Friday’s DraftKings Dream Stream brings another six-game schedule of Madden sims, including a featured classic slate on Friday night to help start the weekend right. The first game on that slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET, featuring an AFC North battle between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. The 8:00 p.m. ET matchup in primetime will include the World Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as they host the Los Angeles Chargers. In the final game of the day, the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to the virtual Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks.
As in all these Madden sims, it’s important to know that each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness 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.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, $8,300 — Jackson is the cover athlete for Madden 21 and has performed like the biggest star in the game, averaging 27.7 DKFP per contest. He does most of his production as a rusher, averaging 109.8 rushing yards per sim, more than any RB in the whole game. He has run for 39 touchdowns in his 46 sims and has also thrown for 48 scores to go with his average of 151.2 passing yards per sim. He produced over 28 DKFP in five straight sims before slowing down with just 14.82 DKFP in his most recent contest as the Jets’ front-seven held him in check. Jackson has had success in his previous sims against the Bengals, producing 27.26 DKFP in their meeting during the Madden Holiday Season and 25.28 DKFP in his first sim against them as part of the preseason tournament. Jackson brings an incredibly high ceiling and has definitely been consistent enough to pay up for him at over $8K if you can find other spots to save salary.
Other Option — Russell Wilson ($7,300)
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $6,100 — Tampa Tom not only led the Bucs to the win in the Super Bowl, but he has also been performing well in these Madden sims as of late. Brady has thrown for multiple touchdowns in three straight sims with over 19 DKFP in four of his past five contests. He doesn’t add any rushing production, so he doesn’t have nearly the ceiling or consistency that Jackson provides. However, he had 12.72 DKFP and 19.16 DKFP in his two previous matchups with the Chargers, and he can save significant salary if you think Jackson won’t totally go off. Brady is the best of the other QBs available on this slate aside from Jackson and Wilson.
Other Option — Justin Herbert ($5,700)
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $7,600 — Ekeler is the only RB on this slate that isn’t in a timeshare of some kind and has a very high ceiling with lower risk as a result. He has averaged 4.1 catches for 32.3 receiving yards in addition to his 71.1 rushing yards per game, and he has scored 36 total touchdowns in his 44 contests. Ekeler had 25.3 DKFP and 20.4 DKFP in his two earlier matchups with the Bucs, and he typically gets plenty of involvement regardless of game script.
Other Option — Chris Carson ($5,800), Giovani Bernard ($5,500)
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, $4,800 — Dobbins is both the third-down and power back for the Ravens, and he usually gets enough involvement in one role or the other to be a good value play. Dobbins hauled in four catches or more in each of his three most recent sims and has at least three catches in six of his past nine. He has over five DKFP in eight of his past 10 contests, averaging 7.3 DKFP over that stretch.
Other Option — LeSean McCoy ($5,000), Carlos Hyde ($3,600)
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $6,100 — Working out of the slot, Allen has been a favorite target for Justin Herbert ($5,700) since the rookie took over as the starting QB. In his 44 sims, Allen has averaged 4.5 catches for 51.7 yards per game and has scored 18 touchdowns. Two of those scores came in his first two sims against Tampa Bay, who has struggled as a whole against slot receivers in these sims. Allen had 17.4 DKFP the last time these teams met and has posted over 12 DKFP in eight of his past 10 sims including that performance
Other Option — JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,200), Mike Evans ($6,000)
Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, $4,800 — Brown has been boom-or-bust in these sims despite being the Ravens’ WR1, but he does have a good matchup here and offers a high ceiling due to his 97 speed rating. He had six catches for 78 yards in the most recent meeting between these two teams and could have an even bigger game if he gets similar volume in this rematch. Despite his up-and-down production, his ceiling is high enough to make him a solid play just under $5K since many of the other similarly-priced options are also just as volatile but don’t offer the same upside.
Scotty Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $3,500 — With no Antonio Brown on the Bucs in these sims, Miller is Tampa Bay’s third WR and has been fairly consistently involved in the offense. Miller has averaged 2.7 receptions for 36.9 yards per sim in Madden 21, but he has been even more involved lately with at least three catches in eight straight sims and in 12 of his past 13. He also has double-digit DKFP in five of his past seven contests, and he’ll be a great value if he reaches that level of production again from this price point.
Other Options — Mike Williams ($5,900), Diontae Johnson ($5,200), Tyler Lockett ($4,600), Joe Reed ($3,200)
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks, $4,700 — Ebron has double-digit DKFP in nine of his past 11 sims and is averaging 13.2 DKFP over that run. He did have an ugly one-catch bust against the Bengals two sims ago, but he bounced back with 15.9 DKFP against the Titans on five catches for 49 yards and his 19th touchdown of his 42 Madden 21 sims. Ebron and the Steelers will be facing the Seahawks for the first time in these sims, but Seattle has been beatable for production from opposing TEs even though their fantasy defense is elite, which we’ll discuss below.
Other Options — Rob Gronkowski ($4,500), Greg Olsen ($4,400)
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens, $4,300 — While he hasn’t been quite as consistent as the stud options above, Uzomah has a very similar ceiling and has worked well with rookie QB Joe Burrow ($6,500) in these sims. Uzomah has posted over 12 DKFP in five of his past seven games but only produced 5.5 DKFP in his most recent matchup with the Ravens in a low-scoring contest. I don’t expect a ton of points in this rematch either, but Uzomah should get enough volume to still be an excellent option at only barely over $4K. On this slate with a lot of WR volatility, playing a pair of TEs is a way to potentially stabilize your production from the $4K-$5K range rather than adding another boom-or-bust WR.
Other Option — Hunter Henry ($3,900)
Seahawks DST vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, $3,200 — The Seahawks have forced 45 turnovers in 43 sims while adding in 98 sacks and eight defensive touchdowns to help them average 7.6 DKFP per contest. Even when weather isn’t a factor, this is a defense that can cause plenty of mayhem thanks to big-hit specialists Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner, who are the only two players in Madden 21 with the X-factor of “Avalanche,” which can increase the number of fumbles they cause.
Other Option — Los Angeles Chargers ($3,000)
Ravens DST at Cincinnati Bengals, $2,800 — The Ravens are a cheaper play at DST, and they have also been solid as a unit, even though they haven’t had quite as many big plays as the Seahawks. Most of their fantasy value has come from their ability to limit opponent scoring output, but they have also added 19 takeaways and 90 sacks in 46 sims for an average of 4.7 DKFP per contest. They have a great matchup against the Bengals on this slate, and they had 8.0 DKFP and 5.0 DKFP in their two earlier matchups with their division rivals.
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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.