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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for September 21

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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.

The Dream Stream continues on Monday as DraftKings sets up another three Madden sims before Monday Night Football closes the book on a busy Week 2. For each simulated game Monday afternoon, there are single-game Showdown contests available. Additionally, there are three-game classic contests, which are the focus of this post and include all three simulated games. The slate kicks off at 12 p.m. ET with a matchup between the Bears and Steelers from virtual Pittsburgh. At 2 p.m., it’s an all-Florida matchup as the Buccaneers host the Jaguars. The slate closes out with a preview of the Monday Night Football matchup between the Saints and the Raiders in virtual Las Vegas, which should give everyone a sneak peek at what to expect when the Raiders open their new stadium later tonight.

The roster for each team has 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 also been adjusted to get the best players on the field and will not be impacted by any 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.

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Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $6,800 — Brady and the Bucs started slow in these sims but have turned things around lately, mirroring the Bucs’ real-life Week 2 performance. Tampa Bay has won three straight sims and Brady has posted over 18 DKFP in each of those contests, throwing for a total of eight touchdowns and reaching over 240 passing yards in each of those games. He doesn’t have the sky-high ceiling of some of the elite rushing QBs but he has done a good job getting the ball to his playmaking WRs and stacking up yards and touchdowns through the air. Against the Jaguars, he should have plenty of space to continue to find success, making him my top QB play if you pay up at the position on this slate.

Other Option — Derek Carr ($6,500)


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders, $6,100 — Brees is surprisingly affordable given that he has thrown 15 touchdowns in his nine sims and averaged a very solid 18.0 DKFP. He has gone over that average in five of his past seven sims and led the team to a 24-7 win in their most recent sim against the Ravens by throwing for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Raiders’ defense has allowed at least 21 points in five of six matchups and Brees should be able to find matchups to exploit in this matchup, leading to a big game for the veteran QB.

Other Option — Gardner Minshew ($5,400)

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Running Back


Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders, $8,000 — Kamara is the only RB priced over $6K but there’s a very good reason based on his production in his nine Madden 21 sims. The X-factor RB has piled up nine scores in nine games while averaging 72.1 rushing yards and 32.2 receiving yards on an average of over four catches per game. He has over 18 DKFP in eight of his nine games and always finds a way to get involved. In a favorable matchup with the Raiders, he could be a slate-breaker and should at least return very good value.

Other Option — Chris Thompson ($6,000)


Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,800 — Fournette has moved to the top of the Bucs’ RB depth chart in Madden 21, although he still shares time with LeSean McCoy ($4,000), who serves as the team’s third-down RB. Fournette only had 28 yards and one catch in his most recent sim for 4.6 DKFP but he should be set up with a more favorable game script since the Bucs will likely be playing from ahead against his former team, the Jaguars. Whether you’re into revenge narratives or not, Fournette has the ratings and abilities to dominate the Jags’ front-seven on defense, so I think he’ll post a solid total.

Other Options — Tarik Cohen ($4,400), Josh Jacobs ($4,300)

Wide Receiver


Tyrell Williams, Las Vegas Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints, $8,200 — Williams has played in five sims and will be available in this contest since all injured players are included. He has scored seven touchdowns in those five games while averaging 98.4 yards and 25.8 DKFP per sim. He’s worth paying up for due to his extremely high ceiling, which he showcased with three touchdowns and 52 DKFP against the Bears two sims ago. Even if he doesn’t get all the way to that high ceiling, he usually gets enough volume to be a very solid option. With the Raiders likely having to throw a lot to keep up with the Saints, Derek Carr ($6,500) will likely target Williams early and often.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders, $6,700 — The highest-rated WR in all of Madden is the fifth-highest salaried option on this slate, so take advantage of the opportunity to get Thomas’ perfect 99 overall rating at such a reduced rate and roll with him in this favorable matchup with the Raiders. Thomas has caught at least six passes in three of his past four games and at least five passes in seven of nine overall. He has four touchdowns in his nine sims and solid 18.1 DKFP average. He has been ruled out for the real-life game Monday night but he will suit up and be a big factor in this sim matchup this afternoon.

Other Options — JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,800), Allen Robinson II ($7,100)


Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars, $5,800 — Evans has the ratings to be an absolute fantasy star but he stumbled badly out of the gate when we switched to Madden 21, causing his salary to dip. He bounced back, though, with a monster game in his most recent sim, hauling in nine catches for 200 yards and a touchdown on his way to 38.0 DKFP. Evans will look to continue that momentum against the Jaguars and post his fourth game in a row with over 11 DKFP.

Henry Ruggs III, Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints, $3,400 — Ruggs was given a 98 speed rating in Madden 21, making him the second-fastest player in the game behind just Tyreek Hill. The speedy WR2 has caught multiple passes in all six of his sims and posted over 8.0 DKFP in four of those games. Even though he hasn’t had a monster performance, he has totaled 200 yards and a touchdown on 20 catches over six games. At this price, that level of production is a solid return. Additionally, Ruggs also brings that big-play potential, which gives him a high ceiling and makes him a great flier at under $3.5K.

Other Options — Diontae Johnson ($4,300), Hunter Renfrow ($3,100)

Tight End


Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders, $5,300 — Cook has been very solid in these sims and has scored five touchdowns in his nine contests. His scoring potential gives him the edge over the other top options on this slate since Darren Waller ($5,700) hasn’t scored yet and Tyler Eifert ($5,500) has just two touchdowns. Cook has gotten good volume as well with at least three catches in five straight contests dating back to when he hauled in a massive 13 catches for 111 yards and 33.1 DKFP in the Saints’ sim win over the Cowboys. Cook has averaged exactly 50 yards on 4.8 catches per contest and he also gets a good matchup against Waller’s Raiders.

Other Option— Darren Waller ($5,700), Tyler Eifert ($5,500)


Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears, $5,000 — Ebron has become a quick favorite of Ben Roethlisberger ($5,900) in simland, averaging 4.2 catches for 42 yards per contest in Madden 21 with a pair of touchdowns. Those two touchdowns have come in his two most recent sims, resulting in 18.4 DKFP and 14.3 DKFP. If you can’t quite get your salary to stretch to fit in one of the top three options above, Ebron is a solid option at $5K with a pretty big drop to the other high-risk, less-involved TE plays under $5K.

Other Option— Jimmy Graham ($2,700)



Bears DST at Pittsburgh Steelers, $2,800 — The Bears showed off a very high ceiling for their DST by putting up 26 DKFP against the Lions with nine sacks, two takeaways and a defensive touchdown against the Lions. In just five sims, Chicago has piled up 20 sacks. On the downside, they have given up over 25 points in three of their past four sims. However, they usually come up with enough big plays to still put up positive totals. X-factor superstar Khalil Mack usually finds a way to impact the game with his ferocious pass rush at least once or twice per contest.

Other Option— Saints ($3,000)


Steelers DST vs, Chicago Bears, $2,600 — While the Steelers don’t have a single defensive player rated quite as high as Mack with his 97 overall rating, Pittsburgh does have great depth on the defensive side of the ball with Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Stephon Tuitt and T.J. Watt all checking in with overall ratings over 85. The unit has piled up 16 sacks in its six sims and also recovered five fumbles. Pittsburgh is still looking for its first defensive touchdown but it is encouraging that the potential opportunities are there. The Steelers have at least 7.0 DKFP in four of their past five contests and are my favorite DST play on the board on this slate.

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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.