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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for January 6

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.

Wednesday brings another full day of sims for the DraftKings Dream Stream, and we can expect things to get a little weird thanks to some wild weather. The featured three-game slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with a matchup between the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the snow. We’ll stay in virtual Pennsylvania for the primetime matchup at 8:00 p.m. ET, which features the Chicago Bears taking on the Philadelphia Eagles in another snow game. The final game of the day will kick off on Madden After Dark at 10:00 p.m. ET when the Seattle Seahawks welcome in the Green Bay Packers for a simulated contest in the rain at virtual Lumen Field.

As usual, it’s important to remember 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 Wednesday Night Special [$2K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $500 FREE Contest



Quarterback

Stud

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers, $8,100 — There are some very nice QB options at the top of this slate, but I think Wilson is still the safest option and brings the highest ceiling. He has thrived in weather games since he is a dual-threat option and can put up good rushing yardage to go with his passing production. In his 32 sims in Madden 21, Wilson is averaging 182.3 passing yards and 72.2 rushing yards per contest with 49 passing scores and 18 more rushing touchdowns. Those numbers have led to 24.2 DKFP per contest. He is always a threat to hit the 100-yard bonus on the ground or the 300-yard bonus through the air. He hasn’t hit either over his three most recent sims while struggling a little bit and finishing with under 20 DKFP in each contest. However, I think he’ll be able to get back on track in this matchup and usually is able to thrive on the ground while the defense is slipping and sliding in the rain. Even though the Seahawks have played 32 sims, this will be their first matchup with Green Bay in what should be a very entertaining late game.

Other Options — Deshaun Watson ($7,500), Mitchell Trubisky ($7,300)

Value

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans, $5,700 — The Texans’ secondary has been a great matchup to attack throughout these Madden sims, and it’s Big Ben that gets this prime production spot while checking in with the cheapest salary of any starting QB on the board. Roethlisberger and the Steelers haven’t faced the Texans yet in these sims, but he has shown a high ceiling at times, throwing for 46 touchdowns in 31 sims. He doesn’t add the rushing element that some elite QB options do, but he does have a speedy group of big-play WRs that should feast against Houston. Big Ben threw three touchdowns and had 21.22 DKFP a few sims ago when he faced the Browns and has thrown for over 200 yards in three straight and in 11 of his past 14 games. If he is able to throw for multiple touchdowns, he can reach over 20 DKFP, which would make him a solid way to spend down at QB and stock the rest of your lineup with high-upside skill players.


Running Back

Stud

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears, $6,800 — Sanders and the Eagles have faced the Bears twice in these Madden sims, and the workhorse RB produced 21.8 DKFP and 14.7 DKFP in those two Eagles wins. He is usually very involved as a receiver out of the backfield and may get even more targets than usual if the snow forces Carson Wentz ($7,100) to focus on shorter passes. Sanders has averaged 3.4 catches for 22.9 receiving yards per sim to go with his 66.8 rushing yards per contest. He hit the 100-yard bonus in his first game against the Bears and showed his versatility by hauling in five catches in their second meeting. Since he is so involved in almost every scenario, he rarely totally busts. He has at least 12 DKFP in five of his past six contests and in nine of his past 12. The Bears do have a solid defense in these sims, but Sanders has already shown it is a matchup he can overcome to still be worth this salary.

Other Option — Aaron Jones ($6,500)

Value

Duke Johnson, Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,800 — Johnson has been very involved as the Texans’ third-down back and has often outproduced David Johnson ($3,900), who is the team’s RB1. Duke Johnson’s main production has come as a pass-catcher since he has averaged 2.1 catches for 16.5 yards per sim since stepping into a more involved role and has scored 10 touchdowns. Eight of those 10 scores have come on the road, where he is averaging 8.5 DKFP per contest. He has had either multiple catches or a touchdown in each of his past 12 contests with over 8.0 DKFP in eight of those sims. Like Sanders, Johnson may be more even more involved in the passing game than normal due to the weather, so I think he’s a nice value play just below $5K with the chance to go off for a big game as the Texans visit the Steelers.

Other Options — Chris Carson ($5,100), James Conner ($3,500)


Wide Receiver

Stud

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans, $7,100 — Even though he may not be the WR1 for the Steelers in real life anymore, JuJu still fills that role in simland and usually gets heavy targets in weather games since he does most of his work out of the slot, resulting in a shorter time in the air for passes over the middle of the field. He had seven catches for 103 yards and 20.3 DKFP in his most recent sim, which was against the Browns. He has over 20 DKFP in 12-of-31 (39%) sims in Madden 21, and he has averaged 5.4 catches per contest while scoring 16 touchdowns. In this favorable matchup against the Texans, Smith-Schuster has a very high ceiling and could definitely go off if the targets come his way from Big Ben.

Other Options — Davante Adams ($7,300), Brandin Cooks ($6,700)

Value

Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles, $5,200 — Robinson is a fairly affordable WR1 and usually sees good volume from Trubisky when the Bears’ offense is able to move the ball. He has averaged 3.6 catches for 54.7 yards per sim but has been heating up lately with at least five catches and over 17 DKFP in three of his past five games. Robinson can struggle if the offense stalls out, but he had five catches for 94 yards, a touchdown and 20.4 DKFP in one of his earlier matchups with the Eagles. He would be a great midrange option if he puts up around that total again in this rematch.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, $4,300 — Even though the Seahawks have a hard-hitting, turnover-producing defense, they have given up plenty of points and yards in these sims, so the Packers should be able to be solid fantasy options in this matchup. MVS is the team’s WR3 and has multiple catches in 16 of his 18 most recent sims. He has turned those catches into double-digit DKFP in eight of his past 14 sims including a seven-catch performance that netted him 20.6 DKFP just two sims ago when he faced the Bucs in the Madden Holiday Season. Valdes-Scantling has only a 74 overall rating, which may be why he has had a few down games, but he still comes packed with big-play potential due to his 93 speed rating. He is a very solid play at this salary barely over $4K since all he needs is one big play to return nice value.

Other Options — Devin Funchess ($5,700), Tyler Lockett ($4,800), Anthony Miller ($3,900)


Tight End

Stud

Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans, $4,800 — Ebron is on the reserve/COVID-19 list in real life but still hopes to return in time for the playoffs. He’ll be on the field for the Steelers in this sim and is in a good matchup against the Texans. Before a quiet game against the Browns in his most recent contest, Ebron had been on a very nice role with at least 8.0 DKFP in nine of his previous 10 games dating back to a massive 26.5-DKFP performance against the Rams. Ebron has averaged 4.2 catches for 43.0 yards per sim while scoring 15 touchdowns in 31 contests. He should be set up for success in the snow since the passes will likely stay to the middle of the field where he and JuJu tend to find plenty of space.

Other Option — Zach Ertz ($5,300)

Value

Marcedes Lewis, Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, $3,300 — Lewis is extremely cheap and relatively reliable for any pass-catcher priced barely over $3K. Lewis had six catches, 63 yards, a touchdown and 19.0 DKFP against the Falcons in his most recent sim and has been able to produce multiple catches in five of his past six contests. He doesn’t produce big games quite as regularly as the stud plays above but has a similar ceiling if Aaron Rodgers ($6,900) locks onto him in the short game due to the rainy conditions.

Other Option — Jimmy Graham ($4,000)


DST

Stud

Seahawks DST vs Green Bay Packers, $3,100 — Even though the Steelers’ DST ($3,200) is in a great matchup against the Texans, the Seahawks have been too productive to fade even in this spot against the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. Seattle’s defense has averaged 7.2 DKFP per sim in 32 contests by forcing 35 turnovers and scoring five defensive touchdowns while adding in 72 sacks and a safety. The Seahawks have done most of that damage at home, and they should get a boost from the bad weather as well. With Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams causing fumbles on a regular basis, this defense always has the potential to go off for a monster number, so I like them even though they’ll probably remain a very chalky option.

Value

Eagles DST vs. Chicago Bears, $2,900 — In the snow in Philadelphia, the Eagles’ DST also has the potential to create turnovers against the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky typically likes to run a lot in Madden, and when he does, he can be prone to turnovers. He has 16 fumbles in his 31 sims, so there is the potential for some big plays if the Eagles can get pressure and big hits on him in this contest. They haven’t been nearly as consistent as the Seahawks, but they should be a solid pivot play for under $3K with good potential in primetime.

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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.