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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for October 22

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Thursday’s three-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Week 7 gets underway on Thursday Night Football, and the DraftKings Dream Stream has a solid three-game slate of Madden sims to help you get warmed up. The action kicks off at 12:00 p.m. ET when the Los Angeles Rams head to virtual Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions. At 2:00 p.m. ET, the New York Jets take on the Washington Football Team, and the slate wraps up with a great matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have already faced off twice in our Madden 21 contests.

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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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers, $8,000 — Mahomes is far-and-away the best QB option on this limited slate, which is why his salary is $8K and no other QB is even close. Mahomes has averaged 24.6 DKFP per sim while no other QB on this slate has averaged more than 15.5 DKFP. He is the only QB in all of Madden 21 with a 99 overall rating and has performed like it in his Madden 21 sims, throwing for 42 touchdowns and rushing for five more in his 18 contests for an average of 2.6 touchdowns per game. He is also averaging 286.9 passing yards per game and has the luxury of working with two of the most consistently excellent pass-catchers in all of Madden 21. Mahomes did have a down game in his most recent contest with just 15.76 DKFP against the Saints, but he had posted over 24 DKFP in four straight and eight of his previous nine sims before that letdown. The Steelers’ defense is a tough matchup, but there is no question that Mahomes has unmatched upside.


Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions, $6,200 — Goff has a good ceiling and a great matchup against the Lions’ generous secondary. If you’re going to pivot off of Mahomes, he’s the best of the affordable options and has shown he can have big games. Even though he’s only averaging 14.4 DKFP per sim, he has reached over 19 DKFP in three of his past 10 contests. He has a solid 19 touchdowns in his 13 sims and has also added a rushing score. Since the Rams should roll past the Lions, Goff should be able to put together another solid game while offering significant savings from Mahomes’ salary.

Other Options — Ben Roethlisberger ($6,300), Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($6,000)

Running Back


Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets at Washington Football Team, $6,900 — Bell is still the lead RB for the Jets in sim-land and gets a nice matchup in this contest against Washington. He has put up over 14 DKFP in five straight and raised his average to 16.7 DKFP per contest. Earlier in these Madden 21 sims, Bell showed off an extremely high ceiling with 36.1 DKFP against the Cleveland Browns and 29.7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has found the end zone eight times in his 14 Madden 21 sims, and he’s a solid option from the top of the RB pool, where there aren’t many extremely elite plays on this slate.

Other Options — Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,800), J.D. McKissic ($6,100)


Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions, $4,300 — On our current Madden rosters, Malcolm Brown ($5,800) is the Rams’ RB1, but Henderson has also been a solid fantasy play as the third-down back. Since stepping into that role 10 games ago, he has averaged 9.2 DKFP per contest on 3.7 catches for 22.9 receiving yards along with 20.8 rushing yards per contest. He has two rushing touchdowns as well and has over 7.0 DKFP in six of his past eight games. He may not go off for a huge number, but at this salary he can offer consistently solid production along with significant salary relief.

Other Option — D’Andre Swift ($4,900), Jaylen Samuels ($4,700)

Wide Receiver


Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers, $7,800 — In his 18 sims in Madden 21, Hill has only been held to single-digit DKFP twice. One of those games was in his most recent contest against the New Orleans Saints and the other was on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. Before his most recent letdown, Hill had been rolling with at least 24 DKFP in three straight contests. He is still averaging 6.1 catches for 88.1 yards per game along with an impressive 17 touchdowns in 18 sims. Two of those touchdowns came in his first two sims against the Steelers, so he’s a solid play if you can afford to pay up for him. He has standout abilities that give him an ultra-high ceiling in every sim, highlighted by his 99 speed rating, which makes him the fastest player in all of Madden 21.

Other Options — JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,400), Kenny Golladay ($6,100)


Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $5,600 — Sadly for those of us who have thoroughly enjoyed his breakout, Chase Claypool ($3,000) is too buried on the depth chart to have an impact in these sims. Most of the work in Pittsburgh’s passing attack has gone to JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,400), but Johnson has also played a very important role, making plays on the outside with his 91 speed rating. Johnson has found the end zone in back-to-back games and now has three scores in his 14 games. He has at least 14 DKFP in five of his past six games dating back to the most recent time he faced the Chiefs. Johnson went off in that contest with 10 catches for 122 yards, a touchdown and 31.2 DKFP. He’ll look to continue to thrive in that mismatch and put up another big game for Pittsburgh.

Dontrelle Inman, Washington Football Team vs. New York Jets, $3,100 — If you need to balance out your lineup after paying up in other spots, one very cheap WR who has been involved is Inman. Washington’s WR3 has now appeared in 10 games, averaging 3.1 catches for 44.1 yards. He has at least three catches in seven straight games and flashed a high ceiling with 24.8 DKFP against the Bengals in his sim debut. While he probably won’t go off like that, he does make a solid play in a good spot against the Jets.

Other Options — Jamison Crowder ($5,500), Josh Reynolds ($4,300)

Tight End


Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers, $6,500 — Kelce has continued to get great volume almost every game and even had eight catches in the Chiefs’ most recent game, when Patrick Mahomes and the offense struggled. He is averaging an astounding 6.3 catches for 75.0 yards per contest. He has scored 11 touchdowns and has over 16 DKFP in three straight and seven of his past 10 games. In his first two meetings with Pittsburgh, Kelce had 27.8 DKFP and 12.6 DKFP. Like every team that faces the Chiefs, the Steelers struggled to contain Kelce, and his steadily high volume gives him both a high floor and a high ceiling.

Other Options — Jeremy Sprinkle ($5,900), Eric Ebron ($5,300)


T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Rams, $4,700 — The Lions are typically playing from behind in Madden 21, and that usually means airing it out and keeping Hockenson very busy as a possession receiver. The second-year TE has averaged 4.7 catches per sim and found the end zone four times. He has at least four catches and 9.0 DKFP in four of his past five games and went off for over 19 DKFP twice earlier in the Madden 21 sims. If Jalen Ramsey and the rest of the Rams’ solid secondary lock up the WRs, Hockenson could get even more than his usual volume in this matchup.

Other Option — Chris Herndon ($4,900)



Chiefs DST at Pittsburgh Steelers, $3,200 — The Chiefs have posted a grand total of 2.0 DKFP over their past three sims as the defense has gone quiet. The lack of production is even stranger since they were very productive before this dry spell, producing 5.0 DKFP or more in five straight. The Chiefs’ defense had three sacks, an interception and 6.0 DKFP against the Steelers in their most recent meeting after posting 9.0 DKFP with five sacks in their first contest. Despite their recent struggles, I think the Chiefs should be able to bounce back and put up a good number in this rematch with Pittsburgh.

Other Option — Rams ($3,300)


Jets DST at Washington Football Team, $2,800 — The Jets will be going against Dwayne Haskins ($6,000), who has a low awareness rating and has been prone to turnovers in Madden 21. New York actually has the highest scoring defense on the slate with a 6.3 DKFP per game average. Most of that success is a result of their pass rush, which has provided 35 sacks in 14 games. The Jets do have a pair of defensive touchdowns as well to go with six takeaways. Even though they’re a mess in real life, the Jets make sense if you only have the salary for a defensive unit under $3K.

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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.