With real-life sports in the midst of an extended time out, DraftKings has been helping to fill the void with some very entertaining simulated sports action. Each day, there are six Madden Streams and eight free contests, with a single-game Showdown for each game along with a pair of classic contests. Each of the simulations is played out via an online Madden Stream using Madden 2020 with rosters and ratings from the end of the 2019-20 season. In this format, you can enjoy watching the game stream on the DraftKings YouTube channel, the DK Live app or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team rack up some big fantasy points.
Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET kickoff features a pair of teams that would be in the AFC Playoff hunt based on their records in these sims so far. The Jaguars have gone 18-14, which is good enough to put them atop the virtual AFC South, while the Jets have gone 17-16, which would earn them a Wild Card even though they trail the Patriots in the virtual AFC East. These two teams played recently, and the Jaguars got a 16-10 road win in New York. They’ll be at home in this matchup as they try to move to 2-0 on the Jets in these sims.
Both these teams have had some great games on offense but also have strong defenses, so there is a wide range of possibilities for this matchup. I’ll let you know how I think it will play out and my favorite picks for your showdown lineup in this post.
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New York Jets
The Jets often try to build their gameplan around Le’Veon Bell ($9,800), who still has an 88 overall rating despite being downgraded to just Superstar after being one of the 50 players with an X-Factor at launch. He still has the superstar abilities of “Spin Cycle” and “Arm Bar,” which make his spin and stiff-arm moves more powerful and effective. He has averaged 64.6 rushing yards per sim while scoring 13 touchdowns and also typically adding a few catches as well. He only had 31 yards in the Jets’ first meeting with the Jags, which was one of the main reasons they struggled. He has hit double-digit DKFP in each of his past two games but hasn’t rushed for more than 60 yards in any of his four most recent contests. He’s a risky play at this salary, but there is upside because he gets all the work in the backfield.
With Bell as the focus, QB Sam Darnold ($10,400) has been solid, game-managing QB in these sims averaging 16.2 DKFP per contest. He only has a 74 overall rating but has thrown multiple touchdowns in four of his past five games with over 16 DKFP in each of those contests. Madden characterizes his “Sense Pressure” as “Paranoid” which means he will get the ball out quick most of the time. He had just 12.46 DKFP against the Jaguars in his first game against them, and I don’t see him as a must-roster in this contest. He does have upside and has had a few big games but has also struggled in many outings.
When Darnold does throw, he spreads the ball around pretty effectively. Robby Anderson ($9,200) is the WR1 and has a high ceiling due to his 94 speed rating. Anderson had a monster sim against Seattle catching nine passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns and 43.9 DKFP but has followed that with just 11.4 DFKP and 3.7 DKFP in his two sims since that contest. He is definitely worth a look with all that high-speed upside but is a high-risk play too since his floor is very low.
WR2 Jamison Crowder ($7,600) has also been very hit-or-miss but does have five catches for double-digit DKFP in each of his two most recent contests. He can be effective out of the slot with his 80 overall rating and has scored 12 touchdowns in his 31 sims with a catch. He has been shut out in two contests and has a low floor, although his ceiling is solid for an option over $7K.
One of the reasons Anderson and Crowder have the potential to bust is that WR3 Demaryius Thomas ($5,200) is heavily involved. He has a catch in all 33 sims and is averaging 3.7 receptions for 51.8 yards per sim. He only has three touchdowns but has still managed 9.6 DKFP per contest. DT has a 90 speed rating and 78 overall rating while also being strong on the ball with an 83 catching rating and an 88 spectacular catching rating. Of the Jets’ WR, he is both the most affordable option and the most reliable.
Against the Jaguars the first time around, TE Ryan Griffin ($7,200) was the most effective pass-catches with six catches for 33 yards and the team’s lone touchdown. He had 15.3 DKFP in that contest and has over 13 DKFP in four of seven games since then. He’s more expensive than Thomas or Crowder but is involved enough to give him a look if you have the salary.
The Jets’ DST ($3,200) has been one of my favorites to play in these sims, and they’re surprisingly affordable. I really like that at just over $3K since they have forced 36 turnovers in their 33 contests with six defensive touchdowns and two safeties boosting their average to 7.0 DKFP per sim. Jamal Adams leads the group with the Superstar abilities of “Enforcer” and “Under Pressure” along with his X-Factor of “Reinforcement.” Adams has a 92 overall rating, and should continue to cause mayhem in this favorable matchup.
The Jaguars have been very good in these sims despite only a 69 overall rating for rookie QB Gardner Minshew ($10,000). Minshew is averaging 17.2 DKFP per sim, which is better than Darnold’s average, and has thrown for 57 touchdowns in his 32 sims. He is coming off a great game against the Bucs in which he threw four scores and totaled 27.68 DKFP. He has excelled against bad defenses but struggled against good defenses, most recently posting just 0.4 DKFP against the Vikings three sims ago. He only has a 78 throw accuracy mid rating and an 84 throw power rating and those traits came back to haunt him with just 6.5 DKFP in his first meeting with the Jets. Of the two QBs in this showdown, Minshew is my preferred option, but I think you could fade both QBs in this game as well, since it shapes up to be a run-heavy contest.
Like the Jets want to rely on Bell, the Jags like to build their offense around RB Leonard Fournette ($8,400), who has produced 15.6 DKFP per game and always seems to be right around the 100-yard bonus. His Superstar ability is “Bulldozer,” which gives him more powerful trucking animations, and he’s a true power back. In addition, he catches passes out of the backfield with 2.3 receptions per sim, giving him even more volume. He has turned in a pair of big games in his two most recent sims with 22.2 DKFP against the Browns thanks to two touchdowns and 29.3 DKFP against the Bucs with over 100 rushing yards and a touchdown as a receiver. He had 10.2 DKFP in the first meeting between these two teams and will likely be the go-to guy in the Jags attack, setting up a nice return on a surprisingly affordable salary.
My favorite Jaguar to play throughout these sims has been D.J. Chark ($8,800), who has been up-and-down a bit but always as a very high ceiling as Jacksonville’s WR1. He has an impressive 24 touchdowns in 32 sims to go with 4.0 catches for 66.9 yards per sim. He has an 81 overall rating with an impressive 94 speed rating that gives him a high ceiling. He only had one catch for 11 yards the first time these teams met, but I think he’ll bounce back with a good game due to his effective route tree in the Jags’ playbook and the fact that Minshew typically sticking with his early reads. Dede Westbrook ($6,800) is the WR2 with a 79 overall rating and 93 speed rating. He hasn’t been as reliable as Chark and is a little pricey at almost $7K. I’d actually look a little cheaper at WR3 Marqise Lee ($4,200) for value. He has not had a catch in three sims, but he has also been heavily involved at times. He had five catches for 87 yards against the Jets in their first meeting, so the matchup plays to his favor.
TE James O’Shaughnessy ($8,000) has been excellent at times during these sims and has seen his price climb all the way to $8K. He hasn’t hit double-digit DKFP in any of his four most recent contests but did have over 23 DKFP in his two games before that. He’s a solid option with his 75 overall rating to go with his 83 speed rating and 81 catching rating, but he’s expensive in this matchup, which isn’t terrible but isn’t great either.
The Jaguars’ DST ($3,400) has a solid group of playmakers led by Calais Campbell and his 95 overall rating, but the don’t have the turnover-maker like Adams is for the Jets. I’d rather go with the Jets DST or even K Josh Lambo ($3,800) who is a solid 85 overall and has been reliable as a value play. Lambo is the second-highest rated kicker in all of Madden and has averaged 7.4 DKFP per sim.
The two RBs stand out as Captain’s Pick options, and of the two I prefer Leonard Fournette ($12,600 CP), who is actually more affordable as well. D.J. Chark ($13,200 CP) always has the potential to go off for the Jags as well although he’s much less reliable than Fournette. On the other side, Demaryius Thomas ($7,800 CP) and Jets DST ($4,800 CP) are viable Captain’s Pick options and leave you lots of room to spend for your other flex spots.
While both teams have been inconsistent, I’ve like what I’ve seen from the Jaguars in these sims, who get the ball in the hands of Fournette and Chark, which helps them overcome their low-rated starting QB. The Jets DST is a wild card and can change any matchup in a hurry, but I think they’ll end up coming up short on the road in Jacksonville.
Final Score: Jaguars 23, Jets 17
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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.