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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for March 25

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

We’re amazingly just a few days away from the one-year anniversary of the start of these Madden sims on the DraftKings Dream Stream, and to celebrate, there’s a huge Madden Stream $30K One Year Anniversary [$10K to 1st] contest with a chance for one player to turn a $15 entry into $10,000 this Sunday night. As we continue the countdown to that milestone, there are six more sims on tap for Thursday, highlighted by the featured late classic slate which includes the three games kicking off at 6:00 p.m. ET or later. The first game on that slate is the Los Angeles Chargers traveling to the virtual City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. At 8:00 p.m. ET in the primetime matchup, the Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson ($7,700) will travel to D.C. to take on the Washington Football Team, and we close out the day of Madden sims with a matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been frequent foes recently.

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


Quarterback

Stud

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $6,800 — Brady has been inconsistent at times in these sims since he is very touchdown reliant, but he has excelled in this specific matchup and comes with a very high ceiling. The reigning Super Bowl MVP ran for just his second rushing touchdown in 62 sims in his most recent matchup against the Raiders while also throwing two more scores and finishing with 27.8 DKFP. He threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns on his way to 32.88 DKFP in one of his two earlier matchups with Vegas in Madden 21, so this is definitely a matchup that gives him the chance to go off. The yardage has typically been there for Tampa Tom, but he can sometimes bust if he doesn’t throw touchdowns. He has been good on that front lately, with multiple touchdowns and over 15 DKFP in 11 of his 12 most recent sims. While both QBs priced above him can also go off, Brady’s matchup with the Raiders makes him my favorite play to pay up for at this spot.

Other Options — Deshaun Watson ($7,700), Carson Wentz ($7,200)

Value

Dwayne Haskins Jr., Washington Football Team vs. Houston Texans, $5,800 — If you decide to pass on all the more expensive QB plays, Haskins actually makes a lot of sense in this favorable matchup against the Texans’ struggling secondary. Haskins has been very boom-or-bust in these sims, averaging 214.1 passing yards per game with 84 touchdowns in 58 sims. He threw for two touchdowns and finished with 12.18 DKFP in his first sim against Houston in Madden 21 but has shown a higher ceiling recently with over 17 DKFP in three straight sims and over 15 DKFP in five of his past six. If you decide to pay up at all the skill spots, Haskins can provide plenty of salary relief while still bringing upside of his own in this favorable home matchup.

Other Option — Derek Carr ($5,900)


Running Back

Stud

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles, $8,400 — Ekeler has been one of the best RBs in Madden 21 and often carries the load for the Chargers, who have gotten up-and-down contributions from rookie QB Justin Herbert ($6,200). Ekeler is the only RB on the slate producing more than 20 DKFP per sim and has reached that level by running for 71.8 yards per sim in addition to 31.8 receiving yards on 3.9 catches per contest. He has scored a total of 50 touchdowns in his 59 Madden 21 sims and recently achieved the rare accomplishment of posting over 100 rushing yards and over 100 receiving yards in the same sim, going off for 46.5 DKFP against the Titans two games ago. He had only 7.2 DKFP in his most recent matchup with the Eagles but beat them for 22.1 DKFP in their previous contest. He should be heavily involved in this rematch, as usual, and he comes with both the highest ceiling and the lowest risk of any RB on the slate due to his consistently heavy workload as both a rusher and receiver.

Other Option — J.D. McKissic ($6,700)

Value

Jalen Richard, Las Vegas Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $4,400 — If you’re going cheap at RB, it almost always makes sense to target a third-down back in a timeshare since their PPR points act as both a safety net for their floor and a turbo boost to their ceiling. Richard has been a solid play for the Raiders, and I’m giving him a slight edge over LeSean McCoy ($4,600) in this head-to-head since I think the likely game script will have the Raiders playing from behind and throwing more often. Richard has either a touchdown or at least four catches in each of his previous three meetings with the Bucs, resulting in 9.9, 7.8 and 5.0 DKFP. He has over 6.0 DKFP in 12 of his past 15 sims and is one of the lowest risk bargain RBs since he is a regular check-down option for Carr in the Raiders’ offense.

Other Options — Leonard Fournette ($6,000), LeSean McCoy ($4,600), Duke Johnson ($4,500)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $6,500 — The Raiders have lost two of their three Madden 21 meetings with the Bucs, but Ruggs has dominated his individual matchup with Tampa Bay’s secondary. His 98 speed rating is the second-best in all of Madden 21 behind only Tyreek Hill, which has made him a nightmare for the Bucs. Ruggs ripped off 123 yards on six catches on his way to 33.3 DKFP in their most recent contest after posting 127 yards with 26.7 DKFP and 121 yards with 26.1 DKFP in their two prior meetings. Ruggs isn’t even the WR1 on his own team, so it’s a little startling to see him at the top of the salary list for receivers on this slate. However, a closer look at the matchup shows how successful he has been against Tampa Bay and that he should be able to go off for another big number in this contest.

Other Options — Chris Godwin ($6,300), Keenan Allen ($6,100)

Value

Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $5,100 — Another high-speed WR with a high ceiling is Goodwin, who serves as the Eagles’ WR3 and slot receiver in these sims. He has a 97 speed rating and has used that to average 51.7 yards on 3.8 catches per contest while scoring 28 touchdowns in 53 sims. He is coming off a big game with 120 yards, a touchdown and 27.1 DKFP against the Lions and also posted good numbers in his three previous meetings with the Chargers. Goodwin found the end zone in every one of those three sims, producing 14.8, 24.7 and 9.2 DKFP. He doesn’t get the highest volume of the midrange WR options, but he can definitely make big plays after the catch, so give him a look at barely over $5K on this slate.

Scotty Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $3,800 — Without Antonio Brown on the roster, the Bucs use Miller as their WR3 in these sims, and the speedster has been regularly involved, averaging 3.0 catches per contest. He has scored 11 touchdowns in 54 sims, including a touchdown in his most recent matchup which was also against the Raiders. He has at least 9.0 DKFP in four of his past five sims, which is a great return for such an affordable option. He brings big-play potential as well, but his main value is due to his reliable role in the Bucs’ offense.

Other Options — Brandin Cooks ($5,500), Will Fuller V ($4,900), Terry McLaurin ($4,700), Joe Reed ($3,600)


Tight End

Stud

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $6,000 — If you have the salary to spend up at TE, Ertz is a strong option to consider given his high volume of targets from Wentz in these sims. Ertz has averaged 59.2 yards on 5.6 catches per sim and has scored 25 touchdowns. He has at least six catches in three of his four most recent sims and in each of his past three meetings with the Chargers, averaging 14.6 DKFP per contest in those previous matchups.

Other Option — Darren Waller ($5,200)

Value

Darren Fells, Houston Texans at Washington Football Team, $3,700 — The Texans released Fells in real life this past week, but he’ll keep producing for them in Madden 21 for now. He has been a high-volume target with 4.1 catches per sim but has only turned that into 42.5 yards per game and a total of 11 touchdowns. He usually gets a few PPR points and around 10 DKFP in most matchups but doesn’t usually reach the high ceiling of the elite options. However, if you need to go cheap at TE or your flex spot, his consistent targets make him a relatively safe play under $4K.

Other Option — Jeremy Sprinkle ($4,700)


DST

Stud

Washington Football Team DST vs. Houston Texans, $3,100 — Despite having Deshaun Watson, the Texans have often struggled to score in these Madden sims. Washington held them to just nine points in their first Madden 21 meeting and scored a defensive touchdown to go with three sacks and two takeaways on their way to 17.0 DKFP. Washington has averaged over 2.0 sacks per sim thanks to its highly-rated defensive front seven and should get pressure on Watson, who has had fumbling issues in Madden 21, turning the ball over 42 times in his 58 sims.

Value

Eagles DST vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $2,700 — The Eagles’ defensive scheme has caused fits for Herbert in these sims, shutting the rookie down and averaging 10.0 DKFP per game over their first three meetings. The Eagles even completely shut out the Chargers in a 34-0 rout in one of those games, forcing three turnovers and finishing with 20.0 DKFP. The Eagles haven’t been as consistent in these sims as Washington’s defense, but the Eagles make a solid cheap option based on their matchup 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.