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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for December 23

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Wednesday’s two-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Before taking a couple of days off for Christmas, the DraftKings Dream Stream has a four-game schedule on Wednesday as the 2020 Madden Holiday Season playoffs continue. By the end of the day, the conference finals will be set, and we’ll have just four teams remaining. The AFC starts off the action when the Baltimore Ravens host the New York Jets followed by the Tennessee Titans visiting the Kansas City Chiefs. To see how the teams got here and keep up with the latest scores, check out the standings and results. You can also check out all the stat leaders from the Holiday Season so far along with special offers from featured contests on the main Holiday Season page.

The featured two-game slate kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET and focuses on the two games from the NFC Semifinals, beginning when the Philadelphia Eagles head to the virtual Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints won, 13-10, when they met earlier in these Madden 21 sims. The late game features the top seed in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks, hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who pulled off the biggest surprise of the first round by knocking off the Green Bay Packers Tuesday night. This will be the first time the Bucs and Seahawks have met in our Madden 21 sims, and it will also be the only game impacted by wild weather Wednesday on this slate since rain will be activated for this contest.

As usual, it's important to remember that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness in these sims and that 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 $7K Holiday Season Special [$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 enter your lineup in a rake-free contest for Week 16.


Quarterback

Stud

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $7,500 — Wilson has led his team to a 4-0 start to the Madden Holiday Season after they were able to take care of the Arizona Cardinals, 24-13, in the first round of the playoffs. Wilson threw for just 117 yards but ran for 54 yards and a touchdown to still finish with 16.08 DKFP in that contest. Prior to that game, he had been putting up much better numbers with over 28 DKFP in four of his previous five games, highlighted by over 80 rushing yards in each of those four games. Wilson has averaged 73.9 rushing yards and 183.4 passing yards per sim over his 30 contests in Madden 21 and has thrown 48 touchdowns while adding 17 more on the ground. The dual-threat QB will have a good matchup against the Bucs, who have been prone to giving up big plays in Madden 21. Especially with the rain of wild weather Wednesday potentially making passing more difficult, Wilson makes a ton of sense and is worth paying up for since he has multiple ways to go off for a big game.

Other Option — Carson Wentz ($7,100)

Value

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $6,400 — Brees had a solid game against the Bears Tuesday night, throwing for 222 yards, two touchdowns to Alvin Kamara ($7,200) and a total of 15.78 DKFP. Brees has been consistently around that level throughout the four games in the Madden Holiday Season with no more than 16 DKFP but no less than 13 DKFP in any contest. He only had 12.78 DKFP in his first meeting with the Eagles, but that game was outdoors in Philly while this matchup should be more high-scoring indoors at the virtual Superdome. Brees has been better at home, which isn’t surprising due to his “Indoor Baller” Superstar trait, and fortunately for him, he won’t have to deal with rain in this matchup. He doesn’t have the elite ceiling of Wilson, but he is the better of the two affordable options at QB due to his matchup and the lack of weather in this game. Even though the Eagles did beat the Cowboys in overtime Tuesday, they just gave up four touchdowns and 27.7 DKFP to Dak Prescott in their most recent matchup.

Other Option — Tom Brady ($6,000)


Running Back

Stud

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $7,200 — Kamara had a pair of touchdown catches against the Bears and posted 30.4 DKFP with over 110 total rushing and receiving yards despite the difficult matchup. Things should be significantly easier back indoors against the Eagles in this matchup. Kamara has at least 24 DKFP in four of his past five sims and has now totaled 31 touchdowns in 33 sims in Madden 21. He has multiple scores in three straight games and continues to get plenty of work both as a rusher and receiver. His new X-factor of “Satellite” only makes him more dangerous in the passing game, and he has multiple receptions in 12 straight sims. Kamara is an expensive piece to pay up for at RB, but his spot as the focal point of the Saints’ offense makes him worth trying to fit under your salary cap.

Other Options — Miles Sanders ($6,600), Chris Carson ($5,800)

Value

LeSean McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks, $4,100 — Throughout these sims, McCoy has been regularly involved in the Bucs’ attack as the third-down back while Leonard Fournette ($5,200) handles early-down and power back work. McCoy ran for 33 yards and added just one catch for two yards in the Bucs’ win against Green Bay, but he was able to produce at least 7.0 DKFP in six of his previous eight contests. He usually is a little more involved when the Bucs are playing from behind, so the game script didn’t break his way against the Packers. Against the Seahawks in the rain, Brady may be forced to check down to McCoy more often and rely on shorter passes. If he is, McCoy could be in for a big game and offer very nice value so you can go chase the higher-priced pass catchers.

Other Options — Leonard Fournette ($5,200), Carlos Hyde ($4,600)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $6,200 — Thomas is the only WR with a perfect 99 overall rating in all of Madden, but his numbers haven’t been great lately, which is why he’s relatively affordable at barely over $6K. Thomas had four catches, 52 yards and 9.2 DKFP against the Bears and has only produced over 11 DKFP in one of his past five games. However, the Eagles don’t have any CB who comes close to matching up with Thomas’ ratings. Darius Slay Jr. is their best option with his 90 overall rating, and Nickell Robey-Coleman starts on the other side with an 82 overall rating. Normally, the Eagles play a lot of zone, and if they do that, it should lead to lots of good matchups for Thomas. Earlier in these Madden sims, Thomas showed he can be a target monster and PPR beast, and I think his overall rating will eventually win out and lead to a big game. This matchup would seem to be set up as a good spot for that to happen.

Other Options — Marquise Goodwin ($5,600), Chris Godwin ($5,400)

Value

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $5,000 — The Seahawks’ passing game can sometimes be hit-or-miss since Russ does so much work with his legs, but Lockett is still the WR1 and has a great matchup in this contest out of the slot against the Bucs. Lockett has a great 93 speed rating and the ability to turn short passes into big gains. If the Seahawks have to focus on shorter passes over the middle, it could mean more focus for Lockett, who has multiple catches in seven straight sims and three touchdowns in his four games during the Holiday Season. He hasn’t typically been a volume monster but has had a few good games with over five catches.

Scotty Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks, $3,700 — Since the Bucs don’t have Antonio Brown in this version of their roster, Miller is still the WR3 and has nice upside as a result. He had four catches, 36 yards, a touchdown and 13.6 DKFP in the final game of the Madden Holiday Season divisional round but was held without a catch Tuesday in Green Bay. He should bounce back, though, since he had multiple catches in five of six sims prior to that no-show against the Packers. He is averaging 2.8 catches for 37.5 yards per sim and has found the end zone three times in his 28 contests in Madden 21. If he gets multiple catches in this contest, he’ll be one of the best values on the board, though, so take a shot with him under $4K.

Other Options — Tre’Quan Smith ($4,500), Alshon Jeffery ($4,100)


Tight End

Stud

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints, $5,100 — Ertz has been outstanding in the Madden Holiday Season with the exception of a weird outlier in his first meeting with the Cowboys. He bounced back and erased that in the rematch against Dallas in his most recent sim, though, catching nine passes for 72 yards, a touchdown and 22.2 DKFP. He has at least six catches and 15 DKFP in five of his past six sims and is averaging 5.2 catches for 54.6 yards per contest. That kind of heavy volume should lead to another big game against the Saints, especially if the Eagles’ WRs return to their normal levels of production after huge games in that contest with the Cowboys.

Other Option — Jared Cook ($4,500)

Value

Greg Olsen, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $3,700 — Olsen is the most reliable play on the board under $4K at any position despite a slow game in his most recent contest. He only had 2.1 DKFP against Arizona in that game, but before that, he had at least three catches in seven straight sims. He typically steps up in weather games as Wilson focuses on passes to the middle of the field and will have a very favorable matchup against the Bucs.


DST

Stud

Seahawks DST vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $3,100 — The Seahawks are one of the best Madden 21 defenses since they force so many turnovers with the hard-hitting tandem of Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams. Seattle has recovered 31 fumbles in their 30 Madden 21 sims and added four interceptions, 65 sacks and five defensive touchdowns. The Seahawks’ defense has at least 6.0 DKFP in six straight sims and usually is a good fantasy option when playing at home. Brady has struggled on the road and especially in any kind of adverse weather in Madden 21, so the Seahawks’ defense should be able to cause mayhem against the Bucs in this matchup.

Value

Buccaneers DST at Seattle Seahawks, $2,900 — The rainy conditions will likely make this the lower-scoring of the two sims on the slate, and there is also the potential for turnovers from Seattle. As good as he has been, Wilson has lost 14 fumbles and thrown five interceptions in his 30 sims, while the Bucs have forced 12 turnovers in 29 sims, including a pair of interceptions in Tuesday’s upset of Green Bay on their way to a solid 10-DKFP performance.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $7K Holiday Season Special [$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.