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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for September 23

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Wednesday’s three-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

It’s Wednesday, so that means that wild weather is in the forecast for the DraftKings Dream Stream, which has six Madden 21 contests on tap throughout the day. For each simulated game, there are single-game Showdown contests available, in addition to a pair of three-game classic slates starting with the 12 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET kickoffs. For this post, we’ll focus on the featured slate that kicks off with the Rams and Eagles meeting in windy virtual Philadelphia. It’ll be a wet night in virtual Tennessee, where the Titans host the Vikings at 8 p.m. ET in the rain in a preview of one of the matchups on tap for Week 3 in real life. The final game of the day on Madden After Dark will bring some snow to virtual Foxboro, where the Patriots host the Texans.

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.

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

Tennessee Sports Betting

Tennessee Sports Betting



Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans at New England Patriots, $7,300 — The top two QBs on this slate are Watson and Carson Wentz ($7,000), who has also been outstanding so far in these sims. However, with Wentz in the wind and facing the Rams, I prefer Watson on this slate since he adds the added potential of rushing production. Watson has averaged 70.4 rushing yards over his seven sims while running for a touchdown as well. He has thrown eight passing touchdowns and is averaging a solid 19.1 DKFP. He had exactly that number while leading the Texans to a win over the Bills in his most recent sim and is lower risk than Wentz due to the variety of ways he can produce.

Other Option — Carson Wentz ($7,000)


Cam Newton, New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans, $6,100 — Newton doesn’t run nearly as much as Watson does in these sims, but the Patriots’ new QB showed he can still scramble for a score when needed in his most recent sim against Seattle. Newton threw two scores in addition to his rushing touchdown and totaled a massive 26.32 DKFP. He has actually run for three scores over his nine sims while throwing 10 touchdowns and averaging 209 passing yards per game. He had been struggling with under 12 DKFP in each of his previous three games before that breakout against the Seahawks, but he also showed upside earlier in the Madden 21 sims with over 20 DKFP in four of his first five games after the upgrade. Newton is definitely more boom-or-bust than Watson but brings enough savings and significant upside, especially going against the suspect secondary of the Texans.

Other Option — Jared Goff ($5,500)

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Running Back


Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans, $7,900 — Cook is almost always the focus of the Vikings offense, and he’ll likely get a very heavy workload in the rain against the Titans. He has been more effective in the Madden 21 sims than Derrick Henry ($7,600), who will also likely get plenty of carries on the other side of this matchup. Cook has averaged 23.6 DKFP over his six sims, producing at least 18 DKFP in five of those matchups. He has seven touchdowns and is averaging 84.3 rushing yards and 34.8 receiving yards per contest. While he is off to a bit of a slow start in real life, Cook is still tearing things up in the Madden sims. He’s the elite RB that I’d give a slight edge on this slate due to the matchup and his consistently heavy volume.

Other Options — Derrick Henry ($7,600), Miles Sanders ($5,900)


Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia Eagles, $3,400 — Henderson has served as the Rams’ third-down back in the most recent depth chart update, which has been in place for the past two contests. In those games, Henderson has shown both his upside and his bust potential. He went off for 15.9 DKFP with a pair of rushing touchdowns against the Vikings two sims ago, but then he was held to just one yard against the Titans without even hauling in a catch, finishing with just 0.1 DKFP. Still, the upside and big-play potential is definitely there, and the Rams may be forced to check down to shorter passes due to the wind. Henderson has the ratings to make big plays, and I like him as a boom-or-bust play that is a little off the radar in this matchup against the Eagles.

Other Options — James White ($4,200), Duke Johnson ($3,800)

Wide Receiver


Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans, $6,800 — Thielen typically gets solid volume from Kirk Cousins ($5,800) but could be in for even more work out of the slot in this matchup due to the rainy conditions. Thielen has been very consistent with over 10 DKFP in five of his six sims and an average of 5.2 catches for 64.7 yards per game. He has found the end zone in three of his four most recent games and is a low-risk pick due to his volume. He is also the only WR at $6K or more who isn’t playing in the wind game, which usually severely limits the success of down-field passes.

Other Options — DeSean Jackson ($6,600), Cooper Kupp ($6,300)


N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans, $4,500 — Both in real life and in simland, Harry is coming off of a big performance against the Seahawks. In his most recent sim, he had 10 catches for 116 yards, two touchdowns and 35.6 DKFP against Seattle. He has had a few monster games from his spot as New England’s WR1 and has multiple catches in seven of his nine contests. While the 10-catch game is definitely an outlier, he has a very high ceiling and should remain involved against Houston’s secondary, which has a tendency to give up big plays.

Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Rams, $3,900 — While I’m avoiding the passing game for the most part in this windy contest, Goodwin is too good of an option to skip over with his salary under $4K. The COVID-19 opt out in real life has been back on the Eagles’ roster for two sims and has been involved in both contests. He had a pedestrian two catches for 31 yards against the Bills but then exploded for eight catches, 117 yards and 23.9 DKFP against the Vikings. Goodwin brings truly elite speed with his 97 speed rating and can break any play for a big gain. If the Eagles continue to get him the ball, the WR3 has an extremely high ceiling and a distinct advantage against the Rams, who have no CBs with a speed rating over 91.

Other Options — Brandin Cooks ($4,400), Adam Humphries ($4,300), Josh Reynolds ($3,400)

Tight End


Devin Asiasi, New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans, $4,600 — Asiasi hasn’t been a big part of the Patriots’ offense in real life, but he remains a key piece in these sims since he is the TE1 and gets the great route tree from the playbook that made Gronk and Ben Watson such successes in Madden the past few years. Asiasi has averaged 4.8 catches for 47.8 yards per game and has also scored a pair of touchdowns. He has multiple catches in all but one of New England’s sims and has posted over 15 DKFP in four of those nine games.

Other Option— Zach Ertz ($5,500)


Darren Fells, Houston Texans at New England Patriots, $4,000 — Fells has been very involved in the Houston passing game, but he hasn’t been able to get into the end zone in any of his seven sims. He is averaging 4.4 catches per contest, though, and has produced 48.0 yards per sim. If he gets into the end zone, he’ll end up being a great value, but his consistent involvement is enough to make him a good play at $4K even if he doesn’t score.

Other Option— Jonnu Smith ($4,300)



Patriots DST vs. Houston Texans, $3,200 — The Texans have had some turnover issues, including seven lost fumbles by Watson in their seven sims. New England’s defense has been given a nice boost lately with all their players returning who opted out of the season due to COVID-19. New England has forced 10 turnovers to go along with 14 sacks in its nine sims with multiple sacks in four straight games. The Patriots have averaged 5.0 DKFP per sim and have at least that many points in five of their seven most recent matchups.


Rams DST at Philadelphia Eagles, $2,600 — With the wind slowing down the passing options in this game, I think Aaron Donald will be able to have a big impact along with the rest of the Rams’ pass rush and run defense. Los Angeles had a huge game with 21 DKFP against the Vikings two sims ago, piling up six sacks and a defensive touchdown. With Jalen Ramsey and Donald leading the way, this defensive unit has playmakers at every level and should be able to slow down the Eagles.

Other Options— Philadelphia Eagles ($2,800), Minnesota Vikings ($2,700)

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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.