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Madden Stream Picks: Falcons vs. Chiefs DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy

Zach Thompson preps you for Wednesday’s 8 p.m. ET Madden Stream contest between the Falcons and Chiefs with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Wednesday night is the championship game of the DraftKings Madden 21 Tournament, which has been going on to welcome the new Madden game and to help everyone get hyped for the NFL season, which starts tomorrow night. The finals should be a great game between the Falcons and the Chiefs, who both made their way to the finals despite not being the No. 1 seed in their conference. Kansas City hasn’t been beaten yet, but the Falcons have knocked off three straight undefeated foes to get to the finals, so this should be a fun contest.

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.

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Showdown Strategy

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons avenged their only loss in the tournament with a 45-27 win over the Saints in the semifinals. Matt Ryan ($10,400) had a monster game in that contest throwing five touchdowns and 341 yards for a massive 36.54 DKFP. Since he doesn’t run very much, he’s extremely touchdown dependent, but obviously still has a very high ceiling when he throws that many scores. He has over 15 DKFP in all but one of his six sims and has totaled 14 touchdowns.

His main targets have been Julio Jones ($8,800) and Calvin Ridley ($7,200), his top two WR. Jones has the X-factor of “Double Me” along with the superstar traits of Mid Out Elite, Route Technician and Deep Out Elite. He’s also the highest rated Falcon by a wide margin with his 97 overall rating to go with his 92 speed rating. Ridley is a little bit faster with a 93 speed rating but isn’t quite as reliable with his 83 overall rating. Jones had 150 yards and two scores for 39 DKFP against the Saints while Ridley caught Ryan’s other three scores and posted 39.9 DKFP. He only have five catches but they were almost all for big gains or touchdowns. The Falcons’ WRs are in a tough matchup against a solid Kansas City secondary but are still one of the best tandems in the NFL as they showed off against New Orleans. Further down the depth chart, Russell Gage ($3,400) is usually involved with a few catches each game although he has yet to find the end zone, and Laquon Treadwell ($2,400) is still on the roster as well but only had one catch total in his six sims which he took 47 yards for a touchdown.

Ryan and the Falcons’ passing game has gotten solid support from new RB Todd Gurley ($10,000), who has six scores in six sims and had posted over 14 DKFP in four straight before finishing with just 9.0 DKFP in their semifinal since Ryan was throwing for all the yards and touchdowns. Gurley does get involved in the passing game as well and has 23 catches already in Madden 21. He’s an expensive addition but definitely has a nice ceiling. If you’re looking for a cheap play, Keith Smith ($1,600) is the Falcons’ fullback who has had sporadic involvement including a touchdown in an earlier sim against Carolina. There’s no other RB workload sharing since Gurley gets all the third-down and power back formations.

Hayden Hurst ($6,800) is another new Falcon who has helped them get to the final with 24 catches for 321 yards through his six sims along with a touchdown. He hasn’t shown the sky-high upside of Gurley or the expensive Falcons’ WR, but he is in a price range where there aren’t many other options, so if you can’t get up to Ridley or already have him, Hurst can be a nice fit.

Since the Falcons’ DST ($3,000) has to try and slow down the Chiefs’ potent offense, I’m going to pass on them in this one. They have actually been pretty good in Madden 21, though, with two defensive touchdowns, 17 sacks, and six takeaways.

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Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are the last undefeated team in the tournament, having run through their division and knocking off the Steelers, Chargers and Patriots to reach the Finals. Obviously, their offense is build around their 99-overall QB Patrick Mahomes ($12,000), who has been outstanding in his six games, throwing for 10 touchdowns and an average of 263.8 yards per game and adding three more rushing scores on the ground. He has posted over 34 DKFP twice but hasn’t quite matched the 36 DKFP that Ryan had in the semifinal. He has the Bazooka X-factor and a massive five superstar traits that make him extremely accurate when on the run, in the redzone or on the move. He was the Madden 2020 cover athlete but only seems to have gotten better in Madden 21. He’s extremely expensive but comes with tons of upside.

Mahomes has been locked in on Tyreek Hill ($11,000), who has piled up 39 catches in six games for a massive 6.5 catches per game to go with his 85.7 yards per game. He has scored five touchdowns and averaged 21.1 DKFP per sim. In fact, if you can only afford one of the expensive Chiefs, I think it should be Hill since he gets more points for the massive yards he and Mahomes produce together. Hill still has the only 99 speed rating in all of Madden and added the X-factor of RAC ‘Em Up and the superstar traits of Juke Box, Short Out Elite and Grab-N-Go to his already full skill set in Madden 21.

Even though Hill is getting so much love, there has still been work for Travis Kelce ($9,000), who has averaged 7.5 catches for 89 yards per contest while scoring three touchdowns. He has posted 11 catches in two of his past three games and has produced over 20 DKFP in three straight games. You can partner Kelce and Hill and get almost all of Mahomes’ production while also getting PPR points. It’s risky not to play Mahomes, but it’s also hard to pass on Hill and Kelce with the numbers they have been putting up.

The other Chiefs’ pass-catchers have been relatively quiet since almost all the work is going to Hill and Kelce. Sammy Watkins ($5,800) still has great speed as the WR2 and does have a score to go with his 250 yards through six sims. WR3 Demarcus Robinson ($3,800) had his best game in Madden 21 in his most recent sim with six catches for 67 yards and a score against New England, but had been relatively quiet prior to that. Both Watkins and Robinson can help save you salary but are boom-or-bust plays.

The running game hasn’t been very effective for Kansas City with Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($5,400) very affordable but not very productive. He has just one touchdown on the sim season although he has hauled in 16 catches for 51 yards to give him a little PPR consideration. He has never reached 12 DKFP in and of his contests and has been held under 10 DKFP in three of his past four.

The Chiefs also have a great kicker in Harrison Butker ($4,800), who is averaging over 7.5 points per sim, and their defense has also been outstanding. The Chiefs’ DST ($4,000) is in a tough matchup against Ryan and his receivers, but they have been excellent so far in our Madden 21 sims, producing 9.3 DKFP per contest on 16 sacks, four takeaways and a pair of defensive touchdowns. They had a shutout against the Patriots in the semifinals and finished with 11 DKFP in that matchup.

The Outcome

For Captain’s Picks, the big names are the obvious choices but they’re also extremely pricey. Patrick Mahomes ($18,000 CP), Tyreek Hill ($16,500 CP), Matt Ryan ($15,600 CP) and Todd Gurley ($15,000 CP) will take a huge chunk of your cap in that spot and force you to manage the rest of your flex spots very carefully. Travis Kelce ($13,500 CP) offers a little bit of a break and allows more flexibility, so I think he’s a very solid way to go given his impressive volume so far in these sims. If you want to go cheap, you could take a flier on Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($8,100 CP) or the Chiefs’ DST ($6,000 CP), which would leave you room to stack up top plays in your flex spots.

The Chiefs’ offense has been great in the Madden 21 sims and their DST has also been much better than in Madden 2020. I think the Super Bowl Champions will add another Championship to their trophy case with a win in the Madden 21 Tournament, even though the Falcons have had an impressive run to get here and definitely have a chance to pull off another upset. Ultimately, though, the Mahomes-Hill-Kelce trio is just too talented to pick against.

Final Score: Chiefs 31, Falcons 20

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Depth Charts


Falcons Depth Chart

Position First Name Last Name No.
Position First Name Last Name No.
QB1 Matt Ryan #2
QB2 Josh Rosen #16
RB1 Mike Davis #28
RB2 Wayne Gallman Jr. #25
RB3 Cordarrelle Patterson #84
RB4 Keith Smith #40
FB1 Keith Smith #40
WR1 Calvin Ridley #18
WR2 Russell Gage Jr. #14
WR3 Olamide Zaccheaus #17
WR4 Christian Blake #13
WR5 Tajae Sharpe #4
WR6 Frank Darby #88
TE1 Kyle Pitts #8
TE2 Hayden Hurst #81
TE3 Lee Smith #85
K1 Younghoe Koo #7


Chiefs Depth Chart

Position First Name Last Name No.
Position First Name Last Name No.
QB1 Patrick Mahomes #15
QB2 Chad Henne #4
RB1 Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25
RB2 Jerick McKinnon #1
RB3 Darrel Williams #31
RB4 Michael Burton #45
FB1 Michael Burton #45
WR1 Tyreek Hill #10
WR2 Demarcus Robinson #11
WR3 Mecole Hardman #17
WR4 Byron Pringle #13
WR5 Daurice Fountain #82
WR6 Marcus Kemp #19
TE1 Travis Kelce #87
TE2 Noah Gray #83
TE3 Blake Bell #81
K1 Harrison Butker #7

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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.