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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for January 18

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

Get ready for some Monday Night football from the DraftKings Dream Stream this week with a very solid three games of Madden simulations ready to bring a nice classic slate kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET. The first matchup on the docket is the Dallas Cowboys heading to the virtual Mile High City to face the Denver Broncos. At 8:00 p.m. ET, the Jacksonville Jaguars visit the Green Bay Packers, and we close out the night with a great matchup when Madden 21 cover athlete Lamar Jackson ($8,900) and his Baltimore Ravens visit the New Orleans Saints.

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 $6K Early Bird Special [$6K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest



Quarterback

Stud

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints, $8,900 — Any time he is on the slate, Jackson deserves consideration since he comes with so much upside. He has run for over 100 yards in nine of his past 10 sims, averaging an amazing 31.6 DKFP per sim over that stretch and producing over 40 DKFP in two of those contests. He has run for 33 touchdowns in his 37 sims overall in Madden 21 while adding 36 passing touchdowns to go with just one interception. Jackson had 24.46 DKFP in his most recent sim against the Saints but has been even more locked in recently with over 27 DKFP in each of his past seven contests. His salary actually dropped a little bit after five games at over $9K, and it makes a ton of sense to pay up for the dual-threat QB with a sky-high ceiling.

Other Option — Aaron Rodgers ($7,700)

Value

Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers, $5,800 — Minshew has been boom-or-bust in these Madden sims but does come with pretty decent upside for a play under $6K. He had 17.86 DKFP in a narrow, three-point loss the last time he led the Jaguars into the frozen tundra in these sims and has over 15 DKFP in three straight games against the Chiefs, Patriots and Panthers. He had a few monster games at the start of the recent Madden Holiday Season, showing off his ceiling with 28.88 DKFP against the Titans and 26.5 DKFP against the Colts. Since then, though, he has been held under 20 DKFP in seven straight sims. He could be due for a huge game, but even if he doesn’t go off, he’ll probably get enough volume in this matchup to be a solid option since the Jaguars will have to try and keep up with Rodgers and the Packers’ productive offense.

Other Option — Drew Brees ($6,000)


Running Back

Stud

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $6,700 — Jones is surprisingly affordable in this matchup against the Jaguars, and he’s only the fourth-most expensive RB on the slate. He has been very involved in the Madden 21 sims since he is both the RB1 and third-down back for Green Bay and typically sees plenty of volume. He has scored 34 touchdowns in his 36 sims while averaging 68.0 rushing yards and 19.3 receiving yards on 2.8 catches per contest. He had one of his best games in these sims in his most recent matchup with the Jaguars, running for 119 yards and two touchdowns while also catching seven passes for 31 yards for a massive 37.0 DKFP. He has that kind of potential again in this rematch and should get enough work to at least post over 12 DKFP for the 14th time in 16 sims.

Other Options — Alvin Kamara ($7,800), Ezekiel Elliott ($7,500)

Value

J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints, $4,100 — Dobbins continues to be the Ravens’ third-down and power back in these sims and gets plenty of work in his timeshare with Mark Ingram II ($4,500). Both backs lose rushing work to Jackson, but Dobbins has still scored nine touchdowns in his 32 sims while averaging 7.5 DKFP per game. He can also be a nice option when targeted out of the backfield, although he isn’t quite as involved as Jones on a regular basis. He does offer enough upside to be a solid cost-saving option, though, if you go away from the top RB options at your second roster spot for an RB.

Other Option — Phillip Lindsay ($5,400)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens, $6,800 — Thomas is the only WR in the Week 1 set of Madden ratings used for these sims with a perfect 99 overall rating, but he has still been a little up-and-down. He had a touchdown and 15.5 DKFP in his most recent sim, which was against Washington, and he has now posted double-digit DKFP in four straight and six of his past seven. He still is averaging 16.8 DKFP per sim, which is more than any other WR on the slate, and he should be able to produce in this matchup since he had 14.3 DKFP and 14.4 DKFP in his previous two meetings with Baltimore.

Other Options — Courtland Sutton ($6,200), Amari Cooper ($5,900)

Value

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,100 — MVS has been a solid producer as the Packers’ WR3 and has double-digit DKFP in four of his past five sims with multiple catches in each of those contests. He has multiple catches in 31 of the Packers’ 36 sims (86%) in Madden 21 and has averaged 9.1 DKFP per contest. He had nine catches for 91 yards and 18.1 DKFP in his most recent matchup with the Jaguars and brings a good ceiling with his 93 speed rating.

Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens, $3,900 — Smith is another WR3 that has been very productive in these sims. He has multiple catches in 34 of the Saints’ 40 sims (85%) and has scored 12 touchdowns to help him average 10.2 DKFP per contest. He doesn’t have the same speed rating that MVS offers, but is an excellent route runner and gets plenty of attention from Brees. He had six catches and a touchdown in each of his two previous matchups with the Ravens, producing 18.2 DKFP and 21.2 DKFP. If he is anywhere near that level of production in this rematch, he’ll be a great value under $4K.

Other Options — Devin Funchess ($5,500), Emmanuel Sanders ($5,200), Willie Snead IV ($3,600)


Tight End

Stud

Tyler Eifert, Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers, $4,600 — Eifert has been very involved in the Jaguars’ passing game in these sims, averaging 4.6 receptions for 42.1 yards per sim. He had six catches, 48 yards, a touchdown and 17.2 DKFP against the Packers in their most recent meeting after posting four catches for 36 yards and 7.6 DKFP in their first contest. Eifert has over 9.0 DKFP in four of his past five sims and brings good consistency and potential to this third game against Green Bay.

Other Option — Blake Jarwin ($4,900)

Value

Noah Fant, Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys, $3,700 — Fant has huge upside as one of the Broncos’ top options in the passing game, but he has been boom-or-bust since Drew Lock ($5,200) has sometimes had accuracy issues. Fant has at least three catches in four straight sims and had three catches for 31 yards and 6.1 DKFP against the Cowboys in their first sim meeting. He went off for 33.7 DKFP against the Raiders in his first sim in the Madden Holiday Season but had been held under 10 DKFP in six straight sims. This could be a good bounce-back spot against Dallas’ struggling defense.

Other Options — Jared Cook ($4,100), Marcedes Lewis ($3,800)


DST

Stud

Ravens DST at New Orleans Saints, $2,900 — The Ravens’ defense has been very reliable and productive even though it hasn’t always come up with huge plays. In their 37 sims, the Ravens have just 15 takeaways and three defensive touchdowns, but they have had success getting pressure on the QB with 75 sacks. They have also done a good job limiting their opponents’ scoring in most matchups. Having such a potent rushing attack limits the possession time of the opposing team, so there isn’t much chance they’ll get lit up for a big number even by the Saints.

Value

Cowboys DST at Denver Broncos, $2,600 — The Cowboys have a great matchup against the Broncos, who have often stalled out on offense due to inconsistent QB play. Dallas’ defense has been better in these sims than they were in real life and the defense has produced 78 sacks in 36 sims to go with 16 takeaways. The Cowboys had three sacks and 4.0 DKFP against Denver in the teams’ first meeting and have the potential for even more in this matchup even though they come at a very affordable salary barely over $2.5K.

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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.