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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for July 18 (late)

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s three-game Madden Stream DFS late slate, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

With real-life sports still in the midst of an extended time out, DraftKings continues to provide some great sports simulations to fill the void. Each day there are six Madden Streams with eight free contests to be a part of. You can play a single-game Showdown for each contest along with an all-day, six-game classic contest and a three-game late slate contest. Each simulation will be 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 (download here) or right here in this post. Follow along to watch your fantasy team pile up fantasy points.

Saturday’s three-game late slate features matchups that could potentially be playoff previews depending on how things shake out in the coming season. The Steelers host the Titans at 6 p.m. ET in a matchup of two teams from the AFC. The primetime matchup is another juicy AFC contest between the Ravens and Patriots and we close things out with an NFC showdown between the Eagles and the Rams from virtual Los Angeles.

With those six teams providing good options at every position, there are multiple ways to assemble your squad for this late slate. I’ll give you my favorite plays at each position and price point below. For more information, check out the Madden info page for all the data on player ratings, special abilities and what you can look forward to coming soon.

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Quarterback

Stud

Lamar Jackson, BAL at NE, $7,600 — Despite struggling in his first matchup with the Patriots, Jackson has too much upside to overlook in the rematch. In that first game against New England, which was also his first sim in this series, he managed just 3.72 DKFP on 163 yards passing and was picked off three times. Since then, though, quarters have been expanded and the game mode was changed from simulation to arcade. Those moves have both definitely helped the reigning MVP, who has averaged 21.0 DKFP in his 35 sims and is averaging over 60 yards on the ground to go with over 160 passing yards per sim. He has rushed for 20 touchdowns in addition to his 44 passing touchdowns and all that scoring has helped him reach over 18 DKFP in six of his past eight games. He has an extremely high ceiling as he showed against the Saints two sims ago with 38.32 DKFP, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

Other Options — Tom Brady ($7,400), Carson Wentz ($6,800)

Value

Jared Goff, LAR vs. PHI, $6,200 — Goff is the cheapest QB on the slate but does have some upside to offer. He threw for two touchdowns and 252 yards against the Eagles in his first matchup against Philly and finished with 18.08 DKFP. He also has had some nice games lately, including throwing for 315 yards and two touchdowns on his way to 23.6 DKFP in his most recent sim. He has 57 touchdowns in his 36 contests and can be a solid play when he throws for multiple scores, which he has done in 17 of his contests (47%)

Other Option — Ryan Tannehill ($6,500)


Running Back

Stud

Miles Sanders, PHI at LAR, $6,000 — Even though he isn’t as well known as some of the other names on the slate, Sanders has been excellent as the Eagles’ primary RB. He adds to his rushing workload with 2.3 catches per contest for 16.9 receiving yards on top of his 70-plus rushing yards per contest. Sanders had over 11 DKFP in four straight sims before only managing 7.8 DKFP against the Cowboys and has reached that total in 21-of-36 sims (58%). He had just 9.3 DKFP against the Rams in the teams’ first meeting but is still a solid play against Los Angeles in this rematch since he usually gets such consistent volume.

Other Options — Todd Gurley II ($6,800), James White ($6,200)

Value

Mark Ingram II, BAL at NE, $5,300 — Ingram is clearly the workhorse back for the Ravens and is a reliable contributor even though his monster games are not quite as regular as you would want from an elite back. He has over 9.0 DKFP in five straight sims and eight of his past nine. He only has over 20 DKFP in four games but his consistent workload and reliable production make him the best option under $6K on a slate that doesn’t have great cheap options at RB.

Other Option — Jaylen Samuels ($3,700)


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Wide Receiver

Stud

JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT vs. TEN, $7,500 — Smith-Schuster has been a very reliable option for the Steelers’ offense, which has gotten a huge boost from having Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) back under center. JuJu has at least two catches in 35 of the Steelers’ 36 sims. His best game during that entire span came in this matchup when he faced the Titans 10 sims ago. He finished with nine catches for 194 yards, a touchdown and 37.3 DKFP. He’s a tough matchup in the slot for any defense, but the Titans had no answers for him at all in the teams’ last meeting. Smith-Schuster has 21 touchdowns and is averaging over 65 yards per sim with 4.5 catches per contest.

Other Options — Alshon Jeffery ($6,300), A.J. Brown ($5,700)

Value

Brandin Cooks, LAR vs. PHI, $5,000 — Despite being third on the Rams’ WR depth chart, Cooks has averaged 4.3 catches per sim for an average of 56.2 yards per game. He had 19.3 DKFP against the Titans in his most recent sim and 17.5 DKFP the first time the Rams played the Eagles. His speed gives him a high ceiling against an Eagles secondary that has been very beatable on the outside, where Cooks typically lines up. He does have competition for targets but if he gets the looks against Philly he’ll have a very high ceiling.

Corey Davis, TEN at PIT, $3,900 — Davis has the raw tools to be a great WR but has never been able to put together a consistent breakout season. The Madden version of Davis has used those tools effectively, though, and Davis has been a great value play lately. He has hit double-digit DKFP in four straight sims and seven of his past eight. He had seven catches for 76 yards and 20.6 DKFP against Pittsburgh in the teams’ previous meeting and definitely deserves a look with his salary under $4K.

Other Options — Nelson Agholor ($4,000), James Washington ($3,200)


Tight End

Stud

Ben Watson, NE vs. BAL, $5,700 — Watson has been one of the standouts among all the players in all the sims and has averaged 15.0 DKFP per contest. He has over 100 yards and 20 DKFP in each of his past two sims to bring his average up to 5.3 catches for 67.2 yards per sim to go with 13 touchdowns. Even though he doesn’t score a ton, he always seems to pile up yardage. Even in the shorter, simulation-mode game against the Ravens he had five catches, 94 yards and 14.4 DKFP, so with more time and bigger plays he has an even higher ceiling this time around.

Other Options — Zach Ertz ($6,000), Vance McDonald ($5,200)

Value

Delanie Walker, TEN at PIT, $4,400 — While he isn’t as reliable as those top-tier TE, Walker still comes with very nice upside. He went off for 13 catches for 143 yards, a touchdown and 35.3 DKFP against the Vikings a few sims ago and was even better with 42.5 DKFP against the Browns a few sims before that. However, he has dropped off with a pair of games under 8.0 DKFP in his past two sims, both games the Titans ended up losing. Walker is averaging 4.3 catches for 48 yards per sim but has produced at least 10 DKFP in 15 of his 36 sims (42%).

Other Option — Mark Andrews ($4,200)


DST

Stud

Steelers DST vs. TEN, $2,600 — The Steelers have playmakers at every level of the team’s defense and have been a very productive unit in these sims, averaging 5.2 DKFP per contest. Pittsburgh has forced 28 turnovers in 36 games while adding 66 sacks, four defensive touchdowns and even three safeties. The Steelers have been over a full DKFP better at home than on the road and posted four sacks and 5.0 DKFP against the Titans in the teams’ first meeting.

Other Options — Patriots ($3,000), Rams ($2,500)

Value

Titans DST at PIT, $2,400 — Tennessee has also been a solid defensive unit and actually has more safeties than any other team in these sims. The Titans added 11 takeaways and an impressive 79 sacks to the team’s four safeties and two touchdowns. Tennessee may not have any way to slow down JuJu, but this unit still has the potential to be a solid bargain play in the DST slot.

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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.