 18 DKFP in six of his 12 games, including both against the Bucs. As the two teams meet again, Bridgewater can offer some substantial salary savings as the cheapest starting QB available and also brings solid potential to be one of the top QB plays of the night.

Other Option — Josh Allen ($6,500)


Running Back

Stud

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $7,100 — CMC has been healthy and productive in these sims, and he has been living up to his 99 overall rating lately. He has over 21 DKFP in three of his past five contests including a massive 42.4-DKFP performance against the Jaguars. He has also been extremely reliable with over 12 DKFP in eight of his past 10 contests along with that awesome ceiling, which he can reach if he breaks big plays. McCaffrey is at his best when he can utilize his X-factor ability of “Ankle Breaker” which increases the fakeout rates on spin, juke or hurdle moves after the catch. He has averaged 3.7 catches per contest in Madden 21 and added 24.3 receiving yards to his 64.3 rushing yards per contest.

Other Option — Saquon Barkley ($7,400), Ezekiel Elliott ($6,900)

Value

LeSean McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers, $3,900 — The Buccaneers have used a timeshare in their backfield throughout Madden 21, and their current third-down back is McCoy, who has been a nice value play in the role. He had five catches for 47 yards and 10.3 DKFP against the Panthers in their most recent matchup and had his best game in all of Madden 21 in their first meeting, when he caught nine passes for 41 yards and finished with 15.0 DKFP. McCoy doesn’t get all the work in the backfield since Leonard Fournette ($6,400) is the RB1, but Shady is involved enough on a regular basis to be a nice play under $4K. Specifically in this matchup, his past volume shows he can be a key to unlocking the salary you need to pay up for stars in other spots.

Other Options — Devin Singletary ($5,800), J.K. Dobbins ($4,400)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills, $6,800 — Cooper is the only WR on this slate averaging more than 15 DKFP per game, and he has showed off a great connection with virtual Dak Prescott ($6,800), who will still be at QB in simland. Cooper has averaged 4.4 catches per sim for 72.6 yards and a total of nine touchdowns in his 14 games. He has over 11 DKFP in five straight and seven of his past eight games while flashing for over 21 DKFP three times during that stretch as well. Cooper will be in a tough matchup against the Bills and Tre’Davious White, but he has fared well against elite CBs in Madden 21 and is still clearly the top WR1 available on this slate.

Other Options — Mike Evans ($6,500), Stefon Diggs ($6,300)

Value

Darius Slayton, New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens, $5,900 — Like in real life, Slayton has become the go-to option in the Giants’ offense in Madden 21. He has five touchdowns in his past four sims and has over 15 DKFP in three of those contests and six of his past eight. Even as the WR3 for the Giants, Slayton has been more productive than Sterling Shepard ($4,000) and Golden Tate ($4,300), averaging 14.8 DKFP per contest. He’s a solid play under $6K and has been consistent enough to be a part of your lineup, even against the Ravens.

Scotty Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers, $4,700 — Miller is another WR3 who has shown a very high ceiling, even though there are a lot of highly-rated WR options for Tom Brady ($7,100) to work with. Miller has averaged 4.0 catches in his 12 sims for 53.6 yards. He had his one touchdown in Madden 21 the first time he faced the Panthers as part of a massive 10-catch, 108-yard game that resulted in 29.8 DKFP. He has reached over 20 DKFP three times in his 12 games but is more boom-or-bust than Slayton since he has also finished with under 10 DKFP in seven of his past eight. Miller still has good upside for an option under $5K, though, so he’s a solid tournament play due to his ceiling.

Other Options — DJ Moore ($5,100), CeeDee Lamb ($3,700)


Tight End

Stud

Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants, $4,900 — Andrews has an 88 overall rating and all the tools to be a regular force in Madden 21, but his production has been surprisingly uneven. He started very slow with under 10 DKFP and no touchdowns in his first seven sims after the move to Madden 21. However, he has been better lately with over 18 DKFP in three of his past six games including big games against the Patriots and Saints. He is up to four touchdowns in his 13 sims while averaging 3.2 catches for 38.2 yards per contest. He isn’t a sure thing but does have the highest ceiling of the TEs on this slate.

Other Options — Evan Engram ($4,400), Blake Jarwin ($4,300)

Value

Lee Smith, Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys, $3,400 — Smith has been a great value at TE since he took over as the Bills TE1 in the most recent roster update, but his salary is slowly starting to catch up to his production. In his seven games as a starter, he has produced 2.9 catches for 32.4 yards per game and a touchdown. That score came in his most recent sim, when he had his best sim in Madden 21 with 16.2 DKFP. He gets decent volume when the Bills have to throw a lot, and he should be able to find space against the struggling Cowboys’ secondary. While he doesn’t have the ratings or upside that Andrews or Engram bring, he does get enough work to be worth a look at this salary under $3.5K.

Other Option — Rob Gronkowski ($4,200)


DST

Stud

Cowboys DST at Buffalo Bills, $3,000 — The Cowboys’ DST has given up plenty of points and yards in simland and in the real world, but they are still a solid fantasy option in Madden since they make big plays. In its 14 sims, Dallas has piled up 41 sacks and forced six turnovers for an average of 5.3 DKFP per contest. The Bills offense can struggle at times, so this should be a good spot for the Cowboys DST to step up once again.

Value

Ravens DST vs. New York Giants, $2,700 — The addition of Calais Campbell up front has made the Ravens DST one of the most solid units in Madden 21, and they have a great matchup against the Giants. In its 13 sims, Baltimore has created just three turnovers and picked up 28 sacks, but the unit typically does a very good job of limiting opponents’ production. They have allowed 21 points or fewer in eight of their 13 contests, making them a low-risk play especially against Daniel Jones ($6,300) and company.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $3K Saturday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest.


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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.