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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for January 31

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

For the first time since Sept. 6, there’s no NFL football this Sunday, but the DraftKings Dream Stream is still ready to deliver fantasy football goodness with a full six-game schedule of Madden sims. The featured three-game classic slate kicks off at 6 p.m. ET when the New York Jets head upstate to take on the Buffalo Bills in an AFC East matchup. At 8 p.m. ET Deshaun Watson ($8,100) leads the Houston Texans into the virtual City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in primetime. The slate wraps up with the cover-athlete of Madden 21, Lamar Jackson ($8,700) in a great matchup as his Baltimore Ravens host the Detroit Lions on a 10 p.m. ET edition of Sunday Night Football.

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

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions, $8,700 — When Jackson faced the Lions earlier in these Madden 21 sims, he had the biggest single-game performance of any player in any of the over 1,500 sims on the Dream Stream. He threw for 112 yards and didn’t even have a passing touchdown, but he finished with a massive 62.18 DKFP since he ran for a record 307 yards and four touchdowns. The Lions have struggled to stop the running game in many of their Madden sims and had no answers for Jackson in that contest. Aside from that one-game sample size, Jackson has been outstanding across almost all of his 41 sims, averaging 104 rushing yards and 151 passing yards for 26.9 DKFP while totaling 41 passing scores and 35 rushing touchdowns. Even if he only got points for his rushing production, he’d be a great option, and when you add in his passing production on top, he’s a must-own centerpiece, especially in this tasty matchup.

Other Options — Deshaun Watson ($8,100), Josh Allen ($7,600)

Value

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Houston Texans, $7,300 — Since these sims are using Week 1 player ratings, Wentz is still a very viable option without any of the slippage we saw throughout the season that ultimately led to his benching and the firing of Doug Pederson. Wentz has averaged 20.9 DKFP per sim in his 39 contests, producing 245.9 passing yards per game to go with 90 total touchdowns. He has a great matchup on this slate as well against the Texans, who he torched for 24.08 DKFP and 31.68 DKFP in two earlier meetings in these sims. Wentz has over 16 DKFP in 16 straight sims and is both reliable and loaded with potential in this home contest against Houston.

Other Option — Matthew Stafford ($6,100)


Running Back

Stud

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Houston Texans, $7,400 — Houston’s defense has been beatable on the ground as well, and Sanders posted 19.2 DKFP and 16.1 DKFP in those two earlier matchups. He had three touchdowns in those two meetings and has scored 30 times overall in his 39 sims. Like Wentz, Sanders has also been reliable lately with over 14 DKFP in eight straight. He typically gets involved as a receiver as well as a rusher and his dual-threat abilities raise both his floor and his ceiling. He has shown that ceiling with over 25 DKFP in three of his past four, and he’ll be a great option at this salary if he reaches that level again in this matchup.

Other Options — Le’Veon Bell ($6,700), Devin Singletary ($5,500)

Value

D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens, $4,500 — Although he’ll have a new QB to work with next year, Swift should enter the season as the favorite for the majority of the work in the backfield after a promising rookie year. He serves as the third-down back for Detroit in these sims and has been productive lately with over 8.0 DKFP in four of his past six contests, highlighted by a 10-catch, 25.4-DKFP performance against the Raiders which showed off his ceiling. He was held in check in his previous meeting with the Ravens, ending up with just 1.6 DKFP, but I think he’ll have a much stronger performance this time around against Baltimore. Swift’s main fantasy value in these sims comes from his PPR work since he is averaging 3.6 catches per sim.

Other Options — Duke Johnson ($4,700), J.K. Dobbins ($4,000)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets, $6,600 — Diggs hasn’t had the massive volume in these Madden sims that he got in real life this season, but he still has shown massive upside and makes for a good play against the struggling secondary of the Jets. Diggs had only three catches in his most recent contest against Gang Green, but he made the most of them, going off for 146 yards, two touchdowns and 32.6 DKFP. He has that kind of ceiling in the rematch and has also been a little more consistent lately with three catches or more in 14 of his past 16 contests. Josh Allen ($7,600) has been helped by his new December Superstar traits, and apparently, they help him focus a little more on Diggs, which is enough to make the former Viking an elite WR play.

Other Options — Kenny Golladay ($6,900), Marquise Goodwin ($5,800)

Value

DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Houston Texans, $5,700 — Jackson is another good option to consider against the struggling Texans defense. He is locked in as the WR2 for Philly, and since there are no injury issues in these sims, he has been producing big plays throughout Madden 21. He had over 100 yards and a touchdown in each of his two earlier meetings with Houston, putting up 23.2 DKFP and 29.5 DKFP in those two contests. He’s also coming off a 100-yard game that included a touchdown in his most recent sim, in which he had 22.3 DKFP against the Lions giving him over 15 DKFP in four of his past six.

Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Ravens, $4,200 — Amendola is typically very involved for the Lions in these sims out of the slot, averaging 3.6 catches for 40.2 yards per contest over Detroit’s 37 sims. He has nine touchdowns as well, but most of his value comes from his PPR production. He has at least four catches in five straight and seven of his past eight games, and he had four catches for 107 yards and 17.7 DKFP in his first meeting with the Ravens in Madden 21. He is a fairly reliable option at just over $4K but still brings a solid ceiling as well.

Other Options — Will Fuller V ($5,100), Marvin Jones Jr. ($4,700), Chris Hogan ($3,800)


Tight End

Stud

Chris Herndon, New York Jets at Buffalo Bills, $5,000 — Since the Bills have a great secondary, teams often have to rely more on their TE instead of their WRs when facing Buffalo. That could make Herndon a great play at $5K even though there are three very solid TE options on this slate. Herndon has at least four catches in five straight contests and in eight of his past nine, so he has been already getting plenty of volume, and he just had five catches for 69 yards and 11.9 DKFP in his most recent matchup with the Bills, which was just after the recent Madden Holiday Season. Herndon has been steady with over 8.0 DKFP in eight of his past nine sims and has also gone off with over 20 DKFP in two of those contests.

Other Options — Zach Ertz ($5,700), T.J. Hockenson ($4,900)

Value

Darren Fells, Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles, $4,000 — Fells has had no lack of volume in his sims with the Texans, but he doesn’t get enough touchdowns to cost as much as that top tier around $5K. Fells is averaging over 4.0 catches per sim in his 38 contests in Madden 21 but has only found the end zone five times. He has still managed double-digit DKFP in six of his past 10 sims, though, which is solid returns for a play at only $4K. When the Texans get to the red zone, Deshaun Watson ($8,100) seems to take over and forget about his hulking TE, who has the tools to be a great red zone option if he got the targets in that part of the field.

Other Option — Lee Smith ($3,600)


DST

Stud

Ravens DST vs. Detroit Lions, $2,900 — The Jets DST ($3,100) and Bills DST ($3,000) both have some great playmakers but haven’t had big games against each other in their previous Madden 21 meetings. I actually think it makes more sense to go a little cheaper and roll with the Ravens, even though I do think some of the Lions make good value options as outlined above. Baltimore has scored two defensive touchdowns in its past three sims and averaged 7.7 DKFP over those three contests, which have all been at home. In their 24 home sims, the Ravens have produced an impressive 5.7 DKFP per contest with 11 takeaways, 51 sacks and five defensive touchdowns. The Lions’ offense has had a few ugly sims, and if they struggle in this contest the Ravens could go big.

Value

Eagles DST vs. Houston Texans, $2,600 — The Eagles just had 13 DKFP against the Lions in their most recent sim and are now averaging 4.1 DKFP per contest on 69 sacks, 13 takeaways and just one defensive touchdown in their 39 sims in Madden 21. The Eagles haven’t regularly gotten big plays from their defense, but it has been good enough to still be the best option since the Texans DST ($2,800) and Lions DST ($2,500) have been hard fades in most of their matchups throughout Madden 21. Even though I don’t love the matchup, they’re definitely the second-best option in my mind on this slate behind only the Ravens.

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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.