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 Patriots vs. Saints game, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET on Monday, July 20.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
New England Patriots
If you’re paying up for a quarterback in this game, you’ll be laying down a big chunk of change for them. Tom Brady ($11,200) isn’t even the most expensive player in this game despite being over the $11K range. His 19 DKFP average is extremely impressive when you factor in that all his production comes through the air and not on the ground. Brady has thrown 77 touchdowns while averaging 249 passing yards. If you can make it work, Brady is worth using if you have the salary to pay up for him.
If you’re taking any Patriots receiver, the first one you have to look at is the TE1 in Ben Watson ($6,200). His salary is laughable and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was over 80% owned in Showdown tonight. His salary went from $7,400 in his last game to $6,200 tonight, even after scoring 28.9 DKFP in that game. Overall, Watson is averaging 5.1 receptions, 65.3 yards and 13 touchdowns scored. The scoring is a bit low but truly you aren’t going to find many players seeing over five receptions per game in this salary range. Julian Edelman ($9,300) is seeing a healthy 4.6 receptions per game but he’s also $3,100 more than Watson. Edelman is the guy to bank on scoring, as evidenced by his 23 touchdowns. I really like his individual matchup as well. Mohamed Sanu ($5,200) is another solid mid-tier option to consider, averaging 3.8 receptions and 20 touchdowns scored. Brady really spreads the ball around well so you aren’t losing much scoring upside with anyone here. Phillip Dorsett ($3,300) has unmatched speed but his lack of production is his downfall. He’s averaging only 2.6 receptions and 47.2 yards per game but his salary has dropped quite a bit, making him an intriguing salary saving option.
James White ($6,500) saw an insane drop in salary from the last time the Patriots, played, going from $9,000 to $6,500. I don’t understand it but I’ll happily take the discount. Even with a few bad games under his belt, White is still averaging 82.7 scrimmage yards per game with 16 touchdowns scored. We have RB1 in these simulations that average half of that are still priced way more expensive.
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New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees ($11,900) has the honor of being the most expensive player in this game. Like Brady, all of his production comes from his arm, though I don’t think you came into this article expecting me to talk about Brees’ rushing ability. Brees is coming off his best performance of these simulations, scoring 36 DKFP by throwing for 426 yards and four touchdowns against the Chiefs. The Patriots’ secondary will pose a bigger threat but we’ve seen some of these good defenses get shredded.
One of the reasons the Saints have been able to shred opposing secondaries has been Michael Thomas ($10,700). The WR1 is averaging five receptions and 73.4 yards per game with a ridiculous 27 touchdowns scored. Being close to $11K in salary isn’t very helpful but it could bring his ownership down a tad more than we’d expect. You certainly aren’t taking both quarterbacks and Thomas without making drastic moves for the rest of your roster. If you want to save a bit of salary but not skimp on volume, Jared Cook ($7,100) is your guy. His 5.6 receptions mark is the highest average in this game, which would make using him and Watson a very cheap way to soak up volume. Like Watson, Cook strangely isn’t scoring much with 14 touchdowns to his credit but the consolation prize here is the PPR points. Ted Ginn Jr. ($4,700) is a good source of touchdowns with 19 scored to go with his average of 3.8 receptions and 51.3 yards per game. He’s one of the safer options in that price range if you’re in need of some salary relief (which you will be). Tre’Quan Smith ($3,100) is the cheapest receiver in this game you’ll find but I essentially look at him the same as Dorsett but not as fast. I’d rather take Dorsett if you’re in this range.
Alvin Kamara ($8,200) is hard to justify when you can get White for so cheap. Kamara is averaging 84.6 scrimmage yards, which is just over two more per game than White. With a $1,700 difference in salary, White is the option I would go for. When it comes to ownership, Kamara will likely be the lesser of the two, so that does bring some appeal if you’re going for that.
This game is filled with options to use at the Captain’s spot and unfortunately, we only have one lineup to make the right choice. This is a game where I want a lot of the more expensive players, so I’m looking to take a value at Captain. Both Ben Watson ($9,300 CP) and Jared Cook ($10,650 CP) would fall into that range because I know I can rely on them to get the heavy volume. I also don’t mind using Mohamed Sanu ($7,800 CP) because you know his ownership as Captain will be very low but he’s a real threat to score.
Final Score: Patriots 27, Saints 30
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is steveazors) 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.