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Monday’s “Madden After Dark” matchup at 10 p.m. ET should be a good matchup between the Cowboys and the Bears. Dallas has gone an impressive 20-11 in its 31 sims so far, but one of those 11 losses came to the Bears, who have gone 16-15. Both teams have strong running games and good defenses, and there are lots of ways to go about building your lineup for the $1K FREE Contest (CHI vs DAL).
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The Bears’ offense has been successful due to impressive play from QB Mitchell Trubisky ($10,800), who has been one of the most surprising and reliable QBs in these sims. He is averaging over 20 DKFP per sim and has thrown 48 touchdowns while adding 10 more scores on the ground and averaging just under 50 rushing yards per sim. Madden classifies him as a scrambling QB and as “paranoid” when it comes to feeling pressure. Those two characteristics and his 84 speed rating and 73 elusiveness rating have made him a rushing force in these sims. He showed off his high ceiling in his first matchup against Dallas, throwing for 259 yards and two scores while running for a third and adding 70 yards on his way to 31.36 DKFP. Since he is so heavily the focus of the Bears’ attack, he has a high ceiling and has to be a consideration in every Chicago sim.
Through the air, Trubisky’s top target is Allen Robinson II ($10,200). Robinson had three straight games with just a single catch before breaking through with nine catches for 74 yards, a touchdown and 22.3 DKFP against the Eagles in his most recent sim. He has a decent 90 speed rating to go with the Superstar ability of “Out-Corner elite,” which makes him more effective and productive when running those specific routes. He faces a tough matchup against a good Cowboys secondary and is a very boom-or-bust play at over $10K. WR2 Taylor Gabriel ($6,600) is much more affordable but is also very boom-or-bust. He has a 94 speed rating that has led to some big games like his 32.0 DKFP against the Texans two sims ago, but he has been held under 6.0 DKFP in six of his past eight contests as well. If you’re looking in this price range, he’s not a bad option, but he isn’t someone I’m building my lineup around. WR3 Anthony Miller ($4,200) has also had a few big games but has been quiet lately and still only has two touchdowns in 31 sims despite some big-play potential due to his 92 speed rating and 83 elusiveness rating.
The most reliable pass-catcher for the Bears has actually been TE Trey Burton ($7,400), who has at least 9.0 DKFP in 10 of his past 16 sims and is averaging just about 10.0 DKFP per contest. He has six touchdowns and an average of just under 50 yards per sim in his 31 contests so far. He has an 82 overall rating with an 83 catching rating and an 86 speed rating, which is high for a TE. Dallas does have a good secondary but has been beatable by TEs at times, so Burton is one of my favorite mid-range options from Chicago.
Aside from Trubisky’s rushing yards, the Bears’ ground game is a timeshare that makes RB1 David Montgomery ($6,800) very overpriced for his average of under 5.0 DKFP per sim. The better RB play has definitely been Tarik Cohen ($5,000), who serves as the third-down back and is involved in most of Chicago’s passing formations. He has lived up to his nickname as “The Human Joystick” in several of these sims and is averaging over 8.0 DKFP per sim. He has an excellent 92 speed rating, a 93 acceleration rating and a 86 elusiveness rating, which makes him a terror to bring down in space and give him plenty of big-play potential. His salary has started to climb as a result of his effectiveness but his high ceiling still makes him worth a look at $5K.
The Bears’ DST ($3,200) is stacked with highly-rated options, led by X-Factor Superstar edge rusher Khalil Mack and his 98 overall rating. FS Eddie Jackson and LE Akiem Hicks are also players to watch with their overall ratings of 89 and 88, respectively. In the team’s first 30 sims, the Bears averaged 4.6 DKFP per contest with 58 sacks, 16 takeaways and a defensive TD. Chicago doesn’t force a ton of fumbles like the top defenses in these sims but is still worth a look since there aren’t as many ultra-cheap values with Cohen’s salary risking to $5K.
The Cowboys also have a QB that can scramble to pick up important yards, but first let’s take a look at the focus of their offensive gameplan in most matchups—RB Ezekiel Elliott ($10,600). Elliott is one of the top RBs in these sims and gets all the work in a run-heavy Dallas offense. He has averaged 76.1 yards per sim and scored 23 touchdowns for an average of 15.9 DKFP per contest. He has a 93 overall rating and the exclusive Superstar ability of “Inside Zone Guru,” which means he receives better blocking on inside zone plays. He’s the Cowboys’ highest-rated offensive skill player and has an impressive 90 speed rating, 95 agility rating and 85 elusiveness rating, which makes him a tough matchup for any defense to contain. He has over 17 DKFP in six of his past eight games and posted a solid 11.8 DKFP in his first meeting with the Bears. Chicago has a solid front-seven to its defense, but the Cowboys seem to feed Zeke especially when Dallas is at home. His volume makes him my favorite non-QB play in this matchup, but he is pricey over $10K.
Even though he’s expensive, Zeke isn’t as pricey as QB Dak Prescott ($11,000), who has averaged 18.0 DKFP per sim. He doesn’t take off and run as often as Trubisky but he does have better accuracy numbers and is a little better through the air. Prescott has thrown 43 touchdowns while averaging 170.5 yards per sim and adding 47.1 rushing yards per contest. He hasn’t had the rushing scores that Trubisky has since most of those go to Zeke, but has upside due to his 81 overall rating with an 83 speed rating. He hasn’t been quite as good in Madden as he was in real life in 2019 when he was a top-five QB on DraftKings, but he has had over 20 DKFP in 10 of his 31 sims, which is basically what you’re looking for if you spend up to get him. I’d prefer Trubisky if you’re just playing one QB, but both QBs could also be on the table.
The only player with an X-Factor is Amari Cooper ($10,000), who has “RAC ‘Em Up,” which is activated by making multiple receptions for 20-plus yards. When he’s “in the zone,” the ability increases his success rate on RAC catches against single coverage. He has also “Double Move Specialist” and “In-Out Specialist” as his superstar abilities which make him more effective on those specific kinds of routes. He has exactly 100 receptions this sim-season, meaning he’s only averaging 3.2 catches per sim. He has been better at home, where he has produced 13.1 DKFP per contest and scored 11 of his 17 touchdowns. He has a high ceiling but isn’t nearly as reliable or productive as Zeke and Dak.
The rest of the Cowboys’ receivers have been inconsistent as well. WR2 Michael Gallup ($6,400) has an 80 overall rating, but he has struggled to produce consistently, averaging just 6.6 DKFP per sim. He hasn’t hit double-digit DKFP in any of his past six sims and only has four touchdowns all sim season. At times, slot receiver WR3 Randall Cobb ($4,400) has been involved with his 78 overall rating and a 90 speed rating, but he also has a tendency to disappear at times and is averaging 7.2 DKFP per contest. I’d prefer Cobb to Gallup and take the salary savings as well.
With the WR struggling, TE Jason Witten ($7,000) has become more involved and put up double-digit DKFP in five straight sims to lift his average to 9.9 DKFP per sim. He has 11 receiving touchdowns and has only been held under three catches five times in his past 27 contests.
With very few value plays on the board in this matchup, the Cowboys’ DST ($3,400) is definitely worth a look. Dallas is averaging 6.7 DKFP per sim, which is higher than the Bears’ 4.6 average. Dallas’s D has 22 takeaways and 44 sacks and has also scored five defensive touchdowns. The unit has at least 5.0 DKFP in eight of its past nine sims and could cause trouble for Trubisky, who has had fumble troubles in some matchups.
There are two obvious plays in your Captain’s Pick spot with Trubisky ($16,200 CP) and Elliott ($15,900 CP) lined up for so much volume. Both defenses are very solid throughout the depth chart, so there aren’t any other glaring mismatches. Robinson ($15,300 CP) has a high ceiling but is a very expensive boom-or-bust option, so if you’re looking for a less-popular pivot, I think Burton ($11,100 CP) or even the Cowboys’ DST ($5,100) are options to consider for your Captain’s pick.
This could be a low-scoring game since both teams rely on their defenses and run games quite a bit. Both QBs should have solid games by doing a lot of the work on the ground themselves. The Dallas running game has been much stronger than Chicago’s and the defense has been very good as well. The Cowboys are 11-5 at home in these sims, and I think Dallas will pull out another very narrow victory in this contest, with overtime a definite possibility.
Final Score: Cowboys 24, Bears 21
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