We’re all in need of some entertainment during these times of the unknown. DraftKings is doing their part by offering Madden simulations with a variety of teams going at it. For this piece, we’ll focus on the Dolphins vs. Giants matchup, which will take place at 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday, July 17.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
It’s really hard to say how this game might go; however, if Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ($11,200) recent form is any indication, a shootout is definitely on the table. The journeyman QB has reached the 300-yard bonus in each of Miami’s past two games, a span of time that’s seen Fitzpatrick throw six touchdowns and average 27.7 DKFP. Sure, that isn’t the version of the pivot that we’ve become accustomed to seeing so far in these simulations, but Fitzpatrick has flashed his upside on occasion. To wit, the quarterback has surpassed the 20.0 DKFP plateau in 10 of his 35 starts and, in half of those contests, he’s even scored over 29.0 DKFP. The odds aren’t exactly great, yet it’s not like the Giants’ secondary is star-studded.
Benefiting most from Fitzpatrick’s success has been DeVante Parker ($10,000), who also happens to represent the Dolphins’ highest-rated offensive asset in all of Madden. The Louisville product has been extremely consistent over Miami’s past six matchups, averaging a robust 21.0 DKFP per stream. This isn’t exactly a blip on the radar for Parker, either. Going back to the Dolphins’ first simulation versus the Patriots, Parker’s managed to exceed 15.0 DKFP 15 different times. This roster has enticing pieces at a cheaper price, but this is a reminder to not immediately gloss over the veteran for salary reasons. Speaking of, I’d be leaning Jakeem Grant ($4,800) over the likes of Mike Gesicki ($7,600) and Albert Wilson ($5,200); especially if you plan on rostering the aforementioned Parker. In such a stack, you need a player who can make an impact on limited volume and Grant fills that archetype perfectly. The speedy WR is producing 15.3 yards per catch and he’s second on the team in receiving touchdowns with 13. Go big or go home, right?
Finally, I’m contractually obligated to write up Miami’s rushing attack, despite the fact that’s rarely, if ever, viable. Kalen Ballage ($6,800) has failed to reach the modest plateau of 10.0 DKFP in 21 consecutive simulations, a streak that basically speaks for itself. The saddest part of it all? Ballage has actually scored five touchdowns during that stretch, meaning he’s a bust even when he’s able to find the end zone. You’re drafting Patrick Laird ($2,600) if you’re drafting anyone in this backfield, though it must be said that the former UDFA is far more appealing when he’s priced at the minimum.
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New York Giants
Sometimes I wish Daniel Jones ($10,800) was more like Mitchell Trubisky in these streams. That’s a weird thing to type out, but it’s true. While Trubisky utilizes his scrambling ability to be a viable fantasy QB, Jones is a prototypical pocket passer in Madden and that certainly limits his upside. In fact, with the rookie having failed to reach the 300-yard passing bonus in 20 of his last 21 starts, it really seems like Jones would benefit from the added boost that running can give. Anyway, I guess that’s my long-winded way of saying that I’d rather roster Fitzpatrick in this matchup, especially considering there’s a different aspect of New York’s offense that I can see myself building a team around.
You want to get exposure to Saquon Barkley ($10,400). I know it’s not exactly an original idea, but he’s far and away the best asset in this contest. The Penn State product is averaging an eye-popping 106.3 rushing yards per game across the Giants’ past six simulations, a span where the RB is also putting up 18.5 DKFP a night. Part of this is about Barkley being supremely talented, yet we can’t overlook the simple advantage to having a complete monopoly on New York’s backfield touches. There is no third down back. There is no goal line back. It’s just Barkley, and in a situation where he’ll be opposed by a soft front seven, I just don’t see any way he doesn’t manage to bring back value.
When it comes to the Giants’ other skill position players, I think you’ve really only got two truly interesting options. The first is Evan Engram ($8,600), who you could make a case for as a Captain’s pick. The tight end has surpassed the 20.0 DKFP threshold five times in New York’s last 13 games, a stretch of simulations where Engram’s racked up an impressive 66 catches and eight touchdowns. If Barkley’s easily the most appealing DFS asset on the Giants’ roster, Engram definitely slots in at no. 2. Then, instead of paying up for Golden Tate’s ($9,400), I’d shift down to the ceiling of Darius Slayton ($5,800). The rookie has actually registered more receiving yards (1,947) than his teammate in these streams, and though he’s been inconsistent, his TDs tend to come in bunches. To wit, Slayton has four multi-touchdown performances to his name, including a three-score effort against the Seahawks. He can flip a slate on its head in an instant.
I don’t think there’s any reason to get too cute on this slate. Take one of Saquon Barkley ($15,600 CP) or Evan Engram ($12,900 CP) and place them atop your Showdown lineup. Both have shown the ability to thrive in matchups like this and each provides a level of upside that makes them a perfect option in a massive GPP setting. There’s really no reason to fear Miami’s defense.
Final Score: New York 24, Miami 21
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.