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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for January 12

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

It’s another terrific Tuesday of Madden sims on the DraftKings Dream Stream with six games ready to roll throughout the day, highlighted by the three-game featured slate, kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET. The first matchup on that slate is the Madden Holiday Season Champion Kansas City Chiefs welcoming in the Philadelphia Eagles. At 8:00 p.m. ET in primetime, we’ll get a rematch of the Music City Miracle as the Buffalo Bills head to virtual Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans. In the final game of the day, the Atlanta Falcons will be on the West Coast to face their former coordinator Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers on “Madden After Dark,” kicking off at 10:00 p.m. ET

As usual, it’s important to note that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness in these sims and that the highest-rated options have been placed at the top of the depth charts. The roster for each team includes all player movement that occurred prior to Week 1 of this season and uses the Madden 21 ratings from Week 1 of this season.

For more details, you can find the game settings, depth charts, abilities and X-factors for each team in Madden 21 along with the upcoming schedule on the Madden Stream info page. There were a few tweaks to the X-factors and Superstars in the latest December update, so be sure to check the depth charts of each team.

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 fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $5K Early Bird Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest



Quarterback

Stud

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $8,100 — Any time the Chiefs are in action, Mahomes has to be considered the top QB play. He is the only QB in all of Madden that has a perfect 99 overall rating in the Week 1 ratings used for these sims, and he has played up to that rating by averaging 24.8 DKFP per contest over his 39 sims in Madden 21. He has thrown for 93 touchdowns while adding nine more on the ground and has averaged 289.6 passing yards per contest. Even though the Chiefs have lost two straight since rolling undefeated through the Holiday Season, Mahomes’ numbers have still stayed solid. He has over 23 DKFP in five straight and seven of his past eight sims. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in each of those eight sims and should be able to keep putting up big numbers against a suspect Eagles secondary. The previous time he faced the Eagles in Madden 21, Mahomes had 283 passing yards, two scores and 21.42 DKFP in a 31-23 win. That is a very typical Mahomes game, and he also comes with an even higher ceiling if his playmakers get loose for some big plays over the top. He doesn’t run as much as Josh Allen ($7,200), but Mahomes’ consistency and ceiling make him the safest and strongest QB play on the board even though he is over $8K.

Other Option — Josh Allen ($7,200)

Value

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons, $5,200 — If you’re going to fade Mahomes and pivot to a cheaper QB, it makes the most sense to go all the way down to the cheapest starting QB and save almost $3K to stack the rest of your skill positions. Jimmy G definitely has some bust potential after struggling with just 6.64 DKFP in his most recent matchup, but he also has some upside especially in this matchup with the Falcons. Garoppolo had posted over 12 DKFP in six straight before that letdown against Denver, including a pair of games with over 26 DKFP. He has thrown 41 touchdowns in his 32 sims in Madden 21 while averaging 228.3 yards. He had 191 yards, a touchdown and 10.64 DKFP against the Falcons in a 13-10 defeat in their first meeting, but I think there is definitely the potential for him to do more in this matchup, and he could end up returning enough point-per-dollar production to make him worth the savings if you spend it wisely in other spots.

Other Option — Carson Wentz ($6,700)


Running Back

Stud

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills, $7,900 — It’s a stacked slate with workhorse running backs since all six RB1s in play are also the third-down back for their team. While Henry is the most expensive RB option, he also leads the way with 22.8 DKFP per contest and usually gets a ton of usage in the Titans’ game plan. He has averaged 3.7 catches for 24.4 yards per game as a receiver out of the backfield in addition to his 89.1 rushing yards per sim, and he has scored 37 times in 33 sims. He is coming off a big game against the Bucs in which he totaled 25.1 DKFP on 134 rushing yards and a touchdown, and he has now reached over 20 DKFP in six of his past eight contests. One of those big games came in this same matchup against the Bills, as Henry piled up 129 rushing yards with a touchdown along with 25 receiving yards on five catches to end up with 29.4 DKFP. He was even better with 37.4 DKFP in his first meeting with the Bills in Madden 21, so he should be set to run wild again in this favorable matchup, making him the top option to pay up for in the backfield.

Other Option — Raheem Mostert ($6,900)

Value

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans, $5,700 — Singletary is the most affordable RB on this slate that regularly gets opportunities since there aren’t any consistent timeshares in the backfields of these six teams. Singletary did just run for 105 yards in a recent matchup with the Titans and finished with 17.0 DKFP in that 24-21 loss for the Bills. He hasn’t hit the 100-yard bonus in any of his three contests since then but has posted at least 7.0 DKFP in each of those games and in nine straight sims while averaging 13.6 DKFP per sim during that span.

Other Option — Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,100)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $7,800 — In their previous sim meeting, Hill went off for a monster game against the Eagles, catching seven passes for 214 yards, two touchdowns and 43.4 DKFP. He has been the best WR in Madden 21, partly due to great QB play from Mahomes and partly due to his 99 speed rating. Hill has totaled 33 touchdowns in 39 sims including three scores in his past two games. He didn’t have a ton of receptions in either of those contests but still posted 13.6 DKFP against the Jaguars and 34.0 DKFP against the Bucs, despite only five catches. Usually, Hill is a volume monster, averaging 6.4 catches per sim over his 39 contests in Madden 21. With that much work coming his way and the Eagles’ secondary struggling to slow anyone down, Hill should be poised for another massive contest.

Other Options — Julio Jones ($7,100), Deebo Samuel ($5,800)

Value

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills, $5,000 — Brown is the Titans’ top WR in Madden even though he hasn’t been quite as effective in the sims as he was in real life this season and probably is overdue for a ratings bump. Brown still has shown a nice ceiling, though, with two recent games over 20 DKFP and double-digit DKFP in five of his past seven contests. One of those seven sims was against the Bills, and he was able to post five catches for 71 yards and 12.1 DKFP. It’s a tough matchup with Buffalo’s secondary, but if the Titans are forced to throw the ball, Brown is their first option.

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers, $3,700 — Gage had a successful season in real life filling in for injured Falcons WRs, but he has also been productive in these Madden sims as the team’s third WR behind a healthy Julio Jones ($7,100) and Calvin Ridley ($5,600). Since he is behind those options in the target share, his volume can be inconsistent at times, but he usually finds some success out of the slot. The Falcons may have to rely on him more in this matchup since the 49ers do have good CBs on the outside, led by Richard Sherman. Gage had eight catches, 73 yards and 15.3 DKFP in their earlier meeting and seems to be getting back on track after a few games with low outputs. He had four catches against the Saints in his most recent sim on his way to 8.5 DKFP. Since he’s priced under $4K, even a game like that would be a solid return on investment, although Gage does bring the potential for much more if he gets more usage.

Other Options — Marquise Goodwin ($5,400), Kendrick Bourne ($4,400), Alshon Jeffery ($4,100), Demarcus Robinson ($3,900)


Tight End

Stud

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs, $5,500 — While Travis Kelce ($6,200) has been outstanding, I think pivoting to Ertz makes more sense in this matchup since the Chiefs have struggled to defend TEs in Madden, and I expect the Chiefs to rely heavily on Hill in the mismatch in the slot. Ertz has averaged 5.2 catches for 55.3 yards per sim while scoring 15 touchdowns in 32 contests. He had one of those touchdowns on his way to 17.4 DKFP against the Chiefs in their earlier meeting in Madden 21, while Kelce only had three catches for 30 yards and 6.8 DKFP. Ertz has at least four catches in four straight games and in eight of his past nine. He has only reached 100 yards once in that span but gets enough volume to produce great PPR numbers, especially when the Eagles have to take to the air to try and keep up with a high-powered offense like the Chiefs.

Other Option — Travis Kelce ($6,200)

Value

Lee Smith, Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans, $3,100 — With so many productive and high-priced options in play, you may have to go ultra-cheap at your flex spot or even at TE if you stack up RBs. Smith has been very active and involved since taking over as the Bills’ top TE, averaging 3.2 catches for 32.6 yards per sim and scoring three touchdowns. He had a great run of five straight games over 8.0 DKFP that culminated in 15.7 DKFP against the Titans in their recent matchup during the Holiday Season. He has had a few down games since then, but he is still the best play around $3K due to the fact that he is regularly involved and rarely totally busts.

Other Option — Jonnu Smith ($4,800)


DST

Stud

Bills DST at Tennessee Titans, $3,000 — The Bills’ defense is coming off a dominant performance against the Colts, in which they had five sacks, a fumble recovery and finished with 17.0 DKFP on their way to a 17-0 win. They also had a strong performance against the Rams in their previous contest with 10.0 DKFP. They have totaled 50 sacks in their 32 games and forced 29 turnovers. They have struggled with Henry in their earlier matchups against the Titans, but they have enough playmakers in the secondary to still be my favorite play on this slate.

Value

Falcons DST at San Francisco 49ers, $2,700 — If you have to save some salary on defense, the Falcons are in a good spot against the 49ers, who rarely pile up a ton of points. Atlanta’s defense had 10 DKFP against San Francisco in their earlier meeting on four sacks and an interception. I don’t think the late game will be a high-scoring one, and I think the Falcons’ defense should be able to get pressure on Jimmy G. The Falcons are averaging over two sacks per game with 73 total in their 35 sims to go with 21 takeaways and three defensive touchdowns.

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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.