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 matchup should be a good one between the Colts and Bucs from virtual Tampa Bay. The Bucs started these sims sizzling hot and were the last remaining undefeated team at one point. Now, they’re 20-16 through 36 sims while the Colts have gone 16-20. Both teams have shown offensive upside and a propensity for giving up big plays, so this should be an entertaining contest. The first time these teams me in one of our sims, the Bucs got the win by a convincing 34-13 score. Can they beat the Colts again or will Indy turn things around and get a win on the road? Based on the matchup, expected workload and previous performance, who should be in your single-game Showdown lineups? I’ll pick the winner and break down the options below.
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The Colts’ offense has had a few big games, although they haven’t been as consistent as Tampa Bay’s unit overall. While he’s actually averaging the most DKFP of any player in this sim, Jacoby Brissett ($10,600) has been a bit up-and-down. He only has a 72 overall rating but does have a 90 throw power rating to go with an 84 short accuracy rating, an 84 medium accuracy rating and an 81 deep accuracy rating. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in four straight games and has over 20 DKFP in four of his past six contests. He has a pretty good matchup against the Bucs’ secondary and continues to have a high ceiling even though he does come with risk since there have been a few games where he has looked a bit lost.
When Brissett is at his best, he leans heavily on WR1 T.Y. Hilton ($10,200) who is the only non-QB with a salary over $10K. Hilton has the “Double-move Elite” Superstar ability, which makes him more effective on that specific kind of route, and an 88 overall rating with a 93 speed rating, which gives him a very high ceiling when he gets high volume. He has been shut out in two sims this season but has posted over 10 DKFP in five straight. Star WR have had good games against the Bucs, and Hilton had 17.6 DKFP against them in their first matchup. He has 23 touchdowns in his 36 sims and has averaged 4.1 catches for 67.8 yards per contest. He’s an expensive play, but the upside is hard to argue with.
Brissett’s other main target has been TE Eric Ebron ($8,000), who comes close to Hilton’s overall rating with an 86 overall rating of his own. Ebron has been especially boom-or-bust lately with over 19 DKFP in three of his past six games but under 10 DKFP in four of his past seven as well. Ebron doesn’t have near Hilton’s speed but has a solid 87 speed rating, which is above average for a TE. He has an attractive ceiling but is risky for an $8K investment.
The rest of the Colts’ receiving corps has been a little hit-or-miss but definitely offers good value potential. Zach Pascal ($4,800) is very affordable as the WR2 and is coming off a two-touchdown sim against the Browns that resulted in 26.8 DKFP. He has 12 touchdowns on the sim season and is averaging 3.6 catches for 40.2 yards per contest. He has over 9.0 DKFP in four straight and six of his seven most recent contests. WR3 Devin Funchess ($3,000) has been almost invisible with just 12 catches in 36 sims even though his 79 overall rating is actually higher than Pascal’s. The reason that Funchess hasn’t done much is that WR4 Chester Rogers ($2,200) bypasses him and gets involved as the slot receiver. Rogers has multiple catches in 33 of the Colts’ 36 sims and and has over 11 DKFP in four of his past six. He is averaging a solid 3.25 catches for 45.4 yards per sim and has totaled seven touchdowns. Even without a ton of scores, though, he has been a great value and should be in a very favorable matchup since the Bucs struggle against opposing slot receivers.
The Colts running game hasn’t had much success on the ground with RB1 Marlon Mack ($6,200) averaging just 4.6 DKFP per contes, making him a hard pass for me at that price despite his 84 overall rating. While I’m not interested in Mack, the third-down back and RB2 Nyheim Hines ($3,200) has been excellent as a value play with an average of 8.8 DKFP per sim. He had 12.1 DKFP in the first meeting with Tampa Bay and has produced over 9.0 DKFP in 16-of-36 sims (44%).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The most expensive player in this sim is Jameis Winston ($11,000), who is averaging 17.4 DKFP per sim and has come back to earth after a very hot start. Winston has only thrown multiple touchdowns passes in one of his past four games and was awful in his most recent contest against the Falcons with just 4.66 DKFP. On the season, he has thrown 56 touchdowns in his 36 sims and is averaging just under 250 yards per contest. He is an extremely volatile option with a high ceiling but a low floor. Winston had over 20 DKFP the first time he played the Colts and should be a good play in this rematch. If you’re only taking one QB, though, I’d probably lean toward Brissett and hope to get a lower ownership on that side of things as well.
The Bucs give Winston great options to work with starting with TE O.J. Howard ($8,400), who has been one of their most consistent producers, even though his overall ratings are lower than the two star WRs. His 81 overall rating, 87 speed rating, and 83 catching rating have powered him to a very nice 12.8 DKFP per contest. Howard was a total letdown in his most recent game but had over 8.0 DKFP in nine straight prior to that disappointment. Normally, he’s good for at least that many with the potential for more if red-zone looks come his way. He has a catch in every Bucs’ game and is averaging 4.1 catches for 57.1 yard per sim with a total of 15 touchdowns.
The Bucs WRs haven’t been as consistent as Howard but do come with very high ceilings. WR1 Mike Evans ($9,600) has an incredibly high ceiling with his 92 overall rating, highlighted by a 95 catch-in-traffic rating, a 97 release rating, a 95 jump and a 97 spectacular catch rating. He had two touchdowns and 22.8 DKFP in his first meeting with the Colts and has 14 scores on the sim season. He is averaging 3.6 catches for 57.5 yards per sim and has a favorable matchup in this contest. I’d prefer Evans to WR2 Chris Godwin ($7,800) in this matchup even though Godwin is cheaper and has a strong 87 overall rating and the “Route Technician” Superstar ability, enabling him to have a high success rate when creating separation on the last cut of any route. He has been shut out in three of the Bucs sims and has only one catch in three catches or fewer in six straight. He did have 18.3 DKFP against Indy in their first meeting, but his lack of volume makes him a risky play at this price despite his upside. Godwin’s targets are sometimes re-distrubuted to WR3 Breshad Perriman ($4,600), who is a nice value with plenty of upside due to his 95 speed rating. He doesn’t get quite the consistent volume of Rogers for the Colts but does have a very high ceiling, which he showed off with 32.8 DKFP against the Steelers a few sims ago. He has been held under 7.0 DKFP in each of his past four sims, though, so be aware of his bust potential.
The best Tampa Bay value is in the backfield—third-down back Dare Ogunbowale ($1,600). Ogunbowale is involved as a rusher and receiver out of the backfield and has averaged 5.1 DKFP per sim while flashing a high ceiling. Dare and power back Peyton Barber ($2,800) both take significant work away from RB1 Ronald Jones II ($7,200), who has a 77 overall rating. RoJo has had a few dominant games and ran for 86 yards against the Colts in their first meeting, but he does come with a big bust factor since you can never be assured of his workload.
The Buccaneers’ DST ($3,400) is my preferred defensive play in this matchup with their 4.3 DKFP per sim average and multiple sacks in five straight. I also like K Matt Gay ($3,800), who is averaging 7.0 DKFP in his 36 sims. Gay is probably the better play of the two value options if you have the salary, especially with the Bucs going against a good offensive line for the Colts.
There are plenty of stars in this contest with good matchups, so it seems like a good place to go with an affordable Captain and stock up on those high-priced options in your flex spots. If you want to go that route, Rogers ($3,300 CP) is a great option to consider and brings some solid upside of his own to go with all the flexibility in your flex spots. If going with a super-cheap Captain’s Pick is too risky for you, Hilton ($15,300 CP) and Howard ($12,600 CP) are my two favorite high-priced options.
Both these offenses can be boom-or-bust, but looking at the matchup, there is actually a lot to like on the Colts side of things. I’m surprised they were blown out at home by Tampa, but that game definitely featured “good Jameis” as opposed to the version that has been showing up recently as Tampa dropped three of their four most recent sims. The Colts lack of a pass rush should give Winston time to be good again, but I still think Indy can pull out a narrow win on the road.
Final Score: Colts 27, Buccaneers 24
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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.