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Madden Stream Picks: Top DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Targets, Values for March 4

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.

If you’re looking for some Thursday night football, check out the DraftKings Dream Stream, which will feature six Madden sims scheduled throughout Thursday afternoon and evening. The featured three-game classic slate, which kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET, is jam-packed with some of the best fantasy options in all of Madden 21. The action on that main slate begins with a nice AFC West matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders. In primetime at 8:00 p.m. ET, the Seattle Seahawks host the New Orleans Saints in a great NFC contest, and the slate wraps up on Madden After Dark, when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Minnesota Vikings in another game with some huge fantasy stars in action.

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


Quarterback

Stud

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings, $7,900 — With three elite QBs with top rushing potential on this slate, there are lots of different lineup builds to consider; however, Jackson has been the best of the three, averaging 27.0 DKFP per sim and there’s no option that can match his ceiling. He doesn’t cost significantly more than Patrick Mahomes ($7,600) and Russell Wilson ($7,500) and gets a great matchup against the Vikings as well. Jackson put up a monster game of 48.78 DKFP in his most recent sim against Minnesota, throwing for 137 yards and two touchdowns while adding over 200 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. In his other two matchups with the Vikings, he produced 17.86 and 18.9 DKFP, so he wasn’t a total bust even though he didn’t go off. He hasn’t been quite as consistent as Mahomes in these sims, but he has a higher ceiling due to his rushing potential. He has averaged 106 rushing yards to go with his 151 passing yards 44 rushing touchdowns and 57 passing touchdowns in 54 sims. He has over 25 DKFP in nine of his past 14 sims and should be able to put up a good number again in this contest.

Other Option — Patrick Mahomes ($7,600)

Value

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $5,700 — With three of the best options in all of Madden at the top of the salary structure, going with a cheap QB would definitely be contrarian and differentiate your lineup. Of the three cheaper QBs, Carr is my favorite play since he has flashed a high ceiling in some of his sims, and he may have to air it out to keep up with the Chiefs. In his most recent game against Kansas City, Carr had 299 yards and 15.96 DKFP, which was actually his lowest total output in his three games against his division rivals. He is coming off a nice sim with 356 yards, two touchdowns and 24.04 DKFP against the Chargers in his most recent matchup and brings that kind of upside at his very affordable price. He is much riskier than the top plays but could save you the salary you need to stock up on all the other stars in play at the positions discussed below.

Other Option — Drew Brees ($6,600)


Running Back

Stud

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. Baltimore Ravens, $7,700 — The most productive RB in Madden 21 has been Cook, and this is a matchup he has dominated. He has played the Ravens three times, producing 31.5, 35.5 and 20.7 DKFP in those three matchups. Cook has totaled 56 touchdowns in his 49 sims and has averaged 88 rushing yards and 31.9 receiving yards per sim. His PPR production provides a great safety net and an even higher ceiling. Since some lineups may get too focused on stacking the Chiefs, it should be a good spot to pay up and grab Cook at a lower ownership percentage even though he’s in a premium matchup.

Other Options — Alvin Kamara ($7,500), Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,000)

Value

Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints, $4,000 — Since all the superstars are both extremely productive and extremely expensive, most lineups will need some extremely cheap players in them as well. Hyde comes at a very bargain rate since he isn’t the third-down RB or the RB1 for the Seahawks. He does still get work, though, since he is the power back and Seattle relies heavily on those formations which he is a part of. Hyde had five catches in his most recent sim and is now averaging 2.5 receptions per game to go with 11 touchdowns. He had 8.7 DKFP in his first meeting with the Saints and has over 8.0 DKFP in five of his past nine.

Other Options — Jalen Richard ($4,200), J.K. Dobbins ($3,800)


Wide Receiver

Stud

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders, $7,800 — Hill’s impressive and consistently high volume along with his 99 speed rating has made him an absolute fantasy beast in Madden 21. The Raiders have no one in their secondary who can come close to matching up with him, and as a result, he has burned them for 20.2, 26.5 and 18.1 DKFP in their three previous matchups. While those numbers are solid, he has actually averaged even better with 6.4 catches for 94.4 yards and 22.8 DKFP per game. He has scored a touchdown in each of his past four games and has totaled 55 scores in 59 sims. He has an incredibly high ceiling and consistently delivers big games, so he’s a great play if you can make his salary work under a crowded salary cap on this slate.

Other Option — Michael Thomas ($7,200)

Value

Tyrell Williams, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs, $5,700 — Williams is the newest member of the Detroit Lions in real life, but in these sims, he’ll continue to be the WR1 for the Raiders. He has been productive in that role, averaging 14.1 DKFP per sim on 4.4 catches for 67.2 yards per game. He has been above that average in his matchups with the Chiefs, though, posting 26.9, 13.9 and 19.5 DKFP in those three contests, including over 100 yards in their most recent meeting. He can be boom-or-bust just like his QB Derek Carr, but if the Raiders are forced to take to the air to keep up with KC, Williams and Carr are an interesting value stack that has the potential to go big.

Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders, $4,200 — Robinson is always a solid way to save salary when he’s on the slate, and he typically is a great way to help fit his expensive teammates on your roster. Robinson has four catches in each of his two most recent matchups with the Raiders and is averaging 2.8 catches for 42.0 yards per sim for the Chiefs. He has also been on a touchdown binge lately, scoring eight times over his past nine contests. There’s no other WR at this price point that can offer the consistency and involvement that Robinson brings.

Other Options — Adam Thielen ($5,600), Tre’Quan Smith ($4,900), Hunter Renfrow ($3,600)


Tight End

Stud

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders, $6,100 — Even with the heavy volume for Hill and with Robinson regularly involved, Mahomes manages to get the ball to Kelce regularly enough to make him the top TE option in Madden 21. Kelce is averaging 6.0 catches for 70.4 yards per sim and has scored 33 times in 59 contests. He found the end zone in three of his past four sims, highlighted by a 36.1-DKFP outburst against the Titans. The Raiders have trouble defending pedestrian TEs at times in these sims, so they don’t have anyone that will slow down Kelce. His volume is slightly less reliable than Cook’s or Hill’s, so if you have to pass on a superstar, he’s the lowest priority. However, there’s no denying his upside in this matchup and his spot as the top TE if salary isn’t a limiting factor.

Other Option — Darren Waller ($5,400)

Value

Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings, $3,700 — Andrews has great ratings and a solid route tree in Madden 21, but he hasn’t been a fantasy force in these sims since Lamar Jackson does so much of the work in the Ravens’ offense on the ground. When he is involved, Andrews has a pretty good ceiling, though, and he did post 11.5 DKFP in his most recent matchup with these Vikings. He has at least three catches in 16 of his past 19 sims with nine games of double-digit DKFP. He isn’t nearly as effective as his ratings would indicate he could be, but he does have enough upside to be a very solid way to save salary at TE and cram stars under your salary cap in other spots.

Other Option — Greg Olsen ($4,700)


DST

Stud

Seahawks DST vs. New Orleans Saints, $2,900 — The Seahawks have trailed off a little bit with their defensive production as of late, but they still have their pair of Superstar X-factors who can cause fumbles at any time. Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner are the only two players in Madden 21 with the “avalanche” X-factor, and they have helped Seattle recover 39 fumbles in 51 games. The Seahawks have added 116 sacks and 10 defensive touchdowns to average a robust 7.4 DKFP per sim. No other team on this slate averages more than 5.0 DKFP, so there’s a pretty big gap between them and the rest of the field. In their previous matchup with New Orleans, the Seattle DST had 7.0 DKFP and held Brees and Co. to only 13 points.

Value

Chiefs DST at Las Vegas Raiders, $2,700 — The Chiefs’ offense has been outstanding in these sims, which has sometimes actually hurt their defense since other teams scramble to put up points to keep up. Kansas City’s D has still been solid, though, with 102 sacks and 38 takeaways in 59 contests. The Chiefs did have 12 DKFP in one of their earlier meetings with the Raiders but only managed 1.0 and 3.0 DKFP in their rematches after that. While they don’t have the reliability or upside that the Seahawks bring, they do come at a reduced salary and are the best cheap play if you prioritize your spending in other roster spots.

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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.