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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for January 20

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

The DraftKings Dream Stream is ready to roll with another six-game schedule this Wednesday with some wild weather on the way for the three games on the featured classic slate. That trifecta of games begins at 6:00 p.m. ET with an AFC South matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans in the rain from virtual Nashville. The 8:00 p.m. ET primetime matchup is a snow game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets, and we close out the night with a second straight snow sim from virtual MetLife Stadium as the Kansas City Chiefs visit the New York Giants. Four of these six teams were also on last night’s main slate with the Packers and Titans replacing the Steelers and Texans in the player pool.

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 [$2K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest


Quarterback

Stud

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $8,200 — Mahomes and the Chiefs won big over the Steelers Tuesday night, but it ended up being the right call to fade the star QB since there were big games from other QBs that cost significantly less including Deshaun Watson and Daniel Jones ($6,200). I don’t see this slate being a similar situation, though, since there aren’t any great options in play besides Mahomes. Even in his down game, Mahomes had a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown and still finished with 23.52 DKFP, as he continues to be the most reliable elite QB option in these Madden sims. He has over 20 DKFP in 11 straight contests and in 32-of-42 (76%) sims in Madden 21. He went off for 362 yards and three passing touchdowns in his previous matchup with the Giants on his way to 30.38 DKFP. He hasn’t been adversely impacted by the weather before, so I’m not worried about the snow or the Giants slowing him down in his matchup.

Other Option — Aaron Rodgers ($7,300)

Value

Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans, $5,700 — Rivers has been inconsistent in these sims and only averaged 14.9 DKFP per contest, but he has looked sharp in his two most recent sims, throwing three touchdowns against both the Bengals and the Giants for 22.86 DKFP and 22.96 DKFP, respectively. Rivers will be facing the Titans for the third time in Madden 21 and has posted 15.88 and 12.24 DKFP in those earlier matchups. In total, he has thrown 48 touchdowns in his 34 sims, and since he doesn’t add anything on the ground, his production is directly tied to his passing scores. He has enough upside to be the best low-cost QB on the slate even though he doesn’t come close to matching Mahomes’ upside.

Other Option — Daniel Jones ($6,200)


Running Back

Stud

Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts, $7,800 — Whenever King Henry is on the slate, you have to consider building around the star RB since he has an incredibly high ceiling. He hasn’t hit 100 rushing yards in any of his past three sims but has remained a solid play with touchdowns and PPR points. In Madden 21, he has averaged 3.8 catches for 24.9 yards per sim while adding 85.8 rushing yards and finding the end zone a total of 38 times in 36 contests. He had 26.7 DKFP when he faced the Colts in the Madden Holiday Season and an impressive 31.1 DKFP in his first contest against them in his very first game in Madden 21. Henry is the focus of the Titans’ offense and should be able to bounce back in this matchup with a monster game. His salary got all the way up to $9K at one point, so take advantage of his more affordable mark in this contest.

Other Options — Saquon Barkley ($8,000), Aaron Jones ($6,900)

Value

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $5,500 — While the Chiefs are still waiting on CEH to return in real life, he is performing well in the sims and had two touchdowns in Tuesday’s win over the Steelers to total 26.3 DKFP. He has posted over 14 DKFP in four of his past seven games dating back to when he helped the Chiefs win the Championship of the Madden Holiday Season. He has 27 touchdowns in his 42 sims and has averaged 44.3 rushing yards and 25.0 receiving yards per contest. He sometimes takes a back seat to the dynamic passing game, but he has a great ceiling for a play under $6K on this slate.

Other Option — Marlon Mack ($4,000)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $8,100 — Hill had another seven catches with a touchdown Tuesday against the Steelers, giving him 37 scores in 42 contests. He has produced 22.5 DKFP per sim on the strength of averaging 6.5 catches for 94.4 yards. He should be able to use his 99 speed rating to torch the Giants’ secondary like he did in their earlier meeting when he hauled in 10 catches for 110 yards, two touchdowns and 36.0 DKFP. The Giants don’t have anyone with the speed to limit Hill, so look for the Cheetah to run wild again in this rematch.

Other Option — Davante Adams ($6,800), T.Y. Hilton ($5,600)

Value

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $4,500 — Shepard had seven catches for 119 yards and 21.9 DKFP against the Colts on Tuesday and now has multiple catches in 17 of his past 19 sims. He has put up at least 11 DKFP in four of his six most recent games to raise his average to 11.3 DKFP per sim. Shepard has averaged 3.1 catches for 46.5 yards per game but was limited to just one catch for 13 yards in his earlier game against the Chiefs. He and all the Giants’ receivers have gotten inconsistent QB play from Jones, but when Jones focuses on Shepard, the WR has a very high ceiling.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers at New York Jets, $3,900 — MVS has been productive as the Packers’ WR3 and always comes at a bargain price. He has multiple catches in nine of his past 10 sims and has raised his average to 3.0 catches for 39.1 yards per contest. He also has found the end zone nine times including two touchdowns in his past three contests. He should be able to get loose for a big play or two against the Jets, who have given up big plays in the passing game throughout Madden 21, especially to opposing slot WRs like Valdes-Scantling.

Other Options — Jamison Crowder ($5,000), Corey Davis ($4,600), Parris Campbell ($3,600)


Tight End

Stud

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $6,100 — Kelce has had a few quiet games in a row but should be poised for a breakout against the Giants in the snow. The weather elements typically tend to favor slot receivers and tight ends, so there could be more volume coming his way in this favorable matchup. Kelce had six catches for an impressive 143 yards against the Giants in their first meeting to post 23.3 DKFP. He has been boom-or-bust since the Madden Holiday Season Championship, but he definitely has the highest upside of the TEs on this slate. He would be my lowest priority of the three Chiefs’ stars, but there’s no arguing with his upside.

Other Option — Evan Engram ($4,800)

Value

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts, $4,300 — Smith is typically very involved in the Titans’ passing attack and is coming off a seven-catch performance against the Raiders in his most recent sim. He also had seven catches for exactly 100 yards in his most recent meeting with the Colts, totaling 20.0 DKFP in the Titans’ 20-17 win in the Madden Holiday Season. He also had a strong game with five catches in their first Madden 21 meeting. Especially with the rain, Ryan Tannehill ($5,900) will likely rely heavily on Smith and Derrick Henry catching the ball, so Smith can definitely be a solid pivot from Kelce or a good flex consideration.

Other Options — Trey Burton ($4,600), Marcedes Lewis ($3,500)


DST

Stud

Chiefs DST at New York Giants, $2,800 — The rain and snow definitely raise the potential for turnovers and for low-scoring games. The Chiefs have a good matchup against Daniel Jones and the Giants, who have been prone to give the ball away when under pressure. The Chiefs had three sacks in each of their two games against the Steelers and now have 81 sacks total in their 42 sims. They have also forced 29 turnovers and scored four defensive touchdowns to average 5.3 DKFP per sim. They have actually been a little better on the road, where they produce 5.6 DKFP per contest.

Value

Packers DST at New York Jets, $2,700 — The Packers also get a good matchup in the snow in virtual New York as they take on the Jets. Green Bay has 71 sacks but only eight takeaways in 37 sims. The Packers typically do a good job limiting their opponents and should be able to hold Sam Darnold ($5,200) and the Jets in check in this contest as well.

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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.