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Madden Stream Picks: Chargers vs. Washington DraftKings Showdown Strategy, Captain’s Picks

Julian Edlow preps you for Monday’s 2 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between the Chargers and Washington with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing its part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Chargers vs. Washington game, which starts at 2 p.m. ET on Monday, July 13.

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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers ($11,400) is tied for the second-highest salary we’ve had to pay for him in his 34 sims. While there are never all that many places we can pay up on a showdown slate for upside, I’m not sure Rivers is worth it. Washington’s defense is cushy, but we’ve seen Rivers fail to go off twice in his past three games, both against soft defenses — 18 DKFP against Miami and 14 DKFP against Arizona. Rivers did throw for three touchdowns in the Week 9 sim against Washington but was still held under 20 DKFP. I’d prefer to just spend on both of Rivers’ WRs, who might be the best duo in the sims so far.

Keenan Allen ($10,400) has been Mr. Consistency, averaging over 70 yards per game with 20 touchdowns in 33 sims. He had just 31 yards the last time around in this matchup but still reached the end zone. I’d expect a better outing this time around. But it’s Mike Williams ($6,600) that has been the best WR2 in Madden and one of the top overall values of this DK sim season. Williams went off for another monster game in his last outing, posting a 5-137-2 line against Carolina, good for 33.7 DKFP. It was his eighth sim with 25-plus DKFP, four of them with at least 33 DKFP. Williams is a must-play.

If you need more value from the Chargers’ pass catchers, Travis Benjamin ($4,800) has some upside. Allen and Williams steal a huge chunk of the production, but Benjamin’s still found the end zone 13 times and hit for three 20-plus DKFP games. He posted a 5-67-1 line in the last sim against Washington, scoring 17.7 DKFP.

With interest in all the WR plays on the Chargers, there has to be an overpriced play somewhere and Hunter Henry ($7,600) is that guy in the passing game. He has identical production to Benjamin, both averaging 8.8 DKFP. Henry’s scored just four touchdowns on the sim season, keeping his floor pretty low considering his price. It’s laughable that Henry costs $1,000 more than Williams.

Melvin Gordon ($8,600) is another wildly overpriced play. Gordon has 27 sims scoring in single-digit DKFP and has exceeded 20 DKFP just twice. He’s a pretty easy fade. Austin Ekeler ($3,200) is averaging nearly the same DKFP for a third of the cost and has seven sims scoring in double figures. He’s not a must-play value, but the obvious call for a punt play in the Chargers’ backfield.


Washington

Dwayne Haskins ($10,600) was a hot name when the sims began and is still a great value play on many of the classic slates. But some regression has kicked in as we’ve gotten a larger sample size this sim season. Haskins also struggled against the Los Angeles defense in the Week 9 sim, scoring just 5.12 DKFP. If I’m paying this much for anyone, it’s only plays on the Chargers’ side.

Terry McLaurin ($9,200) is also a little too rich for me given Haskins’ potential to struggle, but Washington has an offense that’s similar to the Chargers in terms of value. Despite the QB being a fade, there are still some strong WR plays.

Paul Richardson Jr. ($6,200) has been one of the top WR2 plays, although there’s a wide gap between him and Williams. Richardson averages 12.5 DKFP, thanks mostly to his ability to break away for 18 touchdowns. We’ve seen the ability to break a slate from him, going off for a massive 48 DKFP in Week 12 against Tampa.

Trey Quinn ($4,200) is another strong value at WR and his salary’s on the decline due to four awful sims in a row. Maybe it’s time for a bounce-back game from the slot man, who’s proven his ability to go off. Quinn has two games of 30-plus DKFP, so when the matchup dictates funneling him the ball, Haskins has done so.

Perhaps Washington’s most consistent offensive piece has been Jordan Reed ($7,400), who’s actually producing since we get to see him on the field for each sim. Reed has nine receptions for 127 yards (24.7 DKFP) in his last sim and was the only play worth rostering the last time Washington faced the Chargers — he posted eight receptions for 92 yards and 17.2 DKFP. Reed’s an extremely safe target if you have the salary.

The RB position for Washington is also similar to how we handle the Chargers’ backfield. Derrius Guice ($7,800) has gone off in a few sims, but is generally a massive letdown. Given his high price point he’s impossible to justify paying up for. However, Chris Thompson ($1,800) is a comparable play to Ekeler, maybe even better, but we can roster him for half the price. We get the 20-DKFP upside here and a play that can easily reach 10-plus DKFP on his receiving ability alone.


THE OUTCOME

This is one of the easiest calls at captain for me on any slate. Mike Williams ($9,900 CP) is by far the best point-per-dollar play on the slate and I can’t afford to miss getting 1.5X value from him.

Final Score: Washington 13, Los Angeles 31

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.