Thursday Night Football starts Week 4 in the NFL with a matchup between the New York Jets and Denver Broncos, but before we get to the action on the real field, we have three simulations lined up on the DraftKings Dream Stream. Each game has a single-game Showdown contest available, and there is also a three-game classic slate starting at 12 p.m. ET, which is the focus of this post. The first game of the day is the Jets visiting the Jaguars in virtual Jacksonville. At 2 p.m. ET, another AFC East team is in action in virtual Florida as the Dolphins host the Colts. At 4 p.m., we close out the sim day with the Patriots visiting the Cowboys.
The roster for each team now includes all player movement that occurred prior to Week 1 of this season, and you can find the 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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Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots, $7,500 — Prescott is the elite option on this slate which is pretty limited for QBs with upside. He is the only QB available who is averaging more than 20 DKFP, and he has shown off his ceiling with four games over 23 DKFP. He has been a relatively steady option with over 16 DKFP in three straight and in nine of his 10 sims so far in Madden 21. That steady production should be able to continue in this matchup with the Patriots, who have been inconsistent defensively and have given up 38 points or more in three of their past four sims. Prescott hasn’t taken been running in Madden 21 as much as he did in Madden 2020 but still has been able to add two rushing scores to his 20 passing touchdowns.
Other Option — Cam Newton ($6,500)
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts, $5,100 — Tua has been starting for the Dolphins for their past four sims since the most recent roster update. He has produced a better average than every QB on this slate with the exception of Prescott, while leading Miami to a 3-1 record. He has thrown seven touchdowns in his four starts, averaging 219.5 passing yards and 35.3 rushing yards per contest. He doesn’t run the ball all the time, but he has the ratings to produce and has flashed the ability to make things happen with his legs as well as his arm. The Colts’ DST has very lowly-rated CBs, so Tua is a great way to go cheap at QB, save salary for other spots, and still get nice production.
Other Option — Gardner Minshew II ($5,700), Philip Rivers ($5,300)
Matt Breida, Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts, $6,000 — Ezekiel Elliott ($8,000) is obviously a good play — like he is every time he is in action in these sims. However, there’s another stud worth checking out as well in Breida, who has been outstanding since becoming the Dolphins’ RB1 four sims ago. His average production per game is lower because of his time as a backup, but he has averaged 24.5 DKFP over his four most recent games. He had his lowest total as a starter in his most recent sim but saved his production with six catches for 42 yards on his way to 13.5 DKFP. He has shown that he has a much higher ceiling than that in wins over the Jaguars and Panthers, posting 38.2 DKFP and 25.2 DKFP, respectively. He has been a dual-threat with heavy volume as both a rusher and receiver and is worth paying up for if possible against Indianapolis.
Other Options — Ezekiel Elliott ($8,000), Chris Thompson ($6,700)
Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars, $5,900 — Bell will look to go off against the Jags’ defense in the same way that Breida did a few sims ago as he takes on a Jacksonville defense that has been one of the best matchups for RBs in all of Madden 21. Bell has been very boom-or-bust in his Madden 21 sims with three games over 24 DKFP and four games under 10 DKFP. He was able to take advantage of this same matchup in an earlier sim, running for 77 yards and catching nine passes for 70 more yards along with a receiving touchdown. Bell finished that game with 29.7 DKFP in that game and should thrive in a rematch of that sim, which the Jets won 13-3.
Other Options — Nyheim Hines ($5,800), James White ($4,300)
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts, $6,700 — Parker had a pair of touchdowns in his most recent sim and posted a massive 24.2 DKFP against the Lions. He has over 60 yards in three straight sims and has scored four touchdowns in his four starts with Tua at QB. Parker produced an average of 14.4 DKFP in those four games and should be in a great spot to thrive against the Colts, who don’t have a CB with an overall rating higher than 80. Parker should be able to use his 84 overall rating and 90 speed rating to his advantage and has the potential for a huge game based on his individual matchup and improved QB play.
Other Option — Amari Cooper ($7,100), DJ Chark ($6,300)
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins, $4,800 — Campbell is injured in real life but is still producing solid numbers out of the slot for the Colts in simland. He had four catches for 55 yards and 9.5 DKFP in his most recent sim and is averaging 3.8 catches for 44.8 yards per game in his eight sims in Madden 21. Campbell has an excellent 94 speed rating which gives him a very high ceiling, as he showed with 146 yards and 31.6 DKFP in his very first Madden 21 sim. While he hasn’t been able to get to that ceiling since then, he is still averaging double-digit DKFP on 3.75 catches for 44.8 yards per game.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,000 — Crowder is the Jets’ WR1, although his volume can be inconsistent from game-to-game. He only managed one catch against Jacksonville in their recent meeting, but he has piled up 20 catches in the other five of his six most recent games. He had a pair of touchdowns and 22.4 DKFP against the Falcons, showing his upside, but he hasn’t been able to find the end zone in any other sim. Even though he has the top spot in the depth chart, he is a boom-or-bust play. There is significant upside for an option at $4K, though, and I think he should be able to have a good game out of the slot if the Jets throw the ball his way.
Other Options — Albert Wilson ($4,300), Damiere Byrd ($3,500)
Chris Herndon, New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,900 — Herndon has been the most consistent pass-catcher of all the Jets. He put up double-digit DKFP in five of his past six games and peaked with 22.7 DKFP against the Cardinals in his most recent sim. He has been getting plenty of volume, especially lately, and has been the most reliable of all the TE on this slate.
Other Options— Blake Jarwin ($5,300), Tyler Eifert ($5,000)
Devin Asiasi, New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys, $4,600 — Asiasi is still working his way into the mix for the Patriots in real life, but he has been very involved throughout the sims in Madden 21. He has averaged 4.5 catches for 46.7 yards per contest for 10.7 DKFP per sim in 11 contests. The rookie has three catches in each of his past three games and has had at least that many catches in nine of his 11 overall. Dallas has highly-rated CBs to counter the Patriots’ WRs but has been susceptible to big games from TEs in these sims.
Other Options— Mike Gesicki ($4,300), Trey Burton ($3,800)
Colts DST at Miami Dolphins, $3,000 — The Colts have posted double-digit DKFP in three straight sims with two defensive touchdowns, two fumble recoveries, a safety and an impressive 14 sacks over that span. They have never posted a negative total and have at least 3.0 DKFP in all but one of their eight sims. Indianapolis will try to get pressure on Tua and force the rookie into mistakes. If they can do that, they have a good chance to continue their dominant run.
Cowboys DST vs. New England Patriots, $2,900 — Dallas had six sacks in its most recent sim along with an interception to post 12.0 DKFP against the Raiders. The Cowboys’ pass rush has been strong with at least three sacks in four straight contests and 28 sacks in their 10 sims in Madden 21. They have only forced five turnovers, but their ability to get to the QB makes them a very nice play under $3K against the Patriots, who have been hit-or-miss offensively with Cam Newton ($6,500) at 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.