There’s no Thursday Night Football in the NFL today due to COVID-19 scheduling adjustments, but the DraftKings Dream Stream is filling in the gap with a full six-game schedule of Madden sims running throughout the afternoon and evening. The featured three-game classic slate gets underway at 6:00 p.m. ET when the Washington Football Team goes on the road to take on the Las Vegas Raiders for the second sim in a row for each team. In the primetime matchup at 8:00 p.m. ET, the San Francisco 49ers host Tom Brady ($6,300) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and we close out the action with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Cincinnati Bengals on Madden After Dark at 10:00 p.m. ET.
A key factor to consider is that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries 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.
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.
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 13.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals, $8,000 — If you’ve been following these Madden sims for a while, you may remember back in one of the Madden 2020 sims when the Bengals pulled off a huge upset and beat the Chiefs. While the motto of “any given simday” does definitely apply to this contest, it’s heavily tilted toward the Chiefs, who have a significant ratings advantage in just about every matchup. Mahomes has been awesome in these sims, producing 24.8 DKFP per contest after throwing for 313 yards and three touchdowns in his most recent contest on Tuesday against the Lions. He has totaled over 8,000 passing yards in his 28 sims while throwing for 64 touchdowns and running for nine more. While he doesn’t run a ton, he picks his spots well, averaging 10.6 rushing yards per contest to go with his much more impressive 286.6 passing yards average. Mahomes has had a few down games from time to time, but for the most part has played up to his 99 overall rating. He has at least 27 DKFP in three of his past four contests and comes with an extremely high ceiling as well, having reached over 34 DKFP five times since the upgrade to Madden 21.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $6,800 — Burrow will have the tall task of trying to help the Bengals keep up with KC. The No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft has looked solid as a Madden rookie, averaging 17.8 DKFP with 35 passing touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns in 24 contests. He has had three rushing touchdowns over his past four games, resulting in three contests with over 23 DKFP. Burrow’s knee is in good shape in simland, so he makes the best pivot of the QBs under $7K. While he offers a huge discount from Mahomes’ salary, he has been much more inconsistent. He is the best option, though, if you prioritize spending up at skill positions and try to save salary at QB.
Other Options — Tom Brady ($6,300), Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($5,800)
Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $8,300 — The 49ers rely so heavily on Mostert in their typical gameplan that he is virtually matchup-proof. He has racked up a total of 28 touchdowns in 25 sims and averages 83.5 rushing yards and 24.3 receiving yards per game. He has reached the 100-yard mark on the ground in three of his past four games, including his most recent contest, when he finished with 131 yards and 28.1 DKFP against the Bears. He has over 17 DKFP in five of his past seven games and has produced an average of 22.7 DKFP over that stretch. He hasn’t gone up against the Bucs yet in Madden 21, but his heavy volume makes him worth considering even though he is the only RB with a salary over $6.5K on the slate.
Other Option — J.D. McKissic ($6,200)
LeSean McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers, $4,300 — McCoy has been a regular part of the Bucs’ timeshare at RB, serving as the third-down back while Leonard Fournette ($5,200) handles short-yardage and early-down work. McCoy has four catches in each of his past two sims and has produced at least 7.0 DKFP in four straight games. He can pile up work as either rusher or receiver if the Bucs lean heavily into shotgun formations and totaled 86 rushing yards three games ago when he took on the Bengals. Even though he only has one touchdown in his 24 sims, he gets enough work to be a pretty safe value play at this salary. Paying down for McCoy and a few other bargains should allow you to build around the elite options at the top of each position.
Other Options — Giovani Bernard ($4,800), Jalen Richard ($3,900)
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals, $7,400 — Hill’s 99 speed rating makes him almost as unguardable in Madden 21 (much like in real life). While he won’t get a chance to torch the Bucs’ secondary like he did on Sunday, he does get a great matchup against the Bengals, who have been a very favorable matchup for wide receivers. Hill has been a volume producer in these sims, averaging 6.2 catches for 86.4 yards per contest and scoring 22 touchdowns over his 28 sims. He had a quieter game against the Lions with only 9.8 DKFP but still had five catches to keep him from being a total bust. Hill had over 19 DKFP in four straight before two down games, but I think he’s set up to bounce back in a big way since the Bengals don’t have anyone in their secondary who can even remotely keep up with The Cheetah.
Other Options — Tyrell Williams ($6,800), Chris Godwin ($5,800)
Steven Sims Jr., Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders, $5,400 — Sims has had a disappointing season in real life but has been a key part of Washington’s offense in Madden, serving as the WR2. Sims had two touchdowns against the Raiders when they met in the first of their back-to-back matchups, producing five catches for 48 yards and a total of 21.8 DKFP. He’ll look to take advantage of the same mismatch in the rematch and produce his fourth straight contest with over 15 DKFP. He has averaged 3.8 catches for 48.1 yards per sim over his 25 contests and should continue to be involved enough to be a very nice mid-range play at WR.
Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals, $3,400 — If you’re looking to stack the Chiefs’ three big stars, you’ll need some salary relief at some roster spot, and ironically, I don’t think you have to look very far since one of the best cheap WRs is on the Chiefs as well. Robinson has been involved as the WR3 with multiple catches in six straight contests and 23 of his past 26 contests. He has a nice ceiling if he gets into the end zone or has more than five catches, but his main value is that he almost always gives you consistent production and hardly ever totally busts. He is averaging 8.1 DKFP per contest in Madden 21 and 9.0 DKFP over his past 10 contests, which is a very solid rate of return for an investment under $3.5K.
Other Options — Mike Evans ($5,000), Tyler Boyd ($4,800), Scotty Miller ($3,200)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals, $6,300 — Kelce doesn’t have the breakaway speed that his teammate Hill offers, but he has been getting great volume and brings a very high ceiling as a result. He has averaged 6.2 catches for 75.6 yards per sim and scored 17 touchdowns in 28 contests. In his most recent sim on Tuesday, he had 27.9 DKFP on seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown, giving him three games with over 21 DKFP in his past four sims. The Bengals have struggled against TEs throughout Madden 21, so Kelce should have plenty of room to operate. It’s hard to pick between him and Hill since both will be in big-time mismatches, and who produces will likely come down to where Mahomes looks for the majority of his targets.
Other Options — Darren Waller ($5,300), George Kittle ($5,100)
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers, $4,300 — Gronk hasn’t quite lived up to his surprisingly high rating in Madden this season in real life or in these sims, but since he’s so cheap on this slate, he actually makes a lot of sense if you’re not paying up for an elite option. Gronk has at least four catches in five straight sims, dating back to a 10-catch, 18.5-DKFP performance against the Steelers. He had his fifth touchdown of the Madden 21 sims in his most recent contest, hauling in four catches for 56 yards and 15.6 DKFP against the Colts. He has been getting enough volume to be a solid play at this price whether you’re slotting him in as your only TE or looking to fill your flex spot with a reliable play barely over $4K.
Other Option — Jeremy Sprinkle ($4,700)
Washington Football Team DST at Las Vegas Raiders, $3,200 — Washington is playing the Raiders for the second straight sim after losing 28-21 in their first matchup in Vegas. The defense stepped up with an interception and a defensive touchdown on their way to 8.0 DKFP, but the offense couldn’t get going in that loss. Overall, Washington’s defense has been excellent in these sims, with 55 sacks and 16 takeaways in their 25 contests. That was actually their first defensive touchdown of the Madden 21 sims, but they have still been able to average 6.2 DKFP per contest as a result of limiting their opponent and piling up sacks. It was uncharacteristic of them to give up 28 points to the Raiders in their most recent sim, and I think they’ll be able to limit them much better in this rematch and be the top DST on the board.
Buccaneers DST at San Francisco 49ers, $2,900 — The Bucs’ DST still hasn’t scored a defensive touchdown in their 24 sims, but they have still been a pretty solid play with eight takeaways and 63 sacks. Averaging 2.6 sacks per contest has helped them produce 4.1 DKFP per sim and should allow them to get pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,300) in this contest. Their run defense, which is usually solid, is in for a tough test against Mostert, but they are a nice sub-$3K pivot if you need to go cheap on defense to fit in the offensive options you like the most.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.