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Madden Stream Picks: Seahawks vs. Saints DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy

Zach Thompson preps you for Thursday’s 8 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between the Seahawks and Saints with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

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.

The game of the week each week has double the typical primetime prize pool and is the focus of the $10K FREE Game of the Week Contest [5 Entry Max] (SEA vs NO). This Thursday, DraftKings users chose this matchup between the Seahawks and the Saints. New Orleans is 23-14 in their 37 sims while Seattle has struggled at just 13-24. These two teams met all the way back in their second sim, when the Saints won 19-13 in Seattle. However, both teams are loaded with fantasy options, and there are lots of different, interesting lineup constructions to consider. Who should you get in your lineup? I’ll give you my pick to win the game and my favorite plays in this post.

Set your FREE to play DraftKings lineups here: Madden Stream $10K FREE Game of the Week Contest [5 Entry Max] (SEA vs NO)


Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.


Showdown Strategy

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks upset the Ravens in their most recent sim and have some big wins thanks to a dynamic offense led by X-Factor Superstar QB Russell Wilson ($11,600). He is producing a phenomenal 21.9 DKFP per contest with over 18 DKFP in five of his past six games and 14 of his past 16. Wilson has the unique X-Factor called “Blitz Radar” which enables him to see all blitzers after the snap when he activates the power with multiple scrambles of over 10 yards. His superstar abilities of “Escape Artist,” “Agile Extender” and “Dashing Deadeye” show off his precision and success on the move. In his 37 sims, he is producing 49 rushing yards and 212.9 passing yards per contest with 55 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns. He only had 14.72 DKFP against the Saints in their previous matchup, but that was before settings were adjusted to arcade mode and the quarters lengthened. Wilson is the most expensive player on this slate and is averaging more DKFP per sim than any other player on the board.

Seattle’s WRs have been up-and-down from game-to-game since Wilson sometimes does the heavy-lifting himself on the ground. They do bring a ton of speed to the table, though, so there is big-play potential especially if this turns into a track meet at the virtual Superdome. WR1 Tyler Lockett ($8,600) has a strong 88 overall rating and a 93 speed rating but is averaging just 11.4 DKFP per sim. He has only managed two catches in each of his past two games for 2.7 and 3.4 DKFP. He still has upside but is very boom-or-bust. Across from him, WR2 DK Metcalf ($6,600) has actually been more productive with 12.2 DKFP per contest. Metcalf is a touch faster than Lockett with a 95 speed rating, but does lack the more experienced receivers awareness. which is why he only has an 80 overall rating and is a more affordable option. He has been very popular in these sims due to his high ceiling and has double-digit production in five of his past six contests, highlighted by 31.2 DKFP against the Packers and 28.1 DKFP against the Chiefs. He has massive upside and is the best of the three Seattle WRs on a per-dollar basis for this matchup. The Seahawks can add even more speed when WR3 Josh Gordon ($4,800) is in the formation with his 78 overall rating and 91 speed rating. He can also be boom-or-bust and actually hasn’t had a catch in either of Seattle’s two most recent sims. He had double-digit DKFP in five straight games before that, though, so you can’t count him out entirely.

Another key part of the Seahawks’ passing game is TE Will Dissly ($7,200), who has a nice 80 overall rating, which puts him even with Metcalf. His game is totally different, though, since he is thea possession option rather than a speed play. He has scored 12 touchdowns while averaging just over 10 DKFP per contest. If you think the Seahawks’ WR will have a down game, Dissly is a nice pivot.

Although Seattle does like to run the ball, they split up the workload, so they don’t have an elite option like the Saints do. The team’s RB1 is Chris Carson ($6,200), who is very overpriced for his 5.4 DKFP per contest average. His ratings aren’t bad at all but he loses work to third-down back C.J. Prosise ($1,000), who makes a ton of sense as a value play if you need a punt play. Prosise is averaging 5.9 DKFP per sim, actually higher than Carson’s average, and has over 7.0 DKFP in three of his past four sims. If you need a cheap play to fit in with all the high-priced stars, Prosise is my favorite option.

The Seahawks’ DST ($3,600) has their own X-Factor Superstar—LB Bobby Wagner and his 98 overall rating. Seattle has recovered 27 fumbles in 37 sims to go with six interceptions, 52 sacks and three defensive touchdowns for an average of 4.4 DKFP per contest. Seattle’s defense was able to slow down the Ravens and produce 8.0 DKFP in their last sim and have at least 6.0 DKFP in four of their last five.


New Orleans Saints

Even though the Seahawks have their two X-Factor Superstars at key positions on both sides of the ball, they aren’t the most star-studded team in this matchup since the Saints have three X-Factor Superstars just on their offense.

The highest rated of the three superstars is WR Michael Thomas ($10,000), who is one of just five players in Madden 2020 to earn a perfect 99 overall rating. That elite rating is supported by a 99 awareness rating, a 99 catching rating, a 98 catching in traffic rating and a 96 release rating. He also has the X-Factor of “Double Me,” which makes him almost impossible to guard one-on-one when his ability is activated and also brings Superstar abilities of “Cross Specialist” and “WR Apprentice.” Thomas has had some monster games in these sims with over 28 DKFP in five of his past 11 sims. His ceiling is undeniable, especially against a beatable secondary for Seattle. He has 27 touchdowns in 37 sims and is averaging 5.0 catches for 72.7 yards per contest.

When Thomas is quiet, it’s usually because RB Alvin Kamara ($9,400) is carrying the load. Kamara is a do-it-all back with a high ceiling and high floor due to his rushing and receiving responsibilities. He has posted 12 DKFP in seven of his past 11 sims, including a 33-DKFP performance against the Chiefs. His utilized his X-Factor of “Satellite” in that matchup which improves his RAC against single coverage when activated by catching multiple receptions for over 10 yards. He has a strong 89 overall rating along with the Superstar ability of “Matchup Nightmare,” which gives him the ability to make sharper cuts and frequently win contested catches when covered by LBs and linemen. He had nine catches for 131 receiving yards in that game against the Chiefs and could be due for another bit game here as long as he can avoid running into Wagner too many times.

Which Saints player will go off really depends on who gets the targets from Drew Brees ($10,800), who has a 94 overall rating of his own with a 98 awareness rating, a perfect 99 short accuracy rating, a perfect 99 play action rating and a 97 midrange accuracy rating. On top of that, he has the X-Factor of “Fearless,” which makes him unaffected by defensive pressure when he activates the ability by making multiple passes for 5-plus yards in the air. His Superstar abilities are “Safety Valve,” improving the catch rating for all open RBs, “Set Feet Lead,” “Lofting Deadeye” and “Indoor Baller,” which gives him a boost at home in the Superdome, where this contest will be simulated. Brees has been impressive with 18.7 DKFP per sim. He has thrown a massive 74 touchdowns in 37 sims while averaging 251.1 yards per contest. Brees is coming off a horrible game against the Patriots, when he was held to just 3.08 DKFP after putting up 36.04 DKFP in his previous matchup against the Chiefs. He isn’t the most dynamic QB in this game since Wilson brings so much playmaking ability, but he’s a very solid play with a high ceiling if this turns into a high-scoring contest full of passing touchdowns.

In addition to Thomas and Kamara, Brees has made a star of TE Jared Cook ($8,000), who has averaged 14.3 DKFP per sim. He has hauled in 14 touchdowns in these sims and had four straight games with a touchdown before he was limited to 2.8 DKFP against New England. He had 30.2 DKFP against the Chiefs the sim before that with 10 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

If you’re looking for cheaper options in the Saints’ offense, check out WR2 Ted Ginn Jr. ($6,400) and WR3 Tre’Quan Smith ($5,200). Both of these players have high ceilings but can tend to be a little boom-or-bust. Ginn has been surprisingly effective as the WR2 with solid ratings including a 76 overall rating, a 92 speed rating, an 80 catching rating and a 90 elusiveness rating. He was the star of the Saints’ first win against the Seahawks, catching six passes for 60 yards, a touchdown and 18.0 DKFP. He has over 11 DKFP in eight of his past 10 and is a very similar play to Metcalf, but with slightly less risk. Smith is the WR3 for the Saints and does his work out of the slot. He has a 74 overall rating and 89 speed rating but has been boom-or-bust, though, since there are so many other Saints pass-catchers ahead of him for looks from Brees.

If you want other cheap options from New Orleans, I’d pass on the Saints’ DST ($3,400), which has averaged just 3.7 DKFP per contest, and instead take a look at K Wil Lutz ($4,000), who is producing more than double that average at 7.6 DKFP per contest.


The Outcome

There are so many good options to build around as your Captain’s Pick with Russell Wilson ($17,400 CP), Michael Thomas ($15,000 CP), Alvin Kamara ($14,100 CP) and Drew Brees ($16,200 CP) all worthy of consideration. Don’t miss out on Will Dissly ($10,800 CP) and DK Metcalf ($9,900 CP) and Tedd Ginn ($9,600 CP), who I think could be sneaky mid-range Captain’s Picks as well and also have the upside to go off for a big game. You have five lineups to play with in this contest, so try different options in your Captain’s Pick slot. As you round out your roster, don’t forget C.J. Prosise ($1,500 CP), who is too cheap to pass up and can really help you squash more big-salary options into your flex spots.

Given the QBs and the offensive options, hopefully this turns into a track meet at the Superdome. The Saints have lost some heartbreakers at home in these sims, but I think they’ll be able to find enough firepower to overcome a big game from Wilson.

Final Score: Saints 33, Seahawks 27

Set your FREE to play DraftKings lineups here: Madden Stream $10K FREE Game of the Week Contest [5 Entry Max] (SEA vs NO)


Depth Charts

Seahawks

Saints


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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.