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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for December 16

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

It’s another wild weather Wednesday on the DraftKings Dream Stream, as Madden Holiday Season starts the third and final games of the divisional round for each team. Make sure to check out the standings and the stat leaders along with the bonus offer each day on the main Holiday Season page. To claim today’s offer, enter a lineup in the $12K Holiday Season Special, and if New England wins, you get 500 crowns.

The main three-game featured slate contests kick off at 6 p.m. ET with the second of back-to-back, winner-moves-on matchups from the AFC East. The New England Patriots and New York Jets will meet in the snow at virtual MetLife Stadium with the winner heading to the knockout stage and the loser heading home until after the tournament. For the two later games, we’ll head to the AFC North, where the Cleveland Browns will visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in a windy game at 8:00 p.m. ET before the Baltimore Ravens take on the Cincinnati Bengals in a rainstorm in the late matchup. Baltimore and Cincinnati have already secured the two playoff spots for the division, but they’ll be playing for seeding purposes in addition to fantasy production.

As usual, remember that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness and the highest-rated options have been placed at the top of the depth charts. The roster for each team includes all player movement that occurred prior to Week 1 of this season and you can find the game settings, depth charts, abilities and X-factors for each team in Madden 21 along with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page. There were a few tweaks to the X-factors and Superstars in the latest December update, so be sure to check the depth charts of each team.

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 $12K Holiday Season Kickoff [$3K 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 enter your lineup in a rake-free contest for Week 15.


Quarterback

Stud

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, $8,100 — The rain in Cincinnati could actually end up helping Jackson to an even bigger game since it will force the Ravens to rely on the rushing attack. Even though the Ravens have only had 10 points in each of their first two Holiday Season games, they have gone 2-0 and Jackson bounced back from a slow opener with 25.24 DKFP against the Steelers in his most recent sim. He totaled 132 yards on the ground with a rushing touchdown, his 22nd rushing score in 28 sims. He has also added 27 passing scores while averaging 153.5 passing yards, 99.3 rushing yards and 25.6 DKFP per sim. He had 25.28 DKFP against the Bengals and has reached 24 DKFP in 16 of his 28 games (57%). He has the highest upside of any QB in Madden but isn’t always the most consistent option. On this slate and in these conditions, I think he’s primed for another big game and worth paying up for.

Value

Cam Newton, New England Patriots at New York Jets, $6,000 — Newton and the Patriots can advance by beating the Jets in the snow and he’s the best pivot if you don’t believe in Jackson. Newton had 21.98 DKFP in his previous meeting with the Jets and has over 16 DKFP in five of his past 11 sims. His production can be boom-or-bust, but this matchup gives him upside since he isn’t facing an elite secondary or playing in the wind.

Other Option — Baker Mayfield ($6,600)


Running Back

Stud

Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots, $6,600 — Bell is the Jets’ every-down back in these sims and has been a focus of the offense throughout these sims. He put up a huge 27.9-DKFP performance the first time he faced New England, and he’ll likely get a ton of work with the deep passing game hindered by the snow. Bell has added 4.1 catches for 28.8 receiving yards per game to his 51.0 rushing yards per sim. He also has 13 touchdowns in his 27 sims with at least 12 DKFP in five of his past seven games. With most teams on this slate using timeshares in the backfield, Bell is the rare workhorse and comes with low risk and a high ceiling against the Patriots.

Other Option — Nick Chubb ($6,000)

Value

J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, $4,600 — Dobbins is the only third-down back in a timeshare that is also the power back for his team, and as a result, he has more ways he can produce fantasy points. He has averaged 2.2 catches for 18.3 yards per contest since the latest roster update moved him into his specialty roles, and he has scored eight touchdowns over that span as well. He had the Ravens’ only touchdown in the Holiday Season opener and then had four catches for 25 yards in his most recent sim against the Steelers. He has over 7.5 DKFP in four of his past five games, and he has a good chance at returning good value in this matchup against the Bengals if the Ravens rely heavily on their running game as s result of the weather.

Other Option — Kareem Hunt ($5,100), James White ($4,400)


Wide Receiver

Stud

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, $6,700 — Even with the wind in Pittsburgh for this sim, JuJu has the most upside of the high-priced WRs on this slate. He typically works out of the slot, which usually means he runs routes closer to the middle of the field. That route style is typically less impacted by weather and he should be able to dominate his matchup against the Browns, who he went off for 10 catches, 116 yards and 36.6 DKFP against in his first matchup. Smith-Schuster appears to have been passed on the depth chart in real life, but he’s still the Steelers’ WR1 in Madden and has averaged 5.3 catches for 70.9 yards per sim in Madden 21.

Other Options — Julian Edelman ($6,200), John Ross III ($5,500)

Value

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens, $4,900 — The Bengals’ slot WR can be a boom-or-bust play but should have success with the weather factor forcing Joe Burrow ($6,900) to rely on passes that don’t travel as far in the air. Boyd dominated with two touchdowns, seven catches, 75 yards and 29.0 DKFP in his most recent sim against the Browns and had five catches for 30 yards and a touchdown in his first game against the Ravens. A little like JuJu, he can be boom-or-bust, but in this matchup and conditions, I like his potential on this slate.

Breshad Perriman, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots, $4,400 — Perriman has scored a touchdown in each of his two games in the Holiday Season, posting 24.0 DKFP against the Bills followed by 10.3 DKFP against the Dolphins. Even against the Patriots, I think Perriman brings enough big-play potential to be worth a look under $4.5K. In his 27 sims in Madden 21, he has four touchdowns and is averaging 2.5 catches for 43.4 yards per sim. He has been playing much better than those averages lately with double-digit DKFP in five of his eight most recent sims.

Other Options — N’Keal Harry ($5,400), Marquise Brown ($4,500), Willie Snead IV ($3,400)


Tight End

Stud

Chris Herndon, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots, $5,300 — Herndon has at least three catches in four straight sims and in 11 of his past 12. He is averaging 5.0 catches per sim, and his volume makes him a low-risk play against the Patriots. He has double-digit DKFP in eight of his past 11 contests and has picked his average up to 12.8 DKFP per sim, which is the highest production of any TE on this slate.

Other Option — Eric Ebron ($5,400)

Value

Devin Asiasi, New England Patriots at New York Jets, $3,600 — While he still is barely involved for the real-life Patriots, the rookie TE is the TE1 in these Madden sims and typically puts up pretty good production for a value option. Asiasi has produced 3.8 catches for 40.3 yards per sim while scoring a total of six touchdowns. He had one of those touchdowns in his first game against the Jets, totaling 17.1 DKFP in that contest with five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

Other Option — Austin Hooper ($3,300)


DST

Stud

Patriots DST at New York Jets, $3,100 — The Patriots had a key DST touchdown in their most recent sim as they eked out a narrow 14-9 win over the Bills to keep their chances of advancing alive. They now have seven DST touchdowns in their 30 sims along with 29 takeaways and 49 sacks. With the snow and a good matchup against Sam Darnold ($5,700), the Patriots have good potential for another big performance.

Value

Ravens DST at Cincinnati Bengals, $2,800 — The Ravens have been outstanding defensively in their first two Holiday Season games allowing just seven points to the Steelers and the Browns. They had multiple sacks in each of those games as well and have at least 6.0 DKFP in five of their past seven games. The Bengals’ offense will likely put up more points, but in the rain, the Ravens should still have the potential for a few big plays that would make them a great value option.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $12K Holiday Season Kickoff [$3K 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.