As the NFL continues to get fired up for the Conference Championships this Sunday, the DraftKings Dream Stream is ready to help you start the weekend right with a six-game schedule of sims throughout the day this Friday. The featured three-game classic slate brings some fun options for Friday night, beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET with an NFC North showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at virtual Soldier Field. At 8:00 p.m. ET, the Miami Dolphins host the Denver Broncos in a matchup of promising young QBs, and we close out the evening with a tough game in the virtual Dirty ‘Burgh, where the New Orleans Saints will visit the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings, $7,500 — The former No. 2 overall pick will be a fascinating free agent to watch this offseason in the real world, but in Madden 21, Trubisky has been tearing it up lately and comes with a promising ceiling, especially compared to the other QBs in play on this slate. He is the only QB available averaging more than 18 DKFP, and he has produced 21.1 DKFP per contest over his 35 sims in Madden 21. He has been hot lately with over 20 DKFP in five of his past six contests and an average of 24.3 DKFP per sim over that stretch. He faced the Vikings in Minnesota during the Madden Holiday Season and lit them up for 332 passing yards and 26.78 DKFP in a 23-17 victory. He adds rushing potential as well with an average of 67.4 rushing yards per sim and 12 rushing touchdowns to go with his 44 passing scores. His salary is the biggest of any QB on the slate, but he’s still worth considering building around since his ceiling is the highest and he gets a good matchup at home on this slate.
Other Option — Tua Tagovailoa ($6,200)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints, $6,000 — Even though the Steelers have played 35 Madden 21 sims and the Saints have played 41, the two teams have never gone head-to-head. Big Ben has been boom-or-bust throughout those sims with some huge games and some quiet games, mostly depending on how many touchdowns he throws. Overall, he has 50 touchdown tosses in 35 sims but has only had one multi-touchdown performance in his six most recent sims. He still has more upside than Kirk Cousins ($5,500) or Drew Lock ($5,300) in their matchups, especially since Big Ben has been better at home, averaging 16.6 DKFP per sim in virtual Pittsburgh.
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, $9,000 — The two most expensive plays on the slate are RBs Cook and Alvin Kamara ($8,200). Both are in tough matchups, but Cook has been pretty matchup-proof, producing 21.1 DKFP and 27.2 DKFP in his two previous matchups with the Bears. He has scored an impressive 44 touchdowns in just 34 sims while averaging 97.0 rushing yards, 31.4 receiving yards and 3.7 receptions per sim. He has at least one touchdown in 11 straight games, a run that is highlighted by a 51.0-DKFP performance against the Giants and four games with at least 33.0 DKFP. He always has a high ceiling, but his real value is that he almost never busts making him a cornerstone you can count on and build your lineup around every time the Vikings take the field.
Other Option — Alvin Kamara ($8,200)
Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins, $5,800 — Even though he does lose some time to Melvin Gordon III ($4,100), Lindsay has been a very productive option in these sims and usually gets involved as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He has averaged 3.5 catches per sim in Madden 21 and has multiple receptions in nine straight games. In those nine contests, he has hit for double-digit DKFP six times and has run for over 50 yards in each of his past two sims. He should be able to continue his success in this matchup against the Dolphins since he had six catches for 53 yards on his way to 15.4 DKFP in his first meeting with Miami.
Other Options — Tarik Cohen ($5,400), Jaylen Samuels ($5,100)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers, $7,100 — On a slate full of teams that have run-heavy offenses, Thomas stands out as the best WR option even though he has struggled with consistent volume at times in these sims. He remains the only WR in the Week 1 rankings used for these sims with a perfect 99 overall rating and has been able to score 20 touchdowns in his 41 sims. He had 101 yards, a touchdown and 25.1 DKFP in his most recent sim and has reached double-digit DKFP in five straight since an ugly bust in the Madden Holiday Season championship. Thomas has a high ceiling against the Steelers, who sometimes struggle in the secondary even though they have a great pass-rush and front-seven.
Other Options — Allen Robinson II ($6,300), Courtland Sutton ($6,100)
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, $5,700 — Thielen has posted exactly six catches for 59 yards in each of his two previous meetings with the Bears, adding a touchdown in his most recent game sim against Chicago for 17.9 DKFP. He had double-digit DKFP in five straight sims before finishing with just 8.4 DKFP against the Seahawks in his most recent sim. He is one of the few WR1 options that work primarily out of the slot in Madden 21, and as a result, he gets a high volume of PPR production. He has multiple catches in each of his 34 sims in Madden 21, averaging 4.5 catches for 50.8 yards per contest to go with his 13 touchdowns.
Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos, $3,400 — The Dolphins use Wilson as their WR2 in Madden, and he has been a solid option since rejoining the depth chart after opting out due to COVID-19. In his 28 sims since coming back in simland, he is averaging 2.6 catches for 36.4 yards per sim. He scored his third touchdown since returning in his most recent sim, totaling 16.7 DKFP against the Patriots with five catches for 57 yards. He has multiple catches in six straight sims and had five catches for 50 yards and 10.0 DKFP in his first meeting with Denver. He’s a great play at this very affordable salary and may be the key to unlocking the ability to pay up at your other spots.
Other Options — Emmanuel Sanders ($5,200), Tajae Sharpe ($4,200), Diontae Johnson ($4,000)
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints, $5,600 — Ebron has been excellent for the Steelers in these sims as one of virtual Big Ben’s favorite targets. He has at least five catches and over 50 yards in four straight contests and found the end zone in each of his two most recent games, posting 20.9 DKFP and 18.3 DKFP. He has double-digit DKFP in 20-of-35 (57%) of his sims in Madden 21 and has scored 17 touchdowns while averaging 3.9 catches for 45.9 yards per contest.
Other Option — Mike Gesicki ($4,900)
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings, $3,800 — Graham is a reliable contributor at this salary and has a good matchup against the Vikings, who have struggled to defend TEs in these sims. Graham had seven catches for 72 yards and 14.2 DKFP against the Vikings in their Madden Holiday Season matchup and has multiple receptions in 19 straight sims, including seven games with at least five catches.
Other Option — Jared Cook ($4,000)
Vikings DST at Chicago Bears, $3,000 — While the Vikings have struggled overall in these sims, their defense is usually a pretty solid play due to a good pass rush and low risk of giving up huge points due to their run-focused offense. The Vikings’ defense has totaled 66 sacks in their 34 sims including six in its first two games against the Bears. Trubisky has been great but also continues to have turnover issues with 18 fumbles and six interceptions in his 35 sims. The Vikings could take advantage of those turnovers in this contest, and they make sense as a low-risk play at only $3K.
Broncos DST at Miami Dolphins, $2,800 — The Dolphins’ offense has been very hit-or-miss with Tua at QB, and the Broncos’ defense is in a good spot to produce as a result. The Broncos are fully healthy in simland, so they have Von Miller to lead their pass rush, which gives them a very high ceiling. Three sims ago, they piled up 10 sacks and posted an immense 25.0 DKFP. Including that game, they have over 7.0 DKFP in three of their past four games, showing their high ceiling coming into this contest.
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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.