It’s time for some Thursday Night Football with DraftKings providing another nice slate of Madden streams to fill the evening. The first matchup on the main slate starts at 6 p.m. ET, when we start things off with a battle of the Bays as the Bucs heads north to take on the Packers. In primetime, it’s the Falcons visiting the 49ers at 8 p.m. ET, before we wrap things up with the former Baltimore team returning to Charm City to take on the current Baltimore team, when the Colts visit the Ravens at 10 p.m. ET on Madden After Dark.
Check out the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. 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.
The six teams on this Thursday slate provide some interesting 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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Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. IND, $8,000 — The Colts’ defense has struggled in these sims, and I don’t think they’ll be able to slow down the truly elite Jackson. He has over 19 DKFP in six straight contests, bookending that run with 38.28 DKFP against the Rams and 35.16 DKFP against the Raiders in his most recent contest. He had “only” 17.74 DKFP in his first meeting with the Colts but should outperform those numbers this time around. In his 48 sims, he has averaged 165.2 passing yards and 70.5 rushing yards per sim while throwing for 59 scores and running for 29 more. His dual-threat ability make him a relatively safe play while also giving him an enormously high ceiling. If you’re paying up at QB, there’s no need to overthink this; Jackson is the option you want.
Other Option — Matt Ryan ($7,000)
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF vs. ATL, $6,100 — Jimmy G just faced the Colts and tore them up for 32.8 DKFP of his own, with 345 yards and four touchdowns. He doesn’t add rushing production like Jackson but is averaging a solid 249 passing yards per contest to go with his 85 scores in 48 games. Garoppolo is in a good matchup against an Atlanta secondary that has a few holes in it. He had 285 yards, two scores and 19.4 DKFP in his first meeting with the Falcons. He does need to throw multiple scores to have a good fantasy day, but his touchdown-reliant upside makes him the best of the cheap plays on this slate.
Other Option — Aaron Rodgers ($6,200)
Tevin Coleman, SF vs. ATL, $6,800 — The top two RBs on the slate go head to head as Coleman’s 49ers welcome in Devonta Freeman’s ($7,000) Falcons. Coleman has been an absolute beast in these sims, and even though he’s not quite as involved in his team’s passing game, he’s still my preferred play of the two options since his matchup is much more favorable. Coleman had 138 yards and three touchdowns in his first meeting with the Falcons’ run defense, piling up 37.5 DKFP. He is averaging 18.6 DKFP per sim with 87.1 rushing yards per game and 41 touchdowns in 48 sims. He has actually had a few down games recently with under 7.0 DKFP in three of his past four contests, but he has been too productive in these sims overall to let recency bias keep him off your roster.
Other Options — Devonta Freeman ($7,000), Mark Ingram II ($6,300)
Dare Ogunbowale, TB at GB, $3,500 — If you’re going to spend up at the other rosters spots, Ogunbowale is a nice way to go super-cheap at RB and still get production with a little bit of upside as well. Ogunbowale is the Bucs’ third-down back and typically gets a few catches and a few carries in each game. He is averaging just 15.7 rushing yards and 9.6 receiving yards per game but does have four scores and is averaging 4.6 DKFP per sim. He has at least 5.0 DKFP in each of his two most recent sims and can be heavily involved especially if the Bucs have to go pass-heavy playing from behind.
Other Option — Nyheim Hines ($4,900). Jamaal Williams ($4,600)
T.Y. Hilton, IND at BAL, $6,300 — There are several elite WR1 plays on this slate, but Hilton has been getting the most consistent work of the bunch and always brings his big-play ability. He had seven catches for 102 yards and 20.2 DKFP in the Colts’ most recent sim and has averaged 4.2 catches for 65.0 yards per sim while scoring 27 touchdowns. He had heavy volume in the first matchup between these teams, catching eight passes for 122 yards. While he does sometimes struggle if his QB has consistency issues, Hilton has a very high ceiling and can break any catch for a big play with his breakaway speed.
Other Options — Julio Jones ($6,800), Davante Adams ($6,700)
Mike Evans, TB at GB, $5,800 — Evans is extremely affordable for a WR1 and is coming in on a nice roll with over 10 DKFP in five straight and 13 of his past 14 contests. He went off for 34.4 DKFP against the Saints in his most recent sims and also had six catches in his first meeting with Green Bay. Evans had a weird quiet stretch in the middle of the sim season but has found a nice groove lately and has an extremely high ceiling for a player under $6K.
Geronimo Allison, GB vs. TB, $3,400 — Allison is my favorite option from among a great group of slot options on this slate. Allison has hauled in 3.0 passes per sim for 36 yards per contest and averaged 8.0 DKFP. He can be a little bit boom-or-bust but had four catches for 30 yards and a touchdown on his way to 12.7 DKFP in his first game against Tampa Bay. I think the volume will be there in this favorable matchup.
Other Options — Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($4,900), Chester Rogers ($3,800), Kendrick Bourne ($3,700)
George Kittle, SF vs. ATL, $5,800 — Kittle is definitely one of the top TEs in Madden and almost always gets a high volume of targets for plenty of yards. He does only have 17 touchdowns, though, which has kept him from being even better than his 14.6 DKFP per sim average. He has averaged 4.9 catches for 72 yards per sim and has never been held without a reception. He had six catches for 111 yards and 20.1 DKFP against the Falcons the first time around and has posted over 21 DKFP in two of his past four contests. If he gets in the end zone, you’re golden, but even if he doesn’t he still often does enough work to be worth this salary.
Other Options — Eric Ebron ($5,200), Mark Andrews ($5,100)
O.J. Howard, TB at GB, $4,800 — While Evans has been the main man lately for the Bucs, Howard has consistently produced all season with some monster games along the way. He has averaged 4.1 catches for 54.8 yards per sim and has scored 16 touchdowns. He has over 11 DKFP in three straight games and in 21 sims (44%) on the season. When the matchups play out in his favor, he has as high a ceiling as any other TE in Madden, including Kittle, but he hasn’t been quite as consistently involved since Tampa Bay’s offense does have other options to go to as well.
Packers DST vs. TB, $3,200 — The Packers have been the highest scoring DST on this slate by a comfortable margin, averaging 5.7 DKFP per sim. They has gotten consistent pressure on opposing QBs with 111 sacks while forcing 28 turnovers and scoring eight defensive touchdowns. They had 11 DKFP in their most recent game against the Falcons and posted 9.0 DKFP in their first sim against the Bucs.
49ers DST vs. ATL, $2,900 — The 49ers have the best record of any team in these sims and most of that is due to their excellent defense. However, they haven’t been an elite fantasy unit since they focus on limiting their opponent more than splashy plays that produce fantasy points. They do have 87 sacks and 21 takeaways but are still looking for their first defensive TD. They are a safe play but don’t have the upside that the Packers provide.
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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.