After a little break for some cornhole on Saturday, the DraftKings Dream Stream is back to a full day of six Madden 21 sims throughout the afternoon and evening to bring some football to this first Sunday of spring. The later three games on the schedule make up the featured classic slate, which starts at 6:00 p.m. ET with a contest between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams from virtual SoFi Stadium. At 8:00 p.m. ET, the primetime matchup will feature the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Giants, who have played three high-scoring, fantasy-friendly contests already in Madden 21. The final game of the night gets underway at 10:00 p.m. ET on Madden After Dark when the Las Vegas Raiders welcome in the Washington Football Team to virtual Sin City.
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 the 2020-21 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.
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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $7,800 — Mahomes is the only QB in the Week 1 player ratings used for these sims with a perfect 99 overall rating, and he has been the best QB in the sims by a wide margin. In this favorable matchup against the Giants, he’s worth trying to pay up for even though his salary is over $1,000 more than any other QB available. Mahomes has thrown an impressive 165 touchdowns in his 65 sims (2.5 per game) and has added 13 more on the ground. He is averaging 287.8 passing yards per sim, which is also the highest mark of any QB by a comfortable margin. He has faced and defeated the Giants three times in Madden 21, posting 31.26, 28.78 and 30.38 DKFP for consistently excellent production. There’s no need to get cute and try and overthink this spot as long as you can find some other spots to save salary.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $5,700 — If you do decide to differentiate your lineup by going with a QB option likely to have lower ownership, you don’t have to look far since the best bargain play is on the other side of the same game. Jones is the fifth-most expensive QB but has produced the third-most DKFP per game of the QBs available on this slate, and he has had particularly good games in his three losses to Mahomes. Jones has averaged 16.9 DKFP per sim but posted 27.16, 27.7 and 18.16 DKFP in his three losses to Kansas City. All three of those games have been very close and high-scoring, and Jones will likely be a good play if this rematch follows the same script.
Other Options — Matt Ryan ($6,600), Derek Carr ($6,000)
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders, $6,900 — If you want some exposure to the late game, McKissic is a solid place to look since he has been heavily involved in the Washington offense since the latest roster update when he was locked in as both RB1 and third-down back. McKissic is averaging 54.0 rushing yards and 28.2 receiving yards on 4.2 catches per sim. He has scored 26 touchdowns in his 56 appearances and has had solid performances in his past meetings with the Raiders. This will be the fifth time he faces them in Madden 21, and he has finished with 12.7, 17.2, 25.5 and 14.6 DKFP in his previous meetings. Only the 25.5-DKFP contest included a touchdown, so if he manages to get into the end zone in this game, he actually is a candidate for some positive regression. He brings both a very high floor and a high ceiling since he is so involved as a pass-catcher.
Other Options — Saquon Barkley ($8,000), Todd Gurley II ($7,400)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $6,200 — CEH has a higher salary than most of the value RBs I usually recommend in this spot, but he has been very solid and makes a lot of sense in this matchup if you can find a way to get him under your salary cap while paying up in other spots. Like McKissic, Edwards-Helaire has been a workhorse for his team, catching plenty of passes out of the backfield. He has averaged 3.5 catches for 25.6 receiving yards to go with his 44.8 rushing yards per sim. He posted 15.1, 10.4 and 20.6 DKFP in his three previous matchups with the Giants and should be able to take advantage of the favorable matchup once again. Given the options on this slate, I’d prefer to go balanced in the backfield with him and McKissic as my two RBs instead of going with a “stars and scrubs” construction.
Other Options — Darrell Henderson Jr. ($5,500), Jalen Richard ($4,700)
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $7,700 — One star you definitely need to consider every time he takes the field is Hill, who has the only 99 speed rating in the Madden 21 ratings used for these sims. He usually blows past any secondary and especially has an advantage against these Giants DBs. In his three games against New York, Hill has posted 36.0, 20.1 and 36.0 DKFP with at least seven catches in each contest. He is averaging an amazing 6.3 catches for 92.7 yards per sim and has found the end zone 58 times in 65 contests. He is actually coming off a down game against the Cowboys, but don’t let recency bias scare you off of paying up for one of the best and most consistent players in all of Madden 21.
Other Options — Julio Jones ($6,800), Robert Woods ($6,400)
Tyrell Williams, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Washington Football Team, $5,200 — Williams is now with the Detroit Lions in real life, but he’s still the WR1 for Vegas in these sims. He has averaged a solid 13.7 DKFP on 4.3 catches for 64.5 yards per sim while scoring a total of 22 touchdowns. He had two of those touchdowns and 21.8 DKFP in his most recent matchup with Washington and posted 7.4, 8.5 and 11.2 DKFP in their three earlier meetings. He’s a solid midrange play since he usually gets good volume and gets a good matchup against a struggling secondary.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $4,000 — Slayton is the Giants’ WR3, so he comes at a steep discount at only $4K, but he has shown some explosive potential with his 93 speed rating and 79 overall rating. Slayton had 11.2, 19.6 and 16.5 DKFP in his previous three matchups with the Chiefs, including three touchdowns in those three contests. If he can hit double-digit DKFP for the fourth time against Kansas City, he can be the key to unlocking the salary you need to stock up on stars at other spots on this slate.
Other Options — Calvin Ridley ($5,300), Steven Sims Jr. ($4,600), Demarcus Robinson ($4,400), Russell Gage ($4,100), Hunter Renfrow ($3,700)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants, $6,000 — Even with the success of Hill, Kelce has remained a high-volume option at TE for the Chiefs as well, averaging 5.8 catches for 67.5 yards per sim and scoring 38 touchdowns in 65 contests. He had 13.9, 17.0 and 23.3 DKFP in his three matchups with the Giants earlier in Madden 21 and has produced over 11 DKFP in four of his five most recent sims, highlighted by a three-touchdown, 28.5-DKFP performance against the 49ers. He isn’t as “must-own” as Hill in this matchup, but he still is the top TE to own if your salary cap allows for his $6K salary.
Other Option — Darren Waller ($5,200)
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons, $4,200 — Higbee has been very solid for the Rams and is coming off a six-catch game against the Rams that resulted in 14.4 DKFP. He had seven catches for 58 yards and 12.8 DKFP when the Rams faced the Falcons just four sims ago and also had four catches in their earlier Madden 21 meeting. Higbee has at least three catches in 11 of his past 12 sims and is now averaging 4.5 catches per game. If he continues to get that kind of volume, he should be a great low-risk option at just over $4K as the second-cheapest starting TE on this slate.
Other Options — Jeremy Sprinkle ($3,800)
Washington Football Team DST at Las Vegas Raiders, $2,900 — Washington has forced 41 turnovers in its 56 sims while piling up 121 sacks and scoring seven defensive touchdowns. Since the Giants-Chiefs games have been so high-scoring it makes sense to pivot away from those teams and look at the Football Team defense in this favorable matchup against the Raiders. In their previous meetings, the Football Team has produced 13.0, 10.0, 5.0 and 8.0 DKFP against Vegas, and they should be able to put together another strong performance against an average offensive line.
Rams DST vs. Atlanta Falcons, $2,700 — The Rams have some of the highest-rated players on the defensive side of the ball in all of Madden 21 but have produced average results in their 54 sims, posting just 3.6 DKFP per game. They have forced 25 turnovers and produced 80 sacks but have only managed one defensive touchdown in all those contests. They did have four sacks in their recent game against Atlanta and have produced 4.0 and 6.0 DKFP in their two meetings with the Falcons. They make sense as a cheaper play with upside on this slate since they have such a distinct ratings advantage on the front line especially.
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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.