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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for March 23

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

Tuesday’s DraftKings Dream Stream is ready to roll with six more Madden 21 sims lined up for this afternoon and evening. In addition to single-game showdowns for each matchup, there are a pair of three-game classic slates, with the later three games making up the featured classic slate, starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. The first game included on that slate is the Los Angeles Rams going on the road to face the Houston Texans for their third meeting of these Madden 21 sims. At 8:00 p.m. ET, the Las Vegas Raiders head to virtual Florida to face the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the final sim of the day is the Detroit Lions visiting the New England Patriots 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 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.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $5K Tuesday Night Special [$1K to 1st] and your FREE fantasy football lineups here: Madden Stream $250 FREE Contest



Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans vs. Los Angeles Rams, $7,700 — Watson is the most productive QB of the six available by a wide margin. He is averaging 23.7 DKFP per sim, which is more than 5.0 DKFP more than any other QB in play. Watson has been an outstanding dual-threat, averaging 198.5 passing yards and 72.8 rushing yards per sim while throwing 81 touchdowns and running for 23 more scores in his 57 contests. He had 27.42 DKFP in his most recent game against the Rams, throwing for 158 yards and two touchdowns and running for 101 more yards. In their prior meeting, Watson posted an even-better 29.56 DKFP with 154 yards and a passing score to go with 104 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. Watson actually hasn’t hit the 100-yard rushing mark in any of his eight most recent sims, so he seems due for another big rushing game in this rematch with the Rams. Despite not hitting that rushing bonus, he has still been very good lately, with over 19 DKFP in three straight, highlighted by 41.66 DKFP with five touchdowns against the Bears. Watson’s multiple avenues to success make him a low-risk play with a high ceiling, so he’s definitely the top QB option to build around if you have the salary to make his hefty price tag work under your cap.


Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $6,200 — Brady doesn’t offer any of the rushing production that Watson brings, but he has been a very solid passer and gets a great matchup against the Raiders’ secondary. He threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns on his way to 32.88 DKFP in his first meeting with Las Vegas in these sims and followed that up with 275 yards in the rematch. He didn’t throw any scores in that second meeting, though, so only managed 11.0 DKFP. Brady almost always has good yardage totals and is averaging 256.8 passing yards per sim, but his total output is very reliant on whether he throws touchdowns or not, as vividly illustrated by his two earlier matchups with the Raiders. He comes into this matchup with 97 touchdown throws in 61 sims, and he’ll end up being a nice pivot from Watson if he adds another multi-touchdown game at home against Las Vegas.

Other Options — Cam Newton ($6,600), Jared Goff ($6,400)

Running Back


Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans, $6,100 — This slate is a very unique one from an RB perspective since all six teams in action use a timeshare of some sort. Henderson is the third-down back for the Rams and has been the most productive of the 12 involved RBs on the slate, averaging 12.0 DKFP per sim. He has averaged 4.5 catches for 32.7 yards per contest in his 51 sims since becoming the third-down back and has scored a total of 20 touchdowns. He has hit for at least 13 DKFP with at least seven catches in three of his past four contests and put up two big games against the Texans, resulting in 24.0 and 28.8 DKFP. Henderson is coming off a similar 23.7-DKFP performance against the Falcons, highlighted by nine catches for 68 yards, so he comes into this favorable matchup with good recent results. It’s not normally a great play to pay over $6K for a part-time RB, but of the options in play on this slate, he makes the most sense if you can afford to pay up and hope he continues his success against a consistently beatable Texans defense.

Other Option — Leonard Fournette ($6,000)


D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions at New England Patriots, $4,800 — The Patriots have an elite secondary in Madden 21, which often forces their opponents to focus on passing the ball to non-WR options. Swift has been a very solid pass-catcher for Detroit, averaging 8.7 DKFP as the third-down back. He had only 4.7 DKFP in the first meeting between these teams in Madden 21 but has typically been much more productive than that, especially lately. He has over 9.0 DKFP in four of his past seven sims, dating back to an eight-catch performance against the Bengals that resulted in 24.4 DKFP. Swift hasn’t been quite as consistent as his counterpart in this matchup James White ($4,900), but I like his matchup more and expect him to get more work if the Lions are playing from behind, which is often the case in these sims.

Other Options — James White ($4,900), Duke Johnson ($3,900)

Wide Receiver


Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans, $6,400 — Kupp has been a volatile option in these Madden 21 sims due to inconsistent QB play from Jared Goff ($6,400) and plenty of receiving options being regularly involved in the virtual version of Sean McVay’s offense. Kupp does have a good matchup and an attractive price point in this matchup with the Texans, though, and he should at least be a solid play based on his PPR production while also bringing a very high ceiling. Kupp has at least four catches in eight of his past 10 sims, averaging 13.9 DKFP. He had 12.0 and 15.7 DKFP against the Texans in their first two meetings, and he should have a ratings advantage working out of the slot once again in this contest. Kupp’s consistent involvement and favorable matchup set him up to be the most successful WR over $6K.

Other Options — Chris Godwin ($6,200), Henry Ruggs III ($6,000)


Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions at New England Patriots, $4,500 — Madden 21 doesn’t seem to lean into “revenge game” narratives very much, but Amendola stuck it to his former team with two touchdowns and 23.5 DKFP in their first Madden 21 meeting. It probably had much more to do with his matchup in the slot than revenge, and he could again be a frequent target in the rematch if Superstar X-factor CB Stephon Gilmore focuses on shutting down WR1 Kenny Golladay ($5,600), leaving lower-rated CBs to contend with Amendola. In his 56 Madden 21 sims, Amendola has been heavily involved overall, hauling in 3.7 catches for 42.9 yards per sim and scoring a total of 13 touchdowns. His salary is a little elevated for this matchup since he has over 8.0 DKFP in seven of his past nine contests, but I still see him as one of the more stable plays available under $5K.

Scotty Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $3,900 — Since they don’t have Antonio Brown in these sims, the Buccaneers use Miller as their WR3. He has multiple catches in four straight sims and in nine of his past 11, including two games against the Raiders in which he totaled 11.9 and 6.5 DKFP. He had four catches for 79 yards in their most recent meeting and should have an advantage on the outside due to his 94 speed rating. Unlike Amendola and Kupp, Miller isn’t the slot option but much more of the “home run threat” for Brady in this offense, which gives him a very high ceiling if he breaks free for a big play or two in this favorable matchup with Las Vegas.

Other Options — Josh Reynolds ($5,100), Damiere Byrd ($4,200), Hunter Renfrow ($3,400)

Tight End


Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $5,100 — There are multiple great TE plays on this slate, and I’m definitely in favor of going with a second TE in your flex spot given the other options available at other spots in these three sims. Waller has been excellent overall in these sims, producing 56.6 receiving yards on 4.5 catches per sim. He has hit double-digit DKFP in seven of his nine most recent contests, including an 11.8-DKFP showing in his most recent matchup with the Bucs, which included one of his 19 touchdowns in Madden 21. Waller is the fastest TE in the entire game and can break big plays on any catch. If the volume comes his way from Derek Carr ($5,700), he should be able to exploit the vulnerable middle of the Bucs’ defense and post another standout stat line.

Other Options — T.J. Hockenson ($5,700), Devin Asiasi ($5,500)


Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans, $4,700 — Higbee has been on a nice roll with at least three catches in seven straight sims, averaging 10.5 DKFP per sim over that stretch to lift his average in his 52 Madden 21 appearances to just over 10.0 DKFP. He had 15.0 and 6.3 DKFP in his two earlier meetings with the Texans, who usually give up piles of passing yards. Higbee is a solid lower-cost option at TE even though he doesn’t bring the ceiling of the three higher-priced TEs listed above.

Other Options — Darren Fells ($4,000)



Patriots DST vs. Detroit Lions, $3,100 — The Patriots’ defense has been one of the best DST options in all of Madden 21, and they have a very favorable matchup on this slate against the Lions. The Patriots have forced an elite level of 1.1 turnovers per game with 38 interceptions and 25 fumble recoveries in their 59 Madden 21 sims. They have also scored 12 defensive touchdowns and piled up 97 sacks in those 59 contests, resulting in a solid 6.0 DKFP average. They have been slightly better at home, where they average 6.3 DKFP, and they should be able to take advantage of this matchup, which resulted in 10.0 DKFP in their first contest with Detroit.


Rams DST at Houston Texans, $2,800 — Even though they’ll have to deal with dual-threat Deshaun Watson, the Rams make a solid, cheap DST play since they do have a pair of big-time playmakers in X-factor Superstars Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. In their 55 sims, the Rams have totaled 85 sacks and 26 takeaways. They had five sacks and 13.0 DKFP in their most recent sim, which was against the Falcons, and they should have a significant ratings advantage up front against the Texans. Watson does occasionally have fumble issues, losing 26 in 57 sims, so there’s definitely the potential for a turnover or two against the Rams in this matchup.

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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.