The DraftKings Dream Stream rolls on with another busy Thursday including six more great Madden 21 sims throughout the afternoon and evening. The final three games on the schedule make up the featured classic slate, which gets underway at 6:00 p.m. ET. The first sim that is part of that contest features the Detroit Lions visiting the Buffalo Bills in virtual upstate New York, as the teams meet for the first time in Madden 21. At 8:00 p.m. ET in the primetime matchup, the Atlanta Falcons fly to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Rams, and we close out the day with an NFC East matchup between the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys on Madden After Dark.
As in all of these Madden 21 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.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team, $6,800 — These two teams met earlier this week in these sims, and Prescott threw for 276 yards with two touchdowns on his way to 19.04 DKFP against Washington. Since then, real-life Dak has gotten paid, and sim Dak will look to celebrate with another big game against Washington’s burnable secondary. Prescott had 27.28 and 21.94 DKFP in his two earlier matchups with his divisional foe, and he has been pretty solid lately with over 15 DKFP in six straight sims with an average of 19.3 DKFP per contest over that stretch. The matchup is a great one for him, and he isn't quite as dependent on rushing production as Josh Allen ($7,200), who is the other top option on this slate. I’d rather take the consistency and salary savings and roll with Prescott over Allen for this contest.
Other Option — Josh Allen ($7,200)
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons, $5,900 — Goff has been a very volatile option in Madden 21, but he has flashed enough upside to be the top cheap play at QB on this slate, especially since he’s facing the Falcons’ secondary. Goff has thrown 73 touchdowns in his 50 sims and averaged 242.1 passing yards per contest. He has produced over 19 DKFP in three of his past five games, including 19.96 DKFP in a surprising upset of the Kansas City Chiefs a few sims ago. Since the other affordable QBs have tougher matchups, Goff brings the most upside to this slate of any QB priced at $6.5K or lower.
Other Option — Matt Ryan ($6,400)
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys, $7,500 — Both RBs in the late game are excellent plays since both McKissic and Ezekiel Elliott ($8,100) typically carry a huge workload. McKissic is a little more involved as a receiver out of the backfield than Elliott, averaging 4.1 catches for 29.0 receiving yards to go with his 53.0 rushing yards per sim. He has totaled 25 scores in his 52 sims, including a late touchdown in his most recent matchup with Dallas, in which he totaled 19.9 DKFP. He had an even-better 26.3 DKFP with two touchdowns and seven catches in their previous meeting. He comes into this rematch on a roll with over 19 DKFP in four straight sims and over 12 DKFP in 15 straight. Since he is both the RB1 and third-down back, he is central to everything Washington does on offense, making him a strong play at $7.5K.
Other Option — Ezekiel Elliott ($8,100)
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions, $5,500 — Singletary is the Bills’ RB1 and third-down back, but he still comes at an extremely affordable price for this matchup against the Lions, who have been awful at stopping the run in these Madden sims. Singletary had his 16th touchdown in 53 sims in his most recent contest and finished with a solid 17.6 DKFP against the 49ers, who are a much tougher matchup than Detroit. Singletary is averaging 2.6 catches per contest, giving him some PPR production to fall back on even if he’s stopped on the ground. He also can break big plays, which he showed with over 100 yards rushing three sims ago when he beat the Steelers for 23.1 DKFP. The only downside is that he can lose some work at times to Allen on QB keepers, but overall, Singletary is a relatively safe play with a good ceiling under $6K. The other options available in this price range are all parts of timeshares, which can cause their production to be more volatile due to inconsistent workloads.
Other Options — Darrell Henderson Jr. ($5,600), D’Andre Swift ($5,200)
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team, $6,800 — The Football Team’s secondary has had no answers for Cooper in any of their three meetings in Madden 21. Cooper has beaten them for at least 80 yards in each contest, producing 20.5, 13.0 and 26.5 DKFP in the three meetings. He has been very solid throughout these sims as the Cowboys’ top WR, producing 27 touchdowns in 51 sims and averaging 4.7 catches for 70.9 yards per contest. Cooper has five touchdowns in his past six sims and is the best option in a favorable matchup on this slate, especially with Kenny Golladay ($6,600) taking on Bills CB Tre’Davious White and Julio Jones ($6,300) dealing with Rams CB Jalen Ramsey.
Other Option — Stefon Diggs ($6,500), Julio Jones ($6,300)
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams vs Atlanta Falcons, $5,400 — Kupp isn’t someone who I target often in these sims since his workload fluctuates from game-to-game even though he is the WR1 for the Rams. Goff’s inconsistencies have made him tough to rely on, but I love his matchup in this spot against the Falcons, who typically struggle against opposing slot receivers. Kupp had been putting up good numbers lately with double-digit DKFP in four straight before a down game of just 4.2 DKFP in his most recent contest. He has flashed a high ceiling, most notably recently against the Colts, when he dropped 31.1 DKFP on six catches for 161 yards. He isn't the safest midrange play but the matchup could set him up to deliver a ceiling game like that at low ownership on this slate.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills, $3,700 — Like Kupp, Amendola is the slot receiver for his team, but he has actually been a very stable option in that role thanks to Matthew Stafford ($6,500), especially for a receiver with such a low salary. Amendola has either a touchdown or multiple catches in 24 of his past 25 sims and has delivered over 10 DKFP in three of his past six, dating back to a 20.7-DKFP performance against the Texans. He is averaging 3.6 catches for 41.7 yards per sim and has scored 12 touchdowns in his 51 contests. He doesn’t have the breakaway speed or big-play potential that Kupp offers, but he does come at such a cheap salary that he can fill in your roster nicely while allowing you to stock stars at other spots.
Other Options — Michael Gallup ($5,000), Josh Reynolds ($4,700), Steven Sims Jr. ($4,100), Russell Gage ($3,800)
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills, $5,500 — Hockenson has found the end zone in back-to-back sims coming into this matchup and now has 18 scores in 51 sims. He has produced 51.3 yards on 4.8 catches per contest and has at least four catches in each of his nine most recent sims. The Bills do have a strong secondary, but they have been beatable by opposing TEs, which actually puts Hockenson in a good place to produce as he faces them for the first time in Madden 21.
Other Option — Jeremy Sprinkle ($4,400)
Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team, $4,300 — If you can’t pay up for Hockenson and need a value play, it’s time to go back to that favorable matchup for Dallas one more time. While Washington’s front seven on defense has been solid, their secondary has been beatable both on the outside and over the middle. Jarwin had 10.1 DKFP against them in their recent matchup after crushing them for 26.9 DKFP the first time they faced off in Madden 21. In that contest, Jarwin had seven catches, 109 yards and a touchdown. He seems way overdue for a score since he has been held out of the end zone in 13 straight sims, and he could be the target that connects with Prescott in this contest.
Other Option — Lee Smith ($3,400)
Bills DST vs. Detroit Lions, $2,900 — The Bills have been the second-most productive defense of the six teams on this slate, averaging 5.1 DKFP per sim with 96 sacks, 41 takeaways and six defensive touchdowns in their 53 sims. They just got steamrolled by Raheem Mostert in their most recent sim, finishing with -4.0 DKFP, but before that, they had put together some good games including back-to-back games with 6.0 DKFP at home against the Steelers and Titans. They should bounce back in their return to virtual Orchard Park, where they have averaged 5.5 DKFP per home sim in Madden 21.
Falcons DST at Los Angeles Rams, $2,600 — The Falcons’ defense has been much better in these sims than they were in real life this past season. In 55 sims, Atlanta has totaled 111 sacks, 29 takeaways and four defensive touchdowns. When the Falcons visited the Rams earlier in these sims, they produced an impressive 15.0 DKFP and held Goff in check, allowing just 13 points. If they can put up anywhere near that total again in this rematch, they’ll be a great affordable pivot option 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.