While the NFL doesn’t have any games on Sunday as offseason preparations continue, the DraftKings Dream Stream is ready to roll with another full day of six Madden sims, providing multiple ways for players to get involved in some fantasy football fun. The featured three-game classic slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with an AFC North matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. At 8:00 p.m. ET, we get a rematch of a sim just a few days ago as the Los Angeles Chargers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and we close out the night with a trip to virtual Indy, where the Carolina Panthers role into town to face the Indianapolis Colts at 10:00 p.m. ET.
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 Cleveland Browns, $8,200 — Even though he costs over $8K and is the most expensive option at any position, Jackson makes sense as someone to build around since he has been such an offensive standout throughout these sims. Jackson comes in after a couple of down games, but he still has an elite ceiling and has averaged 108.9 rushing yards and 150.0 passing yards per sim, while totaling 48 touchdowns through the air and 39 on the ground in his 47 sims. Jackson had 29.66 DKFP in his most recent game against the Browns, which was right after the Madden Holiday Season. Jackson was limited in one of his three matchups with Cleveland but normally goes off for a big number. Even with a couple of disappointments recently, he usually hits; so hopefully, people let recency bias cloud their judgment and leave him with lower ownership in this contest.
Other Option — Teddy Bridgewater ($6,500)
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $6,200 — Brady just led the Bucs to a 14-11 win over the Chargers Friday night, throwing for 262 yards, a touchdown and 14.18 DKFP. He had been performing even better before that with multiple touchdown passes in three straight sims and over 19 DKFP in each of those contests. Brady doesn’t have the elite ceiling of the QBs that add rushing production and is very reliant on throwing touchdowns. However, he has been throwing enough scores to be the best affordable QB on this slate, especially in a game where the weather isn’t a factor.
Other Option — Justin Herbert ($5,800)
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $8,000 — In that Friday night sim against the Bucs, Ekeler was a total bust, managing only seven rushing yards and posting an uninspiring 6.8 DKFP. But, don’t let that number fool you — he still makes sense in this rematch and has the potential to produce a big total. While that game script killed his value, it isn’t a matchup issue since he went off for 25.3 DKFP and 20.4 DKFP in his two previous meetings with Tampa Bay. Ekeler is averaging 69.6 rushing yards and 4.0 catches for 31.9 receiving yards, while scoring 36 total touchdowns in 45 sims. He should be able to bounce back with a better showing in this rematch, and I think he’s worth a look if you can make his hefty salary fit under your cap.
Other Option — Christian McCaffrey ($7,400)
LeSean McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $4,300 — The receiving back on the other side of the primetime matchup is McCoy, who shares time with Leonard Fournette ($4,800) but still manages to produce enough fantasy points to be a solid value consideration. McCoy had three catches and 6.8 DKFP on Friday and was even better with 11.9 DKFP in his previous meeting with the Bolts. McCoy has scored eight touchdowns and is obviously a good value when he hits for a score; but even in games in which he doesn’t score, he usually returns good enough value due to his PPR work. He has multiple catches in each of Tampa Bay’s 12 most recent sims, averaging 3.8 catches over that span and producing over nine DKFP in eight of those contests.
Other Option — Kareem Hunt ($5,200), J.K. Dobbins ($4,500)
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts, $5,600 — The Colts don’t have great CBs in these sims and have been a good matchup for opposing WRs. Moore had a touchdown and 61 yards against them in their previous meeting for 15.1 DKFP and has been on a very nice roll lately with over 13 DKFP in six of his past nine contests. He has five touchdowns in his past seven sims, including that one against the Colts, and he has now totaled 17 scores in his 40 sims. Moore can be boom-or-bust at times due to inconsistent QB play, and sometimes more work going to Robby Anderson ($4,600) or Curtis Samuel ($5,400). But, based on the matchup, there should be good opportunities for the Panthers’ WRs to find space.
Other Option — Chris Godwin ($6,500), Keenan Allen ($5,900)
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $5,500 — The Bucs haven’t been able to stop Williams in any of their three previous matchups, and Williams should be in a good spot to produce again in this matchup. He had eight catches for 95 yards and 17.5 DKFP on Friday night, on top of the 10.5-DKFP and 15.1-DKFP games he had in their earlier matchups in Madden 21. In Madden 2020, Williams was unstoppable, but he has been much more inconsistent with Justin Herbert ($5,800) replacing Philip Rivers ($6,100). Herbert has been able to connect with Williams against the Bucs, though, and he makes a very solid mid-range play at this price.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers, $4,000 — Campbell works out of the slot for the Colts and offers good upside with his 94 speed rating. He has been hit or miss at times due to volume but has multiple catches in 26 consecutive sims. Sometimes he breaks those catches over the middle for big gains, and other times he is more limited. He had over 100 yards against the Raiders for 20.1 DKFP four sims ago and also had four catches, 31 yards and 7.1 DKFP against the Panthers in their earlier meeting. He has over seven DKFP in six of his past seven games and always comes with big-play potential giving him a high ceiling at only $4K.
Other Options — Rashard Higgins ($5,000), Zach Pascal ($4,500), Marquise Brown ($4,400), Scotty Miller ($3,600)
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts vs. Carolina Panthers, $4,900 — Rivers relies heavily on his TE, and Burton has been one of the highest-volume TEs since taking over as TE1 from Jack Doyle ($2,500) in the roster update at the start of the season. Burton has averaged five catches for 55.4 yards per sim, making him a good play even though he only has 10 touchdowns over that span. Burton has over 13 DKFP in seven straight sims, including a four-catch, 46-yard, 14.6-DKFP game against these Panthers. He is a relatively safe play under $5K, and he comes with solid upside as well.
Other Option — Rob Gronkowski ($5,000)
Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts, $3,800 — Thomas wasn’t very involved as a pass-catcher in the real world but has been pretty involved in these sims. Thomas has at least three catches in each of his five most recent games and has at least 7.8 DKFP in each of those contests. He also showed a pretty good ceiling with at least 19 DKFP in two of those games. He hasn’t been quite as consistent as Burton, but he does come with decent upside for a player under $4K.
Other Option — Hunter Henry ($4,000)
Chargers DST at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $3,100 — Even though they didn’t knock off the Bucs on Friday night, the Chargers had four DKFP with a sack and a fumble recovery. They had five DKFP in each of their previous two meetings with Brady’s Bucs, as well, and have averaged 5.2 DKFP in their 45 sims with 32 takeaways and 99 sacks. Not only should they be able to get to 100 sacks in this contest, but they could also be the best DST play on the board due to Brady’s lack of mobility and their very solid pass rush, led by Joey Bosa.
Ravens DST at Cleveland Browns, $2,900 — The Ravens have done a great job of limiting their opponents’ scoring and had five DKFP and six DKFP in their two recent matchups against the Browns. In their 47 sims, they have forced 19 turnovers, totaling 90 sacks and five touchdowns. They should be able to hold Baker Mayfield ($6,700) in check again on their way to another strong performance.
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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.