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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for March 14

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s three-game Madden Stream DraftKings slate, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Even though the NFL is ramping up for a very busy offseason of action off the field, you can still get some fantasy football action on the field this Sunday, at least virtually. The DraftKings Dream Stream is ready to roll with six more great Madden 21 sims scheduled throughout the afternoon and evening, giving you multiple ways to play single-game or classic contests all day long. The second half of the schedule makes up the featured classic slate, which kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET with an AFC duel between the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. At 8:00 p.m. ET in primetime, the Los Angeles Chargers head to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals, and we close out the night with an appearance from Madden 21 cover athlete Lamar Jackson ($8,700), as he and the Baltimore Ravens head to the virtual Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints.

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.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $4K Sunday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $250 FREE Contest


Quarterback

Stud

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints, $8,700 — While he’s significantly more expensive than the other QBs on the slate, Jackson has been incredible in these sims showing off a high ceiling due to potentially going off for a huge game on the ground in any matchup. He has produced over 24 DKFP in three straight sims and in seven of his past 11. In his most recent meeting with the Saints, Jackson ran for 222 yards and a touchdown to finish with 34.8 DKFP while throwing for just 90 yards. He had 34.98, 24.46 and 15.74 DKFP in his three earlier meetings with the Saints, and he should be able to thrive in this rematch in the dome, where points and yardage should be flowing freely for both teams.

Other Option — Kyler Murray ($7,300)

Value

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals, $6,000 — Herbert hasn't been nearly as consistent as Jackson and doesn’t offer as high a ceiling, but the rookie has flashed some upside and makes the most sense of the cheap QBs if you’re looking for a pivot play. Herbert did have over 18 DKFP in three of four matchups before slowing down to just 13.12 DKFP against the Browns in his most recent sim. He had a nice four-game stretch with four straight over 20 DKFP just prior to that and has shown solid potential if he gets locked in with his receiving duo of Keenan Allen ($6,100) and Mike Williams ($5,500). In his 50 sims since taking over as starting QB, the rookie has thrown 74 touchdowns and averaged 222.9 passing yards per contest.

Other Option — Drew Brees ($6,200)


Running Back

Stud

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals, $8,300 — Ekeler has thrived as the workhorse back for Herbert’s Chargers, and he usually carries a heavy load both as rusher and receiver. In his 56 Madden 21 sims, Ekeler has piled up 47 touchdowns while averaging 71.3 rushing yards per game in addition to 4.0 receptions for 31.5 yards through the air. He’s in a good spot against the Cardinals’ defense that has struggled against star RBs in these sims. In his three previous contests against Arizona, Ekeler posted 17.0, 20.6 and 29.3 DKFP. That 29.3-DKFP performance included a touchdown rushing, a touchdown receiving and 153 yards from scrimmage for the 25-year-old Western Colorado alum.

Other Options — Alvin Kamara ($8,100), Kenyan Drake ($6,900)

Value

Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts, $4,700 — This will be just the second meeting in Madden 21 between the Steelers and the Colts, and Pittsburgh won the first meeting 17-15 in virtual Indy. They’ll be at home for this rematch, and I think Samuels makes sense as a cheap RB play since he almost always finds a way to make an impact as the third-down back. Samuels is averaging 4.3 catches per contest in his 53 sims and has scored six times. He has at least 6.0 DKFP in seven of his past eight sims with at least three receptions in each of those eight contests. Samuels flashed a high ceiling with 34.5 DKFP in a recent sim against the Bengals, but most of the time his value comes from his regular dose of PPR production, which makes him a solid sub-$5K play on this slate.

Other Option — Nyheim Hines ($5,800), J.K. Dobbins ($3,800)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens, $7,300 — Thomas is the only WR in the exclusive 99 club in the Week 1 ratings used for these sims, and he has been a very solid producer, even though he is sometimes held back by inconsistent QB play. He has had a few bust games in Madden 21 but has been in a nice groove lately with at least four catches in nine straight sims and in 17 of his past 18. Thomas has been pretty consistent against the Ravens as well, posting 18.1, 25.1, 14.3 and 14.4 DKFP in his four sims against Baltimore. He has scored 38 times in 61 sims while averaging 5.2 receptions for 80.8 yards per game.

Other Options — JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,800), Keenan Allen ($6,100)

Value

Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers, $4,600 — The Steelers have a stacked front seven in these sims, so the Colts will likely have to attack the secondary if they want to move the ball in this matchup. Pascal has been productive as the WR2 and has at least four catches in six of his past seven matchups, including each of his three most recent sims. He has posted double-digit DKFP in each of those three games as well, highlighted by a 24.8-DKFP game against the Packers in which he had a touchdown and over 100 receiving yards. Pascal had just one catch for 19 yards in the Colts’ first meeting with the Steelers, but he should be more involved in the gameplan in this rematch.

Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens, $3,600 — Smith is available at a bargain-basement price for this matchup, priced all the way down to $3.6K despite averaging 10.2 DKFP per game. He has been held mostly in check recently but is still averaging 3.4 receptions for 46.5 yards per sim in 61 Madden 21 contests. Smith had exactly six catches in three of his four meetings with the Ravens, producing 18.2, 21.2 and 25.8 DKFP in those three games. Even in his “down” game against Baltimore, he produced four catches for 45 yards and 8.5 DKFP. He has a high ceiling, a good matchup and the potential to break the slate from this bargain price, so don’t sleep on Smith due to a few quiet games recently.

Other Options — Mike Williams ($5,500), Emmanuel Sanders ($4,800), Parris Campbell ($4,400), Willie Snead IV ($4,000)


Tight End

Stud

Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers, $5,000 — While former Colt Eric Ebron ($4,800) will have the revenge-game narrative on his side and usually gets more red-zone work, Burton gets the call as a stud TE for me in this spot since he gets much more consistent volume as one of Philip Rivers’ ($5,800) favorite targets. Burton is averaging 4.8 receptions per game since moving into the top TE spot and has four catches or more in four of his past five sims. He has also scored three touchdowns during that span, helping him average a solid 11.3 DKFP per sim over that stretch. He’ll look to keep rolling with Rivers in this rematch.

Other Options — Eric Ebron ($4,800), Jared Cook ($4,600)

Value

Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals, $4,400 — The Cardinals’ defense has been generous to opposing TEs in these sims, and Henry is usually very involved in Herbert’s offense for the Chargers. The free agent in real life has hauled in at least five catches in three of his past four sims to boost his average to 3.75 catches for 36.3 yards per contest. He hasn’t scored in any of his three previous matchups with the Cardinals but does have 15 touchdowns in Madden 21 including scores in each of his two most recent sims.

Other Option — Mark Andrews ($3,700)


DST

Stud

Steelers DST vs. Indianapolis Colts, $3,200 — While I think some Colts pass-catchers are in good spots to produce, I expect this game to be relatively low-scoring since both teams have highly-rated defenses. The Steelers have multiple Superstars on the defensive side and have produced 108 sacks and 45 takeaways in their 53 sims. They’re the only defense on this slate averaging more than 6.0 DKFP per sim, and they had 12 DKFP in their first meeting with the Colts, highlighted by an impressive total of six sacks.

Value

Ravens DST at New Orleans Saints, $2,900 — The Ravens haven’t had quite as many big plays as their AFC North rivals the Steelers, but they have been a solid unit overall and usually hold their opponents to low points totals. Baltimore has averaged 4.4 DKFP per sim by totaling 106 sacks and 26 takeaways in 58 sims. The Ravens have never had negative fantasy points in their four matchups with the Saints and put up 4.0 DKFP in their most recent sim against New Orleans.

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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.