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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Strategy for Bills-Packers “What If” Showdown on February 7

Zach Thompson gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s “What If” Madden Showdown, which starts at 1:00 p.m. ET.

As the DraftKings $250k Tailgate Weekend on The Dream Stream continues, on Sunday afternoon, we’ll enter an alternate reality and have a fun Madden 21 sim between the two teams that fell just short of a trip to the real big game. The Green Bay Packers will host the Buffalo Bills in this “What If” contest that features a massive $20K free contest. Make sure to check out the free $25K Big Game Replay contest after the game, as well, and you can see my breakdown of that Bucs-Chiefs matchup from Saturday’s preview post. In this post, we’ll focus on the Bills-Packers matchup from a showdown perspective.

If you’re new to these sims, there are a few important things to know. First, each roster is not impacted by COVID-19 opt-outs, injuries, suspensions or illness and the highest-rated options have been placed at the top of the depth charts. Second, each roster includes 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, which is updated with new matchups as they become available. There were a few tweaks to the X-factors and Superstars in the latest December update from EA Sports, 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 $4K “What If” Special [$1K to 1st] (BUF vs GB) and your free lineups here: Madden Stream $20K FREE “What If” Contest (BUF vs GB)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Josh Allen ($17,100 CP) — Allen is the most expensive option in this matchup, but I still think it’s very possible to build around him as your Captain since he comes with so much upside. Allen has the Superstar traits of “Escape Artist” and “Quickdraw,” which have helped him avoid pressure and make plays while on the move. He has averaged 19.6 DKFP per contest in his 40 Madden 21 sims and has been especially productive since getting those added bonus traits in EA Sports’ December update. Allen has over 17 DKFP in eight straight sims and 12 of his past 13.

The Bills and Packers haven’t met at all in these Madden 21 sims, so this will be Allen’s first chance to take on Green Bay. He is a relatively safe play since he can make plays either on the ground and through the air. He is averaging 157.8 passing yards and 66.4 rushing yards per sim. He has run for 14 touchdowns and thrown for 47 more while getting picked off only 10 times.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($9,300 CP) — In the depth charts used for these sims, MVS is the Packers’ WR3 and usually runs his routes out of the slot. That should work to his advantage in this matchup, since the Bills’ top CBs usually stay on the outside and X-factor superstar Tre’Davious White will likely focus on locking down Davante Adams ($9,200).

Valdes-Scantling has a 93 speed rating and 86 change of direction rating, making him a big-play threat on every catch. He has averaged three catches for 40.2 yards per contest in his 43 sims and has scored 11 touchdowns. MVS does come with a very high ceiling, as well, as he showed with 27.0 DKFP against the Texans two sims ago. He has double-digit DKFP in five of his past 10 contests, as well, and using him as your Captain’s Pick will leave you plenty of salary for your FLEX spots.


Big Game Playlist


FLEX Plays

Aaron Jones ($9,800) Jones has racked up 42 touchdowns in his 43 sims in Madden 21 and has been dominant as the RB1 and third-down back. He shared time with Jamaal Williams ($1,200) in earlier versions of Madden, but now gets all the work in the backfield. Jones has an extremely high ceiling, as he showed with four rushing touchdowns and 48.5 DKFP against the Browns. He is also pretty low-risk and has put up at least 11 DKFP in 19 of his previous 22 sims. Jones is averaging 69.3 rushing yards to go with 2.9 catches for 20.9 receiving yards per contest. The Bills’ defense is strong against the pass but has struggled against the run, which makes Jones one of the best Packers to target.

Lee Smith ($6,400) — Smith took over as the Bills’ TE1 in the latest roster update and is a frequent target for Allen in these sims. He is averaging 3.3 catches per contest since taking over that top spot, and he has scored seven touchdowns in his 34 sims. Smith just had two of those scores on his way to 22.5 DKFP against the Browns, so he has a high ceiling. His PPR production is consistent enough, though, that he is also pretty low-risk at such an affordable salary in the flex spot.

Mason Crosby ($3,800) — Crosby has been one of the most productive kickers in any of these sims, averaging 6.1 DKFP per sim. He has over that average in five of his past six games and has even hit double-digit DKFP in two of those contests. The Bills’ defense has the capability to slow down the Packers enough to force FGs and lead to a big game for Crosby. If you end up having to go cheap at a flex spot, the veteran kicker could end up giving you great returns from a play under $4K.


Fades

Davante Adams ($9,200) — In real life, fading Adams is almost always a recipe for disaster, but in these sims, Adams has been inconsistent. He has especially struggled against top CBs, and Tre’Davious White will likely track him all over the field. While he is averaging 4.4 receptions per sim, he has been held to under five catches in five straight sims and has been very boom-or-bust. WR2 Devin Funchess ($8,600) has actually matched Adams’ touchdown total despite missing the Packers’ first five sims as a COVID opt-out. The sim version of Adams has gone off for a few monster games, including his most recent contest with a pair of scores, but he only had three total touchdowns in his nine previous sims.

John Brown ($5,400) The Bills WR2 has been up-and-down, as well, but his bust risk is very high. He has been held entirely without a catch four times in these sims and held to just one catch in 12 more games. The speedy Brown can go for a big play at times, but he comes with very little volume, making him high-risk even at this relatively affordable salary.


THE OUTCOME

The Bills have lost three straight games and six of their past seven since the Madden Holiday Season. The Packers have won six of their past seven and are usually one of the best teams in these Madden sims, making the playoffs as a top seed in both the Madden Holiday Season and the preseason tournament. While I like Allen to have a big game due to his rushing production, ultimately the Packers will likely get enough from Aaron Jones on the ground and Aaron Rodgers ($10,800) with a balanced passing attack to pull out the victory.

Final Score: Green Bay 23, Buffalo 14

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $4K “What If” Special [$1K to 1st] (BUF vs GB) and your free lineups here: Madden Stream $20K FREE “What If” Contest (BUF vs GB)


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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.