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

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

Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season kicks off Thursday night in Cleveland, and to help you get hyped and ready, DraftKings has three Madden sims coming your way on the Dream Stream this afternoon. For each simulated game, there are single-game Showdown contests available in addition to a three-game classic slate, which will be the focus of this post. The games kick off at 12 p.m. ET when Washington visits the Dolphins in Tua Tagovailoa’s ($5,100) Madden debut. At 2 p.m. ET, the 49ers host the Lions in an NFC clash before the Thursday night preview at 4 p.m. ET between the Bengals and the Browns.

The rosters have been updated to include player movement before Week 1 of this season, so make sure to take a look at the new depth charts, abilities and X-factors for Madden 21 along with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page. The rosters have been adjusted to get the best players on the field and will not be impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs or injuries.

Check out the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests lobby with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. Each simulation will be played out computer vs. computer via an online Madden Stream using Madden 21. 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.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: Madden Stream $4K Early Bird Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest.


Quarterback

Stud

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns, $7,000 — Burrow has the highest DKFP average of the QBs in action today, having posted 17.7 DKFP over his first four Madden 21 sims. Burrow threw four touchdowns in his most recent contest, while piling up 298 passing yards and adding 10 rushing yards for a total of 28.92 DKFP. Overall, Burrow has eight touchdowns in his four sims and has put up over 15 DKFP in each of his three most recent Madden contests. The Bengals’ rookie will be in a good matchup against the Browns, and he already led the Bengals to one win over Cleveland in the Madden 21 tournament. In that contest, he threw two scores and posted 15.48 DKFP.

Other Option — Matthew Stafford ($6,500)

Value

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Football Team, $5,100 — Tua will be making his Madden sim debut in this contest facing the same matchup that Burrow just carved up in his most recent outing. Tua is taking over for Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,200) in simland and has the ratings to be successful right away. Tagovailoa was given a 73 overall rating by Madden with an 81 speed rating, an 88 throw power rating and a 78 change of direction rating. His accuracy numbers are decent but not exceptional, but he should be able to make plays with Miami’s speedy WRs. The key to Madden success for virtual Tua will be how much he gets out of the pocket and runs. His running ratings are solid overall, and he could have a big impact on the game as a dual threat if he gets the opportunities to make plays with his legs.

Other Option — Dwayne Haskins Jr. ($6,000)


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Running Back

Stud

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions, $6,100 — Mostert gets a great matchup against the Lions after scoring three touchdowns in San Francisco’s win on Wednesday night against the Saints. Mostert finished with 27.7 DKFP in that contest, totaling 78 rushing yards to go with his three scores and making a nine-yard catch as well. He has over 24 DKFP in three of his six sims including each of his past two. The Lions’ defense has struggled to slow anyone down in their sims in Madden 21, giving up at least 21 points in every game they have played. Mostert and the 49ers should be able to continue that trend and put up big numbers in this matchup Thursday.

Other Options — Nick Chubb ($4,900)

Value

Matt Breida, Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Football Team, $4,000 — With the exception of the 49ers and Mostert, every team on this slate uses a backfield timeshare of some sort, putting a lot of value options in play. Breida will be the Dolphins RB1 for the first time in this matchup with Jordan Howard ($4,400) still mixing in as the power back. Breida will also take care of third-down work as he has since the move to Madden 21. He has flashed some big-play potential in his limited opportunities with 12 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns in his six sims. With more work set to come his way, I think he’ll be a great value at just $4K against Washington.

Other Options — Joe Mixon ($4,600), J.D. McKissic ($4,300)


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Wide Receiver

Stud

Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals, $6,800 — Beckham has been a disappointment in Madden 21 to this point, but I think he’ll bounce back in this matchup Thursday. He has only managed 15 catches for 241 yards in his five sims for an average of just three catches and under 50 yards per sim. He does have two touchdowns, but his ratings indicate he has a much higher ceiling that he hasn’t had the chance to reach yet. OBJ has a 91 overall rating highlighted by a 93 speed rating, a 96 change of direction rating and a 99 spectacular catch rating. He did have four catches in his first matchup with the Bengals, and I think with a little more volume he could be set to go off for a big game in the rematch this afternoon.

Other Options — Steven Sims Jr. ($7,500), DeVante Parker ($6,400)

Value

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns, $5,900 — Boyd has been Burrow’s go-to WR in these sims so far, working out of the slot. He has four touchdowns in his four sims including two touchdowns against the Browns in their earlier meeting. Boyd has finished with at least 14 DKFP in three of his four contests, taking his average to 13.3 DKFP per game.

Dontrelle Inman, Washington Football Team at Miami Dolphins, $4,000 — Inman moved up Washington’s depth chart before his most recent contest and had a huge Madden debut, catching four passes for 118 yards and a touchdown on his way to 24.8 DKFP against Cincinnati. Inman will stay as Washington’s WR3 for this matchup with Terry McLaurin ($5,100) taking over in the slot for the departed Trey Quinn. Inman won’t always put up huge games like his first contest, but he obviously brings a high ceiling and should find himself up in a good spot on the outside in three-WR sets for Washington moving forward.

Other Options — Deebo Samuel ($5,500), Terry McLaurin ($5,100), Jakeem Grant ($3,000)


Tight End

Stud

C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns, $5,700 — Uzomah has been outstanding in his past few sims and has been getting tons of looks from Burrow. He has hauled in a total of 13 passes in his past two games for 184 yards, and the new starting TE had three touchdowns in his most recent contest for an incredible 40.0 DKFP. He has at least four catches and 30 yards in each of his four sims and is averaging over five receptions and 65 yards per contest. The Browns typically struggle to defend TE, so look for Burrow to stay locked in on Uzomah enough to make him worth this elevated salary, which at first glance seems uncharacteristically high.

Other Options— T.J. Hockenson ($6,200), George Kittle ($5,500)

Value

Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns, $3,700 — Hooper has the ratings to match up with the top TEs on the slate, but he is the most affordable starter since he has failed to reach that potential in these sims, much like his teammate Odell Beckham. Hooper has averaged only three catches for 32 yards per game and has yet to reach the end zone. However, if you are having to spend down at TE, remember that Hooper has an excellent 89 overall rating and a 97 catching rating that should eventually make him a great option for the Browns if they can get their passing game in gear.

Other Options— Mike Gesicki ($5,000), Jeremy Sprinkle ($4,800)


DST

Stud

49ers DST vs. Detroit Lions, $2,800 — The 49ers have highly-rated players throughout their defense, but they haven’t consistently come up with big plays in these Madden sims. In their six Madden 21 contests, they have totaled 10 sacks and four takeaways to average 4.0 DKFP per contest. Even if they don’t go off with a defensive touchdown or multiple takeaways, they should be a very safe play against the Lions’ offense, which has been abysmal through their four sims, averaging just 12.3 points per game.

Value

Bengals DST at Cleveland Browns, $2,700 — A few of the disappointing stars for the Browns were highlighted above, and their whole offense hasn’t been able to get much done to this point in Madden 21. That could set up well for the Bengals’ DST which is led by Geno Atkins, who is one of just two Bengals with Superstar traits. Cincinnati had 9.0 DKFP in their first sim game against Cleveland, highlighted by five sacks in their 17-10 win. I think they’ll be able to get pressure on Baker Mayfield ($6,300) again this afternoon on their way to another strong total.

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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.