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Madden Stream Picks: Cardinals vs. Chargers DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy

Steve Buchanan preps you for Wednesday’s 4:00 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between the Cardinals and Chargers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

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 Wednesday’s 4:00 p.m. ET contest between the Cardinals and Chargers, which will be played in the rain as part of Wild Weather Wednesday.

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Kevin Roth tackles Wild Weather Wednesday

For more on the weather, visit RotoGrinders. For more betting information, including a DraftKings Sportsbook promo code, check out Sportshandle.com.


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Showdown Strategy

Arizona Cardinals

Rain will be turned on for this game

It’s been a rough go for the Cardinals in these simulations. Kyler Murray ($10,800) has been posting some decent numbers but it’s because the Cardinals are constantly playing from behind, giving him ample opportunities on offense. He’s not doing a ton through the air, averaging 173 passing yards with 26 touchdowns thrown. He’s been more effective on the ground with his 46.2 rushing yards, but again, the touchdowns are disappointing since he has run in a TD only four times. His lack of production through the air really makes it hard to trust Murray, especially against a strong Chargers secondary. As the second most expensive player on the board, he’ll be a fade for me.

As you’d imagine, the Cardinals’ receivers aren’t exactly crushing these simulations. His WR1 in Larry Fitzgerald ($9,200) has been the most productive in terms of average DKFP, but the bar isn’t exactly set high. He enters this game with an average of 10.4 DKFP, 4.1 receptions and 44 yards with nine touchdowns scored. His nine touchdowns lead the team, which is abysmal when you think about it. Fitz is expensive but likely is the most reliable receiver you’ll find here. Charles Clay ($6,200) has been seeing a solid workload as of late, making at least four receptions in four straight games, topping out with six against the Jets. He has one of the softer matchups of the bunch, so he’s also a consideration. Christian Kirk ($5,400) and Damiere Byrd ($5,000) are very boom-or-bust options with similar outputs. Byrd has the better speed with his game-leading 95 rating but Kirk has the better volume, averaging just over three receptions per game. To be fair, you likely aren’t going heavy on these receivers to begin with.

David Johnson ($2,800) continues to be the only running back worth looking at for the Cardinals. He’s averaging a total of 36.6 scrimmage yards per game and has scored nine times, all of which have come on the ground. With how cheap he is, he’s worth using and will help level off the expensive players you’ll likely be using on the Chargers.


Los Angeles Chargers

Rain will be turned on for this game

It’s truly night and day when comparing the two quarterbacks in this game. Phillip Rivers ($11,200) has the highest DKFP average among all the players in the pool at 18. He’s averaging 247 passing yards and has thrown 57 (!) touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Cardinals have been one of the most generous teams in these simulations. I would be figuring out how to get Rivers in your lineup.

When Rivers has been airing the ball out, which he does often, he’s been hitting two men primarily in Mike Williams ($6,600) and Keenan Allen ($10,200). Williams continues to be one of the best mid-tier plays you can take on any roster, as he’s averaging 17.5 DKFP, 4.2 receptions and 70.1 yards per sim along with 21 touchdowns scored. Remember, this is the WR2 on this team, so the fact that he’s putting up these numbers at a mid-tier price is simply a fact you can’t ignore. Allen, meanwhile, is holding down his WR1 role, averaging a healthy 5.1 receptions and 69 yards per game to go with 16 touchdowns scored. Using Rivers, Williams and Allen would essentially cover the Chargers’ offense, which feels obtainable if you take a couple of shots with the cheaper Cardinals players like Byrd or Johnson. Travis Benjamin ($5,200) has been a good source for touchdowns as well but if he’s not scoring, he’s not doing much of anything. He has 12 to his credit but otherwise is averaging 2.5 receptions and 35.2 yards. Hunter Henry ($7,800) simply isn’t scoring enough for me to drop almost $8K on. He’s only done so four times, two of which have come over his last five games. He sees decent volume with 3.7 receptions but I need that scoring upside to pay up for him.

Like the Cardinals, you’re going to want to go down the depth chart to take a running back on this team. Melvin Gordon ($8,400) isn’t the worst RB1 you can find in these sims but he lacks that true RB1 upside that players like Dalvin Cook or Ezekiel Elliott have in these games. Austin Ekeler ($3,000) is much more affordable and is seeing almost the same amount of production as Gordon. He’s averaging 30.5 scrimmage yards per game with five touchdowns scored, three of which have come through the air.


The Outcome

The Chargers by far have the most attractive captain options in this game and it would be the only players I would consider. Mike Williams ($9,900 CP) very well could be the most popular option because of his upside and how cheap he is at this spot. While I would still consider that, you’ll likely gain an edge by using Keenan Allen ($15,300 CP). Let’s not forget, he’s seeing some heavy volume in this offense and against a very poor Cardinals secondary, could easily post some monster numbers.

Final Score: Cardinals 14, Chargers 27


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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.