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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets for Chiefs-Saints Championship Showdown on December 29

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Tuesday’s Madden Stream Holiday Season Championship game, which starts at 8:00 p.m. ET.

We’ve reached the championship game of the 2020 Madden Holiday Season on the DraftKings Dream Stream, so there is just one sim on the schedule this Tuesday. The Kansas City Chiefs made it to the finals of the preseason tournament in Madden 21 as well but lost to the Atlanta Falcons. They’ll look to finish strong this tournament against another NFC South foe as they take on the New Orleans Saints in this matchup. Both teams have gone undefeated in this tournament to this point, but both have had several close games in the playoffs. They have faced each other once before in these Madden 21 sims, and the Saints emerged with the win, 25-21. Can New Orleans knock off Kansas City again and hand them their second runner-up finish or will the Chiefs claim the championship? Make sure to join the pre-game show on the DraftKings Dream Stream at 7:00 p.m. ET before the kickoff of the game at 8:00 p.m. ET.

To review how the teams got here and keep up with the latest scores, check out the standings and results, and you can also see who the standout performers have been on the stat leaders page. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on the main Holiday Season page for special offers to celebrate the end of the tournament, and make sure to enter the Madden Stream $30K Holiday Season Championship, where for just $15 you get a shot at the $10K top prize.

As has been the case throughout this tournament, 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 $30K Holiday Season Championship [$10K to 1st] and your free lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest (KC vs NO)


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 17.


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Tyreek Hill ($16,200 CP) — Hill has been the most reliable WR in Madden 21 and brings an elite ceiling. He won the AFC Holiday Season MVP that was voted on by the fans in the virtual AFC Championship Game yesterday, and he has been the key to many winning lineups over his 36 sims in Madden 21. The key to Hill’s consistent reliability has been his volume. He is hauling in 6.6 catches per contest in Madden 21 and has turned those into 93.1 yards and 30 touchdowns. He has been held out of the end zone in each of his two most recent games after scoring four touchdowns in his first four games in the Madden Holiday Season.

Hill doesn’t have a 99 overall rating but he does have a 99 speed rating to go with his X-factor of “RAC ‘Em Up.” He had a quiet game in the virtual AFC Championship with six catches, 71 yards and 13.1 DKFP, but he produced over 21 DKFP in six of his seven previous sims including monster games with 35.4 DKFP, 43.4 DKFP and 42.6 DKFP. When he faced the Saints before, Hill had just five catches for 35 yards, but I think he’s poised for a much better output in the championship game and brings the sky-high ceiling to carry the Chiefs and your fantasy showdown lineup to the win.

Jared Cook ($7,800 CP) — The Chiefs come packed with their three X-factor superstars in Hill, Patrick Mahomes ($12,200) and Travis Kelce ($8,800), but they all come with huge price tags attached. If you want to include all three of those players, it will definitely help if you find a cheaper Captain’s Pick to pivot to. Of the more affordable group, Cook jumps out as a play with big-time upside and reliable production. He has touchdowns in each of his two most recent sims and is up to 10 scores in his 35 Madden 21 sims. He is averaging 4.5 catches per sim for 49.7 yards and 11.6 DKFP per contest over those 35 games.

Cook has multiple receptions in 13 straight games with four or more catches in 10 of those contests. While that brings nice consistency, he also comes with a high ceiling, having popped for over 20 DKFP in six of those contests and had seven catches for 65 yards and 13.5 DKFP even without a touchdown in his first game against the Chiefs. Since the Saints will likely have to throw a lot to keep up with KC, Cook should get plenty of targets and return good value. Kansas City has given up some big games to TEs and their zone defenses do tend to leave some holes over the middle. Cook will be able to go off if he gets another touchdown, while also allowing you the salary cap room to stock your flex spots with the other top options.


FLEX Plays

Patrick Mahomes ($12,200) There is no arguing with how impressive Mahomes has been throughout these sims. He has thrown for 85 touchdowns in his 36 Madden 21 contests while running for nine more and averaging 290.3 passing yards per sim. He has multiple touchdowns in five straight games since a slow start to the Madden Holiday Season and has hit the 300-yard bonus in three of his past four games, including the virtual AFC Championship when he threw for 321 yards and finished with 23.34 DKFP. Mahomes is the only QB in Madden 21 with a perfect 99 overall rating and has been one of the best options almost every time he takes the field.

One of Mahomes’ rare down games came in his first matchup with the Saints, as he was held to just one touchdown and 15.76 DKFP. Since he does come at a high price, you’ll need to manage your cap carefully elsewhere, but he has been the most reliable elite-level producer with over 20 DKFP in eight of his past nine games and 13 of his past 15. Mahomes also comes with an extremely high ceiling with six sims over 34 DKFP, including a massive 42.5-DKFP performance against the Patriots.

Alvin Kamara ($11,000) — Kamara got his X-factor back in the December update from EA Sports, and he has stepped up and taken the Holiday Season by storm. He has over 18 DKFP in each of the Saints’ six wins with seven touchdowns during the tournament. Kamara’s X-factor is “Satellite” which helps him be more involved as a receiver out of the backfield and he has averaged 4.1 receptions per sim in the tournament. He has scored three of his touchdowns on a passing play and always seems to find space in these sims one way or another. The Chiefs are solid against the run, but they have given up some big games to pass-catching backs, so look for Kamara to be a solid PPR producer and bring that high ceiling to this championship matchup.

Chiefs DST ($2,600) — With all the superstar options in play, you’re definitely going to need to find some value somewhere in your flex spots. One option that makes a lot of sense is to go under $3K with the Chiefs’ defense, which has put up solid points throughout these sims. Kansas City has 67 sacks in 36 sims during their Madden 21 sims and has multiple sacks in each of their six games in the Holiday Season. They had at least 9.0 DKFP in three of those matchups even without a defensive touchdown, showing they can create turnovers and get pressure on the QB consistently. While the Saints’ offense has been good in these sims, they have also struggled at times giving up sacks, so the Chiefs could end up a nice play with consistent pressure throughout or with a big play in the return game. Other value options that make sense in flex spots include Chiefs’ WR Demarcus Robinson ($3,600) and the kickers, Harrison Butker ($4,000) and Wil Lutz ($3,800), who won’t have to deal with the elements since this game will be at the virtual Superdome.


Fades

Drew Brees ($10,000) — It’s hard to fade any of the top options since they all have so much potential, but of the elite group I do think Brees has the most risk and lowest ceiling. He has only produced over 16 DKFP once in his past six games, when he threw for three touchdowns and 289 yards in the conference semifinals against the Eagles. Even in that matchup, he only had 23.86 DKFP, and he has only been able to reach 25 DKFP three times over his past 29 sims. Brees lost his X-factor in the most recent update and hasn’t been quite as sharp or consistent as Mahomes. While he definitely could go off for a big game, I don’t think that’s the most likely scenario, so I’ll be leaning towards Kamara to produce the touchdowns, while Brees is left out of my lineups.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($7,800) - Like with Brees, it isn’t that CEH has no upside, it’s just that he hasn’t been as consistent and his ceiling isn’t quite as high as the other top plays. Edwards-Helaire is coming off one of his best games of the sims, though, after finding the end zone three times in the virtual AFC Championship game. He finished that game with 24.9 DKFP but had been held under 11 DKFP in four of his five previous games during the Holiday Season. If you think Mahomes is going to have a big game, it probably means limited involvement for CEH, who has all five of his receiving touchdowns at home, where he averages 15.3 DKFP per contest compared to just 13.6 DKFP in his 15 road matchups. The potential is definitely there as we saw in his most recent game, but Edwards-Helaire is touchdown-dependent and therefore a little overpriced in this showdown.


THE OUTCOME

The Chiefs have been the most consistent team on offense throughout all these Madden 21 sims and they have big-time upside with many of their star players. Hill, Mahomes or Kelce could single-handedly carry their team to victory with dominant performances, but of the group, I think Hill is most likely to have a monster game with multiple big plays. While both defenses have played well to get them to this point, I think the Chiefs have more depth across all positions and will be able to get enough pressure on Brees to force him into some mistakes.

It should be a wildly entertaining game, and the real winner is everyone who has been a part of this Madden Holiday Season tournament that will wrap with such a marquee contest. In the end, though, I think the Chiefs will end up pulling away and getting the tournament championship that eluded them in the preseason.

Final Score: Kansas City 34, New Orleans 24

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $30K Holiday Season Championship [$10K to 1st] and your free lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest (KC vs NO)


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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.