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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for December 21

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

The playoffs have arrived this Monday in the 2020 Madden Holiday Season with a pair of AFC knockout round contests lined up to get the action underway on the DraftKings Dream Stream at 2:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET. Before those games get started, though, there is one more playoff spot to decide, as the Cardinals and 49ers meet in the final sim of the regular season with the winner becoming the final team on the NFC side of the playoffs. To see who has advanced and which teams have already been eliminated, check out the current standings. You can also check out all the stat leaders from the season so far and the special offers from featured contests on the main Holiday Season page.

The slate starts at 12 p.m. ET when the San Francisco 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals in that matchup for the final spot in the knockout round. San Francisco won their previous matchup, 17-7, all the way back in the very first Madden 21 sim for each team. At 2 p.m. ET, the top-seeded and undefeated Kansas City Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals, who are the No. 8 seed in the AFC. These teams have played only once in the Madden 21 sims, and the Chiefs won, 28-17. In the final game of the day before “The Sweat” and “Leaderboard Live” take you through the evening, the No. 5 seed New York Jets visit the No. 4 seed Jacksonville Jaguars. While these teams are battling for the top overall pick in real life, they both made the playoffs in simland and will be facing each other for the third time after splitting a pair of matchups earlier in Madden 21. The Jets won the first meeting, 13-3, and the Jags bounced back and won their second sim, 24-14.

As usual, it's important to 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 uses the Madden 21 ratings from Week 1 of this season. For more details, 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 $10K Holiday Season Kickoff [$2K 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 get ready to enter your lineup in a rake-free contest for Week 16.


Quarterback

Stud

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $8,100 — Mahomes is more than $1K more expensive than any other QB on this slate but has established himself as a next-level option in these sims so far. He is averaging 24.9 DKFP over his 33 sims in Madden 21 while no other QB on this slate is averaging more than 20 DKFP. Mahomes has thrown 77 touchdowns in his 33 sims and added nine more scores on the ground. He had a slow start to the Madden Holiday Season with just 15.3 DKFP against the Chargers but bounced back with 36.16 DKFP against the Broncos on 429 passing yards and four touchdowns. He is almost to 10,000 passing yards since the sims moved to Madden 21, and he has over 21 DKFP in 10 of his past 12 games, highlighted by a 42.5-DKFP game against the Patriots. He had four passing touchdowns and 27.4 DKFP in his first meeting with Joe Burrow ($6,400) and the Bengals, and no other QB comes close to matching his consistency or upside. The Chiefs lost the preseason Madden 21 Tournament championship game to the Atlanta Falcons, and they’re trying to avenge that defeat with a strong run in this Madden Holiday Season.

Value

Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets, $6,000 — Minshew is a much cheaper option at QB and has a good matchup against the Jets, but he has been very boom-or-bust throughout his Madden 21 sims. In the Jags’ two Madden Holiday season wins, Minshew posted 28.88 DKFP against the Colts and 26.5 DKFP against the Colts, but he stumbled to just 8.66 DKFP against the Texans in Jacksonville’s one Holiday Season defeat. In his two matchups with the Jets, he also had polarizing results with just 6.86 DKFP in their first meeting but 300 yards, two touchdowns and 24.56 DKFP in the rematch. Minshew has the upside to match a normal Mahomes game at a much cheaper price, but he also brings the risk of sinking your lineup with a dud if he has an off game. If you decide to stack your other roster spots, he’s the best cheap play at QB, though, since he does have the ceiling needed to match the more expensive plays when he’s on his game.

Other Option — Joe Burrow ($6,400), Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,600)


Running Back

Stud

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals, $7,200 — Mostert continues to be beset by injuries in real life, but he is a great option in simland, where everyone is healthy and at full strength. Surprisingly, he has had a slow start to the Madden Holiday Season with just 9.6 and 10.3 DKFP, but he should be in a good matchup in which to get right against Arizona’s inconsistent run defense. Mostert had 24.4 DKFP against them in their first meeting and is still averaging over 20 DKFP per sim in Madden 21 despite his recent struggles. Mostert has kept some fantasy value by being very involved in the passing game with 15 catches over his past three sims for exactly 44 receiving yards in each of those three contests. He has averaged 3.1 receptions for 25.6 yards per sim in his 29 Madden 21 contests and is a dual-threat option that could have a monster game to carry his team into the knockout rounds.

Other Option — Kenyan Drake ($6,300)

Value

Chris Thompson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets, $5,200 — Another injured RB that is healthy and productive in simland is Thompson, who is the Jaguars’ RB1 in these sims and had been a nice dual-threat weapon as well. He is coming off a miserable performance against the Texans in which he managed just 1.3 DKFP, but he had posted double-digit DKFP in five straight before that and in 10 of his prior 11 contests. He had double-digit DKFP in each of his previous meetings with the Jets as well, with 17.6 DKFP and 12.8 DKFP in those two contests. Thompson is averaging 3.6 catches for 23.1 receiving yards in addition to his 53.2 rushing yards per sim. While he hasn’t gone off for huge games as often as Mostert, he is similar in that he can produce fantasy points in multiple ways which makes him a low-risk play in the late matchup against the Jets.

Other Options — Gio Bernard ($4,900)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $8,000 — The Cheetah is the only player in all of Madden with a perfect 99 speed rating, and he has used that to be a fantasy beast in these sims. Mahomes has fed Hill plenty of targets throughout the Chiefs’ 33 sims, and Hill has averaged 6.6 catches for 94.4 yards per sim while scoring 29 touchdowns in 33 contests. Hill has seven touchdowns over his past five sims dating back to his prior matchup with the Bengals. He burned them for 10 catches, 104 yards, two touchdowns and 35.4 DKFP, so it's obvious he has the ability to once again reach his extremely high ceiling in this rematch.

Other Options — Jamison Crowder ($6,300), John Ross III ($5,900)

Value

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets, $5,700 — Westbrook has been outstanding for the Jaguars in the Madden Holiday Season with 27.8 DKFP against the Titans, 26.8 DKFP against the Colts and even 11.8 DKFP in the Jags’ loss in their most recent sim. Westbrook also had a big game against the Jets in their most recent meeting with six catches, 137 yards, a touchdown and 29.7 DKFP. Working out of the slot, he should continue to be one of Minshew’s top options in the Jags’ passing attack.

Chris Hogan, New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars, $3,300 — Hogan is a nice cheap WR option as the Jets’ WR2 and has scored a touchdown in each of his past two sims to help the Jets beat the Dolphins and the Patriots. He has six touchdowns in his 28 sims in Madden 21 while averaging 2.9 catches for 39.8 yards per sim. He had three catches in each of his two earlier matchups with the Jaguars, finishing with 6.8 DKFP and 9.0 DKFP in those two matchups. Even if he doesn’t find the end zone, he’s the kind of value you need to make the big salaries work at other positions.

Other Options — Tyler Boyd ($5,100), Demarcus Robinson ($4,300), Larry Fitzgerald ($4,100)


Tight End

Stud

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $6,500 — There is plenty of TE talent on this slate led by Kelce, who hasn’t been slowed down by the focus of the Chiefs’ offense on Tyreek Hill. Kelce is still getting plenty of volume, averaging 6.2 catches for 77.4 yards per sim. He scored two touchdowns in the first two sims in the Madden Holiday Season to bring his total to 21 touchdowns in 33 games in Madden 21. He had over 21 DKFP in each of the three games in the divisional round and he went off for 123 yards, two touchdowns and 32.3 DKFP in his earlier matchup with Cincinnati.

Other Options — George Kittle ($5,800), Chris Herndon ($5,400)

Value

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs, $4,100 — Uzomah had seven catches for 41 yards and 11.1 DKFP in his previous sim against the Chiefs and is coming off a three-catch game against the Ravens. He has produced at least 9.9 DKFP in three of his past five games, including his contest with Kansas City, and I think he’s a very solid pivot at only $4K if you can’t afford to pay up for Kelce.

Other Option — Tyler Eifert ($4,600)


DST

Stud

Jets DST at Jacksonville Jaguars, $3,100 — When Minshew struggles, it usually turns into a big game for the opposing DST, and the Jets have been one of the better units in Madden 21. They have 72 sacks in their 28 sims with 15 takeaways and five defensive touchdowns. They had 12 DKFP in their first meeting with Jacksonville and followed that with 2.0 DKFP in the rematch. They have at least 4.0 DKFP in eight straight sims and should be able to once again take advantage of this matchup to be the top DST on the slate.

Value

49ers DST vs. Arizona Cardinals, $2,700 — The 49ers have a good matchup too, from a takeaway perspective since Kyler Murray ($6,800) has been turnover-prone in these Madden 21 sims. Murray has 13 turnovers in 27 sims after losing a pair of fumbles against the Seahawks in his most recent contest. San Francisco forced the Cardinals into two turnovers in their previous matchup and finished with 11.0 DKFP in that contest with three sacks as well. They have boom-or-bust potential in this final regular-season matchup as they look to “win and get in” to the next round.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $10K Holiday Season Kickoff [$2K 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.