Saturday is the first day of the playoffs in the DraftKings Madden 21 Tournament, and there are four juicy AFC matchups to enjoy throughout the day. The featured classic slate focuses on the final two games of the day at 6 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET which feature the top two seeds from the play-in round. We start with the No. 2 seed Chiefs hosting the Steelers, who looked very strong for two games before getting crushed in their most recent game by the Ravens, who earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC and host the No. 8-seeded Chargers at 8 p.m. ET in the final game of the day. Home teams have definitely had an advantage in Madden 21 so far but could we see an upset or two now that we’ve reached the playoffs? Tune in to find out and see who will advance to the quarterfinals on Monday.
You can see the standings and results throughout the tournament here on Playbook and keep up with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page, where you can also find the new depth charts and X-factors for the teams in Madden 21.
Check out the daily DraftKings Madden Stream contests lobby with paid contests for real cash prizes now available alongside free contests. Along with single-game followed by the featured slate. 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 Saturday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE lineups here: Madden Stream $1K FREE Contest.
Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. LAC, $8,500 — Jackson is clearly the reason the Ravens have been so dominant and has definitely lived up to his hype as the Madden 21 cover athlete. He has averaged 25.0 DKFP in his three sims, throwing for five scores and rushing for another while averaging 94.3 yards per game on the ground in addition to 146.3 passing yards per sim. Jackson has over 21 DKFP in every Madden 21 sim so far and had no issue with the Steelers’ solid defense in his most recent contest. He does have a tough matchup against the Chargers, who have allowed the second-fewest points in the AFC in their three games. Even though the game will likely be low-scoring, Jackson’s rushing potential gives him the edge over Patrick Mahomes ($8,000).
Other Option — Patrick Mahomes ($8,000)
Ben Roethlisberger, LAC vs. BAL, $5,600 — If you’re paying up at other roster spots and need to go cheap at QB, I’d look at Big Ben over Tyrod Taylor ($5,900) even though Taylor has rushing potential. Roethlisberger has a much better matchup, though, since the Ravens’ defense has been incredible (more on them later). Big Ben threw for two TDs and over 200 yards for 24 DKFP and 15.4 DKFP in his first two sims before hitting that Ravens defensive wall in his third sim. The Chiefs have been giving up plenty of points and Roethlisberger could have to air it out to keep up with the high-scoring Chiefs. He’s a high-risk play but if you load up at other positions, he can save you a ton of salary.
Other Option — Tyrod Taylor ($5,900)
How would you like the chance to put your daily fantasy football skills to the test against other readers and writers of DraftKings Playbook?
Well, now you have the chance! Enter our brand new DraftKings Content Battleground $5 entry 3-max event here, which will be held all throughout the NFL season.
Mark Ingram, BAL vs. LAC, $7,200 — Ingram had 111 yards and a touchdown in his most recent sim for 24.5 DKFP, his second game with over 23 DKFP in his three Madden 21 sims. He has caught three passes in each of those sims as well giving him a higher floor since he can produce in that way as well. I think Ingram and the Ravens will be playing from ahead in this matchup which should mean a big workload for the RB1, who is a nice blend of power and speed according to his Madden ratings.
Other Option — Austin Ekeler ($6,800)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC vs. PIT, $4,900 — CEH has bounced back from a slow start to these sims with a total of seven catches in his past two games and an average of about 50 yards on the ground as well. He hasn’t found the end zone yet but posted 11.3 DKFP and 9.4 DKFP in his past two contests. If you can’t pay up for one of the top two backs in what could be a low-scoring late game, the fresh prince of Helaire comes at a discount and could offer nice upside if he gets his first touchdown.
Other Options — DeAndre Washington ($3,500)
Enter the DraftKings Content RAKE-FREE $5 3-max entry for NFL Week 1!
Tyreek Hill, KC vs. PIT, $8,200 — Hill’s 99 speed rating is still just as effective in Madden 21 as it was on Madden 2020 when he was one of the most reliable WRs on a regular basis. Hill has posted over 18 DKFP in each of his three sims in Madden 21 with at least seven catches in each sim. With that much volume and play-breaking speed to spare, he’s a must-play any time you can fit his hefty salary under your cap.
Other Options — JuJu Smith-Schuster ($7,900)
Willie Snead IV, BAL vs. LAC, $5,000 — The WR pool isn’t quite as deep as usual with just two games on the slate but there are still some solid value options to consider. Snead has caught a touchdown in each of his past two games and has posted over 12 DKFP in two of his three sims so far. He did only have one catch in one contest, showing there is still some bust potential but he also offers nice upside out of the slot for the Ravens against the Chargers.
Miles Boykin, BAL vs. LAC, $3,700 — When Snead slides into the slot, Boykin comes in on the outside and has shown the same upside that has some people in on him as a sleeper for real-life fantasy football this season. Boykin didn’t have a catch in Baltimore’s second game but had two for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals and three for 23 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers. If you need a cheap play with upside, Boykin definitely fits that mold although there is some risk involved as well since he is the WR3 and not on the field for every snap.
Other Options — Sammy Watkins ($4,600), Diontae Johnson ($3,100)
Travis Kelce, KC vs. PIT, $6,700 — Kelce is still a fantasy beast in Madden and in real life, making him a dynamic tandem with Hill that gives Mahomes awesome options. Kelce has totaled 16 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown in his three sims in Madden 21 and has big-time upside as a red-zone and possession option for the Chiefs. He’s very expensive, though, so you’ll have to work that salary cap effectively if you’re going to stack up Kelce, Hill and Mahomes.
Other Option — Eric Ebron ($4,800)
Mark Andrews, BAL vs. LAC, $4,500 — Andrews still hasn’t gone off despite strong overall ratings and a good route tree in the Ravens’ playbook. He should have the potential for so much more production, which makes the Ravens even scarier as a long-term favorite in the tournament. Andrews has caught at least three passes in every one of his Madden 21 sims and produced over 5.0 DKFP in each of those games but he hasn’t gone off for more than 30 yards or a touchdown yet, so there’s plenty of room for growth.
Other Option — Hunter Henry ($4,300)
Ravens DST vs. LAC, $3,000 — The Ravens’ defense had good ratings in Madden 2020 but never really lived up to their potential. The Madden 21 version looks excellent, though, with the addition of Calais Campbell up front making them an elite unit. They posted an insane 26 DKFP in their most recent sim, shutting out the Steelers and racking up eight sacks and a defensive touchdown. At home against Tyrod Taylor, who has a tendency to turn the ball over, Baltimore should be a great play at your DST spot.
Other Option — Steelers ($2,800)
Chiefs DST vs. PIT, $2,600 — The Chiefs have given up way more points than the Ravens in their three sims but have also been making big plays. The Chiefs have a total of five sacks and two defensive touchdowns while forcing four turnovers in three contests. Pittsburgh showed it can put up points but the Steelers also were totally shut down by the Ravens, so roll with the Chiefs if you think they can have a similar performance with the strength of the virtual crowd at Arrowhead Stadium behind them.
Set your DraftKings lineups for Friday night here: Madden Stream $4K Saturday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE lineups here: Madden Stream $1K FREE Contest.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.
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.