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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for January 30

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

While the NFL takes the weekend off between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl, the DraftKings Dream Stream rolls on with six Madden 21 sims on Saturday’s slate, highlighted by a solid three-game classic slate kicking off at 6 p.m. ET. The first game on the slate features the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Los Angeles Chargers after beating the Chargers in virtual Los Angeles, 21-16, several sims ago. At 8 p.m. ET in primetime, the Denver Broncos host the Atlanta Falcons in another rematch of a game the Falcons won, 28-25, a few sims ago. On “Madden After Dark” at 10 p.m. ET, the Cowboys and Chiefs will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in these Madden 21 sims.

As always, 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 $4K Early Bird Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $250 FREE Contest


Quarterback

Stud

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Dallas Cowboys, $8,300 — In the Week 1 ratings used for these sims, Mahomes is the only QB with a perfect 99 overall rating, and he has lived up to that rating with an average of 25.1 DKFP per sim. He has thrown 111 touchdowns in his 45 sims while averaging 289.6 passing yards per contest. In addition, Mahomes has run for 11 touchdowns including one in his most recent sim, when he put up 33.46 DKFP against the Jaguars. Mahomes has over 27 DKFP in three straight sims and in two of his previous three sims against the Cowboys. If he can get to that level again, he’ll be a great play even though he does cost over $8K. Mahomes hardly ever has a down game, and the Cowboys’ defense hasn’t been able to slow down elite QBs in these sims to this point.

Other Option — Dak Prescott ($6,800)

Value

Drew Lock, Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons, $5,400 — The Falcons’ defense has also given up a ton of DKFP to opposing QBs, and Lock torched them for 411 yards in their previous meeting in Madden 21. Lock finished that game with 26.44 DKFP, which is one of just five games in his 37 contests (13.5%) in which he produced over 22 DKFP. He has been very boom-or-bust in these sims overall, but he does have the kind of upside that could pay off if he hits at such a cheap price while saving you almost $3K compared to Mahomes.

Other Options — Kirk Cousins ($5,800), Justin Herbert ($5,200)


Running Back

Stud

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $8,500 — Cook has been a touchdown monster in these sims, scoring 46 times in 37 sims. He actually didn’t have a touchdown in his most recent contest which was against the Texans, but he still had 17.2 DKFP since he had eight catches for 56 yards. Cook has over 17 DKFP in seven of his past eight games, a run that dates back to when he had 26.3 DKFP and two scores against the Chargers. Cook is averaging 24.7 DKFP per contest and is worth paying up for if you can balance out his hefty pricetag.

Other Options — Todd Gurley II ($7,700), Austin Ekeler ($7,300)

Value

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Dallas Cowboys, $5,100 — Most of the teams on this slate use one back as their RB1 and third-down back, with the one exception of the Broncos who share time between Phillip Lindsay ($4,900) and Melvin Gordon III ($3,400). CEH gets almost all the action in the Chiefs’ backfield and commands only a little bit more salary than Lindsay. He also has had success against the Cowboys in their past meetings, producing 15.6 DKFP, 16.3 DKFP and 23.0 DKFP. He also has double-digit DKFP in three of the past four games, and he’ll be a great play at this price if he stays so involved against Dallas.

Other Option — Phillip Lindsay ($4,900)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Dallas Cowboys, $8,300 — Hill has been the top WR in all of Madden 21 and has averaged 22.9 DKFP on 6.5 catches for 95.7 yards per game. Hill has found the end zone 40 times in 45 games and has at least seven catches in six straight sims. He had 12.4 DKFP, 31.1 DKFP and 25.7 DKFP in his three contests against the Cowboys earlier in these sims, and Dallas doesn’t have anyone in the secondary who can hope to match his 99 speed rating. Hill always brings a sky-high ceiling and can go off and break any slate when he’s at his best.

Other Options — Julio Jones ($6,900), Courtland Sutton ($5,800)

Value

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings, $5,400 — Allen is always heavily involved in the Chargers’ attack as the WR1 and the primary slot option for rookie QB Justin Herbert ($5,200). He had four catches, 16 yards, a touchdown and 11.6 DKFP against the Vikings in his earlier meeting with Minnesota, and he has found the end zone in five of his past seven contests. He has at least three catches in 11 straight sims as well and has raised his average to 4.5 catches for 50.1 yards per sim. He has never been held without a catch in Madden 21 and makes a very low-risk mid-range play against Minnesota on this slate.

Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Broncos, $4,600 — Jeudy hasn’t been quite as consistent as Allen, but the speedy rookie has a high ceiling as the Broncos’ WR2 on the depth charts used for these sims. He exploded for 144 yards and a touchdown on eight catches for 31.4 DKFP in his first matchup with the Falcons and has produced double-digit DKFP in five straight coming into this contest. He is averaging 3.5 catches per sim and has scored 11 total touchdowns including three in his four most recent contests.

Other Options — Michael Gallup ($5,200), Tajae Sharpe ($4,400), Demarcus Robinson ($4,000), Russel Gage ($3,400)


Tight End

Stud

Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs, $5,200 — Normally I try to stay away from just listing the top option at each position, but on this slate, there is a clear top option who is elite at each spot. While Travis Kelce ($7,000) has huge upside and has been very consistent, he’s actually the megastar I like the least on this slate since he was held under 10 DKFP in two of his matchups with the Cowboys, who typically do a decent job limiting opposing TEs. On the other side of the late game, Jarwin has a nice ceiling after posting over 15 DKFP in three straight sims. He helped Dallas rally in their most recent sim against the Cardinals, catching eight passes for 94 yards, a touchdown and 23.4 DKFP. All that production came in the fourth quarter, so he can definitely become the focus of the offense for a specific drive or two and put up points in a hurry. He has scored a touchdown in three straight sims and raised his average to 11.5 DKFP per contest.

Other Option — Travis Kelce ($7,000)

Value

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings, $4,000 — Like Allen, Henry has emerged as an often-used security blanket for Herbert over the middle of the field and has been a solid PPR producer as a result. The Vikings have been very beatable by opposing TEs and gave up eight catches for 55 yards and 13.0 DKFP to Henry in the teams’ previous meeting. Including that game, Henry has multiple catches in 35-of-40 sims (88%), and he is a low-risk play at only $4K, which will allow you to spend up for Mahomes, Hill, Cook and maybe even Kelce if you use Henry as a flex option and go ultra-cheap in your other spots. I also like the lineup construction with Henry at TE instead of Kelce or Jarwin, which leaves more room for balance.

Other Option — Noah Fant ($4,300)


DST

Stud

Chargers DST at Minnesota Vikings, $3,000 — With Derwin James Jr. healthy and Melvin Ingram III and Joey Bosa leading a strong pass rush, the Chargers’ DST brings lots of upside to its favorable matchup with the Vikings. The Chargers had three sacks, two fumble recoveries and a safety for 9.0 DKFP in their previous matchup with the Vikings and have been able to total 93 sacks in 40 sims with 28 takeaways and three defensive touchdowns. While they don’t have the same frequency of big plays as the elite DST options in Madden, the Chargers do have top-shelf playmakers who can put up points. They should be able to make plays against Minnesota, which has struggled offensively aside from the massive production from Dalvin Cook.

Value

Chiefs DST vs. Dallas Cowboys, $2,700 — The Chiefs have actually averaged the second-most DKFP of any team defense on this slate, behind only the Chargers, but they are the fourth-most expensive option. Kansas City had only 0 DKFP, 1 DKFP and 2 DKFP in its three earlier meetings with Dallas, which may be why the salary is so affordable. However, the Chiefs have shown a much better ceiling as of late with at least 6.0 DKFP in three straight sims before a disastrous -4.0 DFKP against the Jaguars in their most recent outing. I think they’ll bounce back just fine in this matchup, though, and they can be a solid cheap play to help you fit in more of Kansas City’s great offensive options 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.