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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for August 17

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Monday’s three-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Check out the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. Usually, along with single-game Showdown contests focused on each individual game, there is an early slate of games that includes Madden Stream games at 12 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET, followed by the featured slate, which focuses on the sims at 6 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET. Each simulation will be played out computer vs. computer 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 (download here) or right here in this post.

Monday, DraftKings will be hosting the first night of the Fantasy Basketball World Championship, so there will be a reduced schedule with just the three early games on tap for Monday. The matchups start at 12 p.m. ET with the Broncos visiting the Cowboys. At 2 p.m. ET, we get a great divisional contest between the Saints and the Buccaneers, and we close out the day with another NFC South team, the Falcons hosting the Packers.

All six teams have some intriguing plays to consider, and I’ve highlighted my favorite stud and value play for each roster spot below. For more data, you can always check out the Madden info page for all the data on player ratings, special abilities and what you can look forward to in upcoming matchups.

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Drew Brees, NO at TB, $7,000 — While Matt Ryan ($6,900) has the highest per-game average and Dak Prescott ($6,400) brings added rushing potential, I’m actually highest on Brees on this slate since he has such a good matchup against the Bucs’ secondary. Brees bounced back from two down games with 20.68 DKFP in his most recent sim on 217 yards and three touchdowns. He had a similar 19.68 DKFP in his first meeting with the Bucs on 322 yards and a touchdown, even though Tampa Bay pulled out a 30-27 win. Brees and the Saints will look to avenge that defeat in this sim and he’ll look to continue his relatively steady production. In his 47 sims, he has produced at least 18 DKFP 23 times (49%). He has thrown for a total of 91 touchdowns compared to just nine interceptions and averages 242 passing yards per sim.

Other Options — Matt Ryan ($6,900), Dak Prescott ($6,400)


Aaron Rodgers, GB at ATL, $6,100 — Finding Rodgers this affordable is a bit of a surprise, especially against a Falcons team with a suspect secondary. Rodgers has struggled lately with just one passing touchdown in each of his past four contests, but he still is highly rated and has a very high ceiling. He posted 24.76 DKFP in his first meeting with the Falcons and had 25.56 DFKP just two games ago against a tough Vikings defense. Rodgers isn’t as consistent as Brees or Ryan, but he does have a very high ceiling and is available as the second-cheapest QB on the slate. He has over 21 DKFP in 14 of his 47 (30%) of his sims and has thrown for 80 touchdowns while averaging 233.5 passing yards per contest.

Other Option — Jameis Winston ($6,200)

Running Back


Alvin Kamara, NO at TB, $6,600 — While there aren’t any elite dual-threat QBs on this slate, it’s loaded with some of the top RB options in all of Madden. Devonta Freeman ($7,000) and Ezekiel Elliott ($6,800) are definitely worth a look as well but Kamara is my favorite play of the day due to his always-high ceiling and his very favorable matchup. Kamara has been held under 12 DKFP in three of his past four games, so people may be moved off him due to recency bias but he has an incredibly high ceiling when he’s involved as both a ball carrier and a receiver out of the backfield. Kamara did work in both facets of the game the last time these teams met, piling up 98 yards and a touchdown on the ground and adding a second score and 55 more yards as a receiver on his way to 29.3 DKFP. He can dominate either way depending on what the defense gives him and I think he’s lined up for another monster game in this one.

Other Options — Devonta Freeman ($7,000), Ezekiel Elliott ($6,800)


Dare Ogunbowale, TB vs. NO, $3,500 — With all the elite RBs on the board, there isn’t a ton of work available for backup RBs who can help save you salary with the exception of Ogunbowale, who is the Bucs’ third-down back and takes significant work from Ronald Jones II ($5,200). Ogunbowale has been involved in all 47 sims for Tampa Bay and averaged 4.6 DKFP per contest by producing 15.7 rushing yards and 1.6 catches for 9.7 receiving yards per sim. He has scored a total of four touchdowns and had 7.0 DKFP against the Saints in the teams’ first meeting. While he doesn’t have much potential to hit 20 DKFP, he can consistently bring a good return on this minimal investment and could potentially get more work if the Bucs have to go more pass-heavy to keep up with Brees and the Saints.

Wide Receiver


Davante Adams, GB at ATL, $6,700 — The Falcons have struggled to cover WR1 in many of their sims this sim season, so Adams should be in a good spot to attack this matchup. In his first contest against Atlanta, he had seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown, totaling 20.9 DKFP. That volume seems to indicate a mismatch and could result in a huge game for Adams if he can break free for a long touchdown or two. He had 30.9 DKFP two games ago against the Vikings and brings a high ceiling to every matchup. The Packers’ depth behind him isn’t great, so Rodgers tends to lock in on Adams and can pepper him with lots of volume. If that happens in this contest, he could be poised to add to his impressive 30-touchdown total.

Other Options — Michael Thomas ($7,000), Julio Jones ($6,800)


Ted Ginn Jr., NO at TB, $4,600 — With teams trying to contain Michael Thomas on the other side of the field, Ginn has gotten loose for some big plays from his WR2 spot for the Saints. He is averaging 12.5 DKFP per contest and has 23 touchdowns on the sim season while averaging over 50 yards per game. He went off for 28.7 DKFP in his most recent sim against Atlanta and had four catches for 46 yards and 8.6 DKFP in his first meeting with the Bucs. Tampa’s secondary has given up big plays to speedy receivers, which would seem to set Ginn up for a solid performance.

Russell Gage, ATL vs. GB, $3,900 — Gage has a lot of competition for targets in Atlanta with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley ($5,600) and Austin Hooper ($4,600), so it makes sense that he can sometimes get lost in the mix. However, he’s so affordable at this salary and has such potential out of the slot, that I think he’s worth a look on this slate. Gage has at least 8.0 DKFP in four of his past five games, including an impressive 22.7 DKFP game against the Chargers. He had four catches in the first meeting with the Packers and should hit value if he gets a similar workload in this rematch.

Other Options — Calvin Ridley ($5,600), Geronimo Allison ($3,400)

Tight End


O.J. Howard, TB vs. NO, $4,800 — When the Bucs upset the Saints in the teams’ first meeting of the sim season, it was Howard who did most of the heavy lifting, hauling in eight catches for 146 yards, two touchdowns and 37.6 DKFP. He has had a few monster games like that one including two games ago when he caught 11 passes against the Dolphins. He has hit double-digit DKFP in three straight and is now averaging 4.1 catches for 56 yards per contest. If the Bucs are going to keep up with the Saints, Howard will likely have to be very involved once again.

Other Options — Jared Cook ($5,400), Austin Hooper ($4,600)


Noah Fant, DEN at DAL, $4,500 — Fant isn’t quite as cheap as he is on some slates but is still worth a look since the Dallas defense has sometimes struggled to contain TE over the middle of the field. Fant is the second-fastest TE in all of Madden and comes with great upside, even though he hasn’t been quite as consistent as Howard. Fant has averaged 3.8 catches for 50.4 yards per sim and has caught a total of 14 touchdowns. One of those scores came against Dallas and he has actually been more effective on the road, averaging 12.1 DKFP per sim away from the Mile High City.



Packers DST vs. ATL, $3,100 — The Packers have quietly been one of the best DST options in these sims, piling up an impressive 108 sacks in 47 games to go with 27 takeaways and seven defensive touchdowns. The Green Bay defense has been fairly consistent and put up at least 4.0 DKFP in four straight before managing just 1.0 DKFP against the Colts and their elite offensive line in their most recent sim.

Other Option — Saints ($3,200)


Cowboys DST vs. DEN, $2,900 — Dallas’ defense has been one of the best at limiting opponents in these sims and has 29 takeaways to go with 74 sacks and seven defensive touchdowns. The Cowboys have a better matchup than the Packers going against rookie QB Drew Lock ($5,400) and the Broncos, but they haven’t been quite as consistent with their pressure on the QB.

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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.