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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for December 30

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.

After a great finish to the 2020 Madden Holiday Season on Tuesday, the DraftKings Dream Stream is back in action on Wednesday with a full six-game schedule of sims in non-tournament play. It’s another wild weather Wednesday, so make sure to get your lineups locked in for what should be a fun-filled fantasy football day. The featured contest is the Classic slate that kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with a snow game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos in the first meeting between these teams in the Madden 21 sims. At 8:00 p.m., the New England Patriots head to Ohio, where there is rain in the forecast for their matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Patriots won their earlier meeting with the Bengals in the sims, 20-14. We close out the day with a much more familiar matchup as the AFC East takes center stage with the Buffalo Bills welcoming in the New York Jets for a snow game which will be the third time these teams have met in Madden 21, with the Bills winning both previous matchups, 20-17 and 14-6.

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 $8K Holiday Season Special [$2K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest


Quarterback

Stud

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos, $9,200 — Jackson carried the Ravens to the virtual AFC Championship game in the Madden Holiday Season but couldn’t quite get them past the eventual-champion Kansas City Chiefs. After struggling to just 5.58 DKFP in the Holiday Season opener, Jackson found a groove, producing over 100 yards rushing and over 22 DKFP in each of his five most recent sims. His best game during that run came in his most recent contest on Monday, when he ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns and finished with 44.24 DKFP. His potential game-winning Hail Mary as time expired fell incomplete, but it was still a great showing for the Madden 21 cover athlete. Jackson has been awesome in these sims, averaging 26.5 DKFP on 105.1 rushing yards and 147.2 passing yards per contest. He has scored 27 rushing touchdowns in 32 sims while adding 30 passing touchdowns as well. The dual-threat QB should be able to put the Broncos’ defense on skates in the snow, and he’s the only elite QB on the slate, averaging more than 6.5 DKFP more than any other QB in play.

Other Option — Josh Allen ($8,000)

Value

Cam Newton, New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals, $6,000 — If you’re fading Jackson, Newton is the best option to consider since he has a great matchup against the Bengals. When he faced them earlier in the sims in Cincinnati, Newton threw for 291 yards and had two rushing scores on his way to 26.54 DKFP, one of his best performances in his 31 sims in Madden 21. Newton had a rough Holiday Season and has been inconsistent from game-to-game in Madden, much like in real life. However, he does have the upside to match Jackson’s production if he hits his ceiling in what should be a good spot for him to post a big number.

Other Options — Joe Burrow ($6,500), Drew Lock ($5,700)


Running Back

Stud

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets, $6,300 — The late game should be a “Ground and Pound” defensive contest in the snow in Buffalo, and Singletary should be set up for a big workload as the Bills’ RB1 and third-down back. He does lose an occasional carry to Zack Moss ($3,200), but he definitely handles the vast majority of the work. He had a strong Holiday Season with 17 DKFP or more in three of his four matchups including a 23.2-DKFP performance against these Jets. In that game, ‘Motor’ ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns while hauling in a pair of catches for 19 yards as well. He has multiple receptions in 10 of his past 12 sims coming into this matchup, so he usually chips in as a pass-catcher as well. With the snow potentially limiting the Bills to shorter throws, he should be able to grab a few more catches while also getting plenty of work on the ground in this divisional matchup. Since most of the other teams in play use a more balanced timeshare in the backfield, Singletary is also one of the most reliable plays on this slate.

Other Option — Le’Veon Bell ($6,800)

Value

James White, New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals, $3,900 — White is the third-down back for the Patriots in these sims and usually gets enough work to be worth this very affordable salary under $4K. He was very uninvolved in their most recent sim with just one catch and 1.6 DKFP but had at least 6.0 DKFP in 13 of his previous 15 sims, including seven in which he reached double-digit DKFP. Over his 31 sims in Madden 21, he has scored six touchdowns and is averaging 3.1 catches for 19.3 yards per contest. The rain could force Newton to check down to him more, which gives him both a nice ceiling and low risk for a player at this salary.

Other Options — Giovani Bernard ($5,500), J.K. Dobbins ($3,600)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Jamison Crowder, New York Jets at Buffalo Bills, $6,100 — Due to the weather concerns, I prefer to go with Crowder and his production as a PPR-beast out of the slot instead of a boom-or-bust deep threat like Courtland Sutton ($6,700) or Stefon Diggs ($6,600) on this slate. Crowder is the Jets’ WR1 but should avoid Tre’Davious White, who usually stays on the outside WR rather than shadowing the opposing team’s top option into the slot. With the exception of his most recent game when the Jets were bounced from the Holiday Season by the Ravens, Crowder has been consistently productive lately with 11 DKFP in four straight before being held to only one catch in that loss to Baltimore. He had five catches for 67 yards and 11.7 DKFP in his recent game against the Bills and scored his tenth touchdown of the Madden 21 sims in his 18.7-DKFP performance against the Patriots three sims ago. Crowder had at least three catches in nine straight contests before that dud against the Ravens, and I think he’ll be able to bounce back in this matchup in snowy upstate New York.

Other Options — Stefon Diggs ($6,600), N’Keal Harry ($5,900)

Value

Damiere Byrd, New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals, $3,900 — Byrd is the Patriots’ WR3 in these sims and has had enough big games to be worth considering at this bargain price under $4K. He has finished with exactly four catches in three of his past five games with over 40 receiving yards in each of those contests, highlighted by a 14.4-DKFP performance against the Saints in which he scored his fourth touchdown in Madden 21. Byrd is more of a deep threat than most of the other WR options under $4K and has shown big-play ability due to his 94 speed rating. Byrd is a little more boom-or-bust than the other bargain options in this price range but also comes with a higher ceiling into this favorable matchup with the Bengals, who he had three catches against in their first Madden 21 meeting.

Willie Snead IV, Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos, $3,700 — The Ravens passing game has been inconsistent since Jackson runs so much in these sims, but Snead is a great value option out of the slot, especially with the snow in Denver possibly forcing more short passes. Snead has multiple catches in 19 straight sims although his yardage is usually limited since he serves as a checkdown option and possession WR on shorter routes. He did hit for 10 DKFP with a touchdown against the Chargers in the Holiday Season, but he will need either a score or a high volume of catches to go off since he’s only averaging 26.0 receiving yards per sim.

Other Options — John Ross III ($5,800), Marquise Brown ($4,500)


Tight End

Stud

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots, $4,800 — Weather games and shorter passes typically trend in TEs favor, so make sure to choose carefully on Wednesdays. When teams play the Patriots, they’re also forced to use their TE a little more since New England’s CBs typically lock things down on the outside. Uzomah had three catches, 53 yards, a touchdown and 14.3 DKFP in his first game against the Patriots and is averaging 4.1 catches for 44.6 yards per sim while finding the end zone 10 times in 29 contests in Madden 21. Uzomah had the Bengals’ only touchdown in their playoff loss to the Chiefs in the Holiday Season and finished with at least three catches in five of his past six games, producing at least 9.9 DKFP in four of those sims as well.

Other Options — Chris Herndon ($5,100), Noah Fant ($4,200)

Value

Devin Asiasi, New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals, $3,300 — The Patriots’ playbook made Ben Watson a hero back in Madden 2020 and even favors TEs enough to make Asiasi a fantasy factor, despite the fact that the rookie is still looking for his first NFL catch in real life. Asiasi has averaged 3.8 catches for 40.3 yards per sim in Madden 21 and has at least four catches in four of his past five contests. He makes sense in your flex spot at this salary since he has been more consistent than the WRs or RBs at this salary and also has some decent upside if he is involved enough in Newton’s passing attack in rainy Cincinnati.

Other Option — Lee Smith ($3,700)


DST

Stud

Bills DST vs. New York Jets, $2,900 — With the Jets in town for this snow game, the Bills’ DST should be in a good spot if they can get pressure on Sam Darnold ($6,200), who has been very inconsistent in Madden 21. Buffalo moved on to the playoffs in the Holiday Season by posting big defensive games against the Patriots and Dolphins with 13.0 and 16.0 DKFP, respectively. They piled up nine sacks and four takeaways over their four Holiday Season contests and had 14.0 DKFP in their first Madden 21 meeting with the Jets. The Bills have forced 27 turnovers in 29 sims overall with two defensive touchdowns and a safety to average 4.9 DKFP per sim.

Value

Ravens DST at Denver Broncos, $2,500 — The Ravens are surprisingly cheap for what should be a very favorable matchup against the Broncos. Baltimore has matched Buffalo’s 4.9 DKFP per sim, but they have done it more by limiting opponents’ production rather than relying on big plays. The unit is highly rated across the board and has held their opponent to 10 points or fewer in five of their past six games, with the one exception being Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Despite just 14 takeaways in 32 sims, Baltimore’s defense is a solid play since it does usually get a bonus for points allowed and can get pressure on the opposing QB, averaging more than 2.0 sacks per contest.


Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $8K Holiday Season Special [$2K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football 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.