Wednesdays always bring wild weather to the DraftKings Dream Stream, and this week all six games will be impacted by adverse conditions. The featured three-game classic slate gets underway at 6:00 p.m. ET with a matchup between the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cleveland Browns in the rain. At 8:00 p.m. ET in a primetime matchup that will take place in a snowstorm, the Pittsburgh Steelers host the San Francisco 49ers. In the final game of the day, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans face off in the rain in virtual Nashville on Madden After Dark.
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.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans, $7,500 — Mahomes is the only QB in the Week 1 ratings used for these sims with a perfect 99 overall rating. He has been the most productive passer in the game, by far, although there are some rush-first QBs that can match his overall production. None of them are on this slate, though, so Mahomes is the option that makes the most sense. In his 56 sims, Mahomes has thrown 143 touchdowns while adding 11 more rushing touchdowns. He threw three of those touchdowns to go with 345 yards against the Titans in their first meeting in these sims on his way to 27.2 DKFP. He has also thrown multiple touchdowns in 10 straight sims, so he comes in on a great roll into this favorable matchup. The rain shouldn’t be too much of an obstacle for Mahomes due to his high throw power rating.
Other Option — Baker Mayfield ($6,600)
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $6,000 — Taking on the high-powered Chiefs offense usually forces opposing QBs to air it out, and Tannehill has shown that he can put up big totals when called upon to throw for high volume. He threw two touchdowns in his first sim against Kansas City and finished with 14.88 DKFP. He has been slightly better than that lately with over 18 DKFP in four of his past five contests. He also has the ability to run for touchdowns, although he doesn’t take off on a regular enough basis to put up big yardage totals. Tannehill has totaled 70 touchdowns in 48 sims, and he could come close to matching Mahomes’ production if he gets multiple scores in this contest. Tannehill also has good arm strength, so the rain won’t have as much of a negative impact on him as some of the other cheap QB plays.
Other Option — Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,600)
Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers, $7,300 — In weather games, the 49ers usually rely even more heavily on the running game, meaning a big workload for Mostert. Even though the Steelers have playmakers on defense, Mostert just beat them for 26.2 DKFP on 172 rushing yards in a sim three contests ago. He also had 151 yards and 35.2 DKFP against Pittsburgh earlier in his Madden 21 sims, so it's obviously a matchup he can exploit. If he gets his usual full complement of carries and catches, look for another ceiling game from Raheem on this stream.
Other Options — Derrick Henry ($7,800), Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($5,900)
LeSean McCoy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns, $3,600 — McCoy is a great way to save some of the salary you’ll need for the superstars in other spots. He comes at a deep discount since he has had a few down games lately with under 5.0 DKFP in four straight. However, he remains the Bucs’ third-down back and usually stays involved as a receiver out of the backfield. In his 51 sims, he has averaged 3.1 catches for 21.6 receiving yards long with 16.3 rushing yards per contest. He had one of his eight touchdowns in his first matchup with the Browns, finishing that game with 10.8 DKFP. Brady’s lack of throw power can sometimes cause him some trouble in weather games, so checking it down to McCoy should be a popular option for the veteran QB in this matchup in Cleveland.
Other Option — Jaylen Samuels ($5,400), Kareem Hunt ($4,400)
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans, $7,500 — Hill has been the best WR in these Madden 21 sims, and he should continue to produce in this matchup with Tennessee. He had seven catches for 112 yards and 21.2 DKFP in his first meeting with them, which sounds like a great game but is actually below his amazing average of 22.8 DKFP per contest. He didn’t score in that game but has 52 touchdowns in 56 sims in Madden 21. His 99 speed rating is the only perfect speed rating in the entire game, and it gives him an extremely high ceiling. He broke free for 56.3 DKFP a few sims ago when facing the Saints and has posted over 30 DKFP 15 times. The Titans don’t have an elite cover CB, so paying up for Hill is almost a must on this slate. Hill is averaging over 8.0 DKFP more than any other WR on this slate and that margin in average production between him and JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,800) is bigger than the dropoff from JuJu all the way to Adam Humphries ($3,600). It makes sense to try and pay all the way up for Hill due to both his high average and his ceiling.
Other Options — Odell Beckham Jr. ($6,100), A.J. Brown ($5,500)
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,800 — The 49ers’ WR1 has been held to just one catch in back-to-back games, but I think he’ll bounce back in this matchup in Pittsburgh. The weather could force Jimmy Garoppolo ($5,600) to rely more on his slot receiver and Samuel has the speed to make plays. He had three catches, 34 yards and 12.4 DKFP in his most recent sim against the Steelers after posting 81 yards and 11.1 DKFP in their first Madden 21 matchup. Pittsburgh’s slot coverage isn’t great and Samuel’s upside makes him worth a look under $5K as he tries to bounce back from a couple of disappointments.
Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans, $4,300 — While Mahomes, Hill and Travis Kelce ($6,500) have all been outstanding, they are also extremely expensive. Robinson is actually just as important to consider for your lineup since he can save you salary to spend on those stars and still bring solid production himself. The Chiefs’ WR3 has produced over 9.0 DKFP in seven straight sims and has scored five of his 17 Madden 21 touchdowns during that run of success. He fell just short of 100 yards in his most recent sim which was against the Cowboys and had a solid 10.0 DKFP on five catches for 50 yards in his first game against the Titans.
Other Options — Rashard Higgins ($4,500), Scotty Miller ($4,000), Adam Humphries ($3,600)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans, $6,500 — Of the Chiefs’ superstars, Kelce is the one that I would prioritize the lowest, but he is still clearly the top TE available, although Eric Ebron ($5,700) has been a steady producer as well. Kelce has scored 10 more touchdowns than Ebron, though, with 31 trips to the end zone in his 56 games to go with an average of 6.0 catches for 69.3 yards per sim. Typically, the Titans struggle against opposing TEs but they actually held Kelce in check in their first meeting. In this rematch, though, Kelce should find room to work over the middle and could be poised for a monster performance.
Other Option — Eric Ebron ($5,700)
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns, $4,300 — Since the Bucs made their Super Bowl run in real life, sim-Gronk seems to have been inspired to step up and become a nice value play in Madden 21. The veteran TE has over 8.0 DKFP in four straight and eight of his past nine sims. He also gets a tasty matchup against the Browns, who are known for being very generous to opposing TEs both in these sims and in real life. His volume can fluctuate, but Brady may have to focus on shorter passes in the rain, meaning more potential work for Gronk.
Other Option — Jonnu Smith ($4,600)
Steelers DST vs. San Francisco 49ers, $3,100 — Even though they have given up monster games to Mostert in each of their first two meetings with San Francisco, the Steelers finished with good defensive production as a whole. They had 9.0 and 10.0 DKFP, totaling three takeaways, three sacks and a defensive touchdown. Especially in the snow, they should be able to limit the 49ers’ offensive production and have a good chance for producing big plays in this matchup as well. The defense is one of the most highly rated in all of Madden 21 and has three players with superstar traits in T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Chiefs DST at Tennessee Titans, $2,800 — If the Titans do have to air it out to keep up with the Chiefs, Kansas City’s defense should have some chances to make plays. The Chiefs have 102 sacks in their 56 Madden 21 sims while forcing 37 turnovers. They had four sacks and 5.0 DKFP in their first meeting with the Titans and could have a similar output as a value defense on this slate.
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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.