Get ready for some Tuesday night football from the DraftKings Dream Stream, as the parade of Madden sims marches on with a full six-game schedule. The featured classic slate kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with three solid matchups full of fantasy stars. In the first game, the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans and will have to try to slow down Derrick Henry ($8,100). At 8:00 p.m. ET, the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs’ offense will try to get things rolling in a matchup with the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome, and we wrap up the day with Dalvin Cook ($8,300) and the Minnesota Vikings taking on the Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott ($7,100). With so many big-name, high-salary stars, there are some fun options to consider for lineup construction, so check out my favorite studs and values listed below.
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 New Orleans Saints, $7,800 — The virtual version of Mahomes will be happy to hear that his offensive tackles are healthy and back in place for this matchup with the Saints, so he won’t have quite the same struggles he had in the big game last Sunday. Mahomes has been the best passer in all of Madden 21 and averaged 24.7 DKFP per sim by throwing 123 touchdowns in 50 contests. He has also added 11 more scores on the ground while averaging 11.8 rushing yards to go with his 284.8 passing yards per contest. Mahomes has over 23 DKFP in 13 of his past 16 contests, showing he is a reliable and relatively safe play. He also comes with an outstanding ceiling having reached over 29 DKFP in three of his seven most recent sims.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings, $6,500 — Prescott has been healthy and productive at the helm of the Cowboys’ offense in these sims and has a good matchup on this slate against the Vikings. He has the second-highest average production of any QB in play with 18.4 DKFP per sim although he’s coming into this matchup off of three down games in which he finished below his average. He did have three scores and 24.02 DKFP in his first matchup against the Vikings in these sims and still comes with a high ceiling since he does offer more rushing potential than Mahomes does. While he has not been nearly as reliable as Mahomes, he makes the most sense as a pivot away from the Chiefs’ superstar QB if you decide there are other stars to prioritize in other spots.
Other Option — Drew Brees ($6,700), Ryan Tannehill ($5,700)
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys, $8,300 — This is one of the most stacked group of RBs we’ve had on any slate with Cook, Derrick Henry ($8,100), Alvin Kamara ($7,400) and Ezekiel Elliott ($7,100) all bringing big workloads and high ceilings to go with their hefty price tags. None of the other options can quite match Cook’s production, though, since he has scored an astounding 49 touchdowns in his 40 sims. He typically gets a very heavy workload in the Vikings’ offense and has turned that into 92.5 rushing yards and 32.9 receiving yards per sim. He can also be a PPR beast out of the backfield, which gives him another way to avoid a total bust. For example, in his most recent matchup with Dallas, he hauled in 11 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown to finish with 39.1 DKFP despite running for only 74 rushing yards. He can be absolutely dominant like that and break any slate, so if you have the salary he’s worth paying up for even though the other elite options also have high ceilings with a little less consistency.
Other Options — Derrick Henry ($8,100), Alvin Kamara ($7,400)
Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans, $4,900 — With all those star RBs serving as both RB1 and third-down back for their teams, there aren’t a ton of value plays on this slate that will get work. The only team on the slate that is the exception to that trend is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who split time between third-down back Samuels and RB1 James Conner ($3,400). Conner is super-cheap but also touchdown-reliant while Samuels usually finds a way to return value due to his PPR production. Samuels has 50 total catches out of the backfield over his past 11 sims, and he had five catches for 58 yards followed by six catches for 31 yards in his two earlier contests against these Titans. Samuels had over his 9.6 DKFP average in each of those sims against Tennessee and is coming into this rematch off a monster game against the Bengals in which he caught five passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns on his way to 34.5 DKFP. He probably won’t hit that ceiling again any time soon, but he does usually get enough PPR work to make him the best non-elite play at RB on this slate.
Other Option — Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,200), James Conner ($3,400)
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints, $8,200 — Hill’s 99 speed rating makes him virtually unstoppable in Madden, and he rolls into this matchup with an average of 22.6 DKFP per contest over his 50 sims. He had 116 yards and three touchdowns for 37.6 DKFP in the “Big Game Preview” contest this past Saturday and followed that up with another touchdown in the replay contest right after the big game when he posted 11.7 DKFP. Hill has found the end zone a total of 45 times in 50 sims, averaging 6.4 catches for 93.6 yards per sim. He definitely has the best ceiling and most consistent production of any WR in Madden 21, which makes him the top WR play to pay up for. However, this could be a slate where it makes more sense to go with two expensive RBs and more affordable WRs, since Hill has been held in check by the Saints, who have allowed him just 6.7 DKFP and 8.5 DKFP in their two earlier Madden 21 matchups.
Other Option — Michael Thomas ($7,600), JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,000)
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,700 — The Steelers’ defense is loaded with playmakers, but they don’t have elite cover CBs, which could open things up on the outside for Brown, especially if they use their safeties to key in on slowing down Derrick Henry. Brown had two touchdowns and 20.4 DKFP in his first sim against the Steelers and then posted 13.8 DFKP on seven catches in the rematch. He has the skillset to turn any catch into a big play, and as long as he gets decent volume he should offer a very solid return on this salary under $5K.
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $4,200 — Smith is the Saints’ WR3 in these sims and usually gets plenty of work opposite Michael Thomas ($7,600) while Emmanuel Sanders ($5,200) operates out of the slot. Smith has been very involved from that spot with multiple catches in 16 of his past 18 sims and five of his 14 touchdowns in Madden 21 coming over that stretch. In the Championship game of the Madden Holiday Season, he had three catches for 82 yards and 11.2 DKFP against the Chiefs. Even if he doesn’t get a touchdown, he can be a great value play at barely over $4K if he hauls in multiple catches and gets loose for a big play like he did in that contest.
Other Options — Michael Gallup ($4,900), Sammy Watkins ($4,800), Tajae Sharpe ($3,800), CeeDee Lamb ($3,300)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints, $6,200 — Kelce has been dominant in these sims and gets plenty of work even though Hill has also been a target magnet on the outside. Kelce has averaged 6.1 catches for 71.8 yards per sim and scored 28 touchdowns in 50 contests. He dominated the Saints in the Madden Holiday Season Championship, hauling in 10 passes for 134 yards, a touchdown and 32.4 DKFP. He also had eight catches for 87 yards and 16.7 DKFP in their earlier matchup in Madden 21. While Hill has outstanding upside, Kelce has actually had more success in this specific matchup, and the positional scarcity also makes him a little more attractive on this slate. If you think Hill will have a quiet game, Kelce is likely to help fill in the gaps with a monster performance, so he can make sense either alongside Hill or as your TE play if you go cheap at WR instead.
Other Options — Blake Jarwin ($5,100), Jared Cook ($4,700)
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,200 — If the Steelers focus on stopping Henry, Smith is another Titans pass-catcher who could benefit from lighter coverage. Smith was busy with six catches for 37 yards in his first matchup with the Titans and followed that with seven catches for 63 yards, a touchdown and 19.1 DKFP in the most recent rematch. Smith has produced over 12 DKFP in four of his past seven sims, and he’s a solid second TE to play in your flex spot or a value option if you don’t want to pay up for Kelce or the other stud options.
Steelers DST vs. Tennessee Titans, $3,100 — The Steelers have an excellent pass rush in Madden 21 and have totaled 84 sacks in their 41 sims. They have at least three sacks in four of their past five games with 12 DKFP or more in three of those contests. When they faced the Titans earlier in these Madden 21 contests, they had two fumble recoveries and two sacks for a total of 6.0 DKFP in two games. Overall, they have 32 takeaways in 41 sims and have scored seven defensive touchdowns. Of all the defenses in play on this slate, they have the best average with 6.2 DKFP per contest and have also shown the highest ceiling.
Cowboys DST vs. Minnesota Vikings, $2,600 — If you have to save salary, you can go with the cheapest DST on the board since the Cowboys have actually had some solid games in these Madden sims. Dallas doesn’t have as many highly-rated players as the Steelers’ DST, but it has done a good job limiting opponents’ point production and usually gets involved in lower-scoring, run-focused contests. While slowing down Dalvin Cook is a tall task for any team, the Cowboys did post 8.0 DKFP in their two earlier meetings with Minnesota. They have 91 sacks in their 43 sims, which is a better total and rate than the Steelers, but they have not yet scored a defensive touchdown, which is why their average is only 3.7 DKFP per contest.
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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.