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 Broncos and Colts game, which starts at 2:00 p.m. ET Thursday.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
Drew Lock ($11,000) is usually a value I’ll take a look at as one of, if not the cheapest QBs on a classic slate, but this price is a bit too lofty for a showdown. He’s averaging just 14.4 DKFP, and while he’s had a few big sims, he brings a very low floor as well. We have seen this matchup simulated back in Week 8, when Lock passed for 282 yards and two touchdowns. He scored a solid 19.28 DKFP, but nothing that makes him really standout.
Courtland Sutton ($10,200) didn’t pop in the sim against the Colts, catching three passes for 73 yards (10.3 DKFP), but he’s flashed a massive ceiling overall in sims. Sutton has six sims of at least 25 DKFP, passing the 30 mark in four contests. Even if Lock doesn’t have a big game against a solid Colts defense, Sutton just needs to break one to the house to be worth rostering.
The WR2/WR3 roles have been case-by-case analysis for me. One of the main reasons I always like Sutton so much, besides his play-making ability, is that the drop-off at WR after him means he should see the ball more.
DaeSean Hamilton ($5,200) and Tim Patrick ($4,800) both have the same Madden rating. Hamilton lines up as the WR2, which can have more appeal, but it also means going against better corners. Patrick may be off the field a bit more, but lines up against worse defenders. When the price gets this close, I usually lean toward Hamilton, since he should see more chances. Hamilton had his second 20-DKFP sim just two outings ago against Miami — which Patrick is yet to accomplish. However, I’m going to go with Patrick here, since we saw the WR3 perform in this matchup. Patrick had his best sim against the Colts — a 7-66-1 line for 19.6 DKFP.
The other consideration when targeting a mid-priced pass-catcher is Noah Fant ($6,400), but he’s usually not this much more expensive than Hamilton. It makes sense though, as Fant’s 11.5-DKFP average is almost three points better than Hamilton. It makes sense, though, for a few reasons. Fant can often be matched up against linebackers, has been the more consistent play, and has the higher ceiling — three sims of at least 25 DKFP, including a sim-high 27.6 DKFP in his last contest. If you can make the room to pay up for Fant, I’d prefer him over any WR but Sutton.
There’s no decision to be made at RB for Denver, with Phillip Lindsay ($9,200) handling nearly every touch out of the backfield. He shook a slow start in the sims to become a relatively consistent play and has shown a 40-plus DKFP ceiling. It’s not the best matchup against Indy, but Lindsay went off for 31.1 DKFP the last sim against the Colts, thanks to three trips to the end zone.
It’s tough to confidently say that Jacoby Brissett ($11,200) is the better QB play, but he’s proven to be the safer play. More importantly, he’s the higher ceiling play, hitting for over 30 DKFP in five sims. His best sim came in Week 8 against this strong Denver defense, when Brissett threw for 344 yards and five touchdowns — good for 39.36 DKFP.
T.Y. Hilton ($10,600) obviously had to play a role with Brissett doing that kind of damage the last sim against Denver. He finished with just seven receptions for 69 yards, but scored twice, leading to 25.9 DKFP. Hilton’s one of my favorite plays on this slate because of that type of upside, scoring 30-40 DKFP on four occasions.
The Colts have a similar drop-off to the Broncos at WR, but I’d say there’s more value on the Indy side. Zach Pascal ($5,600) is the stronger play compared to Hamilton, essentially posting five 20-DKFP sims. As you’d imagine, one of them was against the Broncos because of how much air production there was to go around. He had six receptions for 65 yards, and also reached the end zone twice, scoring 24.5 DKFP. But beware, Pascal comes with an extremely low floor.
We can skip right over the WR3 in Devin Funchess ($4,600), who rarely even touches the ball. Chester Rogers ($3,400) is the value play, averaging 9.4 DKFP and consistently scoring in double-figures. And, you guessed it, he was spectacular in the matchup against Denver, posting a 4-112-1 line for 26 DKFP.
All this WR production makes it easy to skip right over TE, but Eric Ebron ($8,200) has been a strong option for the Colts. He was the odd man out in the earlier meeting between these teams, scoring just 8.6 DKFP. However, Ebron averages 13.6 DKFP and is fully capable of big outings. I’m not fading him because the matchup didn’t workout the last time around, I just feel he’s overpriced compared to some of the cheaper upside you can find.
The RB position isn’t quite as clear-cut as the Denver side. Marlon Mack ($7,000) was a stud in the 2019 season but doesn’t stay on the field as much in the sims. He averages just 4.6 DKFP and yields snaps to Nyheim Hines ($3,200). Hines is mostly on the field on passing downs, but stays out there when the offense keeps going, which leads to rushing attempts. While he was a non-factor the last time against the Broncos, he averages 8.9 DKFP and can make one big play to exceed value.
There are a lot of routes to go in this one, as there’s the value to pay up at captain, or you could use a value in that spot and fill out all your FLEX spots with stud plays. I think looking to pay for Jacoby Brissett ($16,800 CP) or T.Y. Hilton ($15,900 CP) makes the most sense. Target your favorite two values to offset the salary.
Final Score: Broncos 23, Colts 31
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.