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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for January 19

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.

The Madden sims continue to roll on with six more games on Tuesday’s schedule coming your way via the DraftKings Dream Stream. The featured three-game classic slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET at virtual Lucas Oil Stadium, where the New York Giants visit the Indianapolis Colts. In the 8:00 p.m. ET matchup, a pair of AFC leaders go head-to-head as the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Kansas City Chiefs for the second game of their back-to-back meetings. The final game of the night on Madden After Dark features Deshaun Watson ($7,900) leading his Houston Texans into New York to face the Jets, as uncertainty over his future continues to buzz across the NFL.

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



Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans at New York Jets, $7,900 — It’s always a hard thing to fade Patrick Mahomes ($8,300), who has been outstanding in these sims, but on this slate, I think it makes more sense to go with Watson due to the matchup and also take the savings. Mahomes has faced the Steelers four times in these sims and produced 21.98 DKFP, 27.72 DKFP, 15.92 DKFP and 12.84 DKFP for an average of under 20 DKFP per meeting. He has a very high ceiling in every game, but so does Watson, who actually brings more potential on the ground and is in a better matchup against the Jets. Watson had 24.46 DKFP and 33.64 DKFP in his two earlier meetings with the Jets, running for a pair of touchdowns in each contest. Even though the Jets’ defense is solid at stopping RBs, they have been beaten regularly by rushing QBs. In his most recent sim, Watson had 101 rushing yards and finished with 27.42 DKFP against the Rams. He has over 21 DKFP in four of his past five games and should be able to reach that number again in this matchup.

Other Option — Patrick Mahomes ($8,300)


Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, $6,000 — Big Ben and the Steelers knocked off the Chiefs in their most recent sim, 24-21, and they’ll look to make it two in a row at Arrowhead in this contest. Roethlisberger threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns on his way to 16.8 DKFP in that sim and also posted over 23 DKFP in two of his three earlier meetings with the Chiefs. He can be boom-or-bust in Madden and relies on his speedy WRs to make big plays, but he comes with enough upside to be the best option among the cheap QBs on this slate. He has risen to the challenge of facing the Chiefs in their past meetings and will likely have to throw a lot to keep up with the high-powered Kansas City offense in this meeting.

Other Option — Philip Rivers ($5,800)

Running Back


Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants, $6,900 — Hines still rotates with Marlon Mack ($4,200) in these sims, but he has gotten enough work as the third-down back to be a great fantasy option in most of his games. Hines found the end zone twice and had over 100 yards receiving with 35.4 DKFP in his most recent sim against the Bengals, and he has double-digit DKFP in 12 of his past 13 sims. Unlike the other teams on this slate that have met multiple times, the Colts and Giants will be facing off for the first time in the Madden 21 sims, but it should be a matchup that plays to Hines’ strengths since the Giants struggle with opposing RBs. Hines does come with some risk but has been such a frequent checkdown target for Philip Rivers that he usually gets enough PPR production to avoid being a total bust even in his less productive games. Hines is averaging 4.5 catches for 36.3 yards per game in addition to his 35.6 rushing yards per contest.

Other Options — Saquon Barkley ($8,300), Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($5,700)


Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, $4,900 — Like Hines, Samuels is his team’s third-down back and gets enough volume to end up a solid play most of the time. Samuels comes into this rematch after catching six passes for 47 yards and finishing with 12.5 DKFP against the Chiefs in their most recent meeting. He has at least four catches in four straight sims and at least 6.0 DKFP in all four of his games against Kansas City, averaging 12.2 DFKP per sim in those contests. He loses goal-line work to James Conner ($3,500) and only has three touchdowns in 34 sims, but he can still be a solid play under $5K since he catches so many passes.

Other Option — Marlon Mack ($4,200), Duke Johnson ($4,100)

Wide Receiver


Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $8,100 — Hill continues to be the best WR in these Madden 21 sims, partly due to his 99 speed rating and partly due to excellent QB play from Mahomes. Hill hauled in seven catches for 189 yards, two touchdowns and 40.9 DKFP in his most recent sim against the Steelers, and he has found the end zone in each one of their four previous meetings. He’s averaging a remarkable 6.5 catches for 95.3 receiving yards per sim over his 41 contests in Madden 21, and he has gotten into the end zone 36 times. Pittsburgh’s defense is excellent, but they don’t have anyone who can match up with Hill out of the slot, so look for him to continue to find success and be worth his price tag of over $8K in this contest.

Other Option — Brandin Cooks ($6,700)


Darius Slayton, New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts, $4,400 — Slayton is always an interesting play when the Giants are on the slate because he has the potential to go off for a huge game and the potential to totally bust. Three sims ago against the Cowboys, he put up a massive 38.7 DKFP with three touchdowns but followed that up with just one catch, 10 yards and 2.0 DKFP against the Panthers, despite his team putting 30 points on the scoreboard. Slayton’s production is dependent on volume, which has been inconsistent from Daniel Jones ($6,300) in simland. Slayton’s ceiling against the Colts makes him someone you have to consider at this price, but he does come with major risk as well.

Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,200 — Mahomes has made his superstar receivers great plays, but he has also focused enough on Robinson to make his WR3 one of the most consistent value options. Robinson had 55 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers in his most recent sim, finishing with 13.5 DKFP. He has scored nine touchdowns in his 40 sims, averaging 2.75 catches for 38.3 yards per contest. If the Steelers focus on shutting down Hill, Robinson could be set up for a big game, and he usually gets enough work to be one of the best options under $5K.

Other Options — Jamison Crowder ($5,200), Parris Campbell ($3,700), Chris Hogan ($3,500)

Tight End


Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $6,000 — Kelce had a very quiet game against the Steelers, but he usually bounces back with a big game after a so-so showing. It isn’t the matchup that’s the issue since he hauled in double-digit catches in two of his three earlier meetings with the Steelers. Kelce has been unstoppable for the most part in these sims, much like in real life, and has averaged 6.0 catches for 74.2 yards per contest while scoring 23 touchdowns. If you can afford to pay up for him, he’s the top TE available, although I would still prioritize Hill over Kelce.

Other Option — Eric Ebron ($5,500)


Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Giants, $4,800 — Burton dominates the Colts’ TE touches in Madden, which makes him a high-volume option for Rivers, who relies heavily on his TE. Burton has at least three catches in seven straight games, averaging 5.3 receptions per contest over that stretch. He had seven catches for 50 yards and 12.0 DKFP in his most recent sim and has produced double-digit DKFP in nine of his past 11 contests. Even if you go with Kelce at TE, Burton is worth a look at your flex spot since he has been so consistent from sim to sim.

Other Option — Darren Fells ($4,600)



Jets DST vs. Houston Texans, $3,000 — Even though I like Watson in this matchup, the Jets’ defense is also a solid play since the Texans have a tendency to turn the ball over and give up sacks. The Jets have totaled 86 sims in their 35 games while forcing 21 turnovers and scoring six defensive touchdowns. They had 5.0 DKFP in each of their first two meetings with Houston and come into this game on a roll with multiple sacks in five straight games. New York has averaged 5.6 DKFP over that stretch despite not scoring a defensive touchdown, showing the floor is pretty solid even if there isn’t a big play to be had against the Texans.


Colts DST vs. New York Giants, $2,700 — The Colts have only forced 14 turnovers in their 33 sims, but they do typically get pressure on opposing QBs with 62 sacks in 33 sims. The Giants have also been turnover-prone, so it’s a good matchup for Indy. The Colts’ ball-control offense also usually helps the defense to allow minimal points, which has helped the DST produce at least 5.0 DKFP in three of their past four contests. If you need to go with a cheaper defensive option, the Colts bring enough upside at home to be a solid play under $3K.

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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.