Friday night starts the Super Bowl weekend right with a nice slate of Madden sims on the DraftKings Dream Stream. There are three games on the featured classic slate, starting with the 6:00 p.m. ET matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Detroit Lions. At 8:00 p.m. ET in primetime, the Indianapolis Colts host the New York Giants, and then at 10:00 p.m. ET, the Seattle Seahawks take on the New York Jets in the final contest of the day. Make sure to also get your lineups set for all the weekend festivities that are part of the DraftKings $250K Tailgate Weekend on The Dream Stream, which features some great contests with huge payouts from a variety of contests including Madden.
As in all these Madden sims, 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.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Jets, $7,000 — Wilson has the highest ceiling of any QB on this slate, even though he has had some down games lately. Despite having 13 DKFP or fewer in five of his past seven sims, he is still averaging 22.7 DKFP per contest over his 41 Madden sims with 56 passing touchdowns and 23 rushing scores. In 19 of his 41 sims (46%), Wilson has produced at least 25 DKFP, and he reached that level with 204 passing yards, 62 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns against the Jaguars (29.36 DKFP) just two sims ago. Unfortunately, Wilson struggled to just 14.7 DKFP in his previous matchup against the Jets, but I think he will bounce back in this rematch and put up numbers more like what he was able to do against Jacksonville.
Other Option — Drew Brees ($6,600)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts, $6,200 — Jones hasn’t been consistent in these sims, but he has shown massive upside when he’s at the top of his game. One of his best performances came in his previous matchup with these Colts, when he put up 25.94 DKFP on 331 passing yards and two touchdowns. He has over 17 DKFP in four of his six sims dating back to that performance and will be a great value option if he can get to that level of production at this salary, now barely over $6K. He doesn’t have the rushing potential of Wilson, but he has shown he can excel against the Colts and makes a lot of sense as a pivot play.
Other Option — Matthew Stafford ($6,400)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions, $7,800 — Kamara has a great matchup against the Lions’ run defense, which has given up some of the biggest rushing performances in these Madden 21 sims. Oddly, Kamara struggled in his first matchup against Detroit with just 3.8 DKFP, but he should be able to bounce back in this rematch. Since EA Sports issued its latest update in early December, Kamara has been catching more passes due to his “Satellite” X-factor and Superstar abilities. He has multiple catches in 25 straight sims and has added six receiving touchdowns in those contests to raise his total to 40 touchdowns in 46 games in Madden 21. He can be boom-or-bust, but this matchup is tasty enough to pay up for Kamara and hope you catch a big game from the dual-threat RB.
Other Options — Saquon Barkley ($8,200), Nyheim Hines ($6,400)
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints, $4,300 — Swift has been a great value play as the Lions’ third-down back and usually gets involved enough to be worth this minimal salary. He is averaging 3.6 catches for 23.6 receiving yards per sim and has produced over eight DKFP in five of his past eight contests, highlighted by a 25.4-DKFP explosion against the Raiders. Swift had one catch and 41 rushing yards for 5.3 DKFP against Kamara’s Saints in their first meeting. He should be able to produce a better return if he gets more targets in this rematch.
Other Option — Chris Carson ($5,400), Carlos Hyde ($3,200)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions, $7,400 — In the Week 1 player rankings used for these sims, Thomas is the only WR that has a perfect 99 overall rating. He has had some bad busts at inopportune times, but recently, he has been red-hot with over 23 DKFP in five of his past six contests. He has double-digit DKFP in 11 of his past 13 contests, and he also beat the Lions for 24.1 DKFP on five catches and 101 yards in their first head-to-head sim. Thomas should be able to find space and make plays against an iffy Lions’ secondary yet again, so pay all the way up for the star if you need an elite WR on this slate.
Other Option — Kenny Golladay ($6,400)
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts, $5,200 — Shepard has at least four catches in six straight contests dating back to his previous matchup against the Colts, when he had seven catches for 119 yards and 21.9 DKFP. He only has one touchdown over that span but still has averaged 15.8 DKFP due to his high volume. Shepard is the Giants’ WR2 but usually runs the primary routes on the outside since WR1 Golden Tate ($4,700) works primarily out of the slot. The Colts’ cornerbacks have struggled against big-play options on the outside, so look for Shepard to continue to be productive in this rematch.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints, $4,100 — Matthew Stafford ($6,400) relies heavily on Amendola out of the slot, making him a great value play with PPR upside in this matchup against the Saints. He has four or more catches in eight of his past 10 games with over six DKFP in each of those eight contests. He has a high floor as a result of his workload and can really pay off if he gets into the end zone, which he has done nine times in his 39 sims.
Other Options — Tre’Quan Smith ($4,600), Parris Campbell ($4,400), Zach Pascal ($3,900)
Evan Engram, New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts, $5,000 — Engram is one of the fastest TEs in all of Madden and has a high ceiling as a result. He hauled in seven catches for 50 yards in his first matchup against the Colts, and he could break off a big play or two if he gets that kind of volume again in the rematch. He had 10 catches for 91 yards and 19.1 DKFP in a busy game against the 49ers a few sims ago and has over 12 DKFP in three straight and seven of his past nine.
Other Options — T.J. Hockenson ($5,200), Trey Burton ($4,900)
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions, $4,100 — Cook has been another key part of the Saints’ offense and is surprisingly affordable at barely over $4K — the lowest-priced starting TE on the slate. He has at least five catches in four straight games and put up 15.3 DKFP in his earlier game against Detroit. Despite a few disappointing games where he has disappeared with just one catch, he has a high ceiling when he’s involved and usually gets enough targets to present nice upside.
Other Option — Chris Herndon ($4,700)
Seahawks DST vs. New York Jets, $3,200 — Seattle’s defense has been outstanding in these sims, forcing 45 turnovers in 41 contests to go with 96 sacks and eight defensive scores. The Seahawks had five DKFP or more in seven straight sims before getting just three DKFP against the Patriots Wednesday, and they have averaged 10.4 DKFP over their eight most recent contests. The Jets have been turnover-prone and have struggled to put up points at times in these Madden 21 sims, so this sets up to be a smash spot for the Seahawks DST.
Saints DST at Detroit Lions, $3,000 — While the Saints don’t offer a ton of savings from the Seahawks, they should come at lower ownership in their favorable matchup against the Lions. The Saints have 92 sacks in 46 sims and have forced 15 turnovers. They didn’t have a sack or takeaway in their earlier matchup with Detroit, but they have done just fine on the road, averaging 5.5 DFKP per sim away compared to just 4.3 DKFP per sim at home in the Superdome. They’ll still be in a dome for this matchup, and they’ll look for a better result than their last sim in the virtual Motor City that ended in a 24-19 victory for the Lions.
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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.